In addition to the quoting materials below, also pay attention to the use of the ellipsis (. . . ) mark:

Omissions from quotations: An ellipsis (the plural, "ellipses," rhymes with "Gypsies") marks omissions from a quotation. Ellipses, in principle, should be avoided, but occasionally they are necessary. Never divide an ellipsis between lines; all the periods should either end one line or begin the next line. Examples will be taken from the following passage from an essay written by Samuel Johnson and published in The Idler No. 31 (Nov.18, 1758).

Some are always in a state of preparation, occupied in previous measures,

forming plans, accumulating materials, and providing for the main affair.

These are certainly under the secret power of Idleness. Nothing is to be

expected from the workman whose tools are forever to be sought. I was

once told by a great master, that no man ever excelled at painting, who was

eminently curious about pencils and colors. (Rineheart edition 191)

A. To quote a short, uninterrupted phrase, use no ellipsis, for it is obvious that you have left out some of the original sentence:

 Johnson satirizes the man who is "under the secret power of Idleness" (191).

B. To omit the middle of a sentence, use three periods with one blank space before and after each:

 "Some are always . . . providing for the main affair" (191).

C. To omit the end of a sentence, use four periods, with no space before the first:

 Johnson satirizes the chronic idler: "Some are always in a state of preparation. . . . These are certainly under the secret power of Idleness" (191). Use four periods even if you omit several sentences.

D. To omit the start or the end of a sentence, usually no ellipsis is needed:

 Johnson satirizes the chronic idler: "no man ever excelled at painting, who was eminently curious about pencils" (191).

E. To omit one or more lines from quoted poetry, mark the omission by an entire line of spaced periods. Such omissions look strange, and should be avoided, either by quoting the entire passage or by using two separate quotations.