Ellipses (...) have only one purpose in academic writing: to indicate when you have omitted part of a quotation.

In some contexts outside of academic writing, you might end a sentence with ellipses to indicate that you have paused or that a thought has trailed off. But in a formal paper, your writing should flow smoothly and your thoughts should never trail off. If you use ellipses to indicate that you are uncertain about an idea or unable to articulate it, you will weaken your argument significantly.


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