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select punctuation tips from the chicago manual of style

The definitions below and answers to all punctuation queries can be found in the Chicago Manual.


An ellipsis is three spaced periods ( . . . ) that take the place of unnecessary portions of a quotation.  Ellipses have spaces before and after and appear together on the same line.

"Boston College confers more than 4,000 degrees annually . . . through nine schools and colleges," said Smith.

If at the end of a sentence, end the sentence with a period, then add the ellipsis.

"Boston College confers more than 4,000 degrees annually. . . . The University is one of the oldest Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States," said Smith. 


One or two em dashes (—) highlight an explanatory element in a sentence. There are no spaces before or after the em dash.

The Business Advisory Council—of which Smith is a member—advises the dean, faculty, and students. 


An en dash (–) connects numbers and signifies up to and including the last number. If using the word from with the first part of the range, the word to (not an en dash) should precede the second part of the range.

Either: Boston College was located in the South End for its first 50 years, 1863–1913.
Or: Boston College was located in the South End from 1863 to 1913.

When listing start to end times, use an en dash

2:00–4:00 pm


Hyphens (-) should be used with all phone numbers