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Master Footnotes and Endnotes: Your Guide to Confident Citation

Master Footnotes and Endnotes: Your Guide to Confident Citation

Written by

Shawn Teo


13 mins read

Have you ever heard of footnotes and endnotes before? When reading an article or a book, have you ever seen some small numbers at the end of sentences or documents?  Well, these citations are called endnotes and footnotes. A footnote is a citation in a paper with a superscript at the bottom of the page. Footnotes apply during citation or when you want to add additional information without disrupting the text’s flow.

 On the other hand,  endnotes cite a particular source or make a brief explanatory comment, usually placed at the end of a research paper. Endnotes appear in the same order as the reference appears in the article. These notes should appear after the reference list, though in other formats, they appear before.

This article will provide a detailed procedure for writing endnotes and footnotes, inserting them, and using different endnotes and footnotes formats. 

Which are the Steps for Writing Footnotes and Endnotes?

Here is a list of steps we will discuss to help write great footnotes and endnotes.

  • Understand the meaning of footnote and endnote
  • Research your topics question
  • Pick the relevant sources of your work and get the citations
  • Insert the footnote and endnote
  • Format your endnote and footnote correctly

1. Understand the Meaning of Footnote and Endnote

There is no way you can write about something you don’t know. So, it’s wise to research and find out the meaning of endnotes and footnotes. We have given you a clear definition of these terms in the introduction. This step will help you learn where to place them and understand why to use them. So, learn how to write these notes and format them according to your referencing style.

2. Research Your Topic Question

Before writing the footnotes and endnotes, you should first research the topic question. You must learn what you are writing about to ensure you use the appropriate footnotes and endnotes. Do thorough research on the topic as recommended in the term paper writing service article.

Ensure you use credible sources of information for accuracy and relevance. After gathering the relevant content for your article, book, or other documents, you will know where to insert correct endnotes and footnotes.

3. Pick the Relevant Sources

When researching, you will come across a lot of information that may not be suitable for your topic. Therefore, you should skim through the sources to identify those relevant to your issue. You should use these sources to draft your article, learn more about the topic, or even as references. Since the two notes are different, you should know where a source will apply as a footnote or an endnote. Keep reading to learn the differences between the two notes.

4. Insert the Footnote and Endnote

Footnotes and endnotes should contain a superscript number at the end of the sentence with cited information(like a quote, paraphrase, or data). You should place the notes at the end of the sentence they are referring to. These notes can appear after any punctuation mark except for a dash. Remember to number the notes from one consecutively throughout the paper. We will discuss how to insert notes in MS Word and Google Docs later.

5. Format the Endnote and Footnote Correctly

There are different note formats depending on the referencing styles that you are using. There are various referencing styles, as we discussed in our “how to format an essay” guide. So, each of the styles has a different note formatting style.

For example, the Chicago style footnotes format includes;

First name, last name, book title ( place of publication, publisher, year of publication), page number

Antony Grafton, The Footnote: A curiosity History(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), 221.

How Do You Insert Footnote and Endnote in Word and Google Docs?

Here are the steps on how to use footnotes in Microsoft Word 2021;

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Master Footnotes and Endnotes: Your Guide to Confident Citation
  • Place the cursor where you want to place the footnote text
  • Then locate the References tab, and check for AB.1. symbol. Under the symbol, there is a button with the phrase, “insert footnote. When you click on the footnote, two numbers will appear, one in the main text and the other at the bottom of the page.
  • Now write your citation in the text and the other at the footer.
  • Later format the text according to the referencing style that you are using.

Adding footnotes and endnotes in a Google doc is as follows;

  • Click where you want to place your footnote.
  • Find the insert tab and choose insert footnotes.
  • Two numbers will appear in the main text and at the bottom of the page
  • Write your citation and the additional information. Format the text according to the referencing style that you are using.

How Do You Format Endnotes and Footnotes?

Three different referencing styles use footnotes and endnotes. Let’s discuss each in detail below;

Chicago-style footnotes and endnotes format

  • Use single space for each endnote and double space between entries
  • Each endnote entry is indented half
  • The endnote number matches the number used in the work
  • If you use a footnote in the body, then there is no need for an endnote
  • The endnotes should have a title “notes” and center
  • Use notes immediately after direct quotations
  • Place endnotes after the main text and appendices but before the bibliography
  • Use a number for the notes(average number) followed by a period and space, or use a superscript with a space and no period.
  • Ident the first line of each note for half an inch
  • The right margin should be ragged.
  • If you cite one note severally, you can use short notes for other references.

APA style format for endnotes and footnotes

  • Notes should be numbered consecutively in the order they appear in the text
  • Insert footnotes after the punctuation mark. In the case of a dash, the superscript should appear before the dash
  • If referring to the same footnote, don’t add any superscript numeral. Instead, write, “see footnote 3,” and give the description again.
  • Ensure that your footnote has the following, author’s initial and last name, name of publisher, place of publication, date, and page number

APA style mostly uses footnotes for copyright permissions for in-text citations as credit for another author’s ideas. Therefore,  there are two types of footnotes in APA copyright and content.

This style requires a more detailed acknowledgment of the copyright status, called copyright attribution.  Examples that may require copyright attributions include;

  • Figures, images, tables
  • Data
  • Research instruments
  • Long quotations
  • Commercial stock photography
  • Clip art

Where should you include a copyright attribution in APA? The copyright attribution can appear as a footnote if you are reprinting or adapting a research instrument. But for reprinting or adapting tables and figures, the copyright status should appear at the end of the figure note.

MLA style format for footnotes and endnotes

In the MLA style, footnotes are uncommon unless when providing additional content or if the bibliographic information is complex.

  • Endnotes should appear on a separate page before the works cited
  • The numbers should appear in consecutive order as they are in the paper
  • Don’t include footnotes and endnotes in the same document; choose one and be consistent. Remember your footnote or endnote should be included in the works cited.
  • Avoid using asterisks or angle brackets to indicate footnotes or endnotes
  • Always use Arabic numbers as the note number in the body text
  • If writing footnotes on the same page with the text, enter double spacing below the main text and single spacing between notes.
  • Footnotes appear at the end of a sentence, just like an in-text citation. If there is a dash in the text, the footnote number should come before, just like in Chicago style.

For examples;

There have been rising cases of suicide among the youth 2

The firm has recently addressed the issue of loses3 —

Which are the Pros and Cons of Notes?

Depending on the type of notes you use for your article, both have pros and cons.

Advantages of Endnotes

  • They are less distracting to your reader and enhance your article’s flow
  • They don’t clutter your page
  • Since they appear on a separate page, they allow the reader to read them all at once.

Disadvantages of Endnotes

  • It’s tedious when searching for a particular endnote; you have to flip the paper to the end
  • Sometimes you may need to remember the chapter number and endnote number when searching for a specific endnote
  • Some endnotes may contain hidden disclaimers in adverts, and the reader may think you are hiding something

Pros of Footnotes

  • Easy to locate footnotes or the source that the readers want
  • Allows the reader to link the footnote with the subject without any struggle in finding the note

Cons of Footnotes

  • They clutter up the page
  • If having multiple charts, columns, or tables below, you will have a small space for the footnote
  • Sometimes the note can be lengthy and end up dominating the page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Notes Count in the Word Limit?

Most students wonder if the notes are included in the word count, but the answer depends on your school. So, it is always best to check your assignment instructions or ask for clarification. However, the notes should contain supplementary information to the content and thus shouldn’t be counted just like the list of works. Therefore, don’t use any vital information in the note or use these notes to cheat word count. If you feel the topic content is scarce, always consider hiring our writers for detailed and quality work.

When Do I Use Endnotes and Footnotes?

The main reasons for using footnotes and endnotes are as follows;

  • When citing a source of information, like in Chicago, you should use footnotes. For endnotes, use them as a citation in Vancouver and IEEE(Institute of electrical and electronics engineers).
  • To add non-essential commentary on something in the main text, like background information relating to the topic

Which Referencing Styles Accept Use of Footnotes and Endnotes?

The referencing styles that use notes include;

  • Chicago manual of style – for citation
  • APA style – use endnotes to provide copyright attributions and elaborate on ideas
  • MLA – uses endnotes for additional information and necessary clarifications

How Can I Convert Footnotes to Endnotes in Word?

It’s easy to change the type of notes you have used in your document, from footnotes to endnotes or vice versa.

  • Click on the reference tab in word. Locate the arrow at the bottom-right corner of the footnotes section and click it.
  • A pop-up window will appear with conversion options.
  • Choose the option you need to change your notes and click ok.

What Should I Include in Footnotes or Endnotes?

Both footnotes and endnotes have some common characteristics as follows;

  • They begin with the same superscript number as the one that appears in the paper, followed by a period.
  • They both include the specific page number where you can find the cited information.
  • The first footnote or endnotes provides full publishing information to a source

What are the Two Types of Footnotes?

Footnotes can be explanatory or bibliographic. Explanatory footnotes apply when a writer wants to provide additional information to their readers. They are also called content notes, as they can define terms, historical events, etc. Bibliographic footnotes are a bit different as they provide readers with resources used in writing.

Wrapping Up

Now you know the meaning of notes and how to use them in different formats. Footnotes can be a great asset in your writing if used appropriately.  Be sure to follow the above recommendations and choose the preferred style.

When using footnotes and endnotes, always keep your readers in mind. Ensure that the information you provide is helpful and doesn’t clutter your page. That means you should distribute the footnotes in the article and avoid using too many. If you feel the footnotes are unnecessary, avoid them; they will disrupt the flow.

Don’t forget that our experts are at your service if you require help writing notes, essays, custom research papers, or other forms of writing. Place an order with us for affordable rates.

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