Footnotes vs. endnotes

Endnotes and footnotes are sometimes confused. Footnotes are similarly used to give citations and/or additional information, however they are placed at the bottom of the relevant page rather than at the conclusion.

Endnotes:

• Because footnotes are clustered together rather than scattered across the text, they clutter your work less.

• Are inconvenient because the notes must be read from the back of the book.

Footnotes:

• Are practical since the reader may access supplementary information on the same page as the necessary material.

• Can make your text look cluttered, especially if you have a lot of them.

In most cases, you should use either footnotes or endnotes consistently. Your instructor may guide you on the note style to utilize.

Endnotes: How to Use Them

The endnote number appears at the end of the clause or sentence to which it refers. Unless the phrase ends with an em dash, in which case it comes before it, the number appears after any punctuation. After the number, there is no space.

Endnote number placement is an example.

Though there are dissenting voices1, the overall agreement currently is that this experiment was simply too methodologically defective to provide valid results.

2

Endnotes are numbered in the order in which they appear in the text. Each note has its own number; don’t use the same number twice, even if you’re citing the same source.

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Chicago style endnotes

Endnotes (or footnotes) are used for citations in the Chicago notes and bibliography style. Additional examples, commentary on the sources you quote, or a more extensive explanation of topics you mention in the text can all be added to either type of note.

Endnotes in Chicago should be placed at the conclusion of the appropriate clause or sentence. A citation endnote gives you complete information about a source the first time you quote it and condensed information for subsequent citations.

Chicago endnotes, for example.

Notes

1. “What Is Personality Disorder?” by Hanna Pickard. 182 in Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, vol. 18, no. 3, September 2011. https://doi.org/10.1353/ppp.2011.0040.

2. “What Is Personality Disorder?” by Pickard. 182.

Unless you’re writing a really brief paper and have been ordered not to, you should nevertheless include a comprehensive list of your sources in a bibliography following the endnotes.

The endnotes page begins with the term “Notes” written in bold and centered shortly before the bibliography. The notes themselves are written in the following format:

• Separate endnotes with a blank line and single-space the notes themselves.

• Start each endnote with an indent.

• Type the note numbers in normal text rather than superscript, then add a period and a space.

APA Style Endnotes

To provide more information, APA Style allows you to utilize endnotes or footnotes. They aren’t utilized for citation; instead, APA in-text citations are used.

When copyright attributions are required, endnotes are utilized. They can also be used to expand on ideas in the text or to provide further examples. However, use caution when doing so; the APA advises against including extraneous details.

APA endnotes, for example

Footnotes

1 Scribbr Copyright 2022 With permission, reprinted.

2 To be sure, the situation is more complicated than this brief summary suggests. For a more in-depth look of…, see Prakash (2019).

After the reference list, endnotes appear on a separate page with the header “Footnotes” (APA doesn’t use the phrase “endnotes”) bold and centered at the top.

The notes are written in indented double-spaced paragraphs. Each note should begin with its number in superscript, followed by a space.

MLA style endnotes

MLA in-text citations appear in parentheses in the text, however if you need a lot of citations in one area, you can use endnotes to avoid cluttering the text.

Endnotes in MLA format can also be used to provide additional information, such as clarifications, more examples, or expansions of topics briefly discussed in the text.

MLA endnotes, for example

Notes

1 See, for example, James 35, Lanning 15–25, and Johnson 77.

2 Other countries, such as Italy and France, were going through comparable political upheavals at the same time.

Before the Works Cited list, put your endnotes on a separate page with the title “Notes” or “Endnotes.” The first line of each endnote should be indented, and the note should begin with the number in superscript followed by a space. Double-spaced endnotes are recommended.

How to add endnotes to a Word document

Many word processors, including Microsoft Word, make it simple to automatically insert endnotes. Simply follow these instructions:

1. Select the location in the text where the endnote number should appear.

2. Select “Insert Endnote” from the “References” tab at the top.

3. Add anything to the endnote at the bottom of your paper.

If you’re using one of the styles mentioned above, make sure you alter the formatting to meet their specifications and include a heading for the endnotes page.