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Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: July 2, 2024


Footnotes are essential in academic writing, providing readers with additional information, sources, or explanations without disrupting the main text. Footnote Format varies depending on the citation style used. In the Chicago Style, footnotes provide full bibliographic details the first time a source is cited, and a shortened version for subsequent citations. In contrast, MLA Bibliography uses parenthetical in-text citations with a comprehensive bibliography at the end, but can include footnotes for supplementary information.

What are Footnotes?

Footnotes are notes placed at the bottom of a page in a document that provide additional information or citations for the main text. They are indicated by a superscript number within the text and correspond to the matching note at the page’s footer.

Examples of Footnotes

  1. Brown, John. History of Medieval Europe. (New York: Academic Press, 2010), 45.
  2. Smith, Jane. “The Renaissance Era.” Journal of European History 23, no. 2 (2012): 78-80.
  3. Taylor, Lisa. Art in the 19th Century. (London: Art World Publishing, 2005), 123.
  4. Doe, Mary. Modern Literature. (Chicago: Literary House, 2015), 89.
  5. Johnson, Mark. “The Industrial Revolution.” History Today 15, no. 4 (2011): 150-152.
  6. Clark, Susan. Ancient Civilizations. (Boston: History Press, 2008), 66.
  7. “Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Environmental Studies Journal 30, no. 3 (2019): 110.
  8. Roberts, Anna. Women in the Workforce. (Philadelphia: Social Science Publishing, 2013), 47.
  9. “Global Economic Trends.” Economics Review 18, no. 1 (2020): 25.
  10. Baker, Tom. The Evolution of Technology. (San Francisco: Tech Books, 2011), 77.
  11. Williams, Paul. Philosophy in the 21st Century. (Austin: Academic House, 2017), 132.
  12. Nelson, Kevin. “Political Changes in the 20th Century.” Political Science Quarterly 22, no. 2 (2018): 99-101.
  13. White, Emma. Cultural Shifts in America. (Miami: Culture Press, 2014), 105.
  14. “Renewable Energy Sources.” Green Technology Journal 27, no. 4 (2021): 210.
  15. Green, Michelle. Global Health Issues. (Washington: Health World Publishing, 2019), 85.
  16. Anderson, David. “Advancements in Biotechnology.” Science Today 33, no. 1 (2022): 58.
  17. Lee, Robert. Urban Development. (Seattle: City Press, 2009), 94.
  18. Harris, Rachel. Education Reforms. (Denver: Education World, 2012), 74.
  19. “The Digital Revolution.” Tech Innovations Journal 29, no. 2 (2023): 115.
  20. Martinez, Laura. Immigration Policies. (Los Angeles: Policy Press, 2016), 120.

OSCOLA Footnotes Examples

  1. John Smith, Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2015) 45.
  2. Jane Doe, ‘Judicial Review in the Modern Era’ (2018) 23 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 78.
  3. Mary Johnson, ‘Corporate Governance Reforms’ [2020] Law Quarterly Review 123.
  4. David Brown, ‘Human Rights in International Law’ (2005) 12(3) European Journal of International Law 345.
  5. John Taylor, Criminal Law: Theory and Doctrine (3rd edn, Hart Publishing 2013) 89.
  6. Anna White, Family Law (Sweet & Maxwell 2010) 66.
  7. Michael Green, ‘Environmental Regulations and Compliance’ (2017) 9(2) Journal of Environmental Law 110.
  8. Susan Clark, Land Law (2nd edn, Palgrave Macmillan 2011) 47.
  9. Kevin Roberts, ‘Commercial Law in the Digital Age’ [2019] Business Law Review 25.
  10. Emma Harris, Tort Law (Oxford University Press 2008) 132.

Footnotes Examples in Research

  1. John Smith, The Impact of Climate Change on Coastal Ecosystems (Springer 2019), 45.
  2. Jane Doe, “Renewable Energy Adoption in Urban Areas,” Energy Policy 34, no. 2 (2020): 112-115.
  3. Mark Johnson, Advanced Microbiology (3rd ed., Wiley 2015), 89.
  4. Susan Clark, “Genetic Modifications in Agriculture,” Journal of Agricultural Science 42, no. 1 (2018): 75-80.
  5. Paul Taylor, History of Medieval Europe (Routledge 2014), 123.
  6. Mary White, “The Renaissance Art Movement,” Art History Review 27, no. 3 (2016): 198-200.
  7. Kevin Roberts, Economic Theories and Policies (Oxford University Press 2017), 66.
  8. Lisa Harris, “The Role of Women in World War II,” Historical Journal 22, no. 4 (2019): 150-152.
  9. Robert Brown, Environmental Science: An Introduction (Pearson 2021), 77.
  10. Emily Davis, “Social Media’s Influence on Teenagers,” Journal of Social Research 19, no. 2 (2017): 58-61.

Footnotes in Word

Place the Cursor: First, place your cursor at the point in the text where you want to add the footnote.

Insert Footnote: Go to the “References” tab on the ribbon, Click on “Insert Footnote.”

Type the Footnote Text: After clicking “Insert Footnote,” Word will automatically place a superscript number at the cursor point and move the cursor to the bottom of the page. Type the text of your footnote here.

Format Footnotes: You can format the footnote text just like any other text in Word. Change the font, size, or style to match your document’s formatting.

Manage Footnotes: Word automatically numbers footnotes consecutively. If you need to delete a footnote, simply delete the superscript number in the main text, and Word will renumber the remaining footnotes.

How to Write a Footnote

  1. Inserting a Footnote: In Microsoft Word, place your cursor where you want the footnote, go to the “References” tab, and click “Insert Footnote.” In Google Docs, place your cursor where you want the footnote, then go to “Insert” > “Footnote.”
  2. Formatting the Footnote Text: Follow the required citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) for academic texts. For general texts, provide additional information or comments succinctly.

What is Chicago-Style Footnotes?

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is widely used in academic writing, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. It provides a standard method for documenting sources, ensuring consistency and clarity in scholarly work.

Examples of Chicago-Style Footnotes

  1. 10 Examples of Chicago-Style Footnotes
  2. John Smith, History of Medieval Europe (New York: Academic Press, 2010), 45.
  3. Jane Doe, “The Renaissance Era,” Journal of European History 23, no. 2 (2012): 78.
  4. Mary Johnson, Modern Literature (Chicago: Literary House, 2015), 89.
  5. Mark Johnson, “The Industrial Revolution,” History Today 15, no. 4 (2011): 150.
  6. Lisa Taylor, Art in the 19th Century (London: Art World Publishing, 2005), 123.
  7. Anna White, Women in the Workforce (Philadelphia: Social Science Publishing, 2013), 47.
  8. David Brown, The Evolution of Technology (San Francisco: Tech Books, 2011), 77.
  9. Paul Williams, Philosophy in the 21st Century (Austin: Academic House, 2017), 132.
  10. Robert Nelson, “Political Changes in the 20th Century,” Political Science Quarterly 22, no. 2 (2018): 99.
  11. Emma Harris, Cultural Shifts in America (Miami: Culture Press, 2014), 105.

What is APA Style Footnotes?

APA (American Psychological Association) style primarily uses in-text citations and a reference list for documentation. However, footnotes can still be used in APA style to provide additional content or clarification that would otherwise disrupt the flow of the text.

Examples of APA Style Footnotes

  1. Smith, J. (2010). History of Medieval Europe. New York, NY: Academic Press.
  2. Doe, J. (2012). The Renaissance Era. Journal of European History, 23(2), 78-80.
  3. Taylor, L. (2005). Art in the 19th Century. London, England: Art World Publishing.
  4. Doe, M. (2015). Modern Literature. Chicago Style, IL: Literary House.
  5. Johnson, M. (2011). The Industrial Revolution. History Today, 15(4), 150-152.
  6. Clark, S. (2008). Ancient Civilizations. Boston, MA: History Press.
  7. Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture. (2019). Environmental Studies Journal, 30(3), 110.
  8. Roberts, A. (2013). Women in the Workforce. Philadelphia, PA: Social Science Publishing.
  9. Global Economic Trends. (2020). Economics Review, 18(1), 25.
  10. Baker, T. (2011). The Evolution of Technology. San Francisco, CA: Tech Books.

What is MLA Style Footnotes?

MLA (Modern Language Association) style footnotes are used to provide additional information or citations for sources within academic writing, following the MLA Style Handbook guidelines.

Examples of MLA Style Footnotes

  1. John Smith, The Art of Literature (New York: Harper Collins, 2016) 45.
  2. Jane Doe, “The Renaissance Era,” Journal of Historical Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, 2012, pp. 78-80.
  3. Lisa Taylor, Art in the 19th Century (London: Art World Publishing, 2005) 123.
  4. Mary Doe, Modern Literature (Chicago: Literary House, 2015) 89.
  5. Mark Johnson, “The Industrial Revolution,” History Today, vol. 15, no. 4, 2011, pp. 150-152.
  6. Susan Clark, Ancient Civilizations (Boston: History Press, 2008) 66.
  7. “Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture,” Environmental Studies Journal, vol. 30, no. 3, 2019, p. 110.
  8. Anna Roberts, Women in the Workforce (Philadelphia: Social Science Publishing, 2013) 47.
  9. “Global Economic Trends,” Economics Review, vol. 18, no. 1, 2020, p. 25.
  10. Tom Baker, The Evolution of Technology (San Francisco: Tech Books, 2011) 77.

What is the Difference Between Footnotes and Endnotes?

Location in DocumentAt the bottom of the page where the reference appears.At the end of the document or a section.
Ease of AccessEasily accessible for quick reference while reading.Requires flipping to the end of the document, which can interrupt reading flow.
FormattingTypically numbered consecutively throughout each page.Typically numbered consecutively throughout the entire document or section.
Usage FrequencyCommonly used for detailed, immediate reference needs.Used when references are less critical to immediate understanding.
Space ManagementCan clutter the bottom of pages with extensive notes.Keeps the main text cleaner but can create a long endnotes section.
Reader PreferencePreferred for providing instant context without leaving the page.Preferred for a cleaner page layout, less distraction from main text.
Academic StandardsOften preferred in humanities and social sciences.Sometimes preferred in scientific and technical writing.
Document LengthMore practical for shorter documents with fewer citations.More practical for longer documents with extensive citations.

Importance of Using Footnotes

Provides Credibility: Footnotes allow you to cite sources accurately, giving your work credibility and demonstrating that your research is based on reliable information.
Enhances Readability: By placing additional information or citations at the bottom of the page, footnotes keep the main text clear and focused, making it easier for readers to follow your argument.
Supports Academic Integrity: Properly using footnotes helps avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit to the original authors of the sources you used in your research.
Organizes Sources: Footnotes help organize and keep track of the sources you have referenced, making it easier to compile a bibliography or reference list at the end of your document.
Facilitates Verification: By providing detailed citations, footnotes make it easier for readers to verify the information and consult the original sources for more in-depth study.

Tips for Writing Footnotes

  1. Author Names: Use the author’s full name in the footnote. For multiple authors, list them in the order they appear in the source.
  2. Titles: Italicize book and journal titles. Use quotation marks for article and webpage titles.
  3. Publication Details: Include the city of publication, publisher, and year. For journal articles, include the volume, issue number, and date.

What are footnotes used for?

Footnotes provide additional information, citations, or explanations without interrupting the main text.

How do you format footnotes?

Footnotes are formatted with a superscript number in the text and corresponding note at the page’s bottom.

When should I use footnotes?

Use footnotes to cite sources, provide additional data, or clarify points made in the text.

How are footnotes numbered?

Footnotes are numbered consecutively throughout the document or chapter.

Can footnotes include images or tables?

Yes, footnotes can include images or tables if they provide relevant supplementary information.

How do I cite a book in a footnote?

Include the author’s name, book title, publication details, and page number.

What styles use footnotes?

Footnotes are used in various citation styles, including Chicago, Turabian, and sometimes MLA.

Can I use footnotes in MLA style?

While MLA typically uses in-text citations, footnotes can be used for additional commentary or references.

What is a Chicago Citation footnote example?

A Chicago citation footnote might look like this: John Smith, The Art of Literature (New York: Harper Collins, 2016), 45.

Can footnotes be used in digital documents?

Yes, footnotes can be used in digital documents and are often interactive for easy navigation.

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