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Step By Step Guide On How to Write Footnotes

In academic papers, systematic flow of everything drafted is very important. One of the every important aspect in case of academic papers is including footnotes. After a particular paragraph ends, footnotes are mentioned in form of a required number. Conclusively, in reference to the numbering, a cross reference is mentioned at the bottom of every page that describes what the reference is about.

As per top writer recommendations and as per the writers, thesis and dissertations should have footnotes in order to keep full track of the mentioned citations. Additionally, a short, precise note is added to every paper to make sure the paper accounts for all the given research.  

As per the writers, the citations allow the readers to go through the mentioned sources. They hold a lot of importance in academic writing as they show that the writer has conducted research and has not taken someone’s work. Having this said, using today’s word processing methods and software, adding different footnotes in papers is made easier. 

Here are the five steps you need to follow when learning how to add footnotes to your research paper:

  1. In your word processor’s menu, go to the “Reference” or “Insert” as it is the option where processors usually feature the option of footnotes.
  2. Choose the desired footnote number and decide how you want the footnote to look. This step will then create a footnote and there will be a superscript number placed in the main text. At the bottom of the page, you will find the number to which you need enter corresponding data.
  3. You need to type the footnote in the proper citation style – i.e., MLA, APA, Chicago, AMA and Turabian. 
  4. Once done, go to the main text and start writing the text. The word software automatically tells the writer the amount of room they are required to fill the footnote and text. If you delete or add another footnote, the software will automatically renumber the footnotes accordingly. Furthermore, the software will make all the required adjustments as well, which includes shifting footnotes to the different pages as well.
  5. The final step is to delete the footnotes – that is done when you delete the superscript number present in the document’s main text. On the other hand, the footnotes will be automatically deleted and the remaining footnotes will be renumbered. An important point to keep in mind is that you should not delete the particular footnote manually.

As mentioned earlier, the academic paper needs to have proper citation, which includes using the format of the desired citation style. When using footnotes, make sure you follow the common convention – which is to insert the complete citation that include:

  • Page number
  • Title of the book
  • Year
  • Author name 
  • Surname of the author
  • Page number of the reference

Footnotes are a lot more than just going through interesting additional comments regarding a topic. A lot of writers use footnotes to allow readers to refer to the desired sources, allowing the readers to know the sources where the material is extracted from or to help readers do their own research on the particular subject, using the mentioned sources. 

Understanding the Difference between Endnotes and Footnotes

It is important for writers to understand that endnotes appear at the extreme end of the paper, whereas the footnotes appear at the end of every page. Conclusively, the only difference is the placement.

Here is all you need to know in order to add footnotes to your academic papers. Follow this guide to make things easy on yourself.

Adela Belin is a private educator and writer at writers per hour .

 

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Comment by Leona Hinton on December 7, 2016 at 9:34am

The difference between endnotes and footnotes is so simple but many students still do this mistake. Thanks for the interesting article, Adela, I'll share it with a great pleasure. 

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