Professional and Technical Writing/Documenting Your Sources/MLA Style Footnotes and Endnotes

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Footnotes and End Notes

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Footnotes and end notes are another way to reference information, however it is not recommended use by the MLA or APA guidelines. This type of referencing can be distracting to readers and therefore not encouraged to use. The MLA style does encourage the use of end notes or footnotes for bibliographic notes, which is a way to refer publications of others for your reader to consult.

Here are some examples provided from The Purdue Online Writing Lab

  • 1. See Blackmur, especially chapters three and four, for an insightful analysis of this trend.
  • 2. On the problems related to repressed memory recovery, see Wollens 120-35; for a contrasting view, see Pyle 43; Johnson, Hull, Snyder 21-35; Krieg 78-91.
  • 3. Several other studies point to this same conclusion. See Johnson and Hull 45-79, Kather 23-31, Krieg 50-57.

You may also use footnotes or end notes for explanatory notes, which refers to a brief additional piece of information that might not fight well into the main text.

  • 4. In a 1998 interview, she reiterated this point even more strongly: "I am an artist, not a politician!" (Weller 124).

Numbering Footnotes and End Notes in the Document Body

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Footnotes and end notes in the MLA style are shown with an in text superscript number. This number is found at the end of the piece of information being used.

Here is an example:

Some have argued that crimes in the U.S. have been out of control.3

When using footnotes or end notes do not use asterisks (*), angle brackets (<), or other symbols for note reference. The list of footnotes and end notes should correspond to the note reference in the text. When using Microsoft word you can insert footnote and it will automatically insert superscript number and ask to list the reference at the bottom of the page.

Formatting Footnotes and End Notes

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End Notes Page

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When formatting end notes MLA recommends that all the notes be listed on a separate page titled Notes or End Notes. The Notes page should come before a works cited page. The notes themselves should be listed in order and correspond to the number used in the text.


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The footnotes can be found at the bottom of the page there are used on. So if there are four footnotes listed in the text there should be four notes at the very bottom of the page.