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Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes

Author: Kathryn Reilly

    Introduce footnotes and endnotes. 


    Explain how to format footnotes and end notes. 


This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to document sources and who is confused about how to incorporate footnotes or end notes. It will explain why footnotes and endnotes are used and how to format them. 

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Footnotes and Endnotes Decoded

What is the purpose of a footnote or endnote?

Footnotes and endnotes are both ways to add clarifying information into a document.  They provide important details with which the reader may be unfamiliar.  They often save the reader from looking up unfamilar words, people, places or sources.

What type of writing uses footnotes and endnotes?

They are most common in academic writing (essays and papers), but narrative writing (stories and poems) may use them as well.


Where do they go in a document?

For either a footnote or an endnote, a number will be inserted above the last letter of the word you wish to create a note for.  It will look like this:


The number 1 incidates the reader may look toward the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the paper/essay (endnote) to find more information about who Aristotle was; this method saves the reader from looking up this information himself or herself.


A footnote is inserted at the bottom (or "foot") of whatever page the note is on.

An endnote is inserted at the end of the document. 


Why are footnotes and endnotes numbered?

They are numbered so the reader can quickly find the information.  For example, if the writer creates 10 endnotes for his essay, and each endnote defines a different word, the reader can quickly look for only the words he or she does not know.

Source: Kathryn Reilly

Finding Footnotes and Endnotes

This video introduces footnotes and endnotes, provides examples of how they appear in texts and discusses why writers include them.

Source: Kathryn Reilly

Page Capture Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Footnotes or Endnotes

This PDF uses screen capture shots to illustrate the steps to adding footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word.


Source: Kathryn Reilly

Footnotes and Endnotes in Word 2010

This YouTube video by titantechtraining walks the viewer through inserting footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word. It is very clear and well-narrated.


Microsoft Office Tutorial on Inserting Footnotes and Endnotes

The following website offers  step-by-step instructions on inserting footnotes and endnotes with Microsoft Office:

Source: Microsoft