What are footnotes in an essay

Footnotes are a subsidiary instrument of the information transition. They appear as notes at the end of the page and serve as explanations for any particular piece of text. This type of text is pretty useful in writing among professional writers. If you master the use of notes, you will impress your readers and professor with your knowledge.

Although, you need to know the difference between similar types of notes not to blunder. Let’s begin with the basics.

footnotes in an essay

Footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography

There are three common types of notes people usually confuse at the beginning of discovering the field of writing. We collected the information and put it below to help you differentiate them from each other.

Difference Footnote Endnote Bibliography
Location Situated at the bottom of the page. Situated at the end of the book as an independent chapter. Situated at the end of the book as an independent chapter.
Purpose of use Helps people to find out more necessary information about the source of the citation. Helps people to find out more necessary information about the source of the citation. Shows the full information about the source of the citation.
How to label With superscript numbers. With superscript numbers. Name the last chapter of your paper, “Bibliography,” and put there all the sources you were referring to while writing a paper.

As you can see, footnotes are quite similar to endnotes except for the place they are located. And by and large, they almost do not differ at all. However, you need to remember that you may be required by your professor to use namely footnotes or endnotes in your essay. It will come in handy if you know the difference between these types of notes. Otherwise, if you confuse footnotes in an essay and write endnotes instead, you will lose points for such a silly mistake.

The bibliography, roughly speaking, delivers the same message as footnotes and endnotes, nevertheless, unlike to them, it is always full and located at the end of your paper.

Use of footnotes

You may be asked to use footnotes in your essay. However, you may not know why you need to use them and what to mention in them. Let’s sort out where to use footnotes:

  • To provide more information about the source of citations you write. Sometimes you can refer to some authors, books, and thoughts while you are writing an essay.
  • To add optional information about the issue that was raised in an essay. Imagine you are telling readers about specific subjects in your paper, and there is necessary information to add, but it may distract people from the primary subject of your text. Take this information out of your essay and put it at the bottom of the page.

Types of footnotes

You can write this kind of note in different types. You can be asked to follow one determined type or choose one by yourself, depending on the style of how you write your essay.

Chicago type

Label the citation in your text with a subscription number in the right corner of the word that your citation ends with. Place the appropriate number at the bottom of the page and mention the last name of an author, the title of the book you are referring to, and the number of the appropriate page.

Harvard type

Here you also have to implement the note in the text of the page and mention the name of the author, then write a year of when the source you refer to was published, and end with the number of the page you take the citation from.

Oxford type

Unlike the previous type, in Oxford type, you shall put the note at the bottom of the text and include the full name of the author (use initials for it except the surname,) the book title, the publisher, the place, and the year of publishing.

APA type

It is the type of in-text footnotes that is intended only for additional information that will better explain your idea in the text. Mostly used in the science thesis, unlike the similar type of footnote below. If you put a citation using APA style, please write the author’s name, year of publishing, and the number of the page.

MLA type

One more type of in-text footnote is used to provide more information about the described subject. If you mention a citation with MLA type, leave the name of the writer and the page number in parentheses.

As you can see, all the footnote styles are similar and different at the same time. If you are still not sure how to use them or just need to look through the samples, please search the Internet for the example of footnotes in an essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to choose the appropriate style of footnotes for my essay?

We would like you to ask your professor and do not hesitate to consult with them as it will influence your marks.

What is the difference between endnotes and footnotes?

They both contain necessary additional information about the raised issues in the text or the source you refer to while you write your essay. Endnotes are situated at the end of the book or an essay. Footnotes are situated at the bottom of the page.

Is it obligatory to include footnotes in an essay?

No, it is necessary only when your professor requires you to do it.

What should I include the footnote for?

You have to include the footnote in your essay or book if you want to provide your readers with more information concerned with the main and additional ideas you describe in the text.