Footnotes are: Definition, Elements, Types, and How to Use them

Footnotes are – When writing a scientific work, we as students or students are often confused by the use of footnotes , endnotes , and bibliography. If you start from the simplest, what exactly is a footnote ?

What are Footnotes?

Footnote alias footnote is a note that is placed at the bottom of the page. This footnote quotes references or comments on certain parts of the text above. For example, Sinaumed’s wants to add interesting comments to the sentences we write, but these comments are not directly related to the paragraph arguments.

In this case, Sinaumed’s can add a symbol for the footnote. Then, at the bottom of the page, we can reprint the symbol and enter a comment. Here’s an example:

This is an illustrative footnote: (¹). The “1” at the end of the previous sentence corresponds to the note below. Look how it fits in the body of the text!

1 At the bottom of the page, Sinaumed’s can include a comment about the sentence before the footnote.

When our readers find footnotes in the main text of the paper, then they can immediately see our comments or continue reading paragraphs and read our comments at the end. Therefore, this makes it easier for our readers. Also, most citation styles require that you use footnotes or endnotes in your paper.

However, some of these allow Sinaumed’s to reference brackets (author, date) in the body of our work. In this article, we’ll also talk about footnote styles.

Footnotes aren’t just for interesting comments, either. Sometimes, they only refer to relevant sources. They tell readers where certain material can come from, or where they can find other resources on the subject.

To decide whether we should cite sources in the footnotes or in the body of the paper, we should ask our teacher or lecturer.

Elements of Footnotes

In the way of writing footnotes, the creator of a scientific work needs to know the elements of footnotes first. By knowing the elements of footnotes, writing footnotes becomes easier. Here are the elements of the footnotes.

1. Author or Name of Author

In writing footnotes, there must be an element of the author’s name or author of the quotation in the scientific work. Although the author has a title, but the title does not need to be written. In other words, the creator of the footnote only writes the name of the author.

2. Quotation Title

The second element is the title of the quoted text used. The title of this article must be clear and pay attention to PUEBI rules. Therefore, in this element the makers of footnotes must be careful.

3. Year of Publication

After the title of the article, the next footnote element is the year of publication. In this case, the year of publication in question is the year of publication of the quotation or reference source used in the scientific work. The year of publication can also be interpreted as the year the reference source was published (generally in a journal or scientific article).

4. Quotations Page Numbers

The last element in making footnotes is the page number of the quote used. In addition, the writing of this page can also be abbreviated as “thing” which is then followed by the page number. This page number makes it easier for the reader to find the reference source used.

At first glance, the elements in the footnotes are almost the same as the elements in the bibliography. In addition, all elements of the footnotes that have been mentioned must be present at the time of writing the footnotes.

Types of Footnotes

There are several types of footnotes or footnotes. Here are some types of footnotes you need to know, Sinaumed’s.

1. Complete Footnotes

Complete footnotes are, of course, footnotes written in full. Complete footnotes consist of several elements, such as the author’s name, book title, serial number (if any), print number, publisher name, year of publication, and page number.

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2. Short Footnotes

Short footnotes are footnotes that only consist of a few elements, short footnotes are still divided into 3 forms, namely Ibid, Op.cit, and Loc.cit. Ibid stands for Ibdium or means the same as above. Op.cit is an abbreviation of opere citato which means works that have been cited. Loc.cit is an abbreviation of loco citato which means a place that has been quoted.

3. Footnotes in Chicago Style

Chicago style uses footnotes for citations (unless Sinaumed’s follows the Chicago author-date). Footnotes can also be used to add additional information such as comments on sources cited, or elaborations on points Sinaumed’s touched on in the main text.

In Chicago-style footnotes, Sinaumed’s will place the footnote at the end of a clause or sentence that requires a quote. Footnotes contain detailed information about each source the first time we cite it and brief information for subsequent citations from the same source.

Chicago footnote example

  • Tegan George and Jack Caulfield, “Academic Integrity vs. Academic Dishonesty,” March 10, 2022,
  • George and Caulfield, “Academic Integrity.”

Detailed information on all of our sources is usually included in the bibliography at the end, except in very short papers, where footnote citations may be used alone if the institution allows it.

Chicago recommends using our word processor’s built-in footnote function (as in Word) to add footnotes, but some formatting details may need to be changed manually:

  • Add an indent at the start of each footnote (before the number).
  • Write the number at the start of the note in plain text (not superscript), followed by a period, then a space.
  • Leave one blank line between footnotes, and ensure that footnotes are single-spaced.

4. Footnotes in APA Style

APA style footnotes are used only to provide additional information, because APA in-text citations appear in parentheses.

Sinaumed’s may use it to provide additional information such as additional examples or clarifications; keep this short, as the APA warns against including unimportant information. Footnotes are also used to provide copyright attribution when needed.

Example of an APA footnote

  • ¹ From What Parents Can Expect in Behavior Therapy, by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017 ( In the public domain.
  • ² A second round of testing was initially planned, but this idea was abandoned due to …

APA recommends using word processing software such as Word to automatically insert footnotes. However, add an indent at the start of each footnote if this is not done automatically. Footnotes begin with a superscript footnote number followed by a space.

5. Footnotes in MLA style

MLA style footnotes are used to provide additional information such as additional examples, clarification of citation practices, or elaboration of ideas.

MLA in-text citations appear in parentheses, not in notes, but if multiple citations are needed at once, they can be placed in footnotes to avoid cluttering the text.

MLA footnote example

  • ¹ Citations of marginalia refer to George’s edition and include page numbers. Citations of the poem refer to Davis’s edition and include line numbers.
  • ² This remains a controversial point. Researchers in the field have debated this issue since …
  • ³ See Crittenden 5–11; Kent 17–34; Smith 44–50; and Jones 36.

MLA recommends using a word processor to automatically insert footnotes, setting the number at the start of the quote in superscript, followed by a space. An indent should also be added at the beginning of the footnote (before the number).

Difference between Footnotes and Endnotes

The superscript number refers to the footnote or endnote that contains all the publishing information and the page number for the information to which it is referenced.

Footnotes themselves appear at the bottom of the page containing the referenced sentence. The list of endnotes is listed at the end of the paper on a separate page. The endnote page is placed before the bibliography.

Many professors prefer footnotes to endnotes. So, ask Sinaumed’s instructors to see which style they prefer.

How do I make a Footnote or Endnote?

In using footnotes or endnotes, it involves placing a number in superscript format at the end of a sentence with the information that Sinaumed’s is quoting, either in the form of a quote, word, or paraphrase. Superscript numbers should generally be placed at the end of the sentence they refer to. They must be placed after any punctuation marks except hyphens.

Footnotes or endnotes begin with ¹ and are numbered sequentially throughout the essay. Sinaumed’s can use Ms Word or other software to create footnotes and endnotes.

The difference between Footnotes and Endnotes with Bibliography

Mistakes with footnotes are common. Some people choose to use footnotes without having a firm understanding of how they should be used, or what they should be used for. As a general rule, if Sinaumed’s isn’t 100 percent sure how footnotes should be used, it’s best not to use them at all.

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Footnotes should be included to provide the reader with additional information about the content. Footnotes are found at the bottom of the page, and are referenced via a superscript number within the main body of your copy.

Meanwhile, the bibliography page is the last part of our essay or dissertation and includes complete citation information for any source cited or referred to during the work.

The information contained in the bibliography will provide the reader with full details about the work, including when and where the source was published. Footnotes may include only the title of the source.

Occasionally, Sinaumed’s may be asked to include it, especially if you have used parenthetical citation styles. The “References” page is a list of all works whose material we borrow. The reader may find these more convenient than footnotes or endnotes because he or she does not need to read through all the comments and other information to see the source from which we took the material.

How to Make Footnotes

Basically, how to write footnotes is divided based on the source of the quotation, including:

How to Write Footnotes from a Journal

The footnotes of the journal are written beginning with the author’s citation number. There is also the author’s name, article title (italics), volume, journal name, year of publication, and page number.


¹⁰ Muhammad, Bank Syariah Analysis of Strengths Opportunities, Weaknesses, and Threats, Pustak Pelajar

³ Adnan Buyung Nasution, Some Legal Aspects in Defense and Settlement Issues in Big Cities , in “Eko Budiharjo, A Number of Urban Settlement Problems,” (Bandung: Alumni, 1992).

How to Write Footnotes in a Book

The way to write book footnotes begins with the author’s first name, last name, book title (italics), book edition (publishing city, publisher name, year), and pages cited.


¹Sri Utami et al, English Level 5 (Yogyakarta: PT. sinaumedia: 2003), p. 5.

How to Write Footnotes from the Internet

How to write footnotes from the internet starting from the author’s name, “Title of work cited” (italics, url, access date, year, and page.


UNESCO, Indonesia Batik , accessed on 27 January 2021.

How to Write a Thesis Footnote

The thesis footnotes begin with the author’s citation number. Then, Author’s Name, “Title of Thesis Work (italics)” (City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication), and page of citation source.


Muryid Rahman, Thesis: The Development of Middle and Lower Economic Structures After Learning Information Technology Skills , (Yogyakarta: UGM, 2005), p. 85.


What is the difference between footnotes and endnotes?

Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page we refer to. This is convenient for the reader but can cause the work text to look cluttered if there are lots of footnotes.

Endnotes appear together at the end of the entire text. This may be less comfortable for the reader but reduces clutter.

Both footnotes and endnotes are used in the same way: to cite sources or add additional information. We usually have to choose one or the other to use in the text, not both.

What are footnotes used for?

Footnotes are notes that are indicated in the text by numbers and are placed at the bottom of the page. They are used to provide:

  • Citations (eg, in Chicago-style notes and bibliography).
  • Additional information that will interrupt the main text flow.

Be careful about using footnotes (other than citation footnotes), and consider whether the information you add is relevant to the reader.

How to insert footnotes in Word?

To automatically insert footnotes in a Word document:

  • Click on the point in the text where the footnote will appear
  • Select the “ References ” tab at the top and then click “ Insert Footnote ”
  • Type the text we want into the footnote that appears at the bottom of the page

How to change footnotes to endnotes (or vice versa) in Ms Word?

If Sinaumed’s needs to change the note type used in a Word document from footnotes to endnotes, or vice versa, follow these steps:

  • Go to the “ References ” tab, and click the arrow in the lower right corner of the “ Footnote ” section.
  • In the pop-up window , click ” Convert “
  • Select the options that Sinaumed’s requires, and click ” OK .”

Well, Sinaumed’s, that’s an explanation regarding footnotes, even a little bit about endnotes and bibliography. We also advise you to read a lot of reference books or guides for making scientific work so that you understand better!

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