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How to Create Footnotes or Endnotes

In the discipline of history, the "classic" version of footnote (or endnote - either one is a "note") remains standard. In general, historians are interested in the date and place of publication of a source, which may indicate bias. Some instructors may prefer to have the publisher listed as well. Follow the formats below for citing your sources in notes.

Placing a Footnote or Endnote

In the text of the paper, a note number is inserted at the end of a sentence, one half-space above the line of text (this is called a superscript). Numbers should run consecutively through the whole paper. They should not be surrounded by brackets or punctuation of any kind; thus: "and with a final charge at the Union cavalry, Stuart's Brigade carried the day." 14

To insert a footnote or an endnote in Microsoft Word, use the following steps:

  1. Place the cursor where you would like to insert the footnote or endnote.
  2. Click Insert.
  3. Click Footnote.
  4. Click either Footnote or Endnote.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Type the note in the footnote or endnote pane.
  7. When you are finished typing the footnote or endnote, click Close.

Avoid Anonymous Quotes

Remember to introduce the author of each quotation. Placing a footnote at the end of a sentence with a quotation is not adequate.

Footnotes versus Endnotes

The full notes are typed out at the bottom of the pages oftext (footnotes) or in a series of pages following the text of the paper (endnotes). Pages of notes following the end of the text should also be numbered consecutively.

Formatting Footnotes and Endnotes

The first line of the note is indented five spaces. To indent the first line of the note in Microsoft Word, use the following steps:

  1. Follow the above instructions for inserting a footnote or endnote.
  2. In the footnote or endnote pane, place the cursor before the note number.
  3. Click tab and the note number will be indented five spaces since the default tab setting is .5"
  4. Click OK.

The name of the author in a note appears in normal order--first name followed by last name. The text of the note should be single-spaced. Commas are usually used instead of periods in notes.

Citing a Source Material for the First Time

The first time a source material is cited, it should be in complete form, meaning that it should include not only the author's full name, the title of the work, and the specific reference (volume, if any, and page number), but the facts of publication as well. The source of information for a book is the title page and copyright page, while for a periodical it is the cover and the article itself. The citation of on-line source materials follows a different format, however. Examples can be found below.

The examples below demonstrate how some commonly used source materials should be cited for the first time in the notes. If your source does not fit any of these categories, check a style manual (such as The Chicago Manual of Style, Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations or Andrew Hamack and Eugene Kleppinger's Online: A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources), use analogy to figure out a consistent way to note it, or find a similar source noted in a scholarly book or journal and copy that note form. Of course, it is always proper to consult your instructor.

View Sample Notes and information on subsequent references.


What's New

Visit Student Planning for a list of the courses offered by the History department in Fall 2023. Students wishing to register for a closed (full) course must visit the Academic Advising Website and submit a course override request form (the link will be on the page under Fall 2023 Course Override Requests) requesting an override. Please do not submit your request directly to the course instructor or to the Department Chair. All course overrides are reviewed by the department chair and are only approved if there are extenuating circumstances. The override request will not be processed if there is a time conflict with your existing schedule, you do not have 6th course permission from your advisor, or if there is a financial hold on your account.