Footnote Essay Example

Footnotes are used in some books and research work, particularly work published in the social sciences discipline. Footnotes are intended to provide readers with further information or to share copyright permission information.

A few footnote usage rules:

  • Footnotes are numbered consecutively throughout the research paper, not rebeginning the numbering on each page.
  • Each quotation requires a footnote.
  • Footnotes are always double-spaced.
  • Footnotes are referenced using a superscript number.

While AP style discourages the use of footnotes in most circumstances, footnotes are used in the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS).

Footnotes in Research 

  • Footnotes can be found on the bottom of the same page as the original quote to which it is referring, or at the end of the paper or book entirely, after the page of References.
  • Entire citations are not necessary in footnotes; instead, the footnote should merely refer to the name of the publication and date as listed on the reference page.
  • If a copyright permission footnote is added, the original letter regarding copyright permission must be attached to the paper. 

Footnote Format Examples

Sample Footnote #1

Text within the research paper: 

It is well known that patients who suffer from Crohn’s and Colitis can have many debilitating symptoms.¹

Footnote:

¹See the CCFA.org website for more information about the symptoms that Crohn’s and Colitis patients may experience. 

Sample Footnote #2

Text within the research paper:

A variety of research suggests that developing basic literacy skills in early childhood can contribute to greater success in acquiring strong comprehension skills later in school.²

Footnote: 

²A variety of research based articles and ideas for developing early learning skills can be found at www.readingrockets.org.

Sample Footnote #3

Text within the research paper: 

While it is generally assumed that all large dogs are in need of copious amounts of exercise that would prevent them from being suitable pets for smaller residences, recent research has suggested this is a fallacy.³

Footnote: 

³See Smith (2013) to see more information specific to large dogs and exercise needs. 

Sample Footnote #4

Text within the research paper: 

In many states, malpractice lawsuit filings have limitations that may prevent the injured from pursuing the route necessary to receive compensation for injuries due to negligence by doctors, nurses, or other hospital staff.4

Footnote:

4Refer to Johannsen (2007) to access information about limitations by state. 

Sample Footnote #5

Text within the research paper: 

While most candy and sweet treats are believed to have a negative effect on those with, or susceptible to getting, diabetes, more research is supporting the idea that chocolate, when consumed in moderation, can have positive effects on the body.5

Footnote:

5Refer to Braunshweig (2011) for specific benefits of chocolate consumption.

Sample Footnote #6

Text within the research paper: 

The development of aptitude with technology in young children should not overshadow the necessity of play which is crucial to building important gross and fine motor skills in early childhood.6

Footnote:

6See Harsenwusen (2014) for research demonstrating the lack of motor skill development in young children using tablets for more than an hour each day.

Sample Footnote #7

Text within the research paper: 

Interstitial cystitis is a condition that can cause pain and embarrassment for women of any age, and affects many aspects of her life.7

Footnote:

7See www.urologyhealth.org for more information on the debilitating effects intersitial cystitis can have. 

Copyright Permission Footnote

Footnote:

From: “How To Raise a Technologically Competent Child,” by Smuten, F. and Dorgwab, T., 2011, Journal of Early Childhood Development, 76, page 23. Copyright 2011 by Dragon Press. Reprinted with Permission.

These are all examples of footnotes in different contexts.

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Footnote Examples

By YourDictionary

Footnotes are used in some books and research work, particularly work published in the social sciences discipline. Footnotes are intended to provide readers with further information or to share copyright permission information. A few footnote usage rules: Footnotes are numbered consecutively throughout the research paper, not rebeginning the numbering on each page. Each quotation requires a footnote. Footnotes are always double-spaced. Footnotes are referenced using a superscript number. While AP style discourages the use of footnotes in most circumstances, footnotes are used in the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS).

 

Chicago/Turabian Basics: Footnotes

 

Why We Use Footnotes

The style of Chicago/Turabian we use requires footnotes rather than in-text or parenthetical citations. Footnotes or endnotes acknowledge which parts of their paper reference particular sources. Generally, you want to provide the author’s name, publication title, publication information, date of publication, and page number(s) if it is the first time the source is being used. Any additional usage, simply use the author’s last name, publication title, and date of publication.

Footnotes should match with a superscript number at the end of the sentence referencing the source. You should begin with 1 and continue numerically throughout the paper. Do not start the order over on each page.

In the text:

Throughout the first half of the novel, Strether has grown increasingly open and at ease in Europe; this quotation demonstrates openness and ease.1

In the footnote:

1. Henry James, The Ambassadors (Rockville: Serenity, 2009), 34-40.

When citing a source more than once, use a shortened version of the footnote.

2. James, The Ambassadors, 14.


Citing sources with more than one author

If there are two or three authors of the source, include their full names in the order they appear on the source. If there are more than three authors, list only the first author followed by “et al.” You should list all the authors in the bibliography.

John K. Smith, Tim Sampson, and Alex J. Hubbard, Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.

John K. Smith, Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.


Citing sources with other contributor information

You may want to include other contributor information in your footnotes such as editor, translator, or compiler. If there is more than one of any given contributor, include their full names in the order they appear on the source.

John Smith, Example Book, trans. Bill McCoy and Tim Thomas (New York: Random House, 2000), 15.

John Smith, Example Book, ed. Tim Thomas (New York: Random House, 1995), 19.

If the contributor is taking place of the author, use their full name instead of the author’s and provide their contribution.

John Smith, trans., Example Book (New York: Random House, 1992), 25.


Citing sources with no author

It may not be possible to find the author/contributor information; some sources may not even have an author or contributor- for instance, when you cite some websites. Simply omit the unknown information and continue with the footnote as usual.

Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010), 65.


Citing a part of a work

When citing a specific part of a work, provide the relevant page or section identifier. This can include specific pages, sections, or volumes. If page numbers cannot be referenced, simply exclude them. Below are different templates:

Multivolume work:

Webster’s Dictionary, vol. 4 (Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1995).

Part of a multivolume work:

John Smith, ed., “Anthology,” in Webster’s Dictionary, ed. John Smith, vol 2. of Webster’s Dictionaries (Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1995).

Chapter in a book:

Garrett P. Serviss, “A Trip of Terror,” in A Columbus of Space (New York: Appleton, 1911), 17-32.

Introduction, afterword, foreword, or preface:

Scott R Sanders, introduction to Tounchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to Present, ed. Lex Williford and Michael Martone (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), x-xii.

Article in a periodical:

William G. Jacoby, “Public Attitudes Toward Public Spending,” American Journal of Political Science 38, no. 2 (May 1994): 336-61.


Citing group or corporate authors

In your footnotes, cite a corporate author like you would a normal author.

American Medical Association, Journal of the American Medical Association: 12-43.


Citing an entire source

When citing an entire work, there are no specific page numbers to refer to. Therefore, simply exclude the page numbers from the footnote.

John K. Smith, Example Book (New York: Scholastic, 2010).


Citing indirect sources

When an original source is unavailable, then cite the secondhand source – for instance, a lecture in a conference proceedings. If using an unpublished address, cite only in the paper/writing. If using a published address, use a footnote with the following format.

Paula Abdul mentioned in her interview on Nightline…
Zouk Mosbeh, “Localization and the Training of Linguistic Mediators for the Third Millennium,” Paper presented at The Challenges of Translation & Interpretation in the Third Millennium, Lebanon, May 17, 2002.


Citing the Bible

The title of books in the Bible should be abbreviated. Chapter and verses should be separated by a colon. You should include the version you are referencing.

Prov. 3:5-10 AV.


Citing online sources

Generally, follow the same principals of footnotes to cite online sources. Refer to the author if possible and include the URL.

Henry James, The Ambassadors (Rockville: Serenity: 2009), http://books.google.com.

Bhakti Satalkar, “Water Aerobics,” http://www.buzzle.com, (July 15, 2010).


Citing online sources with no author

If there is no author, use either the article or website title to begin the citation. Be sure to use quotes for article titles and include the URL.

“Bad Strategy: At E3, Microsoft and Sony Put Nintendo on the Defense,” BNET, www.cbsnews.com/moneywatch, (June 14, 2010)

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