13 What is a Footnote or Endnote?

What is a footnote or endnote?

If you want to include information from a source you consulted in your paper, you need to create a footnote or endnote.

  • if you use footnotes, the notes appear at the bottom of the page where a citation is entered
  • if you use endnotes, all the notes appear at the end of your paper and before your bibliography

Because notes tell your reader which ideas belong to you and which ideas belong to someone else, it is crucial that you place them correctly.

  • you indicate that you are citing something by inserting a superscript number
  • Usually, the superscript is at the end of the sentence where you included information from a source, like this.
  • The word processing software then automatically inserts a footnote or endnote in which you can write the necessary information for the source
  • If the note is longer than one line, the first line of the note is indented


How do I insert a superscript and footnote or endnote?

Watch this is short video using Word:

Insert footnotes or endnotes in Word


Full notes vs. short notes

The first time you cite a specific source, the information in the note needs to be given in full, but subsequent notes for the same source are shortened. This applies to all types of sources, no matter if you cite from a book, an article, a webpage or another source.


Example first note of a source

Let’s say you are taking information from page 35 of the following book:

Screenshot of a book cover. Background is a multicoloured shapes. Center top says: P11, Painters Eleven, The Wild Ones of Canadian Art, Iris Nowell.

You need to insert a footnote (or endnote) to indicate that you did so, and your first footnote would need to be a full note.



Although Bush was strongly influenced by Matisse, he employed his “own symbolic calligraphic shapes” to his paintings of large shapes and slashes.1


1. Iris Nowell, Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art (Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2010), 35.


Example subsequent note for the same source

The next time you cite from the same book (say, in note 4), you would just give a short note. These usually consist of the author’s last name, a shortened title, and the page number:



His habit of drinking a Martini at lunchtime eventually led Bush to become an alcoholic, which negatively affected his state of mind and even impacted his capability to paint.4


4. NowellPainters Eleven37-38.


Image attribution:

“[Book cover for Painters Eleven by Iris Nowell]” by Douglas & McIntyre is all rights reserved.


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Chicago Style Citations Copyright © 2021 by Ulrike Kestler and Sigrid Kargut is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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