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Endnotes vs Footnotes: Difference between Endnote and Footnote

Home / Blog / Endnotes vs Footnotes: Difference between Endnote and Footnote

 Krishna   August 8, 2022  Assignment  0

If you search the Internet carefully, you will find that students have a hard time understanding endnotes vs footnotes. Moreover, they fail to comprehend when to use footnotes vs endnotes. But do not worry. In this blog, you will get to know about this topic along with relevant examples. After going through it, you will be able to clear your issues once and for all.

What is the Difference between Footnote and Endnote?

Footnotes and endnotes are basically the same. They are common writing tool features and implemented when using various citation styles. However, if you delve into endnotes vs footnotes, you will notice that there is a difference in the placement of the two. The footnotes appear at the bottom of the page, and the endnotes appear at the end of the paper.

The footnotes are:

  1. Usually shorter, as information like author's name is already included in the text
  2. Helpful in guiding readers directly and instantly to the citation
  3. Included automatically while printing specific pages

On the other hand, endnotes tend to be:

  1. Less distracting as they are used in a separate page
  2. Informative as it consists of all the information related to the cited source
  3. Easily accessible as they are all located at one place

With some insight into the difference between footnotes and endnotes, let us continue our learning process. In the following sections, you will get an in-depth analysis of the two.

What are Footnotes vs Endnotes? Are There any Advantages or Disadvantages?

In this section, we will take a closer look at what are footnotes vs endnotes. When you are considering whether to employ footnotes or endnotes, you have to keep the following points in mind:

  • Endnotes take the place of the list of resources cited

This aspect depends on the type of paper you are writing. Often endnotes represent non-bibliographic items like observations or comments. This section is then followed by a separate list of references to the sources you cited.

  • Footnotes are getting outdated slowly

The convention of writing footnotes is slowly getting dated. And it is being replaced by the endnotes. This is because when too many footnotes are used on the same page, it gets cluttered. Furthermore, footnotes get lost if you use multiple columns, charts, tables, etc.

  • Footnotes are numbered consecutively

Irrespective of the type of assignment writing paper, footnotes are numbered consecutively/chronologically. These are usually in superscripts, and you cannot include periods, parentheses or slashes. You have to match each number to its corresponding note.

It is imperative that you stick to the conventions while using footnotes or endnotes. If you are baffled with the information stated until now, your queries will get sorted when you know how to use endnotes vs footnotes in word files or papers. 

When to Use Footnotes vs. Endnotes in the Academic Papers?

If you have been wondering when to use footnotes vs endnotes all this time, you have arrived at the right place. Here, we will take a look at when to use footnotes and endnotes for different referencing styles and relevant examples.

When to Use Endnotes vs Footnotes in MLA?

MLA footnotes are used to meet two purposes. It is used for:

  • Content notes which justify a study, or elucidate word choices
  • Bibliography citations which supplement or replace parenthetical citations when they get complicated

1For instance, Lauren Michelle, The Savannah Life (New York: Evergreen, 2018) 2

Endnotes usually carry a bit more information, and it is usually inserted amid all the other endnotes in a separate page.

For example, 1Lauren Michelle, The Savannah (New York: Evergreen, 2018) 2, www.kehw.kqsdhihwiedi2 

The extra information in the endnote is only the website where the e-book is available.

When to Use Endnotes vs Footnotes in Chicago?

In the Chicago style, you can use either footnote or endnote, along with a bibliography. The difference between the footnote and the endnote is based on the placement. But, if you use the endnotes, you have to use it at the end of the paper, before the bibliography. Most importantly, the page should be titled ‘Notes’.

For example, let the text be:

The medical researchers are yet to find a fool-proof solution to COVID-19 disease 7.

The footnote or the endnote will be:

Craig Daniels and Jessica Ashton, A Closer Look at t he Diseases for Which Medicines or Vaccines Have Not been Discovered (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020), 23-24

If you go through various examples, you will get a hang of it.

When to Use APA Endnotes vs Footnotes?

APA format doesn’t require footnotes usually. Students are requested to opt for parenthetical references. However, footnotes are used in instances like:

  • Content notes which shed light on supplemental information
  • Copyright permissions which cite reprinted materials like images, tables or quotes

For example, let us assume that the text is “The media houses, even today hide classified information from the public...2”

2See Adams (2019), especially chapter 5, for more information about the theory posited by the journalist.

This can be applied in the endnote as well.

Hopefully, after going through the entire blog, you have a detailed insight into the endnotes vs footnotes aspect. So, if you are writing an academic paper, be sure to determine whether you want footnotes or endnotes, based on the source.  

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