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What Are Endnotes For A Research Paper

M. Hickey  Bloomsburg University

Department of History


In your papers (including take home exams), all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material must be followed by a source citation.

I REQUIRE that you use endnotes for your source citations, using the form explained in the directions below.  Be sure to read the directions carefully!

FAQs regarding endnotes:

What are endnotes?   

How do I "make" the numbers? 

What goes in the endnote itself? 

What if I use the same source again?

What if I cite a document or an essay that is reprinted in a book (in a document collection of a "reader"? 

What if I am citing an article from a scholarly journal?   

What if I cite a webpage?

link to warning regarding plagiarism and guidelines on quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing


What are endnotes????

An endnote is source citation that refers the readers to a specific place at the end of the paper where they can find out the source of the information or words quoted or mentioned in the paper.

When using endnotes, your quoted or paraphrased sentence or summarized material is followed by a superscript number.



Let's say that you have quoted a sentence from Lloyd Eastman's history of Chinese social life.  You have written this sentence:

According to Eastman, "The family was the central core of the Chinese social system."1

Analysis of the example:

Notice that there is a superscript number after the quotation.  You insert the number by using your word-processor's "insert reference" (or citation) function.

The superscript number corresponds to a note placed at the end of the paper (which is called an endnote).  Your word-processor will create a note number and a space at the end of your paper, where you then fill in the citation.  This endnote lets the reader know where you found your information.

Note numbers are sequential:  first note in your paper is numbered 1, the second note is 2 (even if you are quoting the same source as in #1), etc. 

AGAIN, even if you are repeating a reference to the same source, your numbers must continue in sequence (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  You  must use "Arabic" numbers (1, 2, 3...), not Roman numerals (i, ii, iii...)!


How do I actually make the endnote numbers?

You don't have to type in the numbers yourself!  Your word processing software (MS Word, etc) will insert the note numbers and make space for the note automatically if you use the "Insert Citation" or Insert Reference" function.  (Each program has a slightly different name for this function. Ask me for help if you have trouble figuring this out.)



What do I put in the endnote (the part that appears at the end the paper) the first time I refer to a source?

The first time you have a citation to a particular source, the note at the end of the paper must include the following information in the following order:

Author’s first name then last name, Title of Book (City of publication: Publishing company’s name, Date of Publication), Page Number of quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material.


You have written this sentence:

According to Eastman, "The family was the central core of the Chinese social system."1

At the end of the paper (in the space set aside for this note by your word-processing software), you would put the following information in the following order:


Lloyd E. Eastman, Family, Field, and Ancestors: Constancy and Change in China's Social and Economic History, 1550-1949 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 53.




What if I cite the same source again in my paper?

If you cite the same source again in you paper, use a short form for all subsequent citations to that source:

Author's last name, First Words of Book Title, page number.


Author's last name, page number.



You have already cited the Eastman, but then you cite it again in note #3:


Eastman, Family, Field, and Ancestors, 54.


3Eastman,  54.



What if I am citing a document or an essay that is reprinted in a book (such as a document readers for a Western Civilization course)?

I prefer that you cite documents or essays that are reprinted in collections this way:

Author of the original text, "Document or essay title," in Editor of Collection, ed., Title of book (Place of Pub:  Publisher, Year of Publication), page number.



St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologica," in James Brophy, et. al., Perspectives from the Past:  Primary Sources in Western Civilizations, vol. 1, From the Ancient Near East through the Age of Absolutism (New York:  Norton, 2002), 435.

Subsequent citations to this same source can use a short form.  So every time you cited any source in the Brophy book again, you would use a short form:

Example of short form:

Jean Bodin, "On Sovereignty," in Brophy, et. al, Perspectives from the Past, vol. 1, 631.



What if I am citing an article in a scholarly journal?

If you are citing an article from a scholarly journal, then the note needs to follow this format:

Author’s first name and last name, "Title of the Article," Title of the Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper Volume #, issue no. (date): pages.



Amy Smith, "Women Warriors of Indonesia," Journal of Asian History 31, no. 2 (1998): 55-93.

If you are citing a specific page of the article, then

Amy Smith, "Women Warriors of Indonesia," Journal of Asian History 31, no. 2 (1998): 59.

Any subsequent citation to the same source can use a short form:

Last name, "First Words of Title," page number.


Last name, page number.




Smith, "Women Warriors," 62



Smith, 62.



What if I am citing a web-based source?

I DO NOT want people to use using web-based sources in their papers unless they consult with me before hand.

When you do cite a web-based source, I would like you to list:

*the author, the title (etc), as you would in citing a print source.  (Sometimes a webpage does not have a clear title; present the clearest and most detailed title that you can for the particular page).

*the URL 

*in parenthesis note that date on which you read that webpage (this allows me to look at the webpage even if it has "disappeared" since you used it, by searching internet archives).


Martin Luther, "The Jews and Their Lies (1543)."  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/luther-jews.html (last accessed 22 July 2003).

Subsequent citations would use a short form.



There is a lot of terminology when it comes to citations and giving proper credit to sources. Three of the terms that sometimes get mixed up are footnotes, endnotes, and parenthetical citations. Each is different, as we will see below.

Footnotes vs. Endnotes

Both footnotes and endnotes are common writing tool features implemented when using various citation styles. They provide writers with a clear method in directing the reader to further information on the research topic and additional citations. Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, footnotes and endnotes have a few key differences.

The most obvious difference between footnotes and endnotes is the placement of each within a paper. Footnotes are found at the and endnotes are located at the or sometimes at the end of a chapter or section.

While the content in footnotes and endnotes can look the same, they serve different functions. Footnotes are used as a citation vehicle for a short citation, while endnotes can contain more text without compromising the format of the paper. They each also typically use a different numbering system, which allows the reader to determine where they should look for the additional information (either in the footer of the page, or at the end of the document).

APA format only uses parenthetical citations/reference list. MLA format can have footnotes and/or endnotes, but more commonly uses parenthetical citations and work cited. Chicago format almost always has footnotes or endnotes.

Both footnotes and endnotes tend to be supplemented by a bibliography or works cited page, which displays the complete citation of each source the writer cited in each footnote and endnote throughout their paper. Depending on the citation style, the footnote/endnote entry provides more specific location information than the entry in the bibliography. For instance, when citing a whole book in Chicago Manual of Style, the page number of the cited information is contained in the footnote, whereas this localized information is omitted from that source’s entry in the bibliography.

Footnote Entry Example:

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (New York: Scribner, 1920), 25.

Bibliography Entry Example:

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. This Side of Paradise. New York: Scribner, 1920.

Parenthetical Citations

Parenthetical Citations are citation tools commonly used inAPA and format MLA format. They usually contain the cited works author’s name, and an additional piece of information that further describes the source, usually the publication date of the source or the page number where the cited material can be located within the source.

Parenthetical Citations are used directly following the quote or cited material written in the document. Typically, they come at the end of the sentence that contains the cited material. They let the reader know when the author is using information or words that are not their own. While they demonstrate that a citation is being made, they should not be treated as a substitute for quotation marks when an author’s words are being presented exactly. They should also be included even when paraphrasing someone else’s work.

Each parenthetical citation made in a document should correspond to an entry in a works cited page or reference list at the end of the document. The entry in the works cited or reference list provides further detail about the source being cited.

Parenthetical Citation Example:

(James, 2009)

Reference List Entry Example:

James, Henry. (2009). The ambassadors. Rockville, MD: Serenity Publishers.

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