The Distinction Between Endnote and Footnote

The Distinction Between Endnote and Footnote

Endnote VS Footnote

When Amber Kominsky submitted her academic assignment, she was confident that she would receive an A+. However, when she finally got the paper in hand, she was shocked to find that she got B in the paper. On reading through the paper, she found that most of her marks have been deducted owing to her mistakes on Endnotes.

Now, there are many students out there who have been struggling to determine the difference between Endnotes and Footnotes. Some have even considered seeking online assistance to avoid confusion. In this case, here’s a valid perspective on the difference between Footnote and Endnote.

Definition of Footnote

Footnote, as the name indicates, is a block of text that appears at the bottom of the page. The Footnote comprises of the relevant sources, references or offers additional information with respect to a particular portion of the research material used in the main text of your paper. It’s included to simplify or provide more thorough information to the source mentioned on that page.

Footnote is signified in the form of a superscripted number or a symbol, right after a specific word or sentence, whose cross-reference is provided at the bottom of the same page. The Footnotes are found in books, research papers, reports, documents, articles etc.

Source: Murdoch University online library

Definition of Endnote

Endnote presents a chunk of information found at the end of a book or a document or a certain section of the book, which incorporate facts or details on the points used in the text.

Endnotes are essentially incorporated to cite authors and titles of the research materials used in the academic document. The Endnotes should be organized in a chronological order depending on the references used. The resources are defined by numbers or sometimes symbols like an asterisk (*). These are found in research papers, essays, articles, books, etc.

The following is an example of an Endnote from the Bloomsburg University hat you can take a cue from.

Source: Bloomsburg University online resource

The Major Differences Between Footnote and Endnote

The points discussed below elaborate on the difference between Endnote and Footnote.

  • Footnotes feature at the footer of the page. On the contrary, Endnotes are added at the end of the document, book or the sections of the book.
  • A Footnote can be defined as a note highlighted at the bottom of the page that offers expansive information to the reader and refers to a specific part of the text. On the other hand, Endnote is incorporated by the writer to offer credit or reference to the text, appearing at the end of a book or the essay.
  • Footnote is an abridged extension of an in-text excerpt. On the contrary, Endnote is primarily used by the writer to quote references or present relevant details about the external sources.

Valuable Anecdotes About Endnote and Footnote

Keep the following insights in mind while preparing the Footnotes and Endnotes.  

Insight #1. Footnotes are numbered consecutively throughout an academic paper, the only exception being the special information (e.g., tables, figures, charts, etc.). The numbering of Footnotes is known “superscript”. Make sure that you don’t include parentheses, periods, or slashes. The Footnotes follow all the punctuation marks other than dashes. In essence, to avoid disrupting the continuity of the text, Footnote numbers are included at the end of the sentence, phrase, or clause containing the quoted or paraphrased material.

Insight #2. Based on the writing style you follow in your class, Endnotes may take the place of a list of research materials cited in your academic paper. They may represent non-bibliographic resources, like observations or comments, followed by a separate list of references to the materials you cited and organized alphabetically by the writer’s last name. If you are unfamiliar about how to use Endnotes, consult with your professor.

Insight #3. In general, the utilization of Footnotes in most academic writing is now considered kind of outdated and has been replaced by Endnotes. These Endnotes are more convenient to add in your paper, even with the advent of word processing software. However, some disciplines, like history and law, still predominantly prefer the use of Footnotes. You can liaise with your professor about which one to use, and gather some insights on the specific referencing style guide preferred by your respective institution. Also, remember that whichever style of citation you choose, maintain consistency throughout your paper.

Note: Always consider critically about the detail you include an Endnote or Footnote. You need to ponder over whether the information is supplementary, which would otherwise disrupt the flow of the text. If you’re unsure about it, it’s best not to incorporate it into the text. Too many notes indicate a disorganized paper.

Parting Thoughts,

Footnotes and Endnotes are significant parts of an academic paper. If the writer uses detail in the middle of the text or page, which is necessary for the reader even though it’s not the main part of the paper, then reading might get tedious. That’s why these notes are absolutely important, as they help the writer to provide relevant insights without interrupting the reading.


About Author: Patrick Austin is a guest lecturer working in a distinguished academic institution. He has acquired a PhD in History from Bond University. He loves writing and reading in his free time. He is also a part of as an academic advisor.

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