What are the major differences between footnotes and end-notes used for the referencing purpose?

What are footnotes and end-notes?

While the footnotes are the series of texts that the academic writer usually incorporates into his research or essay writing right at the bottom of the page which act as a guidance to the readers on a particular topic. They are further referred to by small subscripted numerical that are added by the academic writer just after the cited portion for the readers to have a better and detailed knowledge on the cited information and to share the writer’s thoughts, views and any inferences, if any, on that particular topic. However, on the other hand, endnotes are added by the author at the end of a chapter, a document or even the book in which the citations are made. They are written on a separate and different page from the actual text.

Their applications and their functions in case of a citation

At a cursory glance, it might be said that both the footnote and the endnote, in any academic essay writing or text, serve more or less the same purpose and possess the same kind of characteristics, features and functions. They are generally used in case of a citation or reference for the reader’s better understanding and comprehension of the topic or subject and also to allow the academic writer pay his acknowledgement and credit to the source and the creator of the cited part and other related information. These notes also provide the academic writer an opportunity to clear any confusion regarding any citation or reference. They are vital texts that the academic writer inserts and uses in his research paper or custom term paper writing for further clarifications, and to incorporate his own thoughts and opinions on a particular topic.

Examples of each type of note

The importance and significance of the footnotes and the endnotes and their proper and suitable application can be well understood from some basic examples of each type with all their features and characteristics. Few of those examples are as follows:

Examples of the Footnote:

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • For additional information inside text: 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.

Examples of the Endnote:

  • For an in text citation: “Readers of academic and scholarly books usually prefer footnotes to endnotes because the former allow them to skim the notes without losing their place in the text.” The endnote here is presented at the end as:(Amy Einsohn, The Copyeditor’s Handbook. Univ. of California Press, 2006).
  • For reference to a journal: Barbara Wallruff, Word Court (New York: Harcourt, 2000), 34, Further citations to this work are mentioned in the text. (The Chicago Manual of Style. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2003)

Differences between the footnotes and the endnotes

Both the footnote and the endnote are useful tools that the academic writer uses in his writing both for the facilitation of the writer himself and the readers too. One of the most remarkable things is that they are widely used both in the official matters, in the professional world and also in the academic line both by the research scholars and by the young high school students. They are of no doubt of utmost importance in each and every field and possess some integral features and differences. Some of the primary and basic differences between the two text types are as listed below:

  • A footnote, as the name suggests, usually comes at the foot of the text of the particular page, where the citation or reference is made while an endnote generally occurs at the very end of a chapter, a document or, at times, even the complete textwhere in a particular citation is made in the formof, may be, a phrase, a sentence, a passage or a quotation.
  • Footnotes are generally referred by some sort of subscriptednumbers, which enable the readers to trace them, which is not required in the case of an endnote.
  • Unlike the footnotes, the endnotes are, however, written on a completely separate sheet than the actual text and appear at the end of the academic writing or the text.
  • Moreover, it must be mentioned that while a footnote occurs at the end or foot of the page and might somewhat reduce its aesthetics, an endnote does no such harm to the visual looks and aesthetics of the text or document page, making it look clean and nice, without the subscripted numbers by the side of the citations.
  • One of the advantages of the footnote over the endnote, however, is that while the footnote can be accessed by the readers and the students any time during their reading right at the bottom of the page, the endnote has to be reached out to by them only at the end of their reading, at the very end of the academic text or book for those additional information and extra background studies. This would also require several series of flipping through the text or book pages for each and every reference sources and information, which no doubt is a sort of disadvantage.
  • Endnotes are also a form of footnotes, which are too big to be placed at the end of the page, which would invariably make the writing look unclean and clumsy. Thus, the endnotes are sometimes an extension of the footnotes but in a much cleaner and expletive way.