Endnotes vs Footnotes: Learn the Difference

Have you got stuck on your research paper having no idea on how to format endnotes vs footnotes? Don't worry! You aren't the only one who doesn't know how to do this the right way. Few students are aware of the requirements for the endnotes and footnotes. However, this is a must to be able to format them in a proper way if you want to get a high score for your work.

Even if your content is brilliant, the paper won't be evaluated highly in case you know little about the structure. In order to impress your teacher with the ability to meet all requirements to the full extent, you need to find out the difference between footnotes and endnotes, their distinctive features compared to the list of references, and other details, which are essential for crafting a high-quality social sciences research paper on A-grade.

What Are Footnotes and Endnotes: Purpose of Use

The most common mistake students make is either avoiding footnotes and endnotes at all or thinking that they are interchangeable. That's why before you get started, you are recommended to assure that you have a clear understanding of what a footnote and an endnote are. So, what are footnotes and endnotes? Believe that it only sounds complicated! In fact, it is not so difficult to use both of them the right way.

First of all, let's define footnotes and endnotes. The purpose of using any of them is the same. Perhaps, you will be surprised to discover that the endnote meaning is similar to the footnote meaning. The writer should use either footnotes or endnotes, or both of them when there is a need to add some important comment, a piece of information, which is able to add value to the paper. Often, writers use them to broaden the discussed topic. Also, you can cite the source of information where the ideas in your paper originate.

For example, if you have mentioned a name of a scientist and you want to tell more about him/her, include this piece of text as a footnote at the end of the page if it sounds superfluous being inside the text itself. When writing an essay with footnotes, you provide the reader with the more detailed information on the topic. That is an advantage.

What Is the Difference between Footnotes and Endnotes

Do you wonder what is the difference between footnotes and endnotes if they have the same meaning? These two terms have a slight difference, which is in their location and that's it! Check the things you need to be aware of when writing both endnotes and footnotes:

  • Footnotes
    • When writing footnotes, you are supposed to place them at the end of the same page, which your comment refers to. Some consider footnotes are distracting as the person is reading the page and suddenly he/she sees some comment. The attention is distracted, and he/she forgets what he was reading about. However, there is another opinion as well, in accordance to which, placing a footnote is an effective way to draw the reader's attention to the information you consider significant for the understanding of the topic.
    • When including a footnote, you are supposed to add some figure or a particular sign and the text of the comment itself. Keep in mind that the citation requirements vary from one writing style to another one. That's why you should check the guidelines before you cite the works used. It is convenient to use Word for making footnotes automatically. It is possible to edit them or delete them at all if you want to change the text.
  • Endnotes
    • When including endnotes, write them at the end of the whole research paper. Compared to the footnotes, comments at the end of the paper don't interfere at all. Some writers consider this to be their advantage. There is more than one way of using endnotes. It is allowed to include them either on the final page of the entire work or at the end of each section. Some readers find the second variant more convenient as it is possible to focus on the chapter ideas and read all notes at once.
    • If you can't decide which one to use, the most reasonable solution is to ask your teacher about the use of footnotes and endnotes in research papers. Depending on what he/she says, you will structure the paper following his/her preferences. If to select the most straightforward way of adding comments for you, then, endnotes can be considered more convenient regarding their use.

Bear in mind that the number of notes is limited. It is not the case when the more, the better. If you add a footnote on each page of the work, your teacher may consider this a sign of a low-quality structure. Before adding a note, think twice as instead of hooking the reader's attention you may just distract him from reading your paper. Do your best to supplement your work with the comments able to provide the reader with the exciting facts.