Generally using footnotes is associated with Chicago notes-biblio style but other styles do use them sometimes. In APA style, use footnotes only when you absolutely must, and, ask your instructor, as well. The purpose of footnotes is to add to or clarify a point or simply to add copyright information.
There are two types of footnotes used in APA.
1. Content Footnotes
Content footnotes are used to provide the reader with some extra information about the source. For example, you may want to direct the reader to another chapter in the book. Try to avoid footnotes in APA but if you must use one, keep it short and simple. For more complex ideas, add an appendix or try to incorporate it into the text itself. You may also direct the reader to online supplemental materials, if needed.
2. Copyright Footnotes
If, for some reason, you need to include copyright material that exceeds fair use guidelines, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. Include that permission in a copyright permission footnote. If you’ve obtained permission to use a table or infographic, include the credited source in the caption, not as a footnote.
Number all footnotes consecutively in the order in which they appear in the manuscript with superscript Arabic numerals.
Superscript footnote numbers:
Format like this,1 following any punctuation except a dash
The footnote number precedes a dash2 ––
Place the footnote number (if it applies only to material within the parentheses, like this.3)
For any subsequent references to the same footnote, include a parenthetical note
(see Footnote 1).
- Place the footnote at the bottom of the page on which it’s discussed.
- Double check your footnote numbers to make sure they match the correct footnote.
Since APA style does not typically use footnotes, ask your instructor for direction. For a school paper, it is best to avoid having to ask copyright permissions as it may take too long for the copyright holder to respond.