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Using Footnotes and Endnotes in the Same Essay


Sometimes you may notice a book or journal article that has both footnotes and endnotes. Typically, a school paper will not include both; however, if you are writing a research paper that has several notes that are dense (substantive notes), you may want these as footnotes and then put your source citations in your bibliography.

Student reviewing Footnotes and Endnotes

Difference between Substantive and Citation Source Notes

  • Substantive notes are longer notes that add to the paper’s text. Many times, writers will add substantive notes to a paper to give additional background information, particularly in an historical context. If the background or additional information helps the reader understand the text, it may be added.

For example, writing a paper about Rosa Parks may include mention of Claudette Colvin;however, she is not as well known in the anti-segregation movement, so a substantive note may be included to provide background.

  • Citation source notes are used to show the source information, such as author and publisher, without adding information. Although most notes also refer to a bibliographic entry, in some cases, the citation source notes stand on their own.

How to Document Substantive Notes

If you do include substantive notes as footnotes, you need to separate those from the source citations notes in the text. You do that by using different symbols for each.

Substantive footnotes are indicated at the bottom of the page, using an asterisk rather than a number for the first footnotes. If there are more than one footnote, use the dagger symbol to indicate the second one, and a double dagger symbol for the third one. (See the next section for formatting the symbols)

* † ‡

For more than three footnotes on one page, double the symbols for the fourth to sixth notes.

** †† ‡‡

Citation source notes are indicated in the text by the usual system of numbering the notes, using a superscript font. The corresponding notes are then numbered and placed at the end of the paper.

How to Create Footnote Symbols in Word

Make sure your num lock button is on

Dagger SymbolHold down Alt and type in 0134
Double Dagger SymbolHold down Alt and type in 0135

You can also check out this cool website called CopyChar that provides special characters you can copy onto your clipboard for use. Do a search for dagger and both symbols will pop up.

Although it is unlikely you will need to include both footnotes and endnotes in your school essay, it is acceptable, if needed. Follow your assignment rubric and ask your instructor if you need clarification on formatting your research paper.

Related Articles

When to Use Chicago Notes

How to Write Footnotes in MLA, APA and Chicago

About the author

Adrienne Mathewson

Adrienne Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief of Bibliography.com, is an Information Professional with a Master’s in Library, Information & Science from San José State University with an emphasis on information literacy and scholarly publishing. She is a certified librarian through the State of New Mexico.

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