Difference Between Footnote and Endnote (With Table)

Footnote vs Endnote

The key difference between Footnote and Endnote lies in the fact that footnote appears at the bottom of the page, while endnote appears at the end of a document or book or after a particular section.

Footnote is used to give more information about the above context of the page and endnote is used to give extra information or facts relating to the points used in the text.

A footnote is a comment or reference point made at the end of a page of an article, blog, academic paper, books, or magazines.

Footnotes act as a source to serve the quest for additional reading for the reader about the topic and content that they are reading in the same page itself.

Footnote acts as an agent for additional readings or parenthetical information. During the process when the writer wants the reader to self-indulge in some supporting readings, they must add footnote from the ‘reference’ tab in Microsoft word.

The footnote added is shown as a numerical superscript in the sentence and the same number also corresponds at the end of the page. The numerical superscripts are called ‘cite’ and the act of using a footnote is called ‘citation’.

A superscript is a small typeset above the sentence’s last word.

As predicted from the name itself, an endnote comes towards the end of a document, thesis paper, chapter, journals or any academic and professional written work.

Endnote serves as a space of acknowledgment of a quotation, theory, point of view. Endnotes act as a chain to provide explanatory comments to a term used in the article, author, book, relevant theory or any other literary script.

Endnotes can be of a sentence and run down to a few hundred words as well. Just like the footnote, Endnote is shown as a numerical script in ascending order at the end of a chapter, section or the entire book. Footnote and endnotes, both add an extra bit to a piece of content.


Comparison Table Between Bill of Footnote and Endnote (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonFootnoteEndnote
MarkThe chronological numerical specification connotes to a footnote. Endnotes are usually marked with cross-referencing tools such as asterisk, dagger () or a double dagger.
PlacementThe footnote appears numerically at the end of each page.The endnote appears at the end of the document and is also automatically numbered.
LayoutThe footnotes are a part of the paper and found on each sheet.The endnote is a part of the reading but is shown as a separate part of the reading
PurposeFootnotes give instant linkages, to and fro to the current line the reader is reading.The endnote gives an overview, summary, point of view of a subtopic, chapter, point or a specific term.
Readability/AccessibilityGiven that the footnote is on the same page, the additional information is in front of the eyes and easy to navigate.The endnotes are towards the end and need a little bit of back and forth while one is in the process of reading.
LengthThe length of a footnote is 1-2 sentencesThe length of an endnote runs from 5-7 lines up to a paragraph.


What is Footnote?

As understood, footnotes are placed at the bottom of a page, where a reference or a comment for a designated part of the chosen text above is brought to light.

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The footnote is used when the author what the reader to indulge in further reading, share a relevant source, share another interesting comment that directly or indirectly links with the purpose of writing ‘A’ particular content/paragraph.

Footnote is placed chronologically on each page. For example, the first footnote will look appear like this: ‘1’ and the following one as ‘2’. Each numbered footnote will connect with the end of the sentence that was considered to be a source of additional information.

Footnote example

What is Endnote?

Endnotes act as a chain or an agent that links all the content, footnotes and gives add-on information.

The concerned authors’ other works, links to others work in similar lines, a summary of few elaborative explanations, expounded meanings of few terminologies all go towards to end of the topic in hand.

This space at the end is called endnotes. Endnotes also are very extensive as it mentions bibliographic information along with the supplementary information.

Both; footnote and endnotes are used in the American Psychological Association and Modern Langauge Association format of the style guide.

Endnote example

Main Differences Between Footnote and Endnote


The purpose of a footnote is that it adds to the value of a paragraph by supporting further readings.

On the other hand, the endnotes are put up at the end of a section, chapter, theory, the book is a comment, thought, feelings, reflective ideologies that support or contradict the topic in consideration.

Also, Endnotes are less intrusive than footnotes. Also, the footnotes are useful to the reader and keep them focused. Endnotes support generic content while footnotes are very specific.


A footnote is equipped with various layouts and is spoilt for choices. Spilled footnotes permit a footnote to be broken into two if space gets to a constraint.

The first baseline offset is used to maintain a specific distance between each footnote to enhance readability. The first baseline offset footnote is apt for larger volume text.

One can also choose not to use superscript for footnote and use a character instead.

While in endnotes, superscript is mandatory to be used. There is no need to maintain a distance between endnotes as they occupy a separate space in the book, paper, chapter, etc.

To synopsize, there is no room for using layouts in endnotes and they are very summating.

Length and Readability

Broadly the length and readability of reading go hand in hand and rests heavily on the overarching intention of the reader and the comfortable flow of the content.

The length of the footnote usually is automated from the footnote created and shows in a few words and a supporting reading hyperlink.

 On the other hand, the endnotes restrict the easy to and fro of learning, check for understanding while the readability is better as the fonts are a bit bigger than the footnote.

But while the endnotes restrict the easy flow pertaining to reading, it serves as a detailed platform for the readers who prefer to go back for referring detailed and elaborative endnotes.

Endnotes keep the look of the writing material clean as all the other information is moved to numerous on the page footnotes.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Footnote and Endnote

  1. Is it better to use footnotes or endnotes?

    Both play the same role of providing supplemental information but they are positioned at a different place.

    1) A footnote is used to provide information at the bottom of the page. Using a footnote gives the advantage of finding the supplemental information quickly without turning the page.
    2) An endnote is placed at the end of the chapter or book. An endnote gives the advantage of adding more information as it is given at the end of the chapter. This also helps in keeping the main text of the book not looking cluttered

    Each one has to be used keeping in mind that the main text of the book remains readable without the breakage in the flow of reading.

  2. How do you do footnotes correctly?

    While using footnotes, always ascertain that it does not distract the reader while reading. The number of your footnotes should not be too much or it would make the main text on the page look cluttered.

    In order to add a footnote, place your cursor where you want it to be, and click on “Insert Footnote”. This will add a superscript at the top of that word, and also that same number at the footer of that page.

  3. Does Chicago style use footnotes or endnotes?

    There is no such rule of using one over the other. It all comes down to the personal experience of the writer.

    However, using endnotes makes the main text easy to read but also finds it hard to find endnotes at the end.

    Using footnotes ensures that the reader can find it quickly. However, it does make the page look cluttered if not used properly.

  4. Do you need a bibliography if you use footnotes?

    A bibliography has more information in it than the footnotes have. Bibliography also states that when and where a particular reference is published.

    However, footnotes only give the title of that work to the reader.

    To provide information in depth, it is quite necessary to include a bibliography even if you have used footnotes.

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To summarize, both, the footnote and the endnote are important to the process and by-product of readability as both use citations for a different purpose.

The purpose is to have an enhanced co-relating experience of reading serving the provision of extra information in the text. The tedious reading task sees solace in both footnote and endnotes as both serve a reference numbered point.

Lastly, bearing in mind that everything has two perspectives and likewise, footnotes and endnote has their pros and cons.

Being conscious, vigilant and educative on the intention, purpose, audience, content, platform; a preferential praxis of footnote or endnote or both is to be weighed and limned.


Word Cloud for Difference Between Footnote and Endnote

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on the Footnote and Endnote. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Footnote and Endnote
Word Cloud for Footnote and Endnote



  1. https://researchguides.library.tufts.edu/c.php?g=249200&p=1660031
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics/article/brief-citation-guide-for-internet-sources-in-history-and-the-humanities-version-20/17EC0C84DBC0C943BAC5DFB187C13644