Footnotes vs Endnotes: Difference and Comparison

The only distinction between footnotes and endnotes is that footnotes appear at the bottom of the same page as the document, whereas endnotes appear at the end.

Endnotes are not as distracting as footnotes since they are normally positioned in a different section of the document.

Key Takeaways

  1. Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page where the citation is made.
  2. Endnotes are at the end of a chapter, section, or entire document.
  3. Both are citation tools in academic writing but differ in placement and reader convenience.

Footnotes vs Endnotes

Footnotes are numbered sequentially and include a shortened version of the citation with a full citation at the end. Endnotes are located at the end of a document, after the main text and before the bibliography or works cited page. They provide additional information or sources for the reader.

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When you print specific pages, footnotes are automatically included. Readers can quickly look down the page to find additional information or identify a source.

When you print specific pages, footnotes are automatically included. It does not take long to locate the note at the back of the paper that connects the footnote to the subject of the text.

Endnotes are not as distracting as footnotes because they are located in a different section of the paper. Readers can read all of the notes at the same time.

All detailed and supplementary information is available to readers in a single section of the paper. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFootnotesEndnotes
LocationNotes are found at the bottom of the page, or “foot.”Notes appear after each section, chapter, or book.
AccessibilityIt is simple to obtain information from the footnotes since they are easily accessible.Readers must switch back and forth between the main text and the endnotes.
LayoutInfluence the page’s layout.Make no changes to the page’s layout.
AdvantageLet readers see the sources and notes as they read.Reduce distraction on the page.
DisadvantageBecause they take up page space, they may disrupt document flow.References are not as easily available, and the reader must look for the reference on another page/section.

What are Footnotes?

In writing, there are two sorts of footnotes that are employed. There are two types of footnotes that are commonly used in writing.

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A content footnote is used to provide information or a reference to the text that simplifies or complements it. They cite references or make comments on a piece of the text that is above them.

A copyright permission footnote is utilized in a text to credit the source of tables, long quotations, or graphs, and other lengthy information. Both types of footnotes will appear at the bottom of your printed page.

They will appear with a little number or letter indicating which text has a footnote. At the bottom of the page, the same number or letter will appear beside the footnote.

This same number or letter will show beside the footnote at the bottom of the page. They are not the same; they serve different purposes.

Footnotes are used for short citations, whereas endnotes can contain additional material without damaging the paper’s style.

They are not merely for fascinating comments. Sometimes they merely refer to pertinent sources, letting your reader know where specific information comes from or where they may go for other sources on the issue.

Also, remarks are added at the bottom of a page.

3 styles of footnotes:

  • American Psychological Association.
  • Modern Language Association.
  • Chicago Manual.

What are Endnotes?

A reference, explanation, or comment published after an article, research paper, chapter, or book is referred to as an endnote. Endnotes make it easier to include tables, quoted poetry, and other material that needs a particular type.

Endnotes are sequentially numbered throughout a chapter or article, with each new chapter or section beginning with an endnote.

The notes portion at the rear is then divided by chapter or part, with the endnote numbers printed beneath.

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Students can use endnotes in their research process by reading through the text once, then examining the notes for additional information on the second reading.

This is an excellent method for locating credible sources for your study. You are not needed to fill in the numbers yourself! If you use the “Insert Citation” or “Insert Reference” function in your word processing program (MS Word, for example),

it will automatically insert the note numbers and provide room for the note. (This function has a slightly different name in each software.) If you’re having difficulties figuring things out, please ask for my assistance.)

Endnotes in a research paper serve two purposes:

  • They recognize the source of a quotation, paraphrase, or summary.
  • They give explanatory remarks that might otherwise disrupt the flow of the main text.

Main Difference Between Footnotes and Endnotes

  1. Footnotes appear at the bottom of the same page as the document, whereas endnotes appear at the end of the whole document.
  2. Footnotes are more likely to disrupt the reader’s flow of reading, whereas endnotes do not disrupt the flow of reading.
  3. Many individuals use footnotes for extensive remarks and endnotes for source citation.
  4. The footnote includes an abridged addendum of an in-text extract, whereas the endnote contains all the reference information about the document.
  5. Footnotes are easily accessible and they provide valuable information whereas in endnotes, readers must alternate between the main text and the endnotes.



Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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