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FOOTNOTES and ENDNOTES – MLA Style

In academic and scholarly writing, Footnotes and Endnotes are primarily employed to give credit to the authors and sources which have been cited or used either directly or by paraphrasing. The primary intention of these Footnotes and Endnotes is to guide and refer the readers to the appropriate sources which are usually listed in the final section or page, towards the end of the paper, commonly named as References, Bibliography or Works Cited page. The primary difference between Footnotes and Endnotes is that Footnotes (as the name denotes) are placed at the foot or end of the page in numerical form beginning with the numerical 1, while Endnotes are placed at the end of the paper on a separate page under the heading Endnotes or simply Notes.

Inserting Footnotes using a word processor on a computer is simple and can be done using the “Insert Footnote” or “Insert Endnote” on the References Tab of the main menu. When a source is being mentioned for the first time in the paper or document, the Footnote or Endnote entry should be complete and absolute.

The entry of a Footnote at the end of the page should be done using only a single sentence with only one period (full stop) as opposed to entry on a Bibliography or Reference page which ideally includes at least three sentences, separated with three full stops or periods. The first period is placed after the name of the author/authors and the year of publication (APA citation style), the second period is placed after the title of the source (journal article, book, newspaper article etc.) and the third period is placed after the publication details including the name of publication, the name of the publisher and the date of publication (MLA citation style).
It should be noted here that APA citation differs from MLA citation with regard to the entry of the publication date which is after the author statement in APA citation as compared to MLA citation style where it is placed at the end of the publication statement followed by the name of publication and the publisher.

Examples of MLA style Footnotes and Endnotes

First Footnote in the paperBook by one author
Herman J. Viola, The Indian Legacy of Charles Bird King (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1976) 28.

Bibliographic entry

Viola J. Herman. The Indian Legacy of Charles Bird King. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1976.
All subsequent entries by same author will include the last name of the author followed by the relevant page number/s.
Viola 450-452. In case of works by the same author, a shortened title in each subsequent reference following the first is sufficient. 

Footnote entry of a Book by two or more authors

Kenneth P. Mortimer and McConnell T. R., Sharing Authority Effectively: Participation, Interaction, and Discretion (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1978).
Bibliographic entry for the above foot note would be: Mortimer P. Kenneth and T. R. McConnell. Sharing Authority Effectively: Participation, Interaction, and Discretion. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1978.

Footnote for Scholarly Journal Article:

Jeffrey Meyers, “Bogie in Africa,” American Scholar 66, 1997: 237-50
Bibliographic entry: Meyers, Jeffrey. “Bogie in Africa.” American Scholar 66.  1997: 237-50

Footnote for Newspaper Article

Eric Lipton, "Deal to Replace Schools After Katrina Is Faulted," New York Times 11 Nov. 2005, national ed.: A1.
Bibliographic entry: Lipton Eric. "Deal to Replace Schools After Katrina Is Faulted." New York Times 11 Nov. 2005. National ed.: A1.

Footnote for Internet Site

Centre on Education Policy: “From the Capitol to the Classroom: Year 4 of the No Child Left Behind Act,” March 2006. (p. xi). http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/enav/racon.htm.

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