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Footnotes and Endnotes


APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

Contributors: Joshua M. Paiz, Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck
Last Edited: 2018-02-21 02:31:05

APA does not recommend the use of footnotes and endnotes because they are often expensive for publishers to reproduce. However, if explanatory notes still prove necessary to your document, APA details the use of two types of footnotes: content and copyright.

When using either type of footnote, insert a number formatted in superscript following almost any punctuation mark. Footnote numbers should not follow dashes ( — ), and if they appear in a sentence in parentheses, the footnote number should be inserted within the parentheses.

Scientists examined—over several years1—the fossilized remains of the wooly-wooly yak.2 (These have now been transferred to the Chauan Museum.3)

When using the footnote function in a word-processing program like Microsoft Word, place all footnotes at the bottom of the page on which they appear. Footnotes may also appear on the final page of your document (usually this is after the References page). Center the word “Footnotes” at the top of the page. Indent five spaces on the first line of each footnote. Then, follow normal paragraph spacing rules. Double-space throughout.

1 While the method of examination for the wooly-wooly yak provides important insights to this research, this document does not focus on this particular species.

Content Notes

Content notes provide supplemental information to your readers. When providing content notes, be brief and focus on only one subject. Try to limit your comments to one small paragraph.

Content notes can also point readers to information that is available in more detail elsewhere.

1 See Blackmur (1995), especially chapters 3 and 4, for an insightful analysis of this extraordinary animal.

Copyright Permission Notes

If you quote more than 500 words of published material or think you may be in violation of “Fair Use” copyright laws, you must get the formal permission of the author(s). All other sources simply appear in the reference list.

Follow the same formatting rules as with content notes for noting copyright permissions. Then attach a copy of the permission letter to the document.

If you are reproducing a graphic, chart, or table, from some other source, you must provide a special note at the bottom of the item that includes copyright information. You should also submit written permission along with your work. Begin the citation with “Note.”

Note. From “Title of the article,” by W. Jones and R. Smith, 2007, Journal Title, 21, p. 122. Copyright 2007 by Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission.

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