How to Use Endnotes in Writing

All students start with the MLA citation format. It is the simplest way to cite and reference primary and secondary sources that contain valuable information on the topic under study. Citing sources is important for several reasons:

  • To distinguish between other authors
  • To avoid plagiarism issues
  • To show the teacher your research skills
  • To let the audience and potential researchers know where to read the full information on the chosen topic
  • To earn a full credit

Without citing the sources properly, one may get a low grade, or even get failed altogether. Plagiarism is a serious issue in academic writing. The Modern Language Association does not require the use of extra features like footnotes or endnotes.

Stop, but what are endnotes, then? The endnote is a reference, interpretation, or comment inserted at the end of an essay, research paper, or another type of academic/scientific document or book. The department specifies whether a student has to use endnotes or footnotes.

Endnotes Format: General Information

How to use endnotes? It depends on the citation format. Look at the general rules before going into details:

  1. While working on the primary draft (intro, body, and conclusion), add details or quotes on the note cards to prove your arguments;
  2. Include endnotes to define cited sources. If you prefer sharing such information via endnotes, the note should go together with all other notes on a page separated from the rest of your work, preceding the Works Cited page (a.k.a. References or Bibliography);
  3. Check the prompt carefully to find out which citation format you will need.

A writer may make the endnotes shorter if the materials' details were provided in previous endnotes or footnotes. Now let's look at the endnotes format.

Ways to Use MLA Endnotes

The Modern Language Association has established the most popular and frequently used citation format that requires minimum effort from the write. Still, you should read the full guide in order to succeed. This style, being now in its 8th edition, is used for citing liberal arts, English Composition, humanities, and literature sources. It offers the formatting rules for the following elements of academic and scientific papers:

  • In-text citations
  • Endnotes
  • Footnotes
  • Works Cited
  • Overall format

The endnotes may distract the reader, which is why it is not necessary to use them while citing in MLA. Some teachers and publishers insist on including endnotes and footnotes even in MLA. It is possible to use endnotes/footnotes for bibliographic notes that refer to external materials that the audience may find interesting.

Superscript Arabic numbers indicate the endnotes in MLA style - they follow after the punctuation of clause that relates to the note. In the case of a long dash, the number goes before this punctuation mark.

Mention all notes on a separate page titled Notes. It is not the last page of the document as Works Cited page with all listed references should enclose the essay.

Ways to Use APA Endnotes

How to use endnotes in a paper written in APA? Like in MLA, in APA, a student has to identify an endnote by adding a superscript Arabic number after the selected piece. It should show up after the punctuation mark. The endnote numbers, however, should precede dashes if these punctuation marks appear in the endnotes.

To insert a superscript and add an endnote, use Microsoft Word that has a corresponding function under the References tab in Insert. Place the cursor where you need an endnote in the text.

Develop a list of the endnotes on a separate page that follows References (the analogy of MLA Works Cited page). Put down the word Notes in the center of the page. Type the entire page in the regular format, except for the number that should be superscript.

Turabian and Chicago Endnotes

These two citation formats are somewhat similar, so it makes sense to combine them in one paragraph.

The elements introduced are different from MLA and APA. Those are:

  • Author's name
  • Title of the source
  • Chapter title (if needed)
  • Publication details

An endnote citation's construction is different from that of a citation in the bibliography. Make sure to separate the citation's components with commas. Spell the author's first name and last name in full, leaving the middle name as initial; in case of 4 or more authors, name the first one followed by a comma and then the words "et al." They indicate there are more authors to have worked on the project.

Note the book editors and other publishers by the abbreviations ed. and trs.

Place the publication details for books in parentheses; add a space for a journal article between the title and the publication details. Put a comma between the volume and issue number. Make sure the titles are in italics. As far as the chapters and scholarly articles are concerned, their titles should be placed in quotation marks.

Several Examples

How to do endnotes using MLA format? It is not a common question, and the best way to understand the answer is to look at the examples:

See Hoffman, especially chapters 5 and 7, for an in-depth analysis of this trend.

Several other pieces of research state the same conclusion. See Blackmore and Fright 51-58, Lawson 19-25, Johnson 41-62.

Explanatory notes are another field where students can use endnotes or footnotes, and they stand for the short extra data that may be digressive for the body of the work.

Example: In a 1995 interview, he defended this argument more persuasively: "I am an artist, not a political authority!" (Hendricks 56).

In some citation formats like Chicago or Turabian, they use another approach. Here is an example:

1 Mark Reynolds, The Origins of Japanese Folklore (New York: Villard Books, 1997), p. 13.

2 Reynolds, The Origins of Japanese Folklore, p. 13.

The principles are different only by the way in which elements are included in the endnote, so that is everything you should remember.

Extra Help and Hints

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