Difference Between Footnote and Endnote

Main Difference – Footnote vs Endnote

Whenever you are using someone else’s ideas, opinions or findings, you should always mention the source from where you obtained that information. However, the sources you have used in an academic paper must be included in a systematic way. Footnotes and endnotes are two such methods of attribution. They can also be used to include additional notes and comments of the writer. Both these methods involve making a small mark (e.g., number within parenthesis, symbols such as dagger or asterisk) near the cited information. The comments, notes, and citations are then added in another place within the same document. The main difference between footnote and endnote lies in their location; footnotes are placed at the end of the page whereas endnotes are placed at the end of a chapter, volume or the entire work.

This article covers,

1. What is a Footnote? – Meaning, Purpose, Structure and Format 

2.What is an Endnote? – Meaning, Purpose, Structure and Format 

3. What is the Difference Between Footnote and Endnote?
Difference Between Footnote and Endnote - Footnote vs Endnote Comparison Summary

What is a Footnote

Footnote is placed at the foot of the page. It is often an abbreviated extension of an in-text citation. A footnote can contain bibliographical information, explanatory information, supplemental information, expansion on a specific idea or thought as well as background information. The usage of footnotes has both advantages and disadvantages.

Footnotes are very convenient since the readers only have to look at the bottom of the page if they want to look at the information of the footnote.  Thus, they have instant access to this information. However, footnotes can also make a page look untidy and messy, especially if there are many footnotes in a page. In addition, if a lot of information is given in a footnote, the reader’s attention may be distracted from the main page.

Difference Between Footnote and Endnote

What is an Endnote

Endnotes are collected under a separate heading at the end of a chapter, volume, or entire work. Endnotes can also contain supplementary information, bibliographical information, explanatory information and expansion of a specific thought.  However, the use of endnotes does not affect the layout of the page. Therefore, they do not clutter the layout of the page and distract the attention from the main information.

However, the main inconvenience of endnotes is that the readers have to move back and forth between the main text and the endnotes to gather the information of the whole book. The information might be hard to find in this method.

Main Difference - Footnote vs Endnote

Difference Between Footnote and Endnote


Footnotes: Footnotes are located at the foot of the page.

Endnotes: Endnotes are at the end of a chapter, volume, or entire work.


Footnotes: It is easy to gain information from the footnotes since they are easy to find.

Endnotes: The readers have to move back and forth between the main text and the endnotes.

Page Layout

Footnotes: Footnotes affect the layout of the page.

Endnotes: Endnotes do not affect the layout of the page.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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