Footnoting

Using Footnotes

When you write an essay you need to cite certain material. This means you need to show the source for your information by using a footnote.

When do you have to cite something?

  • When it's a direct quote.
  • When it's a borrowed thought that may not be a direct quote.
  • When it's information that's not common knowledge.

In general, you'll probably have 2 or 3 citations per page. If you're consistently getting fewer, you're probably doing something wrong.

Citing books

Your footnote should have a few bits of information such as:

  • Author.
  • Title of your book.
  • The place your book is published.
  • The company that published your book.
  • When your book is published.
  • The page or pages you are citing.

So if you were going to cite a brilliant book, you'd start by putting a little number up in the air at the end of your sentence like this.¹

At the bottom of the page you need to pub the note. It starts with the little number up in the air. Watch!

1James Dykstra. How to do footnotes. Edmonton: Erewhon Press, 2009. 245.

So, that footnote included the author's name (first name and then last name), followed by the book title, followed by the place it was published, followed by the publisher, followed by the date, followed by the page cited.
Citing magazines

Citing a magazine is like citing a book except that you need to include the title of the article before you give the name of the magazine, like this:

1 James Dykstra. "Aren't citations cool?" The Magazine of Citations. New York: Erewhon Publishers, May 2004. 21.
Citing webpages

To cite a webpage is like citing a book, but you need a few different things.

  • Author of the website (there may not be one listed).
  • Title of the website (there's almost always one of these).
  • URL of the site (there's always one of these).
  • Date you consulted the site.

So, your footnote should look something like

1James Dykstra. The Citations Website. www.thecitationsdude.com/citations/coolcitations.html. November 7, 2004.

But how do I actually make a citation in Word?

Using Word 2000 to make footnotes is easy. Under the Insert menu, choose Footnotes, and then just click your way through the prompts. It will automatically put a little number up in the air like ¹, and then bring you to the bottom of the page. At the bottom of the page, right after the little number in the air (¹) fill in the material you need.

In Word 2003, it's almost as easy. Under the Insert menu, choose Reference, and then Footnotes, and then just click your way through the prompts.

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