Footnote vs. Endnote

Footnotes and endnotes have the same function; that is providing extra information that comes along with the text. What is different between them is how they appear with the text.

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Footnote vs. Endnote

A footnote appears at the bottom of the page where the text is written whereas and endnote is right at the end of the text body.

Footnotes are easy to locate and readers can find them right at the end of the page. It guides the readers instantly to the citation or the idea related to the specific part of the information. It does not take much time for the reader to link the idea of the text to the information given on the footnote. Moreover, the source can be easily located by simply looking at the bottom of the page.

An Endnote is located at the end of a paper of a document. They are located in a separate part of the paper. The readers can check all detailed and supplementary information in one located section of the paper and read the notes all at once.

Comparison Chart

BasisFootnoteEndnote
MeaningFootnote is the supplemental information that is inserted at the bottom of the page.Endnotes are notes that are inserted at the end of the book/document or at the end of a part of the book/document.
PositionAt the bottom of a page.At the end of a book/document.
ContainsAn addition of in-text excerpt that is abbreviated.Details about the references quoted
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What is Footnote?

Footnote, as it is obvious from the name, is the note appearing at the bottom of the page. The purpose of a footnote is to cite relevant sources and references. It also provides additional details relevant to the portion of the text above it. Mainly it is used to simplify the information above the text by adding details to that information and clarifying it further.

The method of inserting a footnote is simple. One must write a superscripted number or a symbol to the word where the extra information is required. That cross-reference would be given at the bottom of the same page.

Footnotes can be found in books, reports, documents, research papers, articles etc.

What is Endnote?

Like the name suggests endnotes are notes found at the end of a document/book or a section of the book/document. It contains information on the points used in the text before it. It is used to make the excerpt clear.

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Endnotes are mainly used to cite the titles and authors of the sources used in the text. The information is arranged in a chronological order relating to the references used. They too are denoted by numbers or symbols such as an asterisk (*).

They can be found in books, research papers, essays, articles, etc

Key Differences

  1. The chief difference between footnotes and endnotes is mainly how they appear in a text. Footnotes appear at the bottom perhaps that is why they are named as ‘footnotes’ whereas ‘endnotes’ show appearance at the end of the document or book or at the end of a particular chapter of the document or book; indicating why they are named as ‘end’ notes.
  2. While writing a footnote we usually use a small font size that is much smaller than the font used in the original body of the text. However, for endnotes, we use the standard font size when they come at the end of the book or a document. Sometimes we use a relatively smaller font for endnotes in case they appear at the end of a chapter.
  3. For endnotes, we use a separate page whereas footnotes appear on the bottom of the same page where reference is used.
  4. While using footnotes the information is easier to find, since all we need is to look at the bottom of the page. However, if there is too much of information as part of the footnote it may become a difficult read since the font size is small and there is not a lot of space at the lower end of the page.
  5. On the other endnotes create a cleaner look on the page and the reading is also smooth because you are not distracted by what appears at the bottom of the page. Yet endnotes have its drawback too while reading if you are to look for some information that is given at the endnote you would need to go to the end pages and then resume reading by returning back to your original page which is a hassle.
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Conclusion

Both footnotes and endnotes are an important part of the text citation, because, they provide extra information that is needed in the text but would make the reading tedious if supplied to the text itself.

Hence these tools help the reader read without disruption. Both of them are similar in a way that contains a note referring number or symbol, in the text to represent that extraneous information is provided in the footnote or endnote.

However, a different numbering system is used for the two so that clear references are provided for the reader.

We can see that each footnote and endnote has its pros and cons. They should be selected carefully while writing, depending on the nature of the document.

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