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How to create footnotes and end notes while writing research papers

Perhaps one of the most difficult things to master when writing research papers is footnoting and creating a
bibliography. Both are necessary components for any major paper you will write during your academic career,
whether in History or any other subject.
The good news is that it really isn’t all that difficult, once you know what you are doing. Even better, there are a
number of websites available to help you.
Knowing when to footnote something is actually quite simple: whenever you are using or referring to somebody
else’s work in your own! Failing to give someone else credit for their work­­or claiming it as your own is
plagiarism, which is to say: cheating. Don’t do it. It is always found out, often with embarrassing
Yet in History, as with virtually every other subject, you will often have to refer to other people’s work in order
to complete your own. This is fine. In fact, judicious use of others’ authoritative work adds to your work’s
credibility. The only requirement is to give credit where credit is due.
So, you have to footnote. How do you do it? First, there is a specific format to follow to footnote correctly.
Once you know that, it’s only a matter of adding it to your paper. Using a word processor such as MS Word
makes it relatively easy.
While there are several possible styles to footnoting, the CHICAGO STYLE OF WRITING will be usedally used
for History papers. This is the format I expect you to use for your papers in this class. There are many
websites where you can get information on the Chicago Style of Writing. I have listed three below:
(1) The Long Island University web page on Chicago Style is simple, straightforward, colorful, and easy to use.
The component parts of a footnote are color coded so you can see the difference in footnoting between books,
articles, etc. You can access it through this link:
(2) The University of Southern Mississippi website offers more detail on Chicago Style footnoting. This site
provides more in­depth examples of footnotes, including how to footnote web pages, online media, databases,
and so on. You can access it through this link:
(3) The University of Wisconsin website offers everything you ever wanted to know about footnoting. You can
access it through this link: U. Wisc. Turabian Handbook
Inserting a Footnote in your paper
For purposes of illustration, this example covers how you would insert a footnote in a document using
Microsoft Word. Wordperfect and other advanced word processing software also include this feature, and while
the actual steps involved are different, the end result should be the same.
1. To insert a footnote in Word, the first step is to place your cursor at the place in the document where you
want the numeric reference (that’s the little number that tells you to look for a footnote). This will usually be at
the end of a sentence, following the period.
2. Next, using your mouse, click on ‘Insert’in the tool bar at the top of your screen. A drop­down box will open
with all of the options for ‘Insert’.
3. Click on the ‘Footnote’ option in the ‘Insert’ drop­down box. This will open the ‘Footnote and Endnote’ pop­up
window. Select ‘Footnote’, not ‘Endnote’ ­ choosing endnote puts all of your footnotes at the end of the paper
instead of at the bottom of the page.
4. Click ‘OK’. You will note that your screen divided in half. The top half contains the document you were
working on. Note the small number where your cursor was.
Also note that your cursor is now in the bottom half of your screen, to the right of the corresponding footnote
number. This is where you will enter the footnote. It could be a comment or a Turabian­style reference to work
you are using in this paper.
5. To continue, you can close the bottom half of your screen, OR you can simply return to where you were
working in the top half and continue.
…and that’s all there is to it!


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