Writing a Research Paper
Footnotes & Bibliography

Footnotes & Bibliography

When you are writing a research paper, you can choose one of two styles for citing your information: MLA or APA. Your instructor will inform you which style to use in your paper. The following notes are based on the MLA style, the more common one. If you have to use the APA style, search the Internet for information on using that style.

Your bibliography is based on the footnotes or endnotes that you use in your research paper. Do not include any sources in your bibliography that were not used in the paper.

Notes on footnotes and endnotes

  • Place footnotes at the bottom of the page.
  • Place endnotes at the end of the paper before the bibliography.
  • Number the footnotes/endnotes consecutively.
  • Indent the first line of each footnote/endnote.
  • Use single spacing but leave a blank line after each footnote/endnote.
  • Each original footnote/endnote for a book contains the author's name, the title of the book, the city of publication, the publisher, the date of publication, and the page or pages used.
  • Each original footnote/endnote for a magazine contains the author's name (if given), the title of the article, the name of the magazine, the date, and the page(s) used.
  • Each original footnote/endnote for an encyclopedia contains the title of the encyclopedia, the edition, the title of the entry, and the author (if provided).
  • The word ibid means "in the same place." It is used when the source is the same as the one used in the previous footnote/endnote. Note that it is italicized.
  • When you are using a source that has been used previously (but not immediately before the current footnote/endnote), you use the author's surname and the page number(s).

Examples of footnotes/endnotes

1Steve Coffel, But Not a Drop to Drink! (New York: Rawson Associates,
1989), p.34.

2Christopher Lampton, Fusion, the Eternal Flame, 2nd ed. (New York:
Franklin Watts, 1982), pp. 41-45.

3Ibid., p. 92.

4Coffel, pp. 24-25.

5Collier's Encyclopedia, 1991 ed., s.v. "Euthanasia," by Paul A. Welsby.

6Lampton, p. 132.


8Coffel, p. 49.

Notes on bibliography

  • The entries in the bibliography are not numbered.
  • The entries in the bibliography are arranged alphabetically.
  • The author's surname is placed before his first name.
  • The page numbers are not included in a bibliography.
  • A hanging indent (after the first line) is used for each entry in the bibliography.

Example of a bibliography

Coffel, Steve. But Not a Drop to Drink!. New York:
Rawson Associates, 1989.

Collier's Encyclopedia, 1990 ed., S.v. "Euthanasia," by James A. Brussel.

Lampton, Christopher. Fusion, the Eternal Flame, 2nd ed.
New York: Franklin Watts, 1982.

For more examples of entries for footnotes and bibliographies, see Sample Footnote/Bibliography Entries

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