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How to Write Footnotes & Endnotes in APA Style


Footnotes are difficult for printers to format, and they can intrude on the flow of the text. The American Psychological Association no longer permits them for citing sources; instead, APA style uses in-text citations with the author’s name and the source’s date. However, you may use footnotes in an APA-style research paper to further explain content and to provide copyright permission, if necessary.

Formatting the Notes

Signal a footnote in the text with a superscript numeral. The numeral comes after most punctuation marks, except for a dash; if the sentence is in parentheses, put the numeral inside the parenthesis, too. The notes themselves go at the bottom of the page; make sure these appear on the same page as the numeral. You may also list all notes at the end of the paper, after the References page. The APA calls these “footnotes,” even when they are listed at the end. The notes should begin with the superscript numeral. The first line of text is indented five spaces. Keep the note in the same font and size as the rest of the paper, and double-space the text.

About the Author

Jennifer Spirko has been writing professionally for more than 20 years, starting at "The Knoxville Journal." She has written for "MetroPulse," "Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times" and "Some" monthly. She has taught writing at North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Spirko holds a Master of Arts from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-on-Avon, England.

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