How to Write a Footnote for a Book Quote

Citing sources is an essential part of writing a paper. Usually teachers or professors specify whether they wish students to use footnotes, end notes, a bibliography, or a list of basic works. Footnotes are the most common way to give credit for the information you use in your paper, whether you are quoting it exactly or putting it into your own words.There are several variations on how to write footnotes depending on what style guide is used. The most common style guide for college students is Modern Language Association style.

Writing Footnotes

Step 1

Format quotes from a book with the name of the author(s), the title of the work, the publisher, the place of publication, the date of the publication, and the page number. Footnotes go on the bottom of the page that includes the quote from the book.

Step 2

Number the footnote at the end of the quote. You can choose to use a superscript or brackets. List first and last names of the author(s) or editor(s), the title of the book chapter within quotation marks, the title of the book in italics, the edition number, the publisher, place of publication, date of publication, and the page in the book from which the material was drawn.

Step 3

Make footnote numbers sequential throughout the paper. Do not start over at footnote 1 for each page. Instead, if you have three footnotes on the first page, start a new footnote on the second page with footnote 4. Use a double space between footnotes on the same page.

Step 4

Avoid repeating footnote information if you use another quote from a source that was cited previously. Simply list the author and page number.

Inserting Footnotes

Step 1

Use a feature of software, such as Microsoft Office Word 2019 instead of inserting footnotes manually.

Step 2

Click on the References tab, go to the footnotes group icon, and click "insert footnote.” A small number will appear.

Step 3

Look for a line to appear at the bottom of the page with a small number matching the text with the book quote. Your cursor will be next to the number and you can now type the information.


Always look over your sources once you are finished to make sure everything is cited properly, and make sure you cited every single quote.

Plagiarism is a crime and can be committed accidentally, so be sure to cite all appropriate sources.

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