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Footnotes and Endnotes

Note: This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style can be found here.

APA details the use of two types of footnotes: content and copyright.

When using either type of footnote, insert a number formatted in superscript following any punctuation mark apart from a dash (—). A footnote callout should precede the dash. A footnote callout should only be placed inside of a set of parentheses if it directly pertains to the material inside. There should not be a space before a footnote callout, and a footnote callout should never occur in a heading. For example:

Caxton’s printing of the Morte Darthur—dated 14851—changes several aspects of the Pentecostal Oath.2 (The Winchester Manuscript’s version of the Oath will be discussed later in this chapter.3)

When using the footnote function in a word-processing program like Microsoft Word, place all footnotes at the bottom of the page on which they appear. Footnotes may also appear on their own page after the References page in your document. Center and bold the word “Footnotes” at the top of the page. Indent one tab (or five spaces) on the first line of each footnote. Put a space between the footnote number and the footnote itself. Then, follow normal paragraph spacing rules. Double space throughout.

APA recommends the use of the default formatting footnote settings in word-processing programs when using footnotes in the page footers (e.g. 10-point font and single spacing).

1 For more information on this dating, see chapter 2 of this book.

Content Notes

Content notes provide supplemental information to your readers. When providing content notes, be brief and focus on only one subject. Try to limit your comments to one small paragraph. APA recommends that you only include this type of note if the information strengthens your discussion.

Content notes can also point readers to information that is available online or in more detail elsewhere.

1 See Field (1993), for more information on Malory’s life.

Copyright Permission Notes

If you quote more than 500 words of published material or think you may be in violation of fair use copyright laws, you must get the formal permission of the author(s). All other sources simply appear in the reference list.

Follow the same formatting rules as with content notes for noting copyright permissions. Then attach a copy of the permission letter to the document.

If you are reproducing a graphic, chart, or table, from some other source, you must provide a special note at the bottom of the item that includes copyright information. You should also submit written permission along with your work.

The information included in a copyright note includes the same information as in the reference list, but with some additional information. You must state if the material was reprinted or just adapted—use “From” if it is a reprint and “Adapted from” for adaptations. For example:

1 From “Title of Article,” by A. Author and B. Author, year, Journal Title, Volume(Issue), p. ## (DOI or URL). Copyright year by Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission.
1 From “Standing Up for the Stanzaic-poet: Artistry, Characterization, and Narration in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Malory’s Morte Darthur,” by F. Tolhurst and K. S. Whetter, 2018, Arthuriana 28(3), p. 51. Copyright 2018 by Scriptorum Press. Reprinted with permission.