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Academic Writing
Referencing
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The Notation System: Footnotes and Endnotes1

In the notation system of referencing, a number is placed in superscript within the text, and the full reference (including all bibliographic details) is placed either at the bottom of the page (footnotes), or at the end of the piece of work (endnotes).

Click here to see an example of the Footnotes

Click here to see an example of the Endnotes

A full reference list should also be provided at the end of the assignment. Not all style guides will advise you to do this as it is very repetitive; however, it is much easier for an interested reader to look through an alphabetical list of references, rather than flip through the pages of your assignment trying to locate sources of different information.

In summary, the first footnote or an endnote reference to a source should contain all the bibliographic information necessary to identify it. These details should then be followed by the page number or numbers of the quotation or specific reference.

The second and subsequent references to a particular source may be abbreviated in two ways: by abbreviating the information of the first citation or by using Latin abbreviations such as ibid and op.cit..

Abbreviated information:

  1. Y. Anzai and H. A. Simon. The theory of learning by doing. Psychological Review, 86, 124-180, 1979, p. 126
  2. Anzai & Simon, p. 178

If two works of the author are referred to, however, more information will be required; for example,

  1. A. Baddeley, Human Memory: Theory and Practice, Allyn and Bacon, Boston,1990.
  2. A. Baddeley, ‘Working memory’, Science , vol. 255, pp.556-559, 1992.
  3. Baddeley, Human Memory, p. 345.

Latin abbreviations:

ibid is the abbreviation of ibidem and means 'in the same place'. You use ibid for a reference entry when the citation is the same as the previous footnote or endnote. If the page number is different, you include the page number of the new entry after ibid. ibid saves you writing out the full reference again; for example,

  1. Y. Anzai and H. A. Simon. The theory of learning by doing. Psychological Review, 86, 124-180, 1979, p. 126
  2. ibid.
  3. ibid., p.157.

op.cit. is an abbreviation of opere citato that means 'in the work cited'. op.cit. is used together with the author’s name and page number when the full reference has already been cited.

  1. Y. Anzai and H. A. Simon. The theory of learning by doing. Psychological Review, 86, 124-180, 1979, p. 126
  2. J. R. Anderson. Cognitive psychology and its implications, 2nd edn, Freeman, New York, 1985, p. 234
  3. Anzai and Simon, op. cit., p. 157
  4. Anderson, op. cit., p. 36

ibid. and op. cit. and any other abbreviations should be presented in normal type and always start with a lower case letter, even when they appear at the beginning of a note.

Numbering of notes

Usually notes are indicated by superior figures (small numbers placed above the line of type). They can also be indicated, however, by a set order of symbols: asterisk, dagger, double dagger, section mark, parallel marks and paragraph mark. The use of symbols is usually restricted to mathematical works where superior figures may be confused with indices or in the rare case where both footnotes and endnotes appear.

Footnote numbering can run:

  • through a whole document
  • begin afresh at each chapter
  • begin afresh at each page.

Endnote numbering can run:

  • through a whole document
  • begin afresh at each chapter

Footnotes or endnotes should be placed at the end of a sentence or clause rather than immediately after the word or phrase to which they relate (this reduces disruption to the reader). If several points in a paragraph relate to one source a single note at the end of the paragraph will suffice. If a single fact in the text refers to several sources, include all of the sources in a single note.

1 Reference: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995, Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers, 5th edn., Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.



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