Master the Footnotes, Endnotes, and Parenthetical Citations

Have you ever wondered how difficult would it be to add a statement to your research work from an authentic article that relates to your topic so perfectly still you cannot use it because it will be counted as plagiarism? This would be a nightmare for a lot of writers especially researchers for sure. However; the good thing is that there is a way to use relevant information without being labelled as copied and this way is known as the addition of citation.

What is a citation and its purpose?

The correct citation is crucial in the world of academics, research, and intellectual dialogue. Citing sources helps our own work gain credibility and dependability while also acknowledging the intellectual contributions of others. Whether it is a parenthetical citation example, endnote, or footnote; it normally contains:

  • Author’s name.
  • Date.
  • A place where the publication was published.
  • Name of the journal.

The purpose of citation also terms the importance of parenthetical reference or other types of citation formats.

  • Citations are a way to acknowledge the thoughts, studies, and intellectual achievements of others. By properly attributing sources, intellectual integrity, and respect are given to the original author or researcher.
  • By citing earlier works, citations enable readers to follow the development of concepts and theories. This makes it easier to conduct additional studies and investigations while also laying a foundation for knowledge.
  • Citations provide legitimacy to arguments and claims by offering proof and professional judgment. They give readers the chance to assess the accuracy of the claims.
  • Citations are essential in avoiding plagiarism, which is the practice of passing off someone else’s work as your own.

Different citation styles

There are various citation formats that can be used, each having its own set of guidelines and conventions. The academic field, publication requirements, or personal preferences all frequently influence the citation style choice. There are five main types of citation styles no matter if it is parenthetical citation example, endnote, or footnotes, these are as follows:

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Mainly used in the humanities, mla parenthetical citation or any MLA citation format emphasizes author-page in-text citations and includes a “Works Cited” page at the end of the paper. It is renowned for its straightforward structure and emphasis on the author’s name.

American Psychological Association (APA)

Commonly employed in the social sciences, the APA style makes use of “References” pages and author-date in-text citations. It highlights the digital object identifier for online sources and the publication year, author, and name of the source. You can also use apa reference generator to help you with your APA citation addition.

CMS, the Chicago Manual of Style

CMS provides two citation formats: notes-bibliography and author-date, which are frequently used in the history, art, and humanities departments. While the latter uses in-text citations and a reference list, the former uses footnotes or endnotes and contains a bibliography. If you are finding difficulty in using either style of Chicago referencing citation then Chicago reference generator can help you in the process.


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ IEEE style employs a numbered reference list and numerical in-text citations, and it is widely used in engineering and computer science subjects. Technical reports and conference papers frequently emphasize the sequence of appearance.

Harvard referencing style

Author-date in-text citations and a reference list are employed in the popular Harvard referencing style, which is widely used across a wide range of academic fields. It allows for formatting flexibility while placing emphasis on the author’s name and the year of publication.

Types of citations

There is a list of terminology that is used when it comes to citing sources. Three of the widely accepted terms or types of citations are as follows:


In academic writing, footnotes are notes that appear at the bottom of the page and are identified in the text by superscript numerals, letters, or other symbols. There are two ways to insert footnotes, which are:

Microsoft Word:

  • Position the cursor where you want it in the text.
  • Choose the “References” tab and then “Insert Footnote.”
  • At the point where the pointer is placed, a superscript number will be inserted, and the matching footnote will be displayed at the bottom of the page.


  • Use the “footnote” command in LaTeX at the appropriate spot in the text to insert a footnote.
  • When using LaTeX, a superscript number is automatically assigned, and the matching footnote is added at the bottom of the page or at the conclusion of the text.

For accurate citation and improved readability in academic writing, footnotes are a crucial tool. You may present your research in a clear and structured way by knowing how to properly include footnotes and use them in various citation formats.


In academic writing, endnotes are notes that appear at the end of your text. In the text, they are represented by numbers or other symbols. You can present your research in a thorough and organized fashion by knowing how to properly insert and use endnotes in various citation styles. The commonly followed ways of inserting endnotes are:

Microsoft word:

  • Put your cursor at the conclusion of the relevant sentence or passage in Microsoft Word.
  • Choose the “References” tab and then “Insert Endnote.”
  • A superscript number will show up where the cursor is currently located, and an endnote will be added at the end of the document with that number.


  • Use the command “endnote text of the endnote” at the appropriate spot in the text in LaTeX.
  • When using LaTeX, a superscript number will be assigned automatically, and the appropriate endnote will be assembled at the end of the text.

Parenthetical citations:

Parenthetical citations are quick references that direct readers to a source’s complete bibliography within the text of your article. The last name of the author and the page number where the information was located are often included within the parenthetical reference. Parenthetical citations serve two purposes, which are:

  • They acknowledge the original author.
  • They make it possible for readers to find the entire reference in the works cited or references list.

Where parenthetical citations are concerned then three different ways of inserting them are used, which are:

Author-date style

  • In the text, use brackets to indicate the author’s last name and the year of publication.
  • Only the publishing year needs to be included in brackets if the author’s name is stated in the sentence.

It is the apa parenthetical citation in which this method of inserting citation is followed.

Author-page style

  • The author’s last name and the page number where the information was taken must be included when using the author-page style.
  • You only need to provide the page number in brackets if the author’s name has already been mentioned in the sentence.

It is the mla parenthetical citation that most commonly sticks to this method of inserting citation. Students either use the Mla reference generator or add the citations manually.

Numbered style

Numerical references are used in some citation formats, such as IEEE or Vancouver. In this instance, sources are given numbers in the text according to their sequence of appearance, and those numbers are used in brackets. In chicago parenthetical citation, the most commonly numbered style is used.

Comparison between footnotes, endnotes & parenthetical citations:

All three terminologies of citation can confuse the user, which is why one must have clarity of concepts and the best way to do so is by comparing them with one another.

Advantages- Footnotes vs. Endnotes vs. Parenthetical citations:


  • It provides clarity and increases the readability factor.
  • It allows in-depth discussion and elaborations.
  • It is used in disciplines like history, law, and literary studies.


  • It enhances readability.
  • It saves space.
  • It is easier for the reader to access the information.

Parenthetical citation:

  • It seamlessly incorporates the necessary information whether it is chicago parenthetical citation or any other citation style.
  • It saves space and maintains the flow of text.
  • It is used in disciplines like social sciences, modern language studies, sciences, etc.

Limitations- Footnotes vs. Endnotes vs. Parenthetical citations:


  • It disrupts the reader’s flow and takes it away from the text.
  • The space available for footnotes is limited.


  • It is not easily accessible as the reader will have to go to the bottom of the text again and again.
  • It can become a little confusing if not properly placed or organized.

Parenthetical citations:

  • It mainly provides basic information no matter if it is mla parenthetical citation example or APA referencing style.
  • It kind of breaks the flow of the text.


What is a parenthetical citation example?

As there are three different styles of inserting parenthetical citations so it can be:

  • (Smith, 2012)- Author date style.
  • (Smith, 122)-Author-page style.
  • (1,2,3)- Numbered style.

How do you do a parenthetical citation?

The common way of doing the parenthetical citation is to include the author’s last name and page number, where the information can be found, enclosed in parenthesis.

Why is it called a parenthetical citation?

Parenthetical citations are called such because they are placed within parentheses in the text of a written work. The citation information is enclosed in parentheses to distinguish it from the rest of the sentence.

What is an example of a parenthetical citation in MLA?

In MLA citation style, the author’s last name along with the page number of the source is written. So within the text; it goes something like this (Smith, 34)

What are the uses of parenthetical?

The main uses of parenthetical citations include provision of the additional context, adding credibility while maintaining the clarity and readability factor.

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