Formatting your thesis: Footnotes and endnotes

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A consistent style for footnotes must be followed throughout your thesis.  If necessary, Word can convert footnotes to endnotes.

  • The content in footnotes is governed by style manuals (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, etc.) and/or your supervisor.
  • Font Arial 10pt.
  • Single-spaced with spacing between entries.
  • Each footnote must consist of a single paragraph.
  • When inserting footnotes, use Word's auto-numbering feature. (The exception would be footnotes for objects, such as Tables, Figures, etc.  Please see Tables, Figures, and Illustrations for how to manually insert footnotes for objects.)

Fixing text and/or layout issues in your footnotes

  • If there is something wrong with a footnote's layout, apply the Footnote Text style to the footnote's text (but not the footnote's reference number). 
  • If some of the text in a footnote won't change (e.g., font-face or font-size), select only that text and apply the Footnote Text style to it directly.
  • If a footnote's reference number isn't superscripted in the text or the footnote area, apply the Footnote Reference style to the reference number.
  • To edit all footnotes in one window to ensure formatting consistency and uniformity:
    • Choose View, Draft (or click the respective icon at the bottom right of the Word screen)
    • Find a footnote reference number in your document and double-click it
    • Your screen will split, and all the footnotes will appear in the bottom window
    • Choose View, Print Layout to exit the split screen
  • Make the formatting uniform:
    • If necessary, superscript footnote numbers by applying the Footnote Reference style.
    • Remove extra paragraph markers appearing within or between footnotes.  To make some text in a footnote go over to the next line, use a line-break (Shift+Enter).  To remove a paragraph marker between footnotes, try deleting one and, if you get an error message, try removing the other one.

Moving endnotes to the end of each chapter

  • At the end of each chapter, type in an Endnotes or Notes heading
  • Apply Heading 2 style to the heading
  • Insert a next-page Section Break. After doing this, your endnotes should appear after each section break. 
  • Please note that footnotes can be converted to endnotes.

Extra section breaks can have an adverse affect on page numbering and margins, see Troubleshooting page numbers in theses.

The content in footnotes is governed by style manuals (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, etc.).  As in the list of references or the bibliography, footnote entries should be single-spaced, with spacing between entries.

Footnotes are preferable to endotes and may:

  • be numbered sequentially throughout the document (the template is designed to do this).
  • be numbered throughout each chapter or part.
  • appear at the bottom of the page, at the end of the chapter, or at the end of the entire text.

Should you have difficulty placing endnotes at the end of a chapter or essay opt for one of these two methods:

  • Convert your endnotes to footnotes (this is considered a good practice for your readers as footnotes appear on the page on which they are referenced) OR
  • Place a Section Break where you'd like your endnotes to start.  If this creates a problem with pagination, see Troubleshooting page numbers in theses.

For further assistance with footnote/endnote issues, please contact the Assistant for Theses at