Footnotes & Endnotes: Advice on Placement, Format & Writing Style
Footnotes and endnotes are generally placed where they are most relevant in the main text, which usually means immediately after the material to which they pertain, but, as a general rule, notes should not be attached to titles, headings or either the preliminary or final matter of a thesis. Some styles and guidelines will call for notes to appear only at the end of sentences or, in rare cases, only at the end of paragraphs, which means that all references and supplementary information relevant to a sentence or paragraph will need to be included in a single note. Note numbers usually follow full stops and commas, but precede colons and semicolons. The precise placement of note numbers in relation to punctuation is also style dependent, however, so do check any guidelines provided by your university to be sure you are positioning the note numbers in your thesis correctly.
How to Achieve Academic Success
The font used in footnotes and endnotes should be the same as the font used in the main thesis, though the automatic note function in word-processing programs such as Microsoft Word will often use a different font for notes, so do watch for this and adjust the font if necessary. However, the text within notes can be a little smaller than the text in the main document (a 10-point font might be used, for instance, when the main text uses a 12-point one) as long as the text in your notes remains clear and legible in relation to the size of the main text. This is a particular concern if complex and detailed information such as equations or passages of text using special characters are included in the notes, or if superscript numbers are used for numerical citations within the notes. With all aspects of formatting notes, once you have decided on an effective system for your thesis, it is essential that you adopt and use it consistently throughout the document.
Although some authors treat footnotes and endnotes as a place where informal, shorthand or point-form English is acceptable, this approach is best avoided in a thesis or any other scholarly document. Notes for supplementary material (whether that material includes references or not) should always be written in complete and correct formal sentences that are punctuated both effectively and consistently. Even when notes exist for no other reason than to provide references, they should observe a precise and consistent arrangement and punctuation style for those references. In future postings on the topic of footnotes and endnotes, I will discuss the specific contents of notes used for documentation and supplementary material.
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services for Students?
At Proof-Reading-Service.com we pride ourselves on our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. Our proofreaders and editors are highly educated native speakers of English and their areas of specialisation range so widely that we are able to help our clients improve and perfect all kinds of research manuscripts for successful publication. Many members of our team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, ensuring that formatting and references conform to author guidelines with precision and correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling and simple typing errors so that our customers are able to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions editors and earn publication.
Our editing services for authors of scientific papers and books are especially popular, but we have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books in every scholarly discipline as well as beyond them, and some of our carefully trained proofreaders and editors work exclusively on helping students improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation or publication, polishing a professional report to share with your colleagues, or tackling the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of academic or scientific document, a qualified member of our expert team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work. Our translation services for scientific and academic documents have also proven immensely helpful for many of our international clients.