Footnote Citation Useful Guide

Footnote citations can turn into a nightmare of a student. But they can be a piece of job that should be done, without being too stressed about it. What is a footnote citation for you? Is it something problematic, the thing, over which you lose your sleep? Or is it something that just adds some work, but isn’t a huge issue to worry about?

What Is a Footnote Citation — Definition and Functions

So, what is a footnote citation? Why is it used and what are its targets, if any? First of all, we start with a footnote definition. So, a footnote citation is actually additional information provided at the very bottom of the page. And be sure, that its target is not to make your life unbearable.

Just imagine that you are writing an essay. Suddenly, you need to insert a citation, say, an expert opinion, based on which you have come to one or another idea. Would it be nice to interrupt the flow of your thoughts to insert a citation? That’s why, such kind of citations are given at the bottom of the page, as a footnote.

How to Do a Footnote Citation Properly

So, now, let us check how to make a footnote citation. There are some rules, but the main principles depend on the style, which is required in your case. There are several citation styles, and they differ from each other.

Chicago Footnote Citation Instructions

If you use Chicago citation style, you will need to make footnotes. Do you know what a Chicago footnote citation is and how to make it? Just follow this step-by-step guide:

  • Provide the name of the author, in reverse order.
  • Give the title of the book from which you have taken the citation.
  • Provide the information about the publication.
  • Then, the publication date follows.
  • Finally, the number of the pages, if you use the reference the first time.

Footnote Citation MLA Guidelines

A footnote citation MLA has its specific features, as well. MLA style is very popular for citing literary works and works in human sciences. So, if you are working on a paper describing and discussing a book, which is the most frequent case, then, this is your style. So, here is the guide:

  • Give the name of the author vs. authors.
  • Then, the title of the work follows.
  • After that, you give the publishing data.
  • And, finally, the page number, if needed.

Note: in a footnote, a citation can be used only as one sentence, so, a full stop you use only at the end of your footnote.

Footnote Citation APA Features

When you need to make a footnote citation APA, then, the requirements will be more complicated than for the other citation styles. In APA style two kinds of footnotes are used:

  • Content footnotes
  • Copyright footnotes

Content footnotes are used to give a short idea. If you don’t want to mention it in the text, you give it as a footnote. Copyright footnotes are used for longer, starting from 500 words, passages. In such case, you need to get the author`s permission to use the materials and to indicate, that you have received the permission.

There are no problems with the content footnotes. There, you just give the author`s name, the source title, and the publication date. All is like everywhere. However, when you need to make a copyright footnote for a journal article, you do the following:

  • You start the footnote with “From;”
  • Then, in quotation marks, you provide the source title (article);
  • Insert a comma;
  • Then, the author`s name follows;
  • After the author`s name, you indicate the journal;
  • The number of the volume;
  • Page number.

For a book, you have the following instruction:

  • “From;”
  • A title of the book;
  • The page number (in parenthesis);
  • The year of publication;
  • Publication data;
  • The mark that you have used the source with the permission of the author.

Turabian Footnote Citation — How to Apply?

When you start looking for some information about Turabian footnote citation, you will see, that it is much simpler than you have thought. Yes, and don’t be confused: Turabian citation style and Chicago citation style are actually the same.

Some Useful Tips

As you can see, making footnotes isn’t a very complicated task, if you have all the data that you need. However, it is a real challenge if you have to look for all those citations. So, while you are reading a book, a journal or whatever else, write down all the data that you need. If you believe that you might use some parts for citations, write them down. Then, the task becomes just the matter of technique.


Creating footnotes isn’t a complicated task. All you need to do is to follow the guideline and to make sure you haven’t missed anything. And that’s it. With these guidelines, you are safe and secure, and you will not be afraid of citations anymore.