how to use endnotes blog post image

When you’re writing a nonfiction book, research paper, or article, chances are you’ve consulted at least one source to help you with your research.

If so, you’ll need to cite that source to give credit to its author or creator in order to avoid plagiarism. To do so, you have several options, one of which is an endnote.

What Are Endnotes?

Endnotes are references or explanations that are placed at the end of a text, such as an article, research paper, or book.

They’re very similar to footnotes, but instead of appearing at the bottom of the page, they appear at the very end of the full text, usually in a page entitled “Notes.”

Like footnotes, endnotes are indicated by a superscript number, which corresponds to their placement on the Notes page.

Endnotes vs. Footnotes

Your professor or publisher may have a preference for either footnotes or endnotes. However, if you have a choice, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Endnotes are best for providing citations and information about sources. They will be placed at the end, so they won’t clutter your page. If your reader really wants to check your source, they can easily find it and the end of your text.
  • If you’re providing supplementary information or explanations that will help your reader better understand the subject, footnotes might be your best bet. Readers can easily glance down to the bottom of the page to read the explanation, without having to flip back and forth, which can be very distracting and tiresome.

Whichever method you choose, just make sure that you’re consistent and stick with that format for the entirety of your text.

How to Insert Endnotes in Word

If you’re working with Microsoft Word, inserting endnotes is quite easy, Just follow these steps:

1. Place your cursor where you would like the superscript to appear.

2. Under the References tab, click Insert Endnote. This will make the superscript appear in the text, where you placed your cursor.

how to insert endnotes in word image

3. The corresponding number will automatically appear at the end of your text, where you can write your citation.

formatting endnotes image

What Is an Example of an Endnote?

Endnotes can be used to cite all kinds of sources, including books, magazines, journals—even websites and blog posts!

Here’s an example of how to cite this post in a footnote, using the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style:

1. Kaelyn Barron, “How to Use Endnotes: Tips, Examples, and How to Add Them in Word,” TCK Publishing, last modified September 2, 2020,

As this is a web page, it follows this format:

1. Author first and last name, “Title of Page,” Website name, Publishing organization, publication or last modified date, URL.

Citing Sources with Endnotes

If you’re using your endnotes to cite sources, you’ll need to include some specific information about those sources.

The first time a source is referenced in an endnote, you should provide the full publishing information (like the example in the section above).

However, if the same source is referenced subsequently, you should used a shortened version that includes the author’s last name, a shortened title, and page number (if applicable).


1. Foster, How to Read Literature, 52.

Keep in mind that in most cases, you’ll still need to include a complete bibliography after your endnotes page, with a full citation for every source you used to write your paper.

Why Citations Matter

Regardless of whether you choose to use footnotes, endnotes, or in-text (parenthetical) citations, the important thing is that you give credit where it’s due.

Failure to do could lead to allegations of plagiarism, which you definitely don’t want. For more on proper source attributions, check out our guide on how to cite sources.

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!


If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like: