How to Write an Endnote
When one writes an academic article, book, thesis, or another piece of text, he/she employs special terminology. It is not possible to write a PhD dissertation while using mundane language. Thus, the whole information that one presents in his/her writing should be clarified for the reader. The problem with this is that the author of a PhD dissertation, for instance, cannot dedicate all of his/her time and efforts to additional clarifications within the text. Furthermore, the reader will be distracted if there are explications of terms and definitions of theories on every single page of the writing. For that reason every academic author should know how to write an endnote.
Usually, either footnotes or endnotes are used. This depends on the requirements of the particular journal or publishing house, as well as the academic standard adhered to by the author. Endnotes are preferred by academic journals, for they save a lot of space. On the other hand, footnotes are widely used by PhD candidates writing their dissertations. There is a slight difference between both, so it is important to pay attention to the process of writing an endnote.
How to write an endnote – major tips
Why we write endnotes
Authors write endnotes for three cardinal reasons:
- To explicate a given term which is unknown to the wide audience.
- To add information which may prove to be useful to the readers who are experts in the same field (for example, if the reader would like to carry out the same research).
- To refer to additional sources.
As you can see from this paragraph, endnotes can be highly important for your text.
Length of endnotes
In contrast with footnotes, endnotes could be longer, because the formatting of the page allows so. At any rate, the length of your endnotes depends on the length of the paper (book, article, dissertation, etc. ). It is not very usual to write an article of twenty pages, and to add ten pages of endnotes to it.
We recommend writing an endnote of maximum fifteen lines. The number of endnotes should be according to the length of the paper: one page of endnotes corresponds to fifteen pages (or more) of the plain text. Thus, a book of two hundred pages will have a thirteen-page list of endnotes.
Contents of the endnotes
All three cardinal reasons for adding a list of endnotes to your paper are presented above. In all cases, endnotes should add useful information to your text. Endnotes must be related to the text of the particular paragraph. There you can clarify important conceptions or terminology; also to present biographical information, or to refer to the historical context of a given social process. Sometimes authors translate phrases from foreign languages (Latin, German, French), but usually this is a responsibility of the editor.
Revise the endnotes
When your academic paper is finished, you must revise it from the beginning to the end. You can add new endnotes when you consider it necessary. On the other hand, you may also delete or shorten some endnotes.
TIP: always read your text along with the endnotes. Do not read each endnote separately. Otherwise, you risk overlooking some inconsistency between the text and the endnote attached to it.
Format the endnotes
Format your endnotes according to the given academic standard you adhere to (APA, MLA, Chicago style, and others). Journals also have their own requirements for formatting.
The instructions given above will guide you through the process of writing an endnote. Keep in mind that every author has his/her own style concerning writing endnotes. Some people prefer writing just a few footnotes or endnotes, while other write more. You must find your own way to do this.
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