Guide to Footnotes and Bibliographies

Read this material carefully. If you do not understand it then look at the way footnotes and bibliographies are used in your course reading. If you still have trouble understanding what is required then ask me for further explanation.

Footnotes or Endnotes

In an essay you need to give the source of your information. Use quote marks, e.g. ", if you are quoting directly. Even if you have paraphrased a work you must cite (provide a reference) it. You must give the specific page number or numbers from where you took the information. This is generally done through footnotes (at the bottom of the page), or endnotes (at the end of the paper). Use one or the other, but not both. There are other ways of providing this sort of information, but I prefer this style. If you use a word processor you will notice it has a footnote facility; use it.

Here is an example of a passage with footnotes:

Media scholar Robert McChesney argues that there has been an increased concentration of media ownership in the hands of a few corporations in the last ten years. Other scholars have shown that the growth of mass media in the twentieth century went hand-in-hand with the concentration of ownership in fewer hands. In fact media forms such as comic strips helped ensure a centralisation of ownership. 1.
Footnotes

1. Robert W. McChesney, "The New Global Media," The Nation (November 29, 1999), Web version, (http://thenation.com/issue/991129/1129mcchesney.shtml); Ian Gordon, Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890-1945 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998), Chapter Two.

Examples of footnote entry styles:

For a book:
Martin Plissner, The Control Room: How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections (New York: Free Press, 1999), p. 10.

For a journal article:
Michael Winston, "Racial Consciousness and the Evolution of Mass Communications in the United States," Daedalus 111 (Fall 1982): 171.

For an article in a book:
William C. Adams, "Media Power in Presidential Elections," in Doris A. Grader, editor, Media Power in Politics (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1984), pp. 181-182.

For an article that you downloaded from the internet:
Robert W. McChesney, "The New Global Media," The Nation (November 29, 1999), Web version, (http://thenation.com/issue/991129/1129mcchesney.shtml). Accessed August 12, 2012.

Note the styles I have used here and follow them.

Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of books, articles, and other sources used for an essay. It contains similar information to footnotes, but in a slightly different form. Most importantly bibliographies are organized alphabetically by author's surnames (family names). So the above entries would appear as follows:

Adams, William C., "Media Power in Presidential Elections," in Doris A. Grader, editor, Media Power in Politics (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1984): 175-185.
McChesney, Robert W., "The New Global Media," The Nation (November 29, 1999), Web version, (http://thenation.com/issue/991129/1129mcchesney.shtml).
Plissner, Martin, The Control Room: How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections (New York: Free Press, 1999).
Winston, Michael, "Racial Consciousness and the Evolution of Mass Communications in the United States," Daedalus 111 (Fall 1982): 171-182.

Note that page numbers given for articles in journals and books, but not for whole books.

If you need to cite a film, television show, or music follow this method:

ApocalypseNow.Dir. Francis Coppla.Paramount.1979.

Beatles, Abbey Road. Apple, 1969.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. "Strange Visitor (From Another Planet)"(September 26, 1993).

Check this sample essay to view an example of using footnotes and a bibliography.Check this sample bibliography

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Last update August 12, 2012 National University of Singapore - Department of History