Guidelines for Footnotes and Bibliography

Footnotes and Bibliography (25.45 KB)PDF

The Use of Footnotes

Footnotes are the acceptable method of acknowledging material which is not your own when you use it in an essay.  Basically, footnoted material is of three types: 

  1. Direct quotations from another author's work.  (These must be placed in quotation marks).
  2. Citing authority for statements which are not quoted directly.
  3. Material of an explanatory nature which does not fit into the flow of the body of the text.

In the text of an essay, material to be footnoted should be marked with a raised number immediately following the words or ideas that are being cited.


"The only aspect of Frontenac's conduct the king...did not condemn was his care for military security," Eccles stated, condemning Frontenac's administration.2

The footnotes may be numbered in sequence on each page or throughout the entire essay.

I.    Form and Content of Footnotes:

A.   From a book:

      1W. J. Eccles, Frontenac The Courtier Governor (Toronto:  McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1959), 14.

[The information given in a footnote includes the author, the title, the place of publication, the publisher, the date of publication and the page or pages on which the quotation or information is found.]

B.   From an article in a journal: 

      1Peter Blickle, "Peasant Revolts in the German Empire in the Late Middle Ages," Social History, Vol. IV, No. 2 (May, 1979), 233.

C.   From a book containing quotations from other sources:

      1Eugene A. Forsey, "Was the Governor General's Refusal Constitutional?", cited in Paul Fox, Politics:  Canada (Toronto:  McGraw-Hill Company of Canada Ltd., 1966), 186.

D.   From a standard reference work: 

      1Norman Ward, “Saskatchewan,” in The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., Vol. 3, 1935.

      2J. K. Johnson and P. B. Waite, “Macdonald, Sir John Alexander,” in The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 12, 599

E.   From the Internet: 

In citing material read on the Internet, it is not sufficient to indicate the website alone.  You must provide information about author, title, and date of the document you are using, as follows:

      1T. J. Pritzker, (1993).  "An Early Fragment from Central Nepal" [Online].  Available: [1995, June].

The final date [1995, June] is the date the website was consulted.

For more information about how to cite electronic information see Xia Li and Nancy Crane, The Handbook for Citing Electronic Resources or

II.     Rules to Remember in Writing Footnotes:

  1. Titles of books, journals or magazines should be underlined or italicized.
  2. Titles of articles or chapters—items which are only a part of a book--are put in quotation marks.

III.   Abbreviating in Footnotes:

The first time any book or article is mentioned in a footnote, all the information requested above must be provided.  After that, however, there are shortcuts which should be used:

(a)  Several quotations in sequence from the same book:

The abbreviation to be used is "Ibid.," a Latin word meaning "in the same place."  (Notice that Ibid. is not underlined).  Ibid. can be used by itself, if you are referring to the same page as the previous footnote does, or it can be combined with a page number or numbers.


      1Gerald Friesen, The Canadian Prairies:  A History (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1984), 78.


      3Ibid., 351.

(b)    Reference to a source that already has been cited in full form but not in the reference immediately preceding, is made by using the author's last name (but not the first name or initials unless another author of the same surname has been cited), the title--in shortened form, if desired--and the page number.


      1William Kilbourn, The Firebrand (Toronto:  Clark, Irwin and Company Limited, 1956), 35.

      2John L. Tobias, "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree, 1879-1885," in Sweet Promises:  A Reader on Indian-White Relations in Canada, ed. J. R. Miller (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1991), 224.

      3Kilbourn, The Firebrand, 87.

      4Tobias, "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree," 226.


The bibliography should be on a separate page.  It should list the relevant sources used in the research for the paper.  This list should be arranged alphabetically by the surname of the author.  (Unlike the footnote reference, the surname is shown first, set off from the rest of the information.)  The information required is:  author, title, place of publication, publisher and date of publication.

NOTE:    The information is separated for the most part by periods (rather than by commas, as in the footnotes) and the parentheses enclosing the facts of publication are dropped.


Eccles, W. J.  Frontenac The Courtier Governor.  Toronto:  McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1959.

Johnson, J. K. and P. B. Waite.  “Macdonald, Sir John Alexander.”  In The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 12,     

Koenigsberger, H. G. and George L. Mosse.  Europe in the Sixteenth Century.  London:  Longmans, 1971.

Laslett, Peter.  "The Gentry of Kent in 1640," Cambridge Historical Journal, Vol. IX, No. 2 (Spring 1948):  18-35.

Pritzker, T. J.  (1993).  "An Early Fragment from Central Nepal," [Online].  http://www.ingress. com/~astanart/pritzker
      /pritzker.html.  [1995 June].

Tobias, John L.  "Canada's Subjugation of the Plains Cree, 1879-1885."  In Sweet Promises:  A Reader on Indian-White
      Relations in Canada
, ed. J. R. Miller.  Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1991:  212-240.

Ward, N.  “Saskatchewan.”  In The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., Vol. 3, 1931-1938.