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Footnotes and Endnotes

In the MHRA system, references to sources used in your work are set out in full in notes, either at the bottom of each page (footnotes) or at the end of the piece of work (endnotes). In a book-length piece, a new series of notes should begin with each chapter.

Every time the ideas, facts or opinions of another are used in a piece of work it must be acknowledged with a full reference. Whether a source is quoted directly or indirectly, paraphrased or summarised, it must be acknowledged with a footnote or endnote. To do otherwise is plagiarism.

Notes should include the minimum information necessary for a reader to find and consult your source. Other material should, as far as possible, be included in the text. Footnotes should never be used as a means of getting round word limits by including information or argument in them that should be in the main text. It should be possible to read the entire piece of work without having to refer to a footnote for anything other than references.

Notes should be numbered sequentially (1,2,3 etc). Do not use the same number more than once to refer the reader to an earlier note.

Numbers should follow punctuation, and preferably be placed at the end of a sentence. Numbers should, however, be placed before a dash. When citing quoted sources, the number should be placed at the end of the quotation and not after the author's name if that appears first in the text.

Notes should always end with a full stop.


It has long been argued that pork and leek sausages are better than pork and apple.1 However, Neville has recently produced conclusive evidence to the contrary.2

1 John Butcher, The Perfect Sausage: From Pigsty to Plate (Cumberland: Pork Press, 1990), pp. 78-90.

2 Harry Neville, Breakfast Bangers (London: Brown, 2005), pp. 56-98.

In his 'Sausages Are Not the Only Meat', Brown set out what has now become the standard definition of 'the perfect sausage'1 - though not without causing a degree of consternation among scholars.

1 James Brown, Sausages Are Not the Only Meat (Cumberland: Pork Press, 1995), pp. 60-78.



In which of these sentences are the note numbers correctly placed?

a) The 'perfect sausage' was first described by Brown1 in 1787.
b) In a recent piece of research, Neville has demonstrated that sausages are always best when cooked slowly in the Aga.2
c) Neville's description of the perfect sausage3 - one that is 'crunchy but not crispy' - has become the basis for subsequent scholarship.
d) It has been argued that it is impossible to reproduce Mrs Brown's special sausage recipe under modern hygeine conditions.4
e) Neville's research methods have been criticised by the British Medical Association, as they have led to twenty second-year students becoming seriously obese.5
f) A BMA report published in 2004 described Neville as 'dangerously obsessed'6 by sausages.
a) Well Done! The note number should be placed at the end of the sentence, and after the full stop.a) Oh dear! Always place the note number after punctuation, and not after the author's name.b) Well Done! This number is correctly placed.b) Oh Dear! This number is correctly placed!c) Yes! The number would be better placed after the quote, and -remember - before the dash!c) No! Put the number after the quote, and in this case, before the dash.d) Well Done! The number follows the full stop at the end of the sentence.d) Oh Dear! This number is correctly placed.e) Yes. e) The note number is correctly placed.f) Well Done! The number would be better placed at the end of the sentence.f) No! The number would be better placed at the end of the sentence.
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