Using Sources In Your Work

Proof Right
Citations, footnotes and endnotes

The three types of sourcing this article will look at are citations, footnotes and endnotes. Citations are in-text references, whilst footnotes and endnotes are references given at the end of a page or piece of work, using a numbering system with footnote or endnote markers. Your writing should be finished with a full reference list at the end, done in whatever style you have been asked to use, such as the Harvard referencing system.

Using citations

Citations are a useful way of letting your reader know what information you have gathered from a specific source. For example, if you are talking about a specific person’s research within your paragraph, or comparing two sources, it is a good idea to include names and dates next to the information you have gathered from them so as not to confuse your reader or be appearing to plagiarize.

If you are following the Harvard referencing system, you will need to put the author’s name(s) followed by the date in a box. If there are multiple authors, you can use the first author’s name followed by the Latin ‘et al’ as a shortened version for your in-text referencing. However, in the final reference list, you will still have to include the full list of names of the authors. Here are some example of citations:

  • Naidoo and Wills (2000) discussed five approaches to promoting health.
  • Patient-centered care empowers patients to take care of their own health (Rogers et al, 2005)
Footnotes and endnotes

A common place to find footnotes is with online articles, whilst endnotes can be seen on websites such as Wikipedia. On Microsoft Word, there is an option to insert a footnote or endnote, where you can decide where you want the footnotes and endnotes to appear, as well as what you want to use as the markers (such as numbers, letters, Roman numerals, etc.). Below is an example of how a footnote or endnote marker could be used:

  • There are five approaches to promoting health¹ that are important to consider.

Correct use of citations, footnotes and endnotes is an important thing to learn, especially when completing academic writing work. There are many other specific guides that can be found online to inform you of correct and incorrect use of sources within your work if you need more help. If you are attending an academic institute, they will often provide their own guide. It is also important to find out whether or not the reader/marker wants you to use these in your work.

  1. Naidoo, J. and Wills, J. (2000). Health promotion: foundations for practice. 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Baillière Tindall.


Naidoo, J. and Wills, J. (2000). Health promotion: foundations for practice. 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Baillière Tindall.

Rogers, A., Kennedy, A., Nelson, E. and Robinson, A. (2005). Uncovering the limits of patient-centeredness: implementing a self-management trial for chronic illness. Qualitative Health Research, 15(2), 224-239. [Peer Reviewed Journal].