Answer: Footnote Regarding an Expert Author’s Paragraph

F.A.Q. #15

Hello Robert,

I am a nascent writer and am working on my footnotes.  In my paper, I have illustrated several viewpoints of experts to make the point that there is no consensus on how and when iron technology began in Africa.  There is so much information to be explained that the viewpoints cannot be explained in a couple of sentences; I need to elaborate for a paragraph or two.

My question is…

I understand that a footnote is to be placed at the end of a sentence by which that idea came from another source.  But, where do I place the footnote if the idea of the whole paragraph comes from the expert author and how will the reader know the footnote refers to the whole paragraph and not just one sentence?

Thank you very much for your response and direction!

Joni G.

Kansas City, Missouri



If a whole paragraph reflects – as you stated in your email – one of your sources’ explanation (i.e.: an expert) and if this paragraph that you wrote fills more than five (5) continuous lines of text, then you would have to include the equivalent of 20-25 white space on each side of the paragraph (in order to have it centered). The paragraph would not have to be italicized but would still require the inclusion of a footnote number at the end of the last sentence (but before the period).  

Here’s an example:

If you need extra information regarding the horizontal alignment of text on a page, I invite you to visit one of Microsoft’s Office Online websites at this Internet address:


Citing a Book Written by Numerous Authors

Citing the Back Cover of a Book

Endnotes’ Procedure and Number of References

Footnote for a Foreword

Footnote Regarding an Expert Author’s Paragraph

Footnotes and Copyright Protected Documents

Footnotes and Direct References

Footnotes and Official Letters

Footnotes and Punctuation Marks

Footnoting a Citation from a Translated Book

Numbering and Continuation of Footnotes

Positioning of the Number

Proper Reference for the Transcription of a Conference

Proper Use of the Ibid. Terminology

Quoting a Book’s Section Written by a Single Author

Quoting from a Dictionary

Quoting from a Website

Reference for a Scholar’s Lecture

Reference for an Essay Published in a Book with Many Authors

Referencing Photos and Pictures

Two Footnotes in a Single Sentence

Using a Source More Than Once

Author : Robert Radford, M.A. © MMXIX.