Answer: Footnotes and Punctuation Marks


F.A.Q. #7

Dear Sir,

I am attempting to ascertain the concrete rule for the placement of footnotes within certain punctuation marks.

In searching the Internet, I turned up the following in your FAQs on footnotes:

______________

Cf. Question #1:

 . . . I understand how to write the footnote page but in my paper where do I write the number.  For example: “Predictions about which students will do better academically or socially in which setting are highly fallible (6)“.  Does the (6) go after period or before?  Thank you for your help.“.

______________

Can you please provide me the source for your answer?  We have quite a debate going about this issue in our law office, and we’d like to be able to settle it once and for all.

Thank your for your attention to this request.

Sincerely,

D. Brown


Answer

Before defending my point of view, it is of the upmost importance to say that in the world of reference notes, many different methods exist and several “Écoles de pensée” (Schools of thought) have their own little system for including and representing their references to their papers.  Some thinkers are also against the use of any form of footnotes or endnotes and include their sources directly in the text.

Now, even if I don’t agree with every school of thought, I respect them all.  This being said, it doesn’t change the fact that you want your source to be included properly to your paper, you want it to respect a certain methodology and you want your readers to understand easily and clearly where you got your information without invading your text.  To that regard, my method includes the possibility to use the MLA or APA styles.

Many institutions ask their researchers, newspaper agents, scientists, employees, etc., to put the reference numbers before the period and never after the end of the sentence.

Here are two examples:

1) Perspective Afrique (a scientific review, in French): cf. https://www.perspaf.org/index.php/Guide_redactionnel/24/0/ 

« Appel de note : pas d’espace entre le numéro de l’appel et l’élément visé par la note ; si le numéro de l’appel vient à la fin d’une phrase, il est placé avant le point ».

Translation: Note numbering: no space between the number and the textual source; if the number comes at the end of a sentence, it must be included before the period.


2) Université Laval (Canada): cf.
https://www.com.ulaval.ca/publications_liens/etudes_com_publique/normes.php

« Appel de note : pas d’espace entre le numéro de l’appel et l’élément visé par la note ; si le numéro de l’appel vient à la fin d’une phrase, il est placé avant le point ».

Translation: Note numbering: no space between the number and the textual source; if the number comes at the end of a sentence, it must be included before the period.



Regarding your Office debate, I wouldn’t go on a crusade with this.  Hence, you won’t be able to settle it once and for all based uniquely on scientific methodology.  You’ll have to decide, probably by voting on it (democracy!), which format your office will use in the future.




 


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.