A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Content Notes and Bibliographic Notes
in MLA Style, 7th ed.

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1. How to Format a Research Paper in MLA Style, 7th ed
2. How to Format a Research Paper in MLA Style, 6th ed
3. Quoting Passages Using MLA Style, 7th ed.
4. Quoting Passages Using MLA Style, 6th ed.
5. Content Notes and Bibliographic Notes in MLA Style, 7th ed
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This page replaces How to Write Footnotes and Endnotes in MLA Style based on MLA Handbook, 6th ed.

For more information on Using Notes, please see MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition (ch. 6.5).

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition

This page deals briefly on adding Content Notes and Bibliographic Notes, which are the only two types of notes used with parenthetical documentation according to the MLA Handbook 7th ed. (ch. 6.5). The old style of writing first Footnotes and Endnotes for citations in text has been rendered obsolete with the publication of the MLA Handbook 7th ed. You can also forget about using ibid. and op. cit. in citing sources. If you happen to come across older publications using ibid. or op. cit. and you want to know what it means, click here.

Do not confuse Content Notes with Bibliographic Notes. Content Notes are parenthetical citation notes used to add comments, explanations, or additional information relating to specific passages in the text (but would make the text too long or cumbersome to read), while Bibliographic Notes are parenthetical citation notes that contain several sources or evaluative comments on sources. These Notes may be added as a footnote (with a matching superscripted numeral) at the bottom of the same page where the citation occurs, or as an endnote at the end of your paper with the matching superscripted numeral. For such added footnotes or endnotes, you must add a title such as "Note" if only one Note is listed, or "Notes" if two or more notes are listed either at the foot of the page where the reference note is added (footnote), or on a separate page (endnote) at the end of your essay placed just prior to your Works Cited page.

For high school students, it may be wise not to tackle Content Notes and Bibliographic Notes unless absolutely necessary and you fully understand how to use these notes. Normally, it is sufficient to simply use Parenthetical documentation to cite author (use title if no author available) and page number in parentheses in your text. In any case, you must include all sources that you have cited on your Works Cited page placed at the end of your research paper.

Example of Content Notes:

See MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition (ch. 6.5.1).

Example of Bibliographic Notes:

See MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition (ch. 6.5.2).

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