Footnote Abbreviations: What Do They Mean?

If you’re writing a research paper for class or putting together a dissertation, you’ll probably have to include footnotes, which provide citations and further information for readers. Footnote abbreviations are a common way of keeping footnotes concise without sacrificing information, but the plethora of abbreviations can confuse even the most seasoned researcher.

Footnote Abbreviations Examples Footnote Abbreviations Examples
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Common Footnote Abbreviations

Many footnote abbreviations have a Latin origin and are still used widely today. You will find these abbreviations in bibliographies and references pages, too.

  • anon. - anonymous
  • ante. - before
  • app. - appendix
  • art. - article
  • ca. or c. (circa) - around a given date
  • cf. (confer) - to compare, for comparison
  • chap. or ch. or chs. - chapter or chapters
  • ed. - editor, edited by, edition
  • eds. - editors
  • et al. - and others
  • et seq. - and what follows
  • fn. - footnote
  • ibid. (ibidem) - in the same place
  • id. (idem) - the same person
  • iss. - issue of magazine or journal
  • j. or ff. - following page or pages
  • l. or ll. - line or lines
  • loc. cit. (loco citato) - in the place cited
  • ms, mss - manuscript or manuscripts
  • n.d. - no date of publication
  • n.p. - no place of publication
  • op. cit. (opere citato) - in the work already cited
  • p. or pp. - page or pages
  • para. - paragraph
  • passim - scattered or spread throughout
  • pseud. - pseudonym
  • pt. - part
  • q.v. or quod vide - cross reference
  • reg. - registered
  • rev. - revised
  • rpt. - reprint, reprinted by
  • sc. - scene
  • sec. - section
  • s.v. (sub verso) - under the word
  • trans. or tr. - translated or translator(s)
  • v. inf. (vide infra) - see below
  • v. sup (vide supra) - see above
  • vol. or vols. - volume or volumes

Style Guides and Formatting

The format of footnotes depends on the style manual selected for the document. APA, the style provided by the American Psychological Association, is common for social science research papers. Historical papers more commonly use the Chicago Manual of Style, while journalists use AP Style from the Associated Press.

If you’re writing a paper for class, you’ll probably use the MLA Style Manual. Footnotes in MLA styled are formatted:

1Author name, “Title in Quotes” (City, Publisher, Year) Page number.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Before putting together your works cited and adding footnotes to your research paper, confirm with your teacher or professor about the preferred format.