Footnote Abbreviations

Footnotes are often used to explain text or to give a bibliographical source for a piece of text. If you are writing a research paper, you might want to know some footnote abbreviations. Following are lists of abbreviations and their respective explanations. This is useful not only when you are writing a paper yourself, but also as you read articles, books and other research material.

Footnote Abbreviations Footnote Abbreviations
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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 bibliographiesand references pages too, in addition to the footnotes you may find on the content pages directly.

Here is a list of the most common footnote abbreviations:

  • anon. - anonymous
  • ante. - before
  • ca. or c. (circa) - around a given date, as in c. 1999 (around 1999)
  • cf. - short for the Latin "confer" or "conferatur," meaning to compare, particularly one piece of material to another for reference and context
  • ch. or chs. - chapter or chapters
  • ed. or eds. - edition, edited by, or editors, depending on context
  • et al. - and others, used when multiple authors as associated with a particular work
  • et seq. - and the following
  • Ibid. or ibidem - "in the same place," when referencing a work that had already been quoted and cited
  • j. or ff. - following page or pages
  • l. or ll. - line or lines
  • loc. cit. or loco citato - in the place cited, to indicate the repetition of a title and page number of a work already cited
  • ms, mss - manuscript or manuscripts
  • n.d. - no date
  • n.p. - no place of publication
  • op. cit. or opere citato - in the work cited, similar to ibid in referencing a previously cited work
  • p. or pp. - page or pages
  • passim - all over, here and there, referencing something that is found at several places in a cited text
  • q.v. or quod vide - go to another place, directing the reader to go see somewhere else
  • rev. - revised
  • trans. or tr. - translated
  • v. inf. or vide infra - see below
  • v. sup or vide supra - see above
  • vol. or vols. - volume or volumes

Style Guides and Formatting

The format used for the footnote abbreviation depends on the style selected for the document. APA, the style provided by the American Psychological Association, is a commonly-used style for social science research papers; however, the preferred format may be different based on the instutution or company.

You may find that your teacher and class call for MLA format instead, or if you're partaking in a journalistic endeavor, the AP style by the Associated Press or the Chicago Manual of Style may prevail instead.

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

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