The APA style recommends the use of either footnotes or endnotes.

The term 'endnotes' means notes are placed in a separate page in the back matter.

The term 'footnotes' means notes are placed at the bottom of relevant pages.

However, I have seen official sample APA papers with a page in the back matter entitled 'Footnotes.'

Why does the APA style call it 'the footnotes page' even though the notes are not placed at the bottom of pages?

  • 1
    This seems to be a question about a slightly strange-sounding choice made by the American Psychological Association and not about Academia. Jul 7, 2014 at 6:14
  • 3
    The American Psychological Association is part and parcel of Academia. Jul 7, 2014 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


The APA publication manual describes the way you should submit your manuscript, not the way the paper will ultimately be typeset. For APA journals, footnotes are grouped at the end in the manuscript but they appear at the bottom of the relevant page (actually at the bottom of the right column) in the final published version. Similarly, you would traditionally put tables and figures at the end of your manuscript, one-by-one on separate pages but once published in a journal, figures and tables will be embedded in the article.

If you are working on a student paper, you should first and foremost follow the instructions from your instructor but there is no reason to put footnotes at the end of the document. The APA publication manual provides useful guidance regarding language or statistical reporting but it's not a typography textbook. In fact, some publishers ask authors to follow (some) APA guidelines for the submission even if the final publication will have a different layout than APA journals.

  • This doesn't answer the question: why is the page with the endnotes on it called the "footnotes page"? Jul 7, 2014 at 18:47
  • 2
    @DavidRicherby I think it does. It's called footnotes page because it contains footnotes, obviously. The confusion comes from the fact that, in the manuscript, they are not typeset as such just yet. That's what I tried to explain in the first paragraph.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 7, 2014 at 19:12

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