Difference Between Citation and Footnote


Main Difference

The main difference between citation and footnote is that citation is a reference to a book, paper, or writer in text, whereas footnotes are given at the bottom of the page.

Citation vs. Footnote

The citation mentions a quotation or points to a book, paper, or writer, particularly in abstract exertion. A footnote is a group of information given at the last of a page. Citation particularly happens in the text, while Footnote never happens at the end of the text.

A citation can also come at the last of a sentence. Footnote cannot refer to any book or quotation. A citation usually came after a sentence, but footnote is the special location that you can discover the cited data.


Footnote is short information, having a writer’s last name and the page number at the lowest of the page. Your thesis citation questions for description and help.

Comparison Chart

A citation shows the origin or source of your data.Footnotes are the extra information and explanations of the author.
A citation can come in several formats.Footnote is not allowed in APA format.
People are accountable for the given data.It has bibliographic data.
Simple wordingComplex wording.
13th century1607

What is a Citation?

It tells the readers that from where the writer gets thoughts and data. The citation has the starting name of the writer and the year of publication. Multiple research is applied in the citation. Citation is transitory information about the source that is searched directly, after the borrowed text or paraphrase.


In the citation, sentences attached to a page has a comprehensive description of it. A citation has a special style that shows the source of your data by crediting the person. Citation is a recognized declaration of the successes of a person getting hypothetical respect.

A citation is a certified text of speech consist of the admiration of a person for something brave. It praises the person for something doing good. A citation from a text or other piece of writing is a path or phrase from it. A citation looks similar to the summons.


  • The NATB issued a citation to search Ishaq Daar.
  • Police was delivered a theft citation for robbery.
  • The novel starts with a citation from ‘twelfth at night.’
  • His citation indicated, he presented unbelievable courage.
  • Research on the economy seems to appear as an autonomous discipline in the period of loving nationalism in Europe.

What is Footnote?

Footnote can also come in the form of a research project. Footnotes appear differently than parenthetical. It comes in Chicago style and other arrangements. Footnote is a straight line of text or paraphrase in your conducted research.

Footnote is when a writer wants to direct the reader to a source that has a complete explanation, pointed out in the research paper. Footnote never credits another foundation of data. It explains and gives extra opinions or detail about something. Footnote is not necessary but is thought-provoking and guides us to understand something.

When you point out what you are saying as a footnote, it means that you are mentioning an additional explanation of what has been just stated. Contrary to what his father deserved from him,…he said goodbye to his studies.¹ There are little superscript number 1, next to the quote. The reader will search the number 1, and next to it, they’ll see the footnote.


  • The teachers rejected my project for the lack of footnote.
  • I added a short footnote to what my mom said to me.

Key difference

  1. A citation can come in varied structures, whereas Footnote happens in a specific format.
  2. The citations are the numbers of given next to the hired data to directly help readers; on the other hand, a footnote has no numbers.
  3. In the citation, you have to mention the source of information; conversely, in a footnote, it is not mandatory.
  4. Citation is independent of main data in a text, on the flip side footnote is dependent in a text.
  5. Citation is as important as the main text, while footnote has minimum importance than the main text.


Citation and footnote both are different and opposite kinds used in research projects. Their main focus is to guide the readers to describe the origins mentioned in your research project.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson