This page explains how to create the Footnotes section for Wikipedia articles. In this context, the word "Footnotes" refers to the Wikipedia-specific manner of documenting an article's sources and providing tangential information, and should not be confused with the general concept of footnotes. This how-to does not cover the formatting of citations within the Footnotes section, which is reviewed in Citing sources.

Footnotes are used most commonly to provide:

Footnotes or shortened footnotes may be used at the editor's discretion in accordance with the guideline on Variation in citation methods.

Only certain types of material on the English Wikipedia are required to have an inline citation. There is no requirement to provide a citation for every sentence, because multiple sentences may be supported by the same footnote. For advice on which material should be cited, see the guidelines on When you must use inline citations, the Good article criteria and When to cite. For advice on how to organize and format bibliographic citations, see the guideline on Citing sources and examples of Citation templates.

Footnotes are created using the Cite software extension. This extension adds the HTML-like elements <ref>...</ref>, <references /> and <references>...</references>. The elements are also used in a number of templates; for example, it is becoming more common to use {{reflist}} rather than <references /> as it can style the reference list.

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