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[LaTeX] Footnotes, References & Citations

category: Writing | course: LaTeX | difficulty:

If you’re writing any sort of scientific article or documented piece, you’re going to need footnotes, references, and citations. Luckily, LaTeX was mainly created for these purposes, which means it has very good support for them.


Footnotes are small superscript letters within the text, that refer to a small phrase at the bottom of the page (the note in the footer). They are used for comments, links or references to the material you used. To create one, use \footnote{text}. Footnotes are also counters, which means they are automatically numbered correctly.

From the XYZ website\footnote{http://xyz.com} I gathered the following results...

Don’t use too many footnotes. If a paragraph is not important enough to be placed in your body text, wonder if it should be in the document at all.


In reports and articles, references are often made to tables, figures, or other special segments. Again, LaTeX has you covered.

To label a certain segment, simply call \label{marker} somewhere in it, preferably near the top. You can make up your own marker names.

Then, if you want to place a reference to it somewhere else in the document, use the \ref{marker} command. If you want to display the page number that a certain marker is on, use \pageref{marker}.

Lorem ipsum...
\section{Problem Statement}
As seen in section \ref{sec:someMarker} on page \pageref{sec:someMarker}, ...

It’s customary to start your marker with an abbreviation of what it is you’re referring to. For example, sec:something refers to a section.


If you’re using, or citing, information from another source, your document will require a bibliography at the end – a list of all the sources you’ve used.

A bibliography is created using the following thebibliography environment:

\begin{thebibliography}{maxNum} items \end{thebibliography}

The maxNum argument defines how large the bibliography will be, which is used by LaTeX to know how much space to reserve for in-document citations.

An item is added with \bibitem[label]{marker}, followed by the actual source. The optional label argument can be used if you don’t want the standard numbers to be used. Again, the marker you are allowed to make up yourself.

Within the document, use \cite{marker} to refer to the bibliography item.

This beautiful paragraph I read in the beautiful \textit{Book 2} (\cite{marker2}). Isn't it wonderful?
	\bibitem{marker1} \textit{Book 1}, by Alessandro di Casa
    \bibitem[SpecialText]{marker2} \textit{Book 2}, by Juan di Casa
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