If I'm writing a paragraph that discusses a topic and the entire paragraph is based on the same source (assume the same page too). Do I need to footnote every sentence or would the first sentence be sufficient?

  • 2
    Refer to your style guide. What dioes it say?
    – user5645
    May 28, 2015 at 15:01
  • 1
    which style guide are you using?
    – hildred
    May 28, 2015 at 19:26
  • Bluebook (legal), but loosely. We're aiming more for readability and common sense rather than blind obedience. May 29, 2015 at 18:45
  • And what does the Bluebook say about citations? I'm sure they explain how to reference multiple citations from the same source. For APA and MLA, you can refer to my answer to this related question: writers.stackexchange.com/questions/19632/…
    – user5645
    Jul 14, 2016 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


It is usually considered OK to cite the source once for a paragraph or page, and mentioning it in the footnote rather than bombarding the reader with note after note of the same source. As you said, you are aiming for readability and common sense, so once per paragraph or page would be ok, as long as you mention it in the footnote


You don't cites the source for a paragraph. You cite the source for an assertion. Each assertion should be cited, regardless of whether it occurs in the same paragraph as another assertion, and regardless of whether it comes from the same source as a previous assertion.

This is not really a matter of style. It is a matter of the nature of citations. A citation says, "what I am saying is true cuz it says it here too". You cite when you make an assertion that requires this backup.

What is a matter of style is what type of assertions you have to back up with citations.

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