I'm a newbie writer and I would like to properly make references in my book (I'm thinking of using Chicago style, but am not married to it). Currently, I'm leaning toward using the notes-and-bibliography system rather than the author-date system.

However, I'm unclear on something in the notes-and-bibliography system when it comes to avoiding plagiarism. Let's say I'm paraphrasing something somebody else wrote and then I just put an endnote. Then the reader won't know it's somebody else's idea unless they make the effort to check the corresponding endnote. Worse, if I also use endnotes for other purposes (such as additional details and explanatory content), the reader may feel encouraged to skip endnotes and will never know with whom the idea I'm paraphrasing originated.

For example, let's say I write:

...paraphrase of somebody else's idea here (without mentioning their name)... [1]

And then my endnote says:

[1] ...author and source information here according to style guide...

Then, unless I include the other person's name in my paraphrase (that is, in the main text), the reader may miss the fact that it's not my idea.

So, my question is: using the notes-and-bibliography system, do I have to mention the name of the other person in my paraphrase, or only in the endnote and in the bibliography?

I could just use the author-date system to be extra sure the reader knows with whom some of the ideas in my book originated, but I mention others' ideas frequently and it could become quite cumbersome if not repetitive mentioning the authors' names every time. That's why I'd rather use the notes-and-bibliography system without names in the main text - unless this could lead to plagiarism.

  • 1
    You can't just provide a note. When citing a work, even if paraphrasing, you have to actually provide a reference of some type in the main text, such as a name or book title. In the right context, you only need to mention it once. But that context needs to make it clear that you are paraphrasing somebody or something at various points. Without an explicit reference, or even something as vague as to paraphrase a famous figure which cues the reader to look up who that figure was from your note, the reader could assume the words were entirely your own. Apr 30, 2020 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


You don't need to include the name in the text if you include [1] which references to [1] at the bottom of the page that references all necessary components of the source (Source Name, Author, Date Published, Publisher, etc.) which you can cite using a website such as EasyBib or CitationMachine.

If you want to see examples of how to do this, look at wikipedia articles (link to random article), they cite thing surprisingly well.

  • I don't understand your first sentence. The part if you include [1] which references to [1] confuses me. Can you please restate it? May 1, 2020 at 2:21
  • Sure. So in your writing, when you need to cite, put a number in a box and superscript it (ctrl comma). Then at the bottom of the page, as a footnote, write that same number, and include the full citation. If you look at the wikipedia link I sent you, they do this really well.
    – Ankit
    May 1, 2020 at 2:45

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