GrammarPhile Blog

Footnotes, Asterisks and Ends of Sentences

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jan 24, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Most readers know that superscript figures (usually numbers or asterisks) in text tell the reader to refer to a footnote or an endnote for a comment or a source reference. So informative writers of white papers and such will want to use superscript characters here and there to build up their credibility.

As always, proper punctuation is critical to that effort. But if a superscript figure is at the end of the sentence, where exactly does it go? Inside or outside the closing punctuation? And is there any space before the superscript figure?

Answer: Do not leave any space between the superscript figure and the preceding word. If a punctuation mark follows the word, place the superscript figure immediately after the punctuation mark.

  • A survey published last month by a leading pollster1 indicates that readers immediately stop reading brochures when they come upon a typographical or spelling mistake.
  • The alternative to using ProofreadNOW is to hire more costly office help or take a course entitled "How to Proofread for Excellent Results."2
  • In a recent study, it was found that agencies doing their own copyediting were seven times as likely to leave errors in their printed documents, compared with agencies using ProofreadNOW.3

Source: The Gregg Reference Manual

Topics: superscript, footnotes, punctuation

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