What are footnotes and endnotes? How do I start off a title page?

Footnotes and endnotes are basically the same thing — each provides necessary information about where you found the material, such as quotations, for your research paper. The only difference is where you put them in your research paper. If, for example, you use a quote from a book, you would put a footnote at the bottom (the foot) of the page that the quote appears on, citing the source of the quote. If you're using endnotes instead of footnotes, the endnote would go in a list at the end of the paper with all the other endnotes.

Be careful not to confuse endnotes with a bibliography. A bibliography is simply a list of all the sources you used for the paper, whereas an endnote refers to a specific passage in the paper and cites the source for that passage.

Usually, you wouldn't use both footnotes and endnotes in a paper; your teacher may provide you with instructions on which type of notes to use, as well as the preferred format. Your teacher may also have you use a style guide, such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook, which will tell you how to format all the elements of your paper. Be sure to follow the formatting guidelines to the letter; teachers have been known to deduct points for formatting errors.

For your paper's title page, include the title of the paper, your name, the date, and maybe the class for which you're writing the paper. The format is usually centered and in the middle of the page:

This Is My Awesome English Paper

By Miranda Middleton

August 1, 2010

English 101

Again, your teacher may have a format for you to follow or may want you to use a style guide. Follow those instructions exactly, and you won't lose points on simple formatting problems.