A bibliography is still required. With the exception of the Oxford reference system, using footnotes does not eliminate the requirement for a bibliography at the conclusion of your essay, despite the fact that copious footnotes might make them appear redundant. In fact, even in an Oxford reference list each entry must have a source cited.
Footnotes are used to provide supplementary information about sources. They can be used in place of a formal bibliography but they also can be added to it. Footnotes should never replace the need for scholarly research or writing skills. They are meant to supplement them.
In your essay, you may refer back to sources mentioned in your footnote section without having to include them again in your main body of text. These references will remain accessible to readers who want to learn more about these topics.
References are important tools for historians because they allow us to examine other sources of information outside of the original documents. By studying other works in the history profession, we are able to draw conclusions about what evidence was important to those who wrote before us and how they interpreted this evidence. References also help readers understand the context in which historical events occurred by bringing attention to relevant books, articles, and websites.
In your essay, you should always identify sources in your notes or bibliography and include appropriate citations in your work.
If you do not provide a bibliography, offer a complete citation for the first footnote from each text and shortened footnotes for subsequent citations. A full footnote has the same information as the citation in the bibliography, with minor formatting modifications including the page number of a specific quotation. A short footnote contains only the author's surname and the date - it is used when the citation itself is adequate evidence that further explanation is not required.
Shortened footnotes are preferable to blank pages or omitted lines because they prevent gaps in the text.
They are also useful if you want to include reference materials such as books or articles in your own list of references. For example, if one of your colleagues has published an article on the same topic as your own work, but uses data that postdate yours, then including her name and date in your short footnote will allow you to refer readers to this later work.
Finally, shortened footnotes are helpful if you have limited space for notes. Including only a surname and date makes a clear message that these are not official sources and should be treated with caution.
Footnotes should be used to convey more information about the text to the reader. A bibliography will give the reader with complete facts about the work, including when and where the source was published. A footnote may merely provide the source's title. However, as most bibliographies are also referred to as catalogues, this is not always clear cut.
In general, footnotes are used:
When the main text of the book does not contain all the information the reader needs about a particular topic. For example, in an academic paper, it is common to see notes at the end of each section or chapter explaining what topic has been covered but that could not be covered in its entirety in that section or chapter. These notes are called footnotes because they "foot" the page.
When the main text of the book contains only a part of the information the reader needs. For example, in a history textbook, it is common to see notes at the end of each episode (or other major unit of time) in the story indicating what president was in office during that period, what event happened in his/her term and so on. These notes are called endnotes because they are placed at the end of the book.
When the main text of the book covers a subject too broad or wide-ranging for one section or chapter.