In his article, Anthony Grafton describes the history and transformation of the footnote. It was a very interesting article for it showed us a lot of different things that you can do with footnotes. He describes how this style of citing sources started as margin notes and margin comments. In the 19th century Leopold Van Ranka came around and revolutionized this practice and began using modern footnotes. Ranka was driven by a hatred of long sweeping narrative history that was based little on fact. Ranka believed in using sources and facts to tell the story. Before Ranka, Edward Gibbons came in and popularized footnotes by having long content footnotes. However Ranka was the one that really brought the previous forms together and created the modern method. Grafton’s article is a clear literature review that reviews the creation of footnotes over time and that shows that historical writing grows and develops over time just like all other areas of writing.

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