I want to cite a passage in a book. This a short passage that starts at the bottom of a page. The usage for indicating a page is "p. 314". In this case, this usage only provides a part of the information. Is there a usage to indicate that the passage effectively starts at the bottom (or at the top)?

  • Does the cited material cross a page boundary?
    – JEL
    Jan 9, 2016 at 21:22
  • @JEL Indeed. Just on the edge of two pages. Jan 11, 2016 at 18:01
  • I see you've already accepted an answer, and it's a good enough answer. Generally, for material crossing a page boundary (or otherwise), no direction for locating the cited material on the first or last pages is considered necessary; if you do choose to provide direction, in the absence of contrary style guide dictates it's (usually) best to avoid unnecessary abbreviations. So, "p. 314 bottom and following" might be appropriate. For the abbreviation of "bottom", when needed, I've seen "bot.", "bott." and "btm." (rare), with and without points (.).
    – JEL
    Jan 11, 2016 at 20:16

3 Answers 3


A simple solution is to include all pages in your reference; for instance, in your example, "pp. 314-315" if the citation continues on the next page, or simply "p. 314 (top)" if that is the case. Some variance from the applicable style guide will likely be acceptable if it adds clarity to your citation.

  • @Xanne - It would be helpful to me if you indicated why you down-voted my answer. I might learn something! Thanks for your time. Jun 15, 2017 at 15:43

It depends on what style you are using. Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, APA, etc., they all prescribe different ways for doing it. Any answer that doesn't account for this would be speaking out of school.

If you aren't confined to a specific style but are just citing it in a narrative, then I've seen such instruction following a page number written parenthetically, e.g., p. 314 (btm.).

  • What style am I using ? Good question ! Let say that I am writing a scientific paper. Jan 9, 2016 at 13:36
  • The style to employ isn't determined by the subject of what you're writing but by whom you're writing on this subject for. If it's for a teacher or professor of a class you're taking, check the syllabus or their explanation of the assignment. If it's for a magazine, publishers usually have their own style guides, which you can often find online. Jan 9, 2016 at 13:56
  • It is for a Journal in Mathematics, it is a research Paper. Jan 9, 2016 at 13:59
  • 1
    Then check with the publisher of the journal. If it doesn't explicity provide a style guide, then it should provide an instruction that reads something like, "All papers should be submitted in <name> style." In America, the two most common styles for research papers are APA and MLA. These each have very different instructions for citing references and the page numbers for those references. Jan 9, 2016 at 14:02
  • A LaTeX Style Guide is provided, but I guess that it not what you mean. Citations are in the form [#, p. 314] , where # is referred in a References appendix at the end of the document. Jan 9, 2016 at 14:20

In publishing circles, the top of a page is the head and the bottom is the foot. Depending on context, these terms may refer more specifically to the portions above and below the main text.

Footnotes, at least, have a ready abbreviation: "See p. 314f."

  • I am dealing with the main text. Jan 10, 2016 at 6:35
  • 1
    p. 314 f. refers to page 314 and the /following/ page, not to a footnote on p. 314.
    – Toothrot
    Jul 3, 2017 at 19:13
  • Excellent addition, @Toothrot, but not a true contradiction. Now I believe that 'f' means 'following page(s)' at times. Believe, also, that 'f' is used to mean 'footnote' at other times as well. I don't make this stuff up.
    – lauir
    Jul 5, 2017 at 9:46
  • Please show us one example of it meaning footnote. Notes are normally indicated by n. Also, f. is singular; the plural is ff.
    – Toothrot
    Jul 6, 2017 at 20:48

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