Citation, Documentation of Sources
Q. Is there text in CMOS that explains that placing a footnote number or symbol at the nearest point of punctuation—rather than at the precise point of reference—will not mislead the reader? I know I have seen such an explanation, but I cannot find it in CMOS 16th ed. If it no longer appears in CMOS, can you point me to a source?
A. Although section 14.21 doesn’t promise in so many words not to mislead the reader, it does call for placing the note number at the end of a sentence or a clause. Of course, in a situation where more precise placement would be preferable, there’s no need to avoid it. For example, although you could put a single note at the end of the sentence “Statistics for Asia, Europe, and Africa disprove the theory,” a separate note after the name of each continent might make more sense if the statistical sources cited were many and complex.