Oxford Citation Style - 5 Top Guidelines to Follow

Oxford Citation Style
The Oxford referencing style was developed and introduced by the University of Oxford for the students of law and other disciples. Like other citation styles, Oxford citation also has different guidelines and rules that you must learn before formatting your paper so that you do it the right way accordingly.

According to a dissertation writing service, this respective referencing style is also known as the documentary-note style referencing. The Oxford citation has two parts; the footnotes and the reference list. The footnotes are added at the end of the page while the list of references is added at the end of the paper or essay. As it also has footnotes, it is a bit similar to the Chicago referencing style but apart from this, it is a different style and different format for different types of sources.

Citing In Oxford Referencing Style:

When writing an Oxford-style paper, you need to add the references in both ways including the footnotes and list of references. All the sources such as quotes, phrases, and ideas must accompany a citation. Doing so will make sure that you are acknowledging the actual writers and the work from where the quote or the idea has been taken.

It is necessary to know that in the Oxford style referencing format, a superscripted number is added in the content where you quote the work of the author. Afterwards, the same superscripted number is used and added at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the superscript number in the content will take the reader to the bottom of the page where all the details are present. This article explains all the aspects of the Oxford referencing format so that you can cite them the right way and look forward to submitting your dissertation just the right way.


It depends slightly on the version of the system you are using. It also depends on the source type such as book, website, video, etc. The key details to include are:
  • Author’s name
  • Title of the book, article, or web page
  • Title of the journal, website, or edited book
  • Place of publication
  • Date of publication
  • Page or section numbers

For online sources, you should also give a URL and a date of access.


Bibliography entries in Oxford referencing are usually similar to the first footnote citation for the same source. The main differences are:
  • You do not need to give a pinpoint reference.
  • Give the first-named author’s name, surname first (e.g., “Smith, S.” instead of “S. Smith”) so that you can list sources by author surname.
For example, we would list the entry for the book in the example above as:
Alexander, C., Mrs. Chippy’s Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journey of Shackleton’s Polar-Bound Cat, London, Bloomsbury, 1997.

Reference List:

In the Oxford style of citation, references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. If you have cited more than one work by the same author, you should arrange them by date. References with no author are ordered in the reference list alphabetically by the first significant word of the title. Use only the initials of the authors' given names. Use full stops with no spaces between the initials. The last name comes first.

In-Text Citation:

It consists of two parts:
  • A superscript number in the text
  • A note at the bottom of the page (footnote). Notes are numbered sequentially, beginning with 1 in superscript, throughout each article, chapter, or paper.

The author's given name or initial before the last name (e.g. John Smith) then cites the title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, the page reference. If you refer to the same work again in the footnotes, use only the author's last name and the page number(s). If you refer to more than one work by the same author, use the author's last name, then a short title, and page number(s).

It is used to indicate that the previous reference has been used again. Direct quotations should be enclosed with single quotation marks. It is essential to understand that Oxford referencing is not a system so much as a group of related citation styles. Consequently, there are not any “official” rules for Oxford referencing. The best way is to check the academic institute’s style guide, which should specify the rules to use.

There are plenty of online sources, too, but these might differ from the version preferred by your institution. If your reference is clear and consistent, slight variations should not matter too much. But it never hurts to check whether your school has a style guide available.

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