All About The Oxford Referencing Style

Here's hoping it helps you cite your law assignments and papers ideally using the Oxford referencing system.

Looking to cite your papers in the Oxford referencing style but don’t know how? Well, you are in luck. This article compiles some essential information about the citation style and can help you reference your papers just like any Oxford referencing guide out there.


Oxford Referencing

The Oxford Standard Citation of Legal Authorities uses footnotes on the bottom of pages instead of in-text citations. The reference list is added on a separate page near the end of the document and lists all reference entries in alphabetical order.

 Citations and references are an essential aspect of any writing process. Acknowledging all information sources and references is a matter of academic integrity and shows the evaluator that you have performed well-rounded research reading. Lack of proper citations reduces credibility and may result in loss of marks or even a fail grade. Improper sources might even result in accusations of plagiarism or collusion.

The necessity of citing essays, case notes and assignments without fail makes it essential for students to learn the ins and outs of the Oxford referencing system by heart. Below are the core rules of the citation style for your convenience.

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The Oxford referencing style includes two primary elements:

  • In-text citations delivered in the form of footnotes
  • A list of references at the end of the document called the Oxford bibliography

Information sources can be classified into primary and secondary sources, and the Oxford format has special citation rules for both.



  • Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page of a document to reference sources in the text. These footnotes help readers to check the validity of the information presented and the propositions given.
  • Footnotes should refer to the exact sources of evidence for every reference or quotation of the text.
  • Following the Oxford referencing style, you should name the case, statute or author in your writing and then include the footnote number, either directly after the name or at the end of the sentence. The superscripts refer to the footnotes at the bottom of the page.

For example,

As Paul Robinson2 has suggested….

The view throws some light on the controversial case of Stroke-on-Trent CC v. Wass3...

  • Every time a citation is cited first, the footnote must provide the full bibliographical details.
  • Writers need to write ‘ibid’to mention a footnote where the immediately preceding footnote refers to the same source.



Every document must contain a bibliography or a list of references on a separate page at the end of the paper. All primary and secondary sources must find a place in the list of sources. All footnotes and in-text citations must be concerning the bibliography.

Bibliographies must be ordered alphabetically in terms of titles or authors. You do not need to divide a bibliography into subsections unless specified.

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Any generic  will reiterate the following rules:

  • The author’s initials come after their family names.
  • Add an ‘' separate the names of the last two authors if there are just two or three authors.
  • In the case of more than three authors, add the first author's family name followed by 'et al.’.
  • Entries should be arranged alphabetically.
  • Include the page numbers which identify the beginning and end of chapters in books or journal articles.
  • Use the hanging indent style while writing the bibliographic entries.
  • Titles of books, journals and websites should be in italics.
  • Write the titles of articles and chapters in single quotations.

That wraps up this article. Here's hoping it helps you cite your law assignments and papers ideally using the Oxford referencing system.

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