Oxford Referencing Made Easier

Remember that, whenever you take any concepts, ideas, theories or frameworks from other sources, you must cite them properly.

When you are working on papers that must be presented in Oxford format and style, you will have to use superscript numbers. In addition, you will also have to use the same number below the main text, at the bottom of each page. At the bottom of the page, you will write a footnote containing all information related to the source you have been using. This way your readers will be able to trace the origins of the source and check the accuracy of your citation. For instance, you do it like2 and then use the same number to refer the reader to the source of your information:

…there was nothing in that move that could suggest he was having any issues with alcohol or drugs. He was definitely nervous and all about going to the city when she saw him for the last time.1 A few weeks later, after the accident, she suddenly remembered that she owed him something, but it was too late to change the situation. She would keep wondering how it all happened, but she knew that she would never learn the truth. It was the burden she would have to carry until her last breath.2

__________________________________________________________

A. Wonders, What it means to be a woman in a Western world, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 124.

Wonders, What it means to be a woman in a Western world, p. 129.

Don't forget: Don't use and misuse the abbreviations that used to be popular in academic writing ten or twenty years ago. Op., cit., and ibid. have already become things of the past. They may be still used in other citation and formatting styles, but not in Oxford. Therefore, if you are using some source more than once, you don't have to copy complete information over and over again. The first time you mention it, you will have to include a full citation. Afterwards, you will provide an abbreviated version to remind the reader of the details of this source. Look above and see how the second footnote works. This is how you will create a shortened version of the initial citation/footnote to meet the formatting and citation requirements of Oxford style. Whenever you include a footnote with the full citation, you should not forget to include the same citation in the list of references. Remember that the use of footnotes with full bibliographical information does not save you from an obligation to create a properly formatted list of references at the end of your paper.

Reference Page

Your list of references should be properly cited and formatted. It should be included at the very end of your work. You will use the title "Reference List." Then you will include the fullest information for each of the sources that you have used and mentioned in the body of your paper. Remember that all reference list entries must be arranged and ordered alphabetically. Also, do not confuse your list of references with a bibliography. These are different things even though they are often used interchangeably. In your reference list, you will mention only the sources you have actually used in the body of your paper. In your bibliography, you will mention all sources you have encountered while working on your paper; you may not cite or mention them in the body of your work. To avoid any issues, it is better to ask your professor if he or she needs a bibliography or a list of references. Also consider the following things:  

  • When formatting your footnotes, do not forget to put the name of the author before his or her surname, e.g., A. Wonders. In the reference list, you will do the opposite thing: Wonders, A.
  • If you are using a source that does not have an author, you will arrange it on the list of references by the first word in the title. Disregard the article and consider the first letter of the first noun in the title.
  • Your reference page must contain each and every detail of each and every source you have decided to use in your paper. Do not forget to include page numbers for book chapters, if there are any.
  • If you have used several books or articles by the same writer, you will have to arrange them by date, from the earliest to the latest, e.g. 2011, 2012, 2015. If you use sources that have the same author and the same date, put a low-case letter next to the date to make a difference between them, e.g., 2011a, 2011b.

Attention: It is not uncommon for professors to ask their students to divide the List of References into two different subsections. You may need to include a separate list for primary sources and a separate list for secondary sources. Ask your professor if this is what you need to do.

Formatting Direct Quotations in Oxford Papers

If you quote directly from the original source and your quotation does not exceed 30 words, you will incorporate it into the body of your paper using single inverted commas. The quotation will be followed by a superscript number. You will associate a separate footnote with it. For example,

… it was to typical for Alice to 'fall in love with the men who hated her.'3

If you are quoting directly from a source and the quotation has more than 30 words in it, you will use a block format for it. If that is the case, do not use any quotation marks. Instead, you will have to indent your block quotation 1 inch and left justify it. It will look like a new paragraph within the body of your paper. Of course, you should not overuse direct quotations in your paper. It is better to paraphrase the original text and integrate it smoothly into your paper while crediting the original source. A good example is provided below:

The life and culture in England underwent considerable perturbations in the post-war period. The most notable was probably the way fashion and the appearance of women changed following the crisis:

Fashion was something that was always important for women, even at times of war. England was always at the forefront of the international fashion industry, and its women took pride in having easy access to the most fashionable yet affordable clothes and apparel. The most wonderful things were available to gentle ladies while others were struggling to meet their ends. It was a wonder of fashion and it has not lost its uniqueness since then.1

Taking Quotes that Were Mentioned or Used by Others

You may sometimes want to take a quotation from a source which does not own it. For example, some researcher cites another researcher, and you want to use this quotation in your work. In this situation, you will have to include both original sources in your footnote. You will also need to mention them on the reference list.

2A.Wonders, What it means to be a woman in a Western world, Oxford University Press, 2011, cited in P. Jennings, Women and the world, Aston Publishers, 2013, p. 12.

This is how this entry will look in the list of references:

List of References

Jennings, P., Women and the world, London, Aston Publishers, 2013.

Be particularly attentive when citing information from secondary sources. It is always better to use the original source. This way you can be sure that the citation and quotation are both correct. Otherwise, choose reliable secondary sources if you cannot locate primary ones. 

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