- step by step guide to essay
The Oxford style of referencing was originally designed for the Oxford University Press and is based on Hart’s Rules, a guide dating back to 1893 which is now in its 40th edition. Due to the many editions of Hart’s Rules referencing using the Oxford Style can be confusing and if you’re asked to use this style make sure you use the most recent one, unless instructed otherwise. The Oxford Style is mainly used in the arts and social sciences (as well as across most disciplines in Oxford University).
The Oxford style uses footnotes to reference information and in applications such as Microsoft Word this is as simple as clicking on ‘References’ and ‘Insert footnote’. When citing books the author’s name is provided followed by the title, publisher, city and date, as follows:
Peter Bodkins. How To Reference Correctly, Fictitious Publishing: London, 2012.
Note that unlike other similar referencing systems, the publisher comes before the city of publication. In addition, the name can be presented in full or with an initial for the authors first name, and if an initial is used this can appear before or after their surname. Just be consistent.
Citing Journal Articles and Newspapers
Similar to citing books, the main difference is the title of the article is not placed in italics but quotation marks. Also note that the date follows the edition number and not the surname. Again, the author’s full name can be listed or just their initial which may precede or follow their surname.
Peter Bodkins. “How to Reference Correctly.” Fictitious Journals Quarterly, 10 (2012), 123.
This information would then be repeated in the bibliography except the page numbers of the entire article would be included at the end of your essay.
Bodkins P. 2012. How to Reference Correctly. Fictitious Journals Quarterly, 10 (2), 123-130.
A Note on Latin
The latest Hart’s Guide dispenses with the use of Latin terminology and, similar to the Footnotes and Endnotes system, advocates simply listing the author’s surname and an edited version of the title when repeating references.
Include a Bibliography
As ever don’t forget to include a bibliography. Again this follows the norm of name, title, publisher and place; however, there is again some flexibility on how the names are set out. Again the author’s first name can be included or initialised and placed at either side of their surname. Whichever way you choose make sure you adopt that method throughout your bibliography and also remember it needs to be in alphabetical order.