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Referencing Toolkit


These pages are an introduction to the Oxford referencing system.

The content is based on and gives credit to the Oxford Referencing guide created by Victoria University’s, which is an interpretation of the Oxford citation style described in the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers


How-To Video

  Victoria University Library [vicunilibrary]. Oxford Referencing the basics [video file]. Retrieved from

Video Transcript

In this presentation, you will learn the basics of how to create footnotes and a Reference List, in the Oxford style of referencing.

What is the Oxford style of referencing?

Oxford is a citation style that uses footnotes at the bottom of the page rather than in the in-text citation styles used by Harvard and A.P.A.

In the Oxford style a superscript number is inserted at the point in your essay where you cite an author’s work. It sits slightly above the line of text.

Superscript numbers should be placed at the end of a sentence, and follow any punctuation marks.

At the bottom of the same page repeat the superscript number then follow it with the full details; including the page number, of the author's work you are citing.

Start your footnote numbering at number 1 and continue the sequence throughout your essay.

If you are frequently citing a particular work in your essay, give the full details of the work in your first footnote. In subsequent footnotes for this work, use the shortened format of: author surname, abbreviated title and the page number. See footnotes 1 and 6 in the example shown here for the shortened footnote format. In your footnotes, the author’s First initial precedes the surname i.e. N. Faulkner.

Direct quotes under 30 words included in the body of your essay are enclosed in single inverted commas and followed immediately with a superscript number, that refers to a footnote at the bottom of your page. If you use a long quotation of 30 words or more the quote should be indented, and the superscript number should be placed at the end of the quotation.

As a rule, it is better to cite a document from a website instead of a whole website in your essay.

A Reference List only includes items you have referenced in your assignment. They are listed on a separate page at the end of your assignment titled: Reference List, and are arranged in Alphabetical order by author’s surname, then a comma, then the first initial.

Please note that the footnote entries are arranged in a different order: the author’s first initial comes first then a full stop and then the surname.

How to insert a superscript number into a word document. In Word select “References” from the top tabs, then select “Insert footnote”.

For further assistance, refer to the Oxford Referencing Guide OR contact us through ‘Ask a Librarian’.

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