Understanding the Fundamental Elements of Oxford Referencing

The Oxford referencing style, also known as a documentary-note system, uses a note citation system. It consists of two main elements, footnote citations and a complete reference list at the end of the document. A lot of students rely on an Oxford referencing generator as they aren’t aware of the standard guidelines.

An Oxford Referencing Generator is highly efficient in creating quick references for different sources according to the standard guidelines.

Using referencing tools like Oxford or MLA Referencing Generator, can simplify the entire process. Nonetheless, below we have shared the basics of Oxford referencing to help you understand.

The oxford reference style, consists of:


  • Asuperscript (raised) number refers to a footnote at the bottom of the page.
  • Footnotes are the bibliographic details of a source consecutively numbered throughout a paper. Endnotes are an alternative to footnotes which appear at the end of the paper.
  • A bibliography is the complete list of sources used for preparing the assignment. It is written in alphabetical order according to the first author’s surname.


How to Cite in Oxford Referencing Style – The Basics

The in-text citation consists of two components.

  • A superscript number in the text
  • A note at the bottom of the page (footnote)
  • You need to note the numbers sequentially, beginning with 1 in superscript throughout the document.


Start by writing the author’s name or the initial before the last name (e.g. Jack Miller) then cite the title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, the page numbers.

In case you refer to the same work again, use the author’s last name and page number(s). While referring to multiple works by the same author, use the author’s last name, followed by a short title and page number(s).


  • Use ibid. for indicating the use of the previous reference.
  • Enclose the direct quotations within single quotation marks.


Reference list

For a reference list, include the names of the authors, title and date of publication, the name of the publisher and place of publication. List the references in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

If you have to reference multiple works by the same author, arrange them by date. For including a reference with no author in the reference list, arrange it alphabetically by the first significant word of the title.


  • Use only the initials of the authors’ names.
  • Use full stops with no spaces between the initials.
  • The last name comes first.


Oxford Referencing Example

In-text example:

The sky is pink.1

Footnote example:

Shawn Jennings, The Little Handbook (Basegele: Palo Macmillan, 2016).

Reference list example:

Jennings, Shawn, The Little Handbook (Basegele: Palo Macmillan, 2016).

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