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Oxford Format


DEFINITION: The Oxford referencing format is also called the documentary-note system. Essays written in this format use three occurrences for citations:

  1. in-text in the body of the essay using a superscript using sequential numbers
  2. as a footnote at the bottom of the page (identified as endnotes if used at the end of a division or chapter) and
  3. in the bibliography where all works references are noted and includes, if applicable, all other materials that might have been used in writing the paper.

These will be discussed in the order presented above.

IN-TEXT CITATIONS: When reference is made to information or ideas from sources, a superscript number is assigned. These are placed at the end of the respective sentence and not directly after the referenced words themselves.

Examples of a paraphrased quote from book in body of essay:
The dog has been found to be a true friend of humanity. Its allegiance has been proven in many instances over the years.1
Example of a direct quote from in body of essay:
Grossman notes “No one can deny the dog’s friendship to the human race. The following examples clearly show its companionship and selfless devotion.”2

FOOTNOTE/ENDNOTE: These are placed at the bottom of the page for oxford format. A short line is inserted, separating the body of the essay from the footnote. MS Word in its References section has a utility to properly format these citations in an essay. For the examples of a book used directly above in the IN-TEXT CITATIONS section immediately above, footnote would appear as:

1 First initial, Last name. Book title. Publisher, Location of Publisher, Date, page.
Real  example-
1 J. Hammonds. Super Dog in America. Harper and Kids, New Haven, 2003, 42.

If the above example was from a web site, a footnote would appear as follows:

1 Web site name, Name of article, Volume number, edotion number, date retrieved from internet, <web site url>

Real example-

1 North American Dog. Dogs in our lives, 13, 12, retrieved 31 December 2009, <www.NAD.org/breed-time/htlm>

The end of the essay includes a page or pages that credits all references used in the paper. These are the books, magazines and any other sources you may have read and know would be useful to your reads/instructor. Note that this part of the essay lists the last name of the author first (not the first initial as in the footnote area) and all entries in the bibliography are in strict alphabetical order.


Last Name, First name, Title of book, edition number other than the first, Publisher, City, year.

Real example-

Grodin, Mary, Favorite Animal Friends, 3rd Edition, Softcort Publishers, Houston, 1999.


Author, A, & B Author, ‘Title of article’, Title of Journal, vol. xx, no. xx, year, pp. x–x

Real example-

Thompson, Q, ‘Friends and enemies’, Yearly Review of Fauna, 15, 10, 2005, pp. 213-221.

Web site

Author, A, Title of article, Name of site sponsor, year, retrieved day month year, <web address>.

Real example-

Delaware Wildlife, Dogs, cats and birds in Delaware, State of Delaware Animal Husbandry Association, retrieved 31 December 2009, <www.DEanimals.org/husbandry/10098876/htm>







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