Oxford Style Formatting

For people who are interested in going to the fancy universities and then studying there, learning the Oxford style guide very good if you are interested in scoring high marks. The Oxford style guide however, can be difficult and therefore you can read his guide make the whole process a tad easier.

The Oxford Style Guide

This guide is quite different from all of the other guides for writing in that is much stricter. This writing format is actually relevant for writing in certain disciplines regardless of your school of study. The unfortunate nature, however, of the writing is that it takes longer than most to master and be on top of. This is the reason why most people do not like the Oxford style of writing.

The Oxford style guide gives insight into how these papers should be written. It places a lot of emphasis on the thinking and planning that goes on before a paper is written, hence the great number of reference pages. Once thinking is done, drafting becomes the next thing a person has to do to present a good enough paper. After drafting the paper it is important to revise what you have written. These are the informal steps to writing any academic paper, however, within each of these steps are a great number of things that need to be done before the final paper is released. The Oxford style of writing makes it all the more complex and difficult to achieve all these three tips, simply because of its complex nature and deeply academic approach. It could be said that when writing an Oxford paper, the act of thinking, drafting and revising is done several times over in the same writing, sometimes even simultaneously.

‘Hart’s Rules’ is a book that explains what the Oxford style of writing is and what it entails, revealing that the form of writing has more detailed rules to follow the most. And it has certain poignant features distinguishing it from other forms of writing.

  1.  Footnotes
  2.  Citations
  3.  End notes
  4.  Annotated bibliographies
  5.  Cover page
  6.  Headers
  7.  Requirements

Due to these features mentioned above, the legendary style is also called a documentary note style.

In the beginning, the style was adopted for people who are writing humanities subjects. When it comes to the main academic writing, students of History, Law and Philosophy use this form to write their papers.

The footnotes required in this form of writing lets writers put down notes at the bottom part of each page of the paper and then finally crown it with a full length bibliography at the end of the paper. To write the paper well, you need to know how to correctly format each of these features so that at he end of the day, you have a good enough paper. There are specific ways to format each of the segments of the paper.

The correct way to format Oxford style

  •  Headers The choicest font choice is Times New Romans at a font size 12. Let your margins be 2 inches away from the edge at the top of each paper and then one inch from all of the other edges. Double spacing is also a rule to follow when writing for some organizations and educational institutions.
  •  Cover page This is one of the paramount things that distinguishes the other formats from the Oxford style format. You put down the title first and then after you have skipped a number of lines, write down the type of project, be it a thesis, research proposal, critical essay or article. Follow it up by the date and then the number of the words in the paper. You also need to put down the institution and your name. These are the things that will take the cover page of the paper. With Oxford style writing, what people need to understand is that it is necessary to put in very detailed references for each of the citations that you put in the text. Every resource has to be fully acknowledged and the authors need to be mentioned. This information makes is easier for readers to locate find the main texts which you might have referenced. The referencing is used to name all of the sources that were consulted or researched. These are put in footnotes and at the end of the paper, are listed in the bibliography.
  •  Footnotes As mentioned before, there are notes at the very bottom of each page in the Oxford form of writing. These notes contain various references to the in-text citations. When working with footnotes, you have to first place a number in superscript just next to the citation. This number can be referred to as the note identifier. Once it’s there, it can easily be traced to the footnote at the bottom of the text. Cite the main source of your citation right at the bottom of the page just next to the note identifier. The note identifier and the number at the footnote should match, making it easier for readers to know the actual source of the in-text citation.

The note identifiers have to be arranged in the right order, numerically or chronologically based on the variable used.

Other references can be included in the footnotes and are called ‘second footnotes’. You can put another reference to the same source as the ones referenced on the page. You however do not need to be as detained as you were with the note identified sources. Just ensure that every information put there is indicative of the citation you reference.

When you have just one author to reference, it would be expedient to put in all the news about him in the first footnote. The next time you reference him, just repeat the name, a shortened form of the referenced paper, the publisher and the page number. Write all references the same manner you wrote the first ones and refer to several pages with ‘pp’ . A good example would be ‘pp. 13-27’.

There are certain abbreviations you can use for second and third footnotes which are Latin in origin.

Some examples are

Ibid- similar to the previous entry

When you end up having one source for two of the references in a row, you can use this abbreviation.

Op.cit- previously cited

This is used when the complete information has already been provided in an earlier footnote. You will however still add information on the author.

These abbreviations should always be written in the lower case letters.

  • Quotations Quotations when presented should not be more than 30 words if in a single paragraph with other words. If the quote has more than 30 words, the quote should be in a paragraph of its own. These paragraphs should be indented with 1⁄2 an inch from the left edge of the paper. Each quotation should be followed by a superscript. When the quote is by a third party, you can add a superscript and then put down the original writer and the source. Summarizing, as well as paraphrasing paragraphs are allowed when writing with Oxford writing style. When paraphrasing, one can describe the information given and it’s importance in a few sentences, including the sources stated.
  • Bibliographies A bibliography is a page where all of the sources are listed. On this page, the author’s names, the date the paper was published as well as the title, the name of the publisher and then where the publication was made are all sources that should be included. Not all texts need to have been referenced in the paper. It could rather give further information or it may be a suggestion of articles for those who want to read further on the subject matter.

All the sources that were included in the footnotes of the various pages and any other sources you researched while putting together the writing have to be added to the bibliography. If there was a quote that was lifted from a source and superscripted, the source of this quote also has to be noted down. You write the annotated bibliography before you write the appendix, however, the endnotes come before the bibliography.

Take sometime to describe briefly the sources you included in your writing. This is what makes the bibliography annotated. This places emphases on the important sources that were referenced when you had to write the paper.

All the sources have to be arranged in alphabetical order, using the original author’s surname as a reference point. The references have to be numbered and each citation of a book should begin using the author’s family name. The initials of his first and middle name have to be separated using commas. The title of the book should be written in full and in italics. This should be followed with a comma, then write the name of the publisher and the year the original text was published. If the work does not have an author, you can replace the name of the author with ‘anon’ and if the date is unavailable, you can replace the space where the date should have been with ‘n.d.’

  • Reference page This page contains the reference list. If typing on word, it is created using the insert button on the toolbar and the ‘page break’ option on the drop down menu. This allows a new page to appear and that is the best place to put down your references.
  • Non documented informal sources If you are getting sources from non conventional areas like letters, emails, phone records etc, you may put them down as references, including the date. Any personal conversation that is being placed as a reference should be as detailed as necessary. Add the name of the people involved in the conversation, their profession or position, and the contents of the conversation where relevant to your writing. Be careful to ask for permission before quoting any source, and if by any means you told the source that they would be kept anonymous, stick to it. If the personal communication references can’t be traced, yo can keep them in the footnotes.

The Oxford type of writing has come a long way with several modifications with regards to sources used. The main requirement however is that these sources are written in the right format and order in the bibliography. If the work is multifaceted, and the sources are many, you can start numbering from the beginning for each chapter or section. This makes it easy to read and understand the sources.

When choosing to write the Oxford style, picking a good theme is paramount. Once that topic has been picked, planning how the ideas in your essay will be elaborated is of importance to your writing. Writing takes a lot of time as well a gathering references, therefore, start researching as early as possible to give time and space for your essay to come out well. References and sources are of paramount importance so gather enough of these when writing. Take care to draft, ask for advise and proofread your work before submitting it in order to come out with a good enough mark.

The Aim of the Oxford Style Writing

With all of its complexity, one may ask why at all it is necessary to adopt the Oxford style writing in the first place. Due to this kind of complexity that the Oxford writing style gives, you have the opportunity to correctly format your work and come out with an excellent grade as this is generally one of the hardest styles to adopt. It is also the most thorough and it gives students the experience needed to combine necessary strategies in order to come out with a good paper. Having a guide is of the utmost necessity when writing such a paper. The guide gives the best ideas in finishing this great task and gives you the chance to present a good enough paper at the end of the day.

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