How to Follow all the Important Oxford Style Formatting Instructions

How to Follow all the Important Oxford Style Formatting Instructions

Students who dream about studying in the best and most famous universities must be prepared to study and use the detailed Oxford style guide to succeed. However, the Oxford style guide isn’t easy to master. The main reason is that it is different from the rest of available formats and its founder is quite strict about relevant writing procedures. It doesn’t matter if you study at Oxford or other universities. There are certain disciplines that require the use of this style guide in academic writing of any type, and it takes time to master it.

What are key Oxford style guide parts?

People also know the Oxford reference style guide as the documentary-note system of citations described in the book titled Hart’s Rules. Philosophy, anthropology, history, and political science students need to follow the Oxford referencing style guide to cite every work of other authors in all academic papers. Some law departments also insist on its use. This means that all law students need to master the Oxford English style guide in addition to the McGill format. The key elements of the Oxford style guide cover the following:

  • Headers;
  • Cover page;
  • Headings
  • Requirements;
  • References;
  • In-text citations.

How to format headers correctly?

See the latest Oxford guide edition to learn that all writers can place page numbers at their personal discretion. 12-points Times New Roman is the best font choice. You need to make all margins 2 inches at the top of all pages and one inch in other places. Many educational institutions require double-spacing, and this rule applies to the entire text, except for a reference page or a bibliography.

How to format Oxford headings properly?

As a rule, writers do not use headings in the short paper, but when it comes to a long research paper or any other type of the essay more than five pages long, it is preferable to use some headings and subheadings. 

  Heading levels

  • Heading of the chapter 
  • Heading 1st level (Can be unnumbered /numbered headings/ using paragraph numbers)
  • Heading 2nd level (Can be unnumbered /numbered headings/ using paragraph numbers)
  • Heading 3d level (Can be unnumbered /numbered headings/ using paragraph numbers)

 Subheadings Tips

Have a look at some useful tips on how to create a right subheading:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Make it descriptive
  3. Use it consistently
  4. Do not use cross-reference to the other content
  5. Keep heading structure simple
  6. Use sentence case

How to format a cover page?

A cover page is an element that makes the Oxford writing style guide different from other existing paper writing formats. Students need to write a title at the top. Skip a few lines to specify your project type (whether it’s a research proposal, thesis, article, critical analysis, or anything else). Write the date and follow it by the number of words, your name, and institution to make things easier.

What are the basic requirements in Oxford style?

The core requirements of the Oxford style guide are the following:

  • detailed references for every in-text citation in your paper (full acknowledgment of reliable sources, their authors, and information where readers can find references texts)
  • never use full stops after abbreviations/ contractions /acronyms and close up space between the letters in your content
  • capitalization should be used just in case it is absolutely required
  • all numbers from one to ten should be spelled out as whole-number words, and figures can be used just for numbers above ten
  • Oxford style requires little punctuation just if it is necessary to complete the meaning of the sentence
  • capital letters should be used for titles prefixing names except for job descriptions
  • if you wish to stand out some text throughout the paper - make it bold.

What are references and in-text citations?

Use references to mention used sources, including a press release. The entire Oxford style guide is based on a supporting list of references or a bibliography and the use of footnotes or in-text citations. Don’t forget to provide quotations both in your bibliography and footnotes.

Oxford style debate guide: picking the best topic

Based on the Oxford style debate guide, the main mission is to pick a good and interesting topic. It’s clear that your subject should be debatable. When making this important choice, use these helpful tips.

Choose a few suitable topics that can serve as a basis for your academic paper based on your personal interests, hobbies, or experiences. Consider the themes linked to your personal views and beliefs. You should avoid any generalizations because excellent topics for your academic paper are always challenging to a specific extent.

Choose one of these ideas and write a few sentences while considering the targeted audience and taking into account readers’ moods, biases, experiences, life values, behaviors, backgrounds, and skills. Determine if they’re older or younger than you.

Oxford comma AP style guide and helpful tips

Both a bibliography (reference page) and a cover page should be on separate page based on the Oxford comma AP style guide. Place a bibliography at the end of your paper. It should be after a concluding paragraph and its basic purpose is to specify a list of your used materials. When you finish writing, make an extra space and pick a page break to create a separate page for your references.

Your bibliography doesn’t include only references in essays. Feel free to offer other sources of information, including interesting academic journals or relevant scholarly articles, to get the necessary material. Ensure that they all are current. Include all the citations that you mention in the correct manner.
 What is Oxford referencing style? 

Oxford referencing style is a citation style that practices to use footnotes at the bottom of the page instead of using them in the in-text citation styles, as it is preferred in Harvard, MLA, or APA formattings. In the Oxford style, a subscript number indicates the author you are citing. It is inserted at the point in the paper where the author's work is cited.

 Oxford in-text citation and footnotes (rule + example)

Oxford in-text citations look like a superscript number in the paper passage.

In-text citation example:

The water is blue.1

Oxford footnotes are notes at the bottom of the essay page. Oxford notes should be numbered sequentially, starting from one in superscript, throughout every article, book, chapter, or paper. Author's name / initial before the Last name + the title + place of publication + publisher + date of publication + the page reference. If the writer refers to the same source again in the footnotes, it is enough to use the author's last name + the page number/ range of pages. If the writer refers to more than one work written by the same author, he/she should use the author's last name + a short title + page numbers. Also, "ibid." should be used in case the writer wants to indicate that the previous reference from footnotes has been used again. Finally, all direct quotations should be enclosed just with single quotation marks.

Oxford footnote example:

1 Steve Cottrell, Adding and Subtracting Numbers (Basingstoke: Random House Inc, 2020).

 Oxford referencing  

1. Book 

Author+ Title of Book in Italics: Subtitle in Italics + edition number + Place of Publication + Publisher + year + page number. For example: M.A. Kunt, Algebra: Why Numbers Matter, Newark, HarperCollins Publishers, 2020, p. 33.

2. Journal article

Surname +Initial(s) + “Article Title” + Journal Title + volume +number + year +page numbers. For example: Kunt, N. M. “New fashion tendencies in Europe,” SAGE, vol. 1, num.1, 2020, p. 33.


A. Author + 'Title of article' + Title of Newspaper in Italics + day month year +Section of Newspaper (if applicable) + page number. For example:  N. Smith, Perfect design presented in Spain', Fashion, 3 September 2020, Business Day, p. 3.


A. Author + 'Title of article' + Title of Magazine in Italics + day month year +Section of Magazine (if applicable) + page number. For example:  N. Smith, Perfect design presented in Spain', Fashion, 3 September 2020, Business Day, p. 3.

5.Website/online source (rule + example)

A. Author +Title of Document' +Name of Website in Italics + Place of Publication + Name of Publisher + year + page number + http://url + (accessed day month year). For example: Wilderness Society America, 'The Kimberley', Society, Hobart, TAS, 2020, p. 3,, (accessed 27 September 2020).

How to use your Oxford referencing style sample

Use a good and relevant Oxford referencing style sample because it will guide you in the right direction when you don’t how to format your academic paper. You can easily find great samples online. Ensure that you use only correct and updated examples.

Oxford writing style guide: final tips to keep in mind

To meet all the necessary style requirements, focus on picking a good topic, testing the methods of elaborating on your chosen idea, and choosing an effective strategy to present important information to your targeted readers. Take a few other steps to succeed, including proofreading and revising a final draft, to submit an excellent paper in this format.

What are Oxford style guide aims and purposes?

The basic aim of the Oxford style guide is to help students write and format their papers correctly and earn higher grades. It also has different objectives, such as providing them with all-purpose tips and strategies for formatting used sources in academic assignments properly.

What if you still have problems with the Oxford format guide? If you need to complete your projects based on the Oxford style guide and you find this task a bit confusing or difficult, don’t hesitate to contact our essay online team of qualified and experienced writers and start writing a perfect essay right now. They will offer the most effective solutions fast and can help you with any type of writing.