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Oxford style writing guide


Frequently, students are assigned papers that require using Oxford style of writing. For this reason, one has to be aware of all details and pitfalls, which can be hidden within the frames of this peculiar style. Forewarned is forearmed! With this in mind, it will be quite useful for you to find out more about Oxford style in the sphere of academic writing.

Where to Start?

The very first thing you have to do before composing an academic paper is to consider the topic you are going to work on. After you have understood the main arguments on the topic, gather those facts that will back up your reasoning. Your essay topic should include terms, which will define the way of arguing. For instance, the topic, “Compare and Contrast Chevrolet and Nissan” suggests offering some observations targeted at showing differences and similarities between the given automobile brands. The above-mentioned example shows the presence of keywords you need to pay attention to when processing topics for your Oxford student paper. Consequently, first, it is worthy to learn how you have to define keywords, which will then produce the arguments' general line.

The topic can evaluate, argue, analyze, compare, and apply key terms in order to set up arguments required by the paper. In case the topic comprises keywords to compare, you will be required to present arguments, which distinctly demonstrate differences and similarities between the items required. Therefore, when you are engaged in writing paper Oxford style, it is important to refer to facts concerning the items at issue.

At the same time, the topic may suggest evaluating data, results, and a set of arguments. When this occurs, you should clearly comprehend the procedures, which build up the good reason behind the observation. In such a way, the paper needs to cover your viewpoints of whether the current results demonstrate a particular trend.

After you have clarified all details on the topic, it is high time to decide upon a type of writing. The different effects Oxford essay writers would like to have on their future readers (to entertain, to persuade, to inform, etc.) lead to creating different types of papers. In general, the most widespread ones are known as the narration, description, or exposition.

The sense of narration lies in the depiction of a story – a series of related events. Its task is to reveal the significance of events arranged in a sequence of time. Description has to deal with visual perceptions. Here, the task is to organize everything we perceive visually in a clear and understandable way so that it can be put on the paper and make sense.

When working on your Oxford research proposal, keep in mind that exposition tends to explain everything: History – why William the Conqueror conquered England; everyday life facts – how many people get married; ideas – a theory of politics; how things work – GPS in a car. However, despite its subject, the phenomenon of exposition discovers what a particular person believes in, knows, or thinks is true. Therefore, exposition is organized in a logical way. It is centered on the denial/assertion, particular/general, negative/positive, more/less, false/true, and effect/cause. At that, the way one explanation flows into another one is marked by such words and phrases as “for example”, “more importantly”, “in fact”, “not only”, “but”, “besides”, “and so”, “however”, and “therefore”.

Seeking for a good Oxford University essay prompt, remember that persuasion is aimed at altering how readers think and what they believe in. Hence, it is crucial to back up the claims and statements with solid evidence taken from reliable sources of information. Satire is one more form of persuasion, which laughs at evil or folly, sometimes coarsely and crudely, and sometimes subtly. Lastly, persuasion may be depicted by means of eloquence, turning to noble sentiments and ideas.

Essay Writing Tips: Oxford Style

  • Find several topics you will be able to turn into a brief essay. Consider those topics that deal with your beliefs and opinions, but not much with how-to-do projects, places, or things. Try to choose themes within your experience and interest, and keep in mind that they should be challenging to a certain extent. You need to be specific even when being engaged in Oxford University creative writing: write “what I do not like most about my position” instead of “I do not like my position.”
  • Pick one of the topics and then write a few sentences about your potential readers. Consider their biases, attitudes, values, general knowledge, and whether they come from a different or similar background. Also, determine whether they are younger or older than you are, and how you want them to look upon you.

Oxford Writing Standards

Writing, apart from putting words and sentences on a piece of paper, includes the process of thinking. According to Oxford study guide, the first "thinking" step supposes picking a topic, examining possibilities of elaborating it and coming up with the strategy of presenting the information on it. The second step is mainly known as "drafting," and the third "one should always be "revising." Nevertheless, despite the information mentioned above, it is important to understand that these are not the steps in the usual sense. Nobody writes Oxford research paper by means of thinking, completing a rough copy, and making a revision. Basically, you accomplish these things simultaneously.

In case it seems strange to you, think about the fact that writing is not an easy work. When you simply consider a topic you already start choosing words and building up sentences, making a draft either in your head or in the notes. During the processes of drafting and revising, the thinking process takes place – you develop new ideas, realize you have come to the deadlock with some of them, and detect implications you have not noticed before.

More often than not, it is quite useful to perceive writing as the combination of these three steps. Despite this fact, try to comprehend that the whole process never moves from one step to another in the steady and smooth way. It is always about going back and forth. During the working process, one way or another, you will focus on one writing phase.

Oxford Paper Format Guidelines

An academic paper has to demonstrate arguments in a well-defined structure. The given structure will make it easy for your readers and yourself to know the place where to look for separate parts of your arguments. Pay a close heed to the formatting of your paper not to seek for Oxford paper for sale later.

As a rule, a well-formatted academic paper consists of introductory part, which contains a clear thesis statement, the body that introduces your arguments in accordance with the thesis statement, and a conclusion part that summarizes your viewpoint and contemplates arguments regarding the main topic. If you are not completely sure how to format your paper properly, you can always look for Oxford style sample paper on the Internet.

Formatting an academic paper requires the observations of pre-defined requirements concerning margins, font style, and indentations. You can find the necessary formatting info in the Oxford University essay writing guide, and seek the professor’s assistance in case you have hard times understanding certain rules. By meeting the set requirements, you can gain credibility in the eyes of the readers. Assure yourself that the assignment criteria are clear and easy to understand.

Quite often, apart from the fact that you have a pre-established format to consider (for instance, it may be Oxford University dissertation format) your scientific supervisor can also have his/her own criteria for the paper, which are crucial to consider while working on the paper. One of the secrets of efficient academic paper writing is meeting all the assignment requirements, as well as the demands of the supervisor, and answering all possible questions readers may want to ask concerning the chosen topic.

You need to keep in mind that academic paper is a kind of work that gives you a possibility to introduce your arguments in a comprehensible manner. If you polish the formatting skill, you can provide readers with a chance to establish your line of reasoning without obstacles caused by a chaotic analysis or unclear format. In addition, you can even save your money because there will be no need to address such organizations as dissertation writing services Oxford.

When working on your paper, an important condition is to cite all sources you have used. It is important that you make sure to do it according to the Oxford University essay format for citing. To perform this task correctly, pay attention to the following information and facts.

Oxford Style Referencing Guide

Oxford referencing style is applied mainly in research papers in certain philosophy and history departments. In addition, the style can be used when dealing with law courses.

Papers written in Oxford style require indicating page numbers, but they can be put according to the writer’s judgment. Usually, all margins are one inch on every side, except the top where margin should be two inches. The paper itself has to be double-spaced along with the reference page.

A title page needs to be formatted very specifically according to the Oxford student guide. The paper’s title is placed at the top of the page; the elements that follow are the type of paper (coursework, essay, dissertation, etc.), the date, word count, author’s name, and the name of the institution. For example:

World War I History

Capstone Project

May 12, 2017

2040 words

Penelope Woodbridge

Johns Hopkins University

Oxford referencing format can be characterized as a documentary-note style, which includes two parts: footnote citation and reference list.

Footnote Citation Guidelines

  • As a rule, a superscript number is included in the text where the source is cited. After you have done it, put the superscript number at the page’s bottom where the footnote details are recorded.
  • State initials or the given name of the author before the family name (for instance, Peter Oldridge).
  • Do not forget to cite a separate page (e.g. p. 34) or several pages at once (pp. 44-48).
  • Short title/family name: In case you cite the same source more than once in footnotes of your Oxford economic paper, apply only the page number and the family name of the author for all subsequent references. Otherwise, when your references are not successive, mention the page number, the short title of the work, and the author’s family name for subsequent references. Avoid putting the publication date, publisher, and place of publication. Along the same line, when you cite several works by one author, you may apply the short title and family name in all subsequent references to differentiate these works.
  • According to Oxford style citation guide, indirect and direct paraphrasing should be acknowledged. At the same time, footnotes are used to find informational sources, interpretations, or ideas even when they are less paraphrased than described. Failure to format sources properly may result in the high level of plagiarism in your paper.
  • Direct quotations have to be put in single quotation marks. In case the quotation is too long and contains more than 40 words, single out the whole quote from the body of text indenting it. Remember that the given indentation has to be single-spaced, whether or not the rest of the text has the same spacing. Check any sample Oxford paper to see how cited and quoted info looks in the text.

Example of Footnote:

In 1950, Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson and Sanford proposed the concept of the authoritarian personality – a type of person who is prejudiced by virtue of specific personality traits which predispose him or her to be hostile towards ethnic, racial, and other minority groups. 1

1 R. D. Gross, Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1989, p.286

Subsequent Footnotes

According to Oxford University paper reference form, all subsequent references do not have to be too detailed in comparison with the very first footnote. Such references require a minimum information to point out which source is being cited.

With One Author

Introduce all important details in the first footnote. In case you would like to cite the same source several times, a simple way out is to provide a page number, year of publication, and the name of the author. For instance:

  • 1 A Bryman, Social research method, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008, p.147.
  • 2
  • 3 Bryman, p.98.

As follows from Oxford style guide online, if you refer to more than two works by the same author in the text, simply add the title of work:

  • 1 J M Gibson and R L Green, The Unknown Conan Doyle: Essays on Photography, Secker & Warburg, London, 1982, p. 142.
  • 2 J M Gibson and R L Green, Letters to Press, Secker & Warburg, London, 1986, p.57.
  • 3 Gibson and Green, The Unknown Conan Doyle: Essays on Photography, p.230.

One more way to reduce subsequent references is to use Latin abbreviations, such as ibid (same as last entry) and op.cit. (as cited previously). You can apply ibid when two references at a stretch originate from the same source. Concerning op.cit., it may be applied in case you have already provided all details regarding the particular source in an earlier footnote. While applying op.cit., introduce such details as the name of the author in order to make the source more recognizable. Oxford citation format requires the given abbreviations to be put in the lowercase.

For example:

  • 15 A Bryman, Social research method, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008, p.147.
  • 16 ibid., p.78.
  • 17 Gibson and Green, The Unknown Conan Doyle: Essays on Photography, p.230.
  • 18 Bryman, op. cit., p.62.

Oxford Style Paper Format: Reference List Guidelines

Your list of references has to be titled as "Reference List" and put on a separate page at the end of your work. Such list includes all details regarding footnotes, which are arranged in alphabetical order by author's family name. Two notions "Reference List" and "Bibliography" are used interchangeably in the majority of cases, however, a Bibliography, in accordance with Oxford University bibliography format, contains all sources applied to fulfill your assignment whereas a Reference List comprises only those sources you have referred to in your paper. Taking this into account, do not forget to check with your instructor on the format required.

Other points to consider:

  • The given name of the author always precedes the family name (A. Parker) in your footnotes, while in the list of references the family name goes first (Parker, A.,).
  • Apply the first substantive title’s word (except articles a and the, according to Oxford grammar guide) if the work has no author(s) to add to the list of references in alphabetical order.
  • In case you have referred to several works by the same author, arrange them by date. The earliest one should come first. When dates are identical, insert a lower case letter after the date in order to be able to differentiate between the given works, e.g. 1982a, 1982b.
  • Bibliography format Oxford style may demand your list of references be divided into primary and secondary informational sources.

Now, it is high time to learn how to indicate references for different kinds of sources. Below, you will find the examples of the most widespread documents used when dealing with paper writing.

Books with a single author:

Add (if any): last and first names of an author; the title of work; edition; publisher and place of publication, publication year.

Flannery, T., Now or Never: A Sustainable Future for Australia?, Melbourne, VIC, Black Inc., 2008.

Books (two or more authors):

FitzSimons, T., Laughren, P., and Williamson, D., Australian Documentary: History, Practices and Genres, 2nd edn., Port Melbourne, VIC, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Edited Books:

In accordance with Oxford bibliography format, put editor (s) in brackets right after editor’s name (s).

Murray, J. (ed.), Our Great Game: The Photographic History of Australian Football, Docklands, VIC, Slattery Media Group, 2010.

When the book has more than one editor, you need to observe multiple authors format, putting eds. in brackets.


References for e-books will be the same as for printed publications. For those books that have been downloaded or read on a bookshop or library websites, it is necessary to include details about the e-book.

De Munek, B., Gated Communities?: Regulating Migration in Early Modern Cities, Farnham, UK, Ashgate Publishing, 2012. E-book.

Sometimes, some books with expired copyright can be available online. When this occurs, you have to include the full URL together with the access date. In case URL is too long, it is possible to apply website URL e.g.

Orwell, Gregory. Marketing Planning for Services. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004. http://www.treesandplantsmemoriesinsummer (Accessed 2015-07-18).

Journal Articles:

To make a reference when dealing with Oxford writing articles example, you need to add: author’s first and last names; article’s title; issue and volume; publication year; numbers of pages.

Mintz, S., ‘Food Enigmas, Colonial and Postcolonial,’ Gastronomica, vol.10, no.1, 2010, pp. 134-141.

Addo, P., and Besnier, N., ‘When Gifts Become Commodities: Pawnshops, Valuables, and Shame in Tonga and the Tongan Diaspora,’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 14, no.1, 2008, pp. 32-34.

Articles from Electronic Journals:

Often, in order to define an electronic article, DOI is used. Such DOIs are permanent, which is why it is quite easy to find the article when the article's URL has been changed. As usual, major academic publishers assign DOI-numbers to articles. As stated in Oxford college guide for citing works, in case there is no DOI, you have to provide the article’s URL and access date.

Moore, K. R., ‘Was Pythagoras Ever Really in Sparta?’, Rosetta, no.6, Spring 2009, pp. 1-12,, (accessed 12 July 2011).

Newspaper Article:

Article’s author; article’s title; magazine and date.

Boyd, R., ‘The City of Sordid Splendour,’ Australian, 26 August 1964.

Internet Sources (Web Pages):

Author, organization, company or authority; (year); title of page or document; website’s name; webpage’s last update; date of access and full URL.

Ciolek, M., Aboriginal Studies WWW Virtual Library, Olympia, WA, Centre for World Indigenous Studies,, (accessed 11 December 2011).


For online encyclopedias’ entries, when being engaged in Oxford creative writing online, add: article’s author, article’s title, encyclopedia name, publication year; full URL together with the access date.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. (Accessed 2010-10-30).

When you have received your Master’s creative writing Oxford Style assignment to complete, but cannot find a particular example of reference in our short list, it is better to address the official Oxford style guide.

Oxford University CV Writing Guidelines

Imagine that you have already graduated from university and are now looking for a decent job. The first thing you know you need to do is to write your CV. For instance, the most commonly used type of CV is a reverse chronological one. Often, it covers information about your work experience, additional activities, and education. Traditional CV sections are as follows:

  • work experience;
  • education;
  • personal information;
  • interests;
  • additional skills;
  • references (‘Available on Request’).

The given Oxford CV format makes it possible for employers to notice important details quickly and provides clear info about the candidate for a job position.

Another type of CV that can be used while applying is the skills-based one. In such document, all details are organized to demonstrate relevant skills. In order to provide context, you have to put a concise summary of your work history before or after the section with relevant skills.

Usually, the given CV type is applied to show the adaptability of your skills in case you are going to apply to a position without relevant experience. Taking it into account, this CV is used by people who are targeted at changing their career direction or transitioning to other sectors. When you have chosen a correct CV format, be sure to organize all information in an appropriate order. In any way, it will be useful to look for Oxford University CV template on the Internet. At the same time, remember to attach a well thought-out cover letter, which will back up your application.

For your convenience, Pro-Papers has prepared some main guidelines for business letter writing Oxford style:

  • A couple of pages is the maximum – demonstrate your ability to prioritize.
  • You should sound professional and confident because your letter is a piece of formal writing.
  • Be sure to indicate the purpose clearly when writing a cover letter Oxford style.
  • Show your insight into those matters, which are important for the potential employer.

Did the guide leave you with more questions than answers? Have you lost all the patience trying to get right into the nuts and bolts of the given formatting style? Do not be upset because you still have a chance to receive a professional support regarding your academic writing assignment at Pro-Papers. We are the company that can provide every client with a wide spectrum of Oxford essay writing service, starting from free consultations and finishing with original papers composed by our writers. By the way, if you are not satisfied with the final version of the paper, you may send it for revision, which is also free of charge. Therefore, if you go through tough times when composing papers, leave this writing nightmare to Pro-Papers specialists who will cope with the task perfectly.


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