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OSCOLA (Law) Referencing Guide

OSCOLA Law referencing guidance

Footnote basics

In footnotes, give the author’s name exactly as it appears in the publication, but omit postnominals such as QC. 

In footnotes, the author’s first name or initial(s) precede their surname. In bibliographies, the surname comes first, then the initial(s), followed by a comma.

Cite all publications with an ISBN as if they were books, whether read online or in hard copy.

Footnotes (superscript number)

The OSCOLA style is a footnote referencing system. This means it consists of three elements.

  1. Citation: When you acknowledge a source in the text, you place a footnote marker 1 (superscript number) at the end of the relevant sentence. If you have several references close together, the number can be placed at the end of the relevant phrase or word. 
  2. Footnote: This is the reference that appears at the bottom of the guide. These should be brief as they should identify the source, not provide additional information.
  3. Bibliography: A list of all the sources you have cited in your work. This should be provided at the end of the work.

Whenever you paraphrase or quote a source or use the ideas of another person, you show these by a superscript number (1, 2, 3) within the text, usually at the end of the sentence, or directly after the word or phrase to which it relates.

This is accompanied by a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page.  Footnote references should always end with a full stop.  Your footnotes should be numbered continuously through your document, starting at 1.

You don't always need a footnote for legislation if you have provided sufficient information about the legislation within the text.

Footnotes using word

Inserting a footnote using Word. After each quote or paraphrase you need to insert a footnote marker (superscript number 1) into your work.  This puts a small number after your text and takes you automatically to the bottom of the page where you can insert a reference in OSCOLA style to the information source used.

The footnote should correspond with the reference at the bottom of your page. 

Inserting footnotes using Word - YouTube Guidance:

For pcs. 

For macs: