Cite Your Sources Clearly
The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (or ‘OSCOLA’ for short) is a style guide created by the University of Oxford Law Faculty. Currently on its fourth edition, OSCOLA is also the standard citation style for legal writing in the UK.
Our editors are experts with OSCOLA referencing. If you are using a different type of legal citation, though, we can still help. Click here for information on the other systems we support.
OSCOLA can seem quite confusing if you’re new to the system. But with a little help from our academic editors, you can be sure your referencing is error free. Simply submit a document for proofreading and we’ll assign an OSCOLA expert to check it.
We will ask you to pick a referencing style when you upload your document. To do this, simply select ‘OSCOLA’ from the drop-down menu upon upload. We will then make sure your referencing always follows standard OSCOLA conventions.
You can also provide instructions here. Just enter any notes that you want your proofreader to see in the comment box and we will take them on board.
You can also upload a document to get an instant quote
Drag & drop your file
or browse your computer
Browse from your device
Drop your file here!
Your file is being uploaded!
The fourth edition of OSCOLA says that ‘shorter works, such as articles and essays, generally only require footnotes’. As such, you may not need a bibliography in your document. However, most universities prefer students to include one, so don’t leave this out unless you are sure that it is okay to do so. If you do include a bibliography, it should be divided into two main sections:
The Table of Authorities should contain all primary sources. The information to include here is typically the same as in the first footnote citation for the source, except:
The bibliography, meanwhile, should list all secondary sources. The rules here include:
So, for example, the book from the footnote above would be listed as follows:
O’Rights, B, Constitutional Protection (2nd edn, Hodder & Foulson 1998)
OSCOLA referencing uses footnote citations. This means that you need to signal a citation with a superscript number in the main text of your document. Typically, this number goes at the end of the relevant clause, after punctuation. For example:
This practice, although effective, has been challenged in the courts.¹
This number points to a footnote at the bottom of the page, where you should give details of the cited source. The information to include here varies depending on the source type. And OSCOLA divides sources into two main categories:
You can find out more about how to cite different source types here. But you can also see example footnotes for a case report, a legislative act, and a book below:
¹ PI vs Walls  UKHL 15,  4 AC 1284. ² Human Rights Act 1998 s 7. ³ Bill O’Rights, Constitutional Protection (2nd edn, Hodder & Foulson 1998) 245.
Our expert editors can work with a range of referencing styles, including:
We can work with other referencing styles on request, too. Just let us know which system you’re using when you upload your work, and we’ll tailor our service accordingly. For more information on legal referencing styles, such as OSCOLA and AGLC, see our dedicated legal referencing page.
Let our expert editors show you what they can do.