In the UK, the main legal\u00a0referencing system is OSCOLA.\u00a0With this system, you need to list all sources you\u2019ve cited at the end of your document. Hence, in this post, we look at how to format an OSCOLA bibliography.\n\nDo I Need a Bibliography?\nShort answer: Yes, but\u00a0check your style guide\u00a0for specifics.\nTechnically, the fourth edition of OSCOLA says that \u201cshorter works, such as articles and essays, generally only require footnotes.\u201d However, most law schools want you to demonstrate your ability to cite sources, so it\u2019s usually best to include a full bibliography.\n\nWhat Should an OSCOLA Bibliography Include?\nThe basic structure of an OSCOLA bibliography includes three things:\n\n\n \tA Table of Cases\n \tA Table of Legislation\n \tAnd a bibliography listing\u00a0secondary sources\n\nAs you might expect, the tables of cases and legislation are where you list case reports and legislative documents cited in your work. The bibliography, meanwhile, is where you should list all other sources.\n\nHow to Format a Table of Cases\/Legislation\nCases and legislation are listed in separate tables. If you have many sources, you may want to distinguish between jurisdictions, too (e.g., having separate tables for \u201cUK Cases\u201d and \u201cEU Cases\u201d). Rules for listing sources include:\n\n\n \tThe table of cases should come before the table of legislation.\n \tList statutory instruments separately at the end of the table of legislation.\n \tCase names are not italicized, unlike elsewhere in the document.\n \tList sources alphabetically by the first significant word (e.g., \u201cRe Farquar\u2019s Estate\u201d becomes \u201cFarquar\u2019s Estate, Re\u201d).\n\nSome versions of this system include all legal sources under a \u201cTable of Authorities.\u201d If you take this approach, it should be subdivided into separate sections for cases, legislation, and statutory instruments.\n\nHow to Format an OSCOLA Bibliography\nAn OSCOLA bibliography lists all secondary sources, including books, articles and online resources, alphabetically by author surname. Entries in the bibliography are similar to footnotes, but\u00a0 the format differs slightly:\n\n\n \tGive the author\u2019s surname first, followed by an initial.\n \tNo first names or pinpoint references are given.\n \tNo period is required at the end of bibliography entries.\n\nAs such, if the footnote citation for a book looked like the following:\n1. Bill O\u2019Rights,\u00a0Constitutional Protection\u00a0(2nd\u00a0edn, Hodder & Fouslon 1998) 245.\nThe equivalent entry in the bibliography would be:\nO\u2019Rights, B,\u00a0Constitutional Protection\u00a0(2nd\u00a0edn, Hodder & Fouslon 1998)\nSources with no named author, meanwhile, go at the start of the bibliography, with a double em dash (i.e., \u201c\u2014\u2014") in place of the author\u2019s name.\nIt\u2019s good to keep a working bibliography as you write, adding an entry each time you cite something new. This will ensure you don\u2019t miss any sources.\n\nLegal Referencing in the USA\nWhile OSCOLA is used in the UK, it is not the standard referencing system in the USA. Thus, if you\u2019re writing about US law, you may need to use Bluebook or ALWD referencing. And if you need anyone to check the referencing in a document, try our proofreading today.