Welcome to this tutorial.
In Part 1 you will learn…
Why you should cite and reference
What is plagiarism and how to avoid it
How to use OSCOLA to cite and reference
Character 1: Let’s begin!
Character 1: Let’s first define what a citation is:
A citation tells the reader where to find a specific source that you mention in your writing.
Now let’s look at why you should cite and reference.
Reason 1: Academic convention (get marks!)
Reason 2: Consistent and persuasive argument
Example of citing and referencing:
“Legal writing is more persuasive when the author refers to legal materials in a clear, consistent and familiar way. When it is easy to identify and to find the author’s sources, it becomes easier for the reader to follow the argument.” ¹
Character 1: This is an example of OSCOLA, but more on that later!
Reason 3: Avoid Plagiarism
Chapter 1 of a Legal Book: Interesting text that will support my point, don’t just copy me!
Why should we cite and reference?
Correct answers include:
To avoid plagiarism .
To conform to academic convention .
To make a consistent and persuasive argument
Copying and pasting (e.g. from a book)
Concealing sources (deliberately not referencing others work)
Collusion, e.g. innocently using work generated from a discussion
Misinterpreting common knowledge i.e. bending the facts to suit your argument
Self plagiarism - using a large proportion of work that you have previously submitted as an assignment
Character 2: How can you avoid plagiarism?
Example: The chief justice explained that this power ‘is not limited to defence against aggression from a foreign nation.’
Original- Her life spanned years of incredible change for women.
Paraphrase- Mary lived through an era of liberating reform for women.
Putting the main points of a body of work into your own words
4: Plus, Correct citing and referencing!
Character 1: As we mentioned earlier a citation tells the reader where to find a specific source that you mention in your writing
At City Law School we use OSCOLA
OSCOLA is a way of citing and referencing legal materials in legal writing
OSCOLA stands for the Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities
Character 1: OSCOLA uses a footnote style, all citations are in footnotes
There are no ‘in text’ citations
OSCOLA is only used for citations, it is not a writing guide
Let’s look at an example of OSCOLA referencing
Example: Choo and Nash state that this new piece of legislation ‘led to the creation by the courts of a prima facie rule of exclusion of evidence obtained in breach of the Act’.¹ A recent case in the Supreme Court relates to this point of law.² It has been noted that after the new act came into force, the courts adopted a prima facie rule that evidence obtained in breach of the legislation was to be excluded, except in certain restricted circumstances.³ Hart asserts this is a significant change.4
How do these numbers correspond to the footnotes?
¹ Andrew L-T Choo and Susan Nash, ‘Improperly Obtained Evidence in the Commonwealth: Lessons for England and Wales?’ (2007) 11 E&P 75.
² Lucasfilm Ltd v Ainsworth  UKSC 39,  1 AC 208.
³ Choo and Nash (n 1) 100.
4 Chris Hart, Doing a Literature Review (Sage 1998).
You will also need a bibliography at the end of the assignment which we will look at later
Character 2: So you only add numbers in the body of the assignment?
Character 1: That’s right! All the information about the source goes in the footnote and the bibliography
Character 2: How do I add footnotes in Word?
Character 1: Let’s take a look…
Text: Click on the References tab
Click Insert Footnote
Footnotes will be added at the end of the document
Character 1: The number of footnotes can vary wildly, it all depends on what you are doing and how your argument goes
Character 2: So there’s no correct number of footnotes?
Character 1: That’s right!
Now let’s talk about the OSCOLA handbook
There are three main sections of the handbook
Section 1 General Principles: gives you an overview of OSCOLA
Section 2 Primary Sources: tells you how to cite cases and legislation
Section 3 Secondary Sources: tells you how to cite everything else, journals, websites etc…
If you can’t find the rule you need in sections 2 or 3, then use the general principles in section 1
Two golden rules when using OSCOLA:
Be consistent - if you can’t find the rule you need then use the general principles and use similar citations throughout
Consider your reader - can they follow your argument and find your sources easily?
If the source exists in print, cite as print
If the source has an ISBN, cite as a book
In the footnote the whole name is displayed followed by a comma, e.g. John Smith,
In the bibliography only surname followed by initials and a comma are used, e.g. Smith J,
You have completed part 1.
In Part 2, you will learn…
How to cite case law
How to cite statutes, i.e. acts
How to cite international and foreign legal materials
Character 1: Let’s go!
Character 1: When citing cases, you must use the law report citation as well as the neutral citation:
Law report: Gill v Woodall  3 W.L.R. 85
Neutral citation: Gill v Woodall  EWCA Civ 1430
Character 1: The law report citation identifies what you have read, whereas the neutral citation is the same regardless of source. To correctly cite cases using OSCOLA you need both the law report and the neutral citation.
This is the format you should use, in this order: Party names (in italics), Neutral citation (followed by a comma), the name of the Law Report
Character 1: Notice the italics and comma
For example: Gill v Woodall  EWCA Civ 1430, 3 WLR 85
Character 1: This is Rule 2.1 in the OSCOLA Handbook. Use this in both the footnote and bibliography. Notice that the full stops have been removed from ‘WLR’ for the law report citation.
Top tip: Prior to 2001, cases don’t have neutral citations so use the law report series.
Pinpoints: A pinpoint is where you need to refer to a particular page, paragraph or section of a source. They go in your footnotes.
In case law they look like this
For a page: Lucasfilm Ltd v Ainsworth  UKSC 39,  1 AC 208, 210.
For a paragraph: Lucasfilm Ltd v Ainsworth  UKSC 39,  1 AC 208, .
If the basic citation ends with a number you need a comma BEFORE the pinpoint as below
Top tip: If you give the full party names in the text, you don’t need to repeat the party names in the footnote. This will save on your word count
Character 2: What about EU case law?
Character 1: You can refer to sections 2.6 and 2.7 of the OSCOLA handbook. Ideally you should use the European Case Law Identifier (ECIL) which is newer than the current edition of OSCOLA. It’s good practice!
Character 2: Can you give me an example?
Character 1: Sure! The citation functions like a neutral citation. The case number, followed by the case name, followed by the ECLI, and finally the citation of the official source.
For example: Case C-176/03 Commission v Council EU:C:2005:542,  ECR I-7879
Character 1: Let’s take a closer look at the ECLI! ‘EU’ indicates that it is a decision delivered by one of the courts of the EU. ‘C’ indicates that the decision was delivered by the Court of Justice. ‘2005’ is the year the decision as made. ‘542’ indicates that it is the 542nd ECLI assigned in respect of the year in question.
Character 2: So how do statutes work?
Character 1: They’re pretty simple!
Character 2: Phew!
Character 1: Cite the short act title like this in both the footnote and bibliography. For example, Bacon Industry Act 1938. Pinpoint the section by adding the section after a comma, and ending with a full stop. For example, Bacon Industry Act 1938, s53.
Character 2: That IS pretty simple!
Character 1: Let’s move on then!
Character 2: Hmm…what’s the difference between international and foreign?
Character 1: ‘International’ means between nations, ‘foreign’ means belonging to one nation
Character 2: Right…I think I understand
Character 1: Well let’s see shall we, see if you can answer this question
Top tip: to cite international legal materials, refer to the 2006 edition of the OSCOLA handbook. These are not covered in the 2012 edition!
Foreign Legal Materials: When citing foreign materials, cite primary sources as in their home jurisdiction.
Top tip: Drop the full stops in any abbreviations when citing foreign materials. See the section 4.3 appendix of the OSCOLA Handbook for guides on other jurisdictions.
You have completed part 2!
Character 1: We’ve looked at avoiding plagiarism, the general principles of OSCOLA and how to cite primary sources and legislation.
Now let’s look at secondary sources.
Character 2: So that’s books, journal articles, websites etc?
Character 1: Yes!
Specifically, we will learn...
- How to cite books, book chapters and e-books
- How to cite journal articles
- How to cite websites and blogs
- How to cite a source as cited in a secondary source
Character 1: Let’s begin
Character 1: To correctly cite books remember these three things...
- Cite the author’s name exactly as it appears in the text
- Italicise the title of the book
- Abbreviate ‘edition’ to ‘edn’
Character 1: Let’s look at some examples...
In a footnote
Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (3rd edn, OUP 2015).
Footnote with a page number (pinpoint)
Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (3rd edn, OUP 2015) 317.
In a bibliography
Endicott T, Administrative Law (3rd edn, OUP 2015)
Character 1: All of the book titles are italicised; ‘edition’ is abbreviated to ‘edn’. The author’s name is at it appears in the text, however... remember that the author’s surname goes first in the bibliography followed by any initials.
Character 2: Please help me, how do I cite a chapter if it’s been written by a different author to the book?
Character 1: Don’t worry, it’s not difficult. Let’s take a look.
Example: John Cartwright, ‘The Fiction of the “Reasonable Man”’ in AG Castermans and others (eds), Ex Libris Hans Nieuwenhuis (Kluwer 2009).
Character 1: This is the format you should use in the footnote. The author of the chapter and the chapter name followed by the author(s) of the book and the book name, and then the publisher and year of publication.
For the bibliography, remember the rule – surname followed by initial.
Cartwright J, ‘The Fiction of the “Reasonable Man”’ in AG Castermans and others (eds), Ex Libris Hans Nieuwenhuis (Kluwer 2009).
Which of these is the correct citation for pinpointing page 99 of Michael J. Allen’s Criminal Law book?
Michael J. Allen, Criminal Law (14th edn, OUP 2017) 99
Michael J. Allen, Criminal Law (14th edn, OUP 2017) page 99
Michael J. Allen, Criminal Law (14th edn, OUP 2017) 99.
The correct answer is Michael J. Allen, Criminal Law (14th edn, OUP 2017) 99.
Character 1: I hope you’re happier now.
Character 2: Yes. Thanks!
Character 2: Although I will mostly be reading e-books. How do I cite these?
Character 1: If the pagination is the same as the print edition, then it’s simple, cite it as a print book!
If the e-book has no page numbers, follow the normal book (or edited book) citation form, including the e-book type/edition before the publisher.
For ‘pinpoints’ where there are no page numbers, provide chapter / section number / section name and subsection or paragraph number if provided.
Top tip: The OSCOLA rules for e-books are 3.1.4 and 3.2.
Character 1: Let’s look at how to cite journal articles.
To cute a journal article, the rules around the author’s name are the same, put the journal title in single quotation marks and remember to abbreviate the journal publication title.
Official abbreviation for journals and law reports can be found using the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations: legalabbrevs.cardiff.ac.uk
Remember OSCOLA removes any full stops and punctuation.
Journal name – Entertainment Law Review
Official abbreviation – Ent. L.R.
For OSCOLA this becomes Ent LR
Let’s look at some journal article citations:
Luxmi Rajanayagam, ‘Ukulele Bands Battle over IP Rights’ (2015) 26 Ent LR 299.
In footnote with pinpoint
Luxmi Rajanayagam, ‘Ukulele Bands Battle over IP Rights’ (2015) 26 Ent LR 299, 300.
Rajanayagam L, ‘Ukulele Bands Battle over IP Rights’ (2015) 26 Ent LR 299
Choose the correct statements and bibliographic citation from the following options.:
Option 1) OSCOLA journal citations use the author’s full name in a footnote.
Option 2) OSCOLA journal citations use the author’s initials in a footnote.
Option 1 is correct.
Option 3) In OSCOLA citations, a journal article is surrounded by single quotation marks.
Option 4) In OSCOLA citations, a journal article is surrounded by double quotation marks.
Option 3 is correct.
Option 5) Official abbreviations for journals can be found in the Oxford Index to Legal Abbreviations.
Option 6) Official abbreviations for journals can be found in the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.
Option 6 is correct
Option 7) Rajanayagam L, ‘Ukulele Bands Battle over IP Rights’ (2015) 26 Ent. L.R. 299.
Option 8) Rajanayagam L, ‘Ukulele Bands Battle over IP Rights’ (2015) 26 Ent LR 299
Option 8 is correct (it has removed the punctuation from the abbreviation, and ends in a full stop.)
Character 1: Let’s look at how to cite websites and blogs.
Sarah Cole, ‘Virtual Friend Fires Employee’ (Naked Law, 1 May 2009) < www.nakedlaw.com/2009/05/index.html > accessed 19 November 2009.
Cole S, ‘Virtual Friend Fires Employee’ (Naked Law, 1 May 2009) < www.nakedlaw.com/2009/05/index.html > accessed 19 November 2009
Character 1: Don’t forget to include the date accessed. Websites and blogs can be updated and changed at any time, so the date you read it is really important.
The OSCOLA rule for websites and blogs is 3.4.8.
You don’t need to include http:// or https:// when citing websites and blogs.
Character 2: One last thing! What if I want to cite something that I’ve only read in someone else’s book?
Character 1: If you haven’t read the original, this would be called a Secondary reference, here’s how to do it...
WL Clay, The Prison Chaplain: A Memoir of the Reverend John Clay (London 1861) 554 (as cited in M Wiener, Reconstructing the Criminal Culture, Law and Policy in England 1830-1914 (CUP 1990) 79).
Character 2: Hmm... so the full citation for the original book is provided in brackets, prefixed with ‘as cited in’.
Character 1: That’s right. Note the page number of both the secondary and the original source are included.
Character 1: Details of how to cite secondary references can be found on the FAQ page of the OSCOLA website.
Congratulations you have completed Part 3 and this tutorial!