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Bluebook Citation: Home

Bluebook Layout

The Bluebook is divided into four basic parts:  the Bluepages, the Whitepages, the Tables, and the Index.

Blue pagesThe Bluepages are found at the beginning of the book, and can be used as a guide to citing court documents and legal memoranda.  The Bluepages provide easy and basic principles for common citations.

 

White pagesThe Whitepages are the in-depth rules of citation and style.  There are 21 rules in the Whitepages, and these can be subdivided into two major groups.  Rules 1-9 cover the general citation standards, while Rules 10-21 are the rules for specific sources, such as cases, statutes, books, and articles.

 

Bluebook TablesThe Tables are used in conjuction with the rules.  They are an indespensable resource on which authority to cite and where and when to abbreviate.

Finally, the Index is a comprehensive listing of all of the Bluebook's content.

Introduction

The Bluebook is the dominant citation authority governing how American legal documents are cited.  Becoming familiar with its rules is essential for your legal career.  

It is vital that sources you rely on in your legal writing, such as cases, statutes, and regulations, be cited with sufficient precision so they may be easily found by a reader of the document. Precise citation also indicates the jurisdiction and weight of a primary authority. A statement that is not cited indicates original thought, and should only take place when what you have written came entirely from your own head.

Reference Chart

 

Topic

Description

Rule

Pages in BB

Style

Typeface, citation placement, signals, and other style matters.

B1-B3

3-10

Short Form Citation

Citing the same authority multiple times.

B4.1-4.2

78-81

Local Citation Rules

Explanation of how to convert Bluebook citations to local citation styles found in local courts.

BT2.1

30-56

Cases

Citing federal and state cases.

Rule 10

94-117

Constitutions

Citing federal and state constitutions.

Rule 11

118-119

Statutes

Citing federal and state statutes.

Rule 12

120-134

Legislative Materials

Citing federal and state legislative materials.

Rule 13

135-142

Administrative Materials

Citing administrative and executive materials

Rule 14

143-148

Books

Citing books, reports, white papers, treatises, dictionaries, and encyclopedias.

Rule 15

149-172

Periodicals

Citing law reviews, magazines, and periodicals.

Rule 16

159-171

Electronic Sources

Citing internet sources, such as Westlaw and LexisNexis.

Rule 18

178-189

U.S. Tables

Official names of reporters and statutory compilations for U.S. federal and state courts.

T.1

223-306

Abbreviations

Abbreviations for case and court names, phrases, geographic places, and periodicals.

T.6-T.16

496-523

Index

Comprehensive index to entire Bluebook

 

525-560

 

 

Adapted from Georgetown Law Library.

Adapted from "Introduction to the Bluebook," a LibGuide by Katherine Marsh of Lincoln University Duncan School of Law.

Basic Legal Citation

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation by Peter Martin (2013)

This is a free e-book that explains the reasoning behind legal citation forms and offers answers to common questions on citing print and electronic sources. It is available in PDF, MOBI (Kindle), ePUB (other e-readers), and HTML. There is also a companion wiki for discussion of the book.

Citing Legally

A blog on legal citation in real life

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