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Guide to the Bluebook   Tags: 1l subjects, bluebook, citation, united states  

This guide provides the basics for first year memorandums and upper class papers and journals.
Last Updated: Nov 13, 2015 URL: http://lawlibraryguides.neu.edu/bluebook Print Guide RSS Updates

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Background

The Bluebook (Twentieth Edition) is a uniform system of citation. What does this mean?

Legal argument and writing is based on precedent. As such, every thought, sentence and idea must refer to a legal underpinning - be it case law, statute, regulation, book, law reivew etc. To enable a reader to precisely locate these legal documents, a uniform citation style is required. Over time the Bluebook has become the standard legal citation style (there are others).

Courts, law reviews and other printed legal materials generally employ the bluebook, or a slightly altered version.

For example, see Massachusetts Style Guide for the SJC.

 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. Layout
  2. Common Building Block Rules
  3. Bluepages v. Whitepages
  4. Tables
  5. Statutes
  6. Cases
  7. Regulations & Adminstrative Opinions
  8. Law Reviews/Articles & Other Non-Book Publications
  9. Books
  10. Electronic Resources

Other areas not covered include Unpublished and Forthcoming Sources (rule 17), Foreign Materials (rule 20) and International Materials (rule 21).

Keep in mind, if you are on co-op in a foreign jurisdiction, they may have their own citation format (i.e. don't use Bluebook's rules on citing foreign materils in American publications). For example, the United Kingdom uses the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities.

 

The Bluebook (Twentieth Edition) and books on the Bluebook

Along with the bluebook (first entry below), there are some books and guides on how to use the bluebook. Their helpfulness varies, with more citation examples the best element. There is no real substitute for reading the bluebook.


Cover Art
User's Guide to the Bluebook - Alan L. Dworsky; Brian Christiansen
Call Number: KF245 .D853
ISBN: 9780837738383
Publication Date: 2010

Cover Art
Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook - Linda J. Barris
Call Number: KF245 .B37
ISBN: 1594607338
Publication Date: 2010

Cover Art
Legal Writing Citation
Call Number: KF245 .T47
ISBN: 9780314169389
Publication Date: 2008

Subject Guide

 

Site Notes

I will be updating and changing this page as I add more content, examples, and in reaction to questions.

There are some areas I do not cover.

This is a guide and the Bluebook itself is the final source.

Any mistakes or suggestions, please free to e-mail me - s.akehurstmoore@neu.edu.

Last updated 11/12/2015

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