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Bluebook Citation: Books

This guide provides the basics for first year memorandums and upper class papers and journals.

Author - Rule 15.1

Follow same rules as for books - Rule 15.1. The only difference is to use normal type (as versus large and small capitals).

In essence, use the authors name as found on the document (and not in reverse, i.e. its first then second name, not last, then first):

  • Decimus Junius Brutus.

When there are two authors, use an ampersand: 

  • Marcus Aemilius Lepidus & Marcus Antonius Creticus.

When there are three or more, use the first followed by et al: 

  • Gaius Cassius Longinus, et al

Follow the same rules for institutional authors (all Rule 15.1).

When there are editors or translators, follow the rules of 15.1, but place the editors or translators in the parenthetical before the date, followed by ed. or eds. or trans.

For example:

  • In Religion's Name : Abuses Against Religious Minorities in Indonesia (Elaine Pearson, et al. eds., 2013).

Special Books - Rule 15.8

Some books are so prevalent in the legal world, that the bluebook picks them out specifically. In Rule 15.8, there are citation rules for:

- Law dictionaries (e.g. Blacks) - Rule 15.8(a)
- C.J.S. and Am. Jur.  - Rule 15.8(a)
- Federalist Papers - Rule 15.8(c)(i)
- Manual for Complex Litigation - Rule 15.8(c)(ii)
- The Bible - Rule 15.8(c)(iii)
- Shakespeare - Rule 15.8(c)(iv)
- the Bluebook - Rule 15.8(c)(v)

Examples - Rule 15

James Hackney, Legal Intellectuals in Conversation: Reflections on the Construction of Contemporary American Legal Theory 234 ( 2012).


Anthony Musson  W.M. & Ormrod, The Evolution of English Justice: Law, Politics, and Society in the Fourteenth Century 212 (1999).

Note: The author and title are in large and small capitals for law reviews. In court documents, the book title is underlined and the author unaltered.

Note: For short forms, see Rule 15.10.

Publisher - Rule 15.4

Only indicate a publisher when you cite a book published by a different publisher than the original. Why? Because a reader needs to find the exact edition you are citing to and the page numbers therein (Rule 15.4(iii)). Unlike other citation methods, you will find most book citations in the legal world have no publisher in the parenthetical - a rule extrapolated from (Rule 15.4(iii)), though not explicitly stated.

The same goes for editions - cite the latest version in general, unless you only have an older or there is something different in an older edition (Rule 15.4(a)).

Ebooks - Rule 15.9(c)

While print versions of books are authoritative, ebooks can be cited if they are the sole media through which a book is available. You must indicate that you are citing an ebook by placing an "ebook" paranthetical after the date (Rule 15.9 (c)):

  • Anne Umland & Blair Hartzell, Picasso: The Making of Cubism 1912-1914, 25 (2014) (ebook).

If an ebook uses location numbers rather than page numbers, use "loc." to indicate where the cited material can be found:

  • Ronald Collins & David Skover, When Money Speaks loc. 2992 (2014) (ebook) ('[T]he Buckley wall between contributions and expenditures. . .has been breached.)."

Title - Rule 15.3

Follow the title as appears on the title page, with capitlization according to Rule 8.

Pinpoint Cite - Rule 3.2(a)

Pinpoint page numbers appear after the title and before the parenthetical. Note, only add a page number(s) if citing to particular page(s). It may seem obvious, but when referring to a book in general, there is no page numbers to add.