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Bluebook Citation 101 -- Practitioner Format

Dictionaries

Rule 15.8 of the Bluebook (20th ed.) governs the citation of dictionaries. You may also find it helpful to look at B16.

The citation should include the following:

  • Title of entry (italicized or underlined)
  • Title of dictionary (italicized or underlined)
  • Edition
  • Year

Example: 

Replevin, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).

Encyclopedias

Bluebook

Rule 15.8 and BT.1 of the Bluebook (20th ed.) covers the citation of encyclopedias. 

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Volume
  • Encyclopedia abbeviation
  • Article title (underlined or italicized)
  • Section
  • Copyright date of the volume (in the parenthetical)

Examples

88 C.J.S. Trial § 192 (1955).

17 Am. Jur. 2d Contracts § 74 (1964).

14 Ohio Jur. 3d Civil Rights § 82 (2006).

American Law Reports

Bluebook

Rule 16.7.6 of the Bluebook (20th ed) covers how to cite ALRs. 

Elements

The citation should contain:

  • Author
  • the word "Annotation"
  • Title (italicized or underlined)
  • ALR volume
  • ALR series
  • Page number
  • Copyright date of volume

Example

William B. Johnson, Annotation, Use of Plea Bargain or Grant of Immunity as Improper Vouching for Credibility of Witness in Federal Cases, 76 A.L.R. Fed. 409 (1986 & Supp. 2017).

Restatements

Bluebook

Rule 12.9 of the Bluebook (20th ed.) covers the citation of restatements.

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Restatement series (italicized or underlined)
  • Section
  • Copyright date of the volume

Example

Restatement (Third) of Torts § 46 (2012).

ALWD

Rule 23 of the ALWD Citation Manual (5th ed.) covers the citation of restatements.

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Restatement series (italicized or underlined)
  • Section
  • Copyright date

Example

Restatement (Third) of Torts § 46 (2012).

Legal Periodicals

Bluebook

Rule 16 of the Bluebook (20th ed.) covers the citation of law reviews.

Consecutively paginated law reviews and journals (R. 16.4)

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Author's name
  • If the article is written by a student author, the designation of the piece (see R. 16.7.1)
  • Title of the article (in italics or underlined)
  • Volume number (if no volume, use the year as the volume and don't put the year at the end)
  • Abbreviation of journal name (Tables 10,13, and 13.2 in the Bluebook)
  • The beginning page number (if pinpoint citing, include the beginning page number and the pinpoint cite)
  • Year (in parenthesis)
Example:

Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. 733, 737-38 (1964).

Nonconsecutively paginated periodicals (R. 16.5)

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Author
  • Title of the article (in italics or underlined)
  • Abbreviation of journal name (see Tables 10 and 13 in the Bluebook)
  • Date as it appears on the cover (if no date of issue is available, provide the issue number and indicate the volume number before the title)
  • the word "at"
  • The beginning page number (if pinpoint citing, include the beginning page number and the pinpoint cite)
Example:

Susan A. Berson, Starting Up: If You're Hanging a Shingle in 2011, A.B.A. J., Jan. 2011, at 40.

Newspapers (R. 16.6)

 The citation format for newspapers and newsletters is largely the same as for nonconsecutively paginated periodicals. See your Bluebook for specific exceptions involving special designations, place of publication etc.

ALWD

Rule 21 of the ALWD Citation Manual (5th ed.) covers the citation of periodicals.

Consecutively paginated law reviews and journals

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Author
    • If the author is a student, insert "student author" after the name.
  • Title (italicized or underlined)
  • Volume (if no volume put the year and don't repeat the year at the end)
  • Periodical Abbreviation (see Appendix 5)
  • Page (if pinpoint citing, include the beginning page number and the pinpoint cite)
  • Date
Example

Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. 733, 737-38 (1964).

Nonconsecutively paginated periodicals

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • Author
    • If the author is a student, insert "student author" after the name.
  • Title (italicized or underlined)
  • Volume number (if exists)
  • Periodical Abbreviation (see Appendix 5)
  • Publication Date
  • the word "at"
  • Page (if pinpoint citing, include the beginning page number and the pinpoint cite)
  • Date (use exact date and if there is no specific date, include the abbreviation "no." and the issue number followed by the year)

Susan A. Berson, Starting Up: If You're Hanging a Shingle in 2011, 97 A.B.A. J., Jan. 2011, at 40.

Treatises

Bluebook

Rule 15 of the Bluebook (20th ed.) covers citing treatises. There are many variables in citing a treatise so definitely consult the rule for its many permutations. 

Elements

Generally, a citation to a treatise should contain the following elements:

  • Volume (if applicable)
  • Author (see R. 15(b) for more than 2 authors and R. 15(c) for institutional authors)
  • Title (italicized or underlined)
  • Section and/or Page
  • Editor, translators (if applicable)
  • Edition
  • Copyright Date

Example

2 Joseph M. Perillo & Helen Hadjiyannakis Bender, Corbin on Contracts § 1.1 (1993).

ALWD

Rule 20.3 of the ALWD Citation Manual (5th ed.) covers the citation of books.

Elements
  • Volume number (if applicable)
  • Author (see R. 20.1(b)(2) for multiple authors and R. 20.1(b)(3) for institutional authors
  • Title (italicized or underlined)
  • Section and/or Page
  • Editor, translators (if applicable)
  • Edition
  • Date

Example

2 Joseph M. Perillo & Helen Hadjiyannakis Bender, Corbin on Contracts § 1.1 (1993).

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