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Bluebook Citation 101 -- Practitioner Format

Constitutions

Rule 11 of The Bluebook (20th ed. 2015) covers the citation of Constitutions.

Elements

The citation should include the following:

  • U.S. or the abbreviated name of the state (see T. 10)
  • Const.
  • Abbreviate any subdivisions per Table 16

Examples

U.S. Const. amend. XIII, § 1.

Ohio Const. art. I.

Session Laws

Bluebook

Rule 12.4 of The Bluebook (21st ed. 2020) covers the citation of session laws. The Bluepages B12.1.1 and Table 1 should also be consulted. The citation should include the following:

Elements

  • Title of Act
    • Use official or popular name if one exists
    • Otherwise identify the act with the date of enactment or effectiveness (abbreviated per T. 12)
  • Volume (if no volume, give the year)
  • Abbreviated name of session law publication (see  T. 1)
  • Pages and sections (if pinpoint citing give the beginning page and the relevant page to which you are citing)
  • Year of enactment (if no date of enactment, use effective date)
  • Codification information (as a parenthetical)

Examples:

Immigration and Nationality Act, Pub. L. No. 82-414, § 101, 66 Stat. 163, 167 (1952) (codified as amended at 8 U.S.C. § 1101).

Act of Dec. 31, 1996, Pub. Act 89-685, 1996 Ill. Laws 685 (codified as amended at 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-107).

Act of Apr. 12, 1994, § 2, 1993-1994 Ohio Laws 6546, 6548-50.

Am. S. B. No. 47, 2013 Ohio Legis. Serv. Ann. L-13, L-23 (West) (codified as amended at Ohio Rev. Stat. § 3503.06).

Am. S. B. No. 47, 2013 Ohio Legis. Bull. 24, 39, (Lexis) (codified as amended at Ohio Rev. Stat. § 3503.06).

ALWD

Rule 14.6 & 14.8 in the ALWD Citation Manual (7th ed.) covers the citation of session laws.

Elements

  • Title of Act
    • Use official or popular name if one exists (omit "the")
    • Otherwise identify the act with the date of enactment or effectiveness (abbreviated per Appx. 3(A))
  • Law abbreviation
  • The abbreviation "No."
  • Law number
  • Pinpoint reference (if applicable)
  • Volume
  • Abbreviated name of session law publication (See Appx. 1)
  • Pages and sections (if pinpoint citing give the beginning page and the relevant page to which you are citing)
  • Year
  • Codification information (as a parenthetical)

Examples

Immigration and Nationality Act, Pub. L. No. 82-414, § 101, 66 Stat. 163, 167 (1952) (codified as amended at 8 U.S.C. § 1101).

Act of Apr. 12, 1994, § 2, 1993-1994 Ohio Laws 6546, 6548-50.

Codes

Bluebook

Rule 12 of The Bluebook (21st ed. 2020) covers the citation of statutes.

Elements

  • Name and original section number as it appears in the session laws (only if the statute is commonly cited that way)
  • Title, Chapter, or Volume (see  T. 1, 1.3)
  • Code (cite to the official code if at all possible)
  • Section
  • Publisher, editor or compiler (unless the code is published by or under the supervision of government officials)
  • Year (optional for federal codes) (on spine or title page if available, otherwise year on title page, and if not that, the copyright year)
  • Supplements (see Rule 3.1 to cite any material appearing in supplements)

Examples:

42 U.S.C.§ 1983.

8 U.S.C. §§ 1187-89.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3503.06 (West 2007).

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3503.06 (LexisNexis 2009).

Citing to Online Codes -- Rule 12.5 and 18.3:

The Bluebook requires you to cite to the official code if it is available. If citing to a statute that is available on a commercial online service such as Lexis or Westlaw, provide the following:

  • Title, Chapter, or Volume (see  T. 1)
  • Code (cite to the official code if at all possible)
  • Section
  • Publisher, editor or compiler
  • Name of the database
  • Currency of the database

Examples:

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3503.06 (Lexis, Lexis Advance current with legis. passed by the 132d General Assemb. and filed with the Sec. of State through file 178 (HB 532)).

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3503.06 (West, Westlaw through File 42 of the 132d General Assemb. (2017-2018) and 2017 State Issue 1).

ALWD

Rule 14 of the ALWD Citation Manual (7th ed.) covers the citations to codes.

Elements

A citation to the Federal statutes should include the following:

  • Title number (if applicable)
  • Code Abbreviation (cite to official code where possible - see Appendix 1)
  • Section
  • Publisher (if unofficial)
  • Date

Examples

42 U.S.C.§ 1983 (2006).

8 U.S.C. §§ 1187-89 (2006 & Supp. IV 2011).

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3503.06 (West 2007).

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3503.06 (LexisNexis 2009).

Online Codes

  • Use regular citation form but add the name of the database provider and currency information

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