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Bluebook Citation 101 -- Academic Format

If writing a scholarly article, you will need to provide correct attribution to your sources. This guide provides basic information on Bluebook citation in the scholarly format. Students writing seminar papers will find this guide invaluable.

Citation Format

Rule 10 of The Bluebook (20th ed. 2015) governs the citation of cases.

The citation should include the following:

Elements

  • Case Name - first listed parties on each side (use T. 6) (note the case name is not italicized unless short form used)
  • Volume
  • Reporter (see T. 1)
  • Page
  • Court and jurisdiction in parenthetical (see T.1, T.7, T.10)
  • Year in parenthetical
  • Subsequent History after parenthetical (if applicable)

Example 1

United States v. Prince Line, Ltd., 189 F.2d 386, 387 (2d Cir. 1951).

Explanation

  • Case Name:  Note there is no abbreviation of United States per 10.2.2.  Abbreviate Ltd. Per R. 10.2.1(c), T.6. 
  • Reporter:  Abbreviate the F.2d reporter per R. 6 (single adjacent caps), R. 6.2(b)(ii) (no superscript, use 2d instead of 2nd) & T.1.
  • Court:  Abbreviate Second Circuit per R. 6, T.1, T.7.  Note that there is no superscript per R. 6.2(b)(ii).

Example 2

Arredondo v. Pollard, 498 F. Supp. 2d 1113 (E.D. Wis. 2007), aff’d sub nom. Arredondo v. Huibregtse, 542 F.3d 1155 (7th Cir. 2008).

Explanation

  • Case Name
  • Reporter:  Abbreviate the F. Supp. 2d reporter and the F.3d reporter per R. 6 (single adjacent caps), R. 6.2(b)(ii) (no superscript, use 2d instead of 2nd and 3d instead of 3rd) & T.1.
  • Court:  Abbreviate Eastern District of Wisconsin and 7th Circuit per R. 6, T.1, T.7, T.10.  Note that there is no superscript per R. 6.2(b)(ii).
  • Subsequent History, name change on appeal: R. 10.7, 10.7.2, T.8

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