Bluebook Rules Guide

The Bluebook is the definitive style guide for legal citation in the United States.

"Needless to say, I have not read the nineteenth edition. I have dipped into it, much as one might dip one's toes in a pail of freezing water. I am put in mind of Mr. Kurtz's dying words in Heart of Darkness - 'The horror! The horror!' - and am tempted to end there."

-- Judge Richard Posner



Jump to: Cases | Books | Periodicals | Newspapers | Internet | Signals


Cases (Rule 10)

To cite a case, list the following elements in order:

    1. Name of the case;
    2. Reporter volume number;
    3. Reporter (abbreviation);
    4. First page where the case can be found in the reporter;
    5. Abbreviation for the state court where the case was decided (within parentheses);
    6. Year of decision (within parentheses).


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Books (Rule 15)

To cite a book, treatise or pamphlet, list the following elements in order:

    1. Name of the author in full (in small caps);
    2. Title of the book (in small caps);
    3. Page, section or paragraph number;
    4. Edition number (if there is more than one edition) (within parentheses);
    5. Year of publication (within parentheses).


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Periodicals (Rule 16)

To cite a periodical, law review or law journal, list the following elements in order:

    1. Name of the author in full;
    2. Title of the article (italicized);
    3. Volume number;
    4. Journal name (abbreviation);
    5. Page number (first page the article appears in);
    6. Year of publication (within parentheses).


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Newspapers / Magazines (Rule 16)

To cite a newspaper or magazine, list the following elements in order:

    1. Name of the author in full;
    2. Title of the article (italicized);
    3. Newspaper or magazine name (full or abbreviation);
    4. Date of the article;
    5. The word "at";
    6. Page number (first page the article appears in).


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Internet Resources (Rule 18)

To cite a source on the internet, list the following elements in order:

    1. Name of the author in full;
    2. Title of the article or page (italicized);
    3. Website name (in small caps);
    4. Date of the article or publication (within parentheses);
    5. URL;


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Signals ( Id. / Supra / Hereinafter / See / See also / See generally )


Id. and supra (Rule 4.1)


1. Id. indicates the source is the same as the above footnote but at a different page number (footnote 2 in below example);

2. When there is more than one source in a preceding footnote, use the authors last names instead of Id. (footnote 4 in below example);

3. supra indicates the source is the same as a preceding footnote. It must point to the footnote number which contains the full citation and not to a footnote with Id. or supra (footnote 5 in below example).


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hereinafter (Rule 4.2)


1. hereinafter is used to rename a previous footnote by specifying a reference word (footnote 1 in below example);

2. hereinafter must be written in square brackets followed by the reference which must be italicized (footnote 1 in below example);

3. The supra note must then state the referenced hereinafter word (footnote 3 in below example).


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see, see also, see generally (Rule 1.2)


1. [no signal]: If there is no need for a signal, this indicates that the original words quoted or referenced directly support the views in the main text;

2. See indicates that the cited authority clearly supports, but not directly states the proposition given in the main text;

3. See also indicates that the cited authority constitutes additional material that supports the proposition given in the main text;

4. See generally indicates that the cited authority presents helpful background material related to the proposition in the main text.


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