Bluebook Citation Guide For Every Law Assignment That You Have

While you may not know about Bluebook format citation (if you are not among those college Law students), it is still one of those writing styles that are requested for the footnotes when one must deal with legislative writing. Currently, Bluebook citation style is already in 20st edition and represents a book that is about 570 pages! Can you imagine listing through such a thick book that tells about legal citations? It is sufficient to say that we have browsed all the way through it to make things easier for you. Things may seem challenging if you have not tried it in practice. While you may not need this citation format if you are not creating some legal documents or will use a bluebook legal citation generator, it is still necessary if you have to quote certain litigation documents or laws in the United States. However, it must be noted that even if you are not studying Law, your Political Science course may include some patents or statutes that you need to quote. In any case, our Bluebook style citation guide is a simplified reference version that will take the most important from the 570 pages Bluebook manual. 

Information You Need Provide in Bluebook Citation 

Even if you are ready to use Bluebook law citation maker and think that it does not matter how the formatting works, we still insist that it is important to have at least the basic knowledge. It must be noted that the Chicago Manual of Style also recommends using Bluebook for any legal paper that you encounter for your college assignments. The manual is intended for the lawyers and judges, which is why the rules that we have below are meant for college students. Let us start with these basics: 

  1. Depending on your document, you must underline all substitutes where italics have been used before (or go backward). 
  2. When you quote a certain authority, do not use full citations and shorten them for your subsequent cases. 
  3. It is possible to use the "id" form that will show that your citation comes from the same organization or source as before. 

For example, when you are dealing with the court case, it will follow this way: 

  • Name of your court case.
  • The original source where your court hearing or a document has been located. 
  • The court where the case has been ruled. 
  • The year when your court decision has happened. 

In practice, it will look this way: 

Case Name, Source page number (Court year) (additional information as needed).

The shortened version is as is: 

Shortened Case Name, Source at the page number.

Now it is the most common case when you are dealing with the courts because when you write about the U.S. Constitution, the rules will be different. Before you proceed with manual Bluebook citations, we shall proceed to more examples. 

How to Create Bluebook Citations

Since Bluebook will not have many print book or website sources like it is common for almost any citation style, we are mostly dealing with the various types of legal documents. Since we have reviewed the court hearings, let us see how things happen with documents like the Constitution. 

bluebook citation format

Here is the basic template that we must follow: 

  1. Use the abbreviated title of the constitution. 
  2. Specify which subdivision precisely you are talking about. 
  3. Set your title of the constitution in small caps unless specified otherwise. 
  4. Your subdivisions must be listed with comma separation.
  5. Implement things in order of decrease. 

The legal citation template goes like this: 

Constitution Title subdivision, subdivision. 

U.S. Const. art. II, § 7, cl. 11.

As you can see, some abbreviations are used. Let us review some of them below: 

Amendment - amend., Article - art., Clause - cl., Paragraph - para., Part - pt., Preamble - pmbl., Section - §. 

Note: 21st Bluebook edition does not require citing a year when citing a current federal statutory code. 

Bluebook Citation Examples 

Even if you turn to automatic Bluebook citation, see some rules for referencing: 

Book example will require the following: 

  • Volume number (for multivolume works).
  • Author's full name as it appears on the title page.
  • Title of the book (italicized or underlined).
  • Page, section, or paragraph that you cite.
  • Edition (for works with multiple editions).
  • Year of publication.

2B James Hadley Chase & John S. Michaels, Criminal Court Procedure § 34 (2d ed. 2011) 

Law Reviews & Periodicals 

For this case, you should include the following elements: 

  • Author's full name as it appears in your original source. 
  • Title of the article. It can be underlined or italicized.
  • Volume number.
  • Journal title abbreviation.
  • First page of the article.
  • Date of publication.

We get this example for our Bluebook citation format in real life: 

Perry Mason & Julius R. Windsor, Criminal Court Management in Utah, 13 Legm. C.L. & Criminal. 22 (2008).

Citing Bills and Resolutions 

You must find and include the following information: 

  • Title of the bill. 
  • Document number. 
  • Term and session of a specific legislative body or association if available. 
  • Relevant sections to your resolution/bill. 
  • Year published. 

Of course, it is much better to implement Bluebook citation help, yet if you want to see what we receive as an example, it becomes this: 

Act Title, Document Number, Term # Legislative Body, Session § number (Year).

Minors Dream Aliens Protection Act, C.S. 1711, 119th Cong. § 2 (2012).

Why Use Our Bluebook Style Guide? 

Now that you have seen all the woes and pains of citing in legal Bluebook citation format, we recommend using our referencing guidebook. Here are some features that we have: 

  1. It is absolutely free. 
  2. Our online Bluebook citation guide will help you to avoid any plagiarism risks. 
  3. You can rely on our examples and make your citations manually to keep every formatting precisely as it has been without seeking abbreviations or clauses. 

Most importantly, our Bluebook case citation guide helps to save time and avoid getting your grade low because of minor formatting mistakes. Head over to our Bluebook citation website and reach for success! For automatic referencing go to the free APA citation generator.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Related Blog Posts

Receive regular updates, discounts, study guides and more

By clicking “Subscribe”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.