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The Bluebook: A Systematic Approach: Aids Within The Bluebook



The Bluebook contains some internal aids to help you find citation formats and information on local conventions.


Quick Reference:  Court Documents and Legal Memoranda


Located on the inside back cover of the The Bluebook. Just what its name suggests, a very quick and basic reference. Sometimes your citation question will be answered by simply opening the back cover!


Contains basic sample citations for:

·         Cases

·         Constitutions

·         Statutes

·         Legislative Materials

·         Letters

·         Interviews

·         Treaties

·         Books

·         Periodical Materials

·         The Internet

·         Court Documents


Table BT2


This table pulls together jurisdiction-specific citation rules and style guides. It’s a good idea to consult this table first because when there’s a conflict between The Bluebook and local rules, local rules trump! The table is arranged by jurisdiction with federal courts first and state courts following in alphabetical order. Here’s a sample:



Basic Citation Forms


These appear at the beginning of certain rules and provide samples of citation forms. Sometimes these samples are all you need to consult. Look at the following example. This is Rule 10.1 showing basic citation forms for cases. Formats are listed for many eventualities, some more common than others. You will most often be using the formats for decisions available in electronic database or published decisions. 


Basic citation forms are available for:

·         Cases – Rule 10.1

·         Statutes – Rule 12.1

·         Legislative Materials – Rule 13.1

·         Administrative Materials – Rule 14.1

·         Periodicals – Rule 16.1

·         Unpublished and Forthcoming Sources – Rule 17.1

·         Internet Materials – Rule 18.1

·         International Materials – Rule 21.1