Last Updated: Jun 22, 2023 Views: 487

Questions to ask yourself and topics to consider for The Bluebook, formally titled The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, is the style manual for citing to legal documents within the United States.

Bluebook FAQs

When should I use Bluebook APA style?

Whenever you: make an assertion about the law, quote a legal source directly, or paraphrase a legal source.

Does my citation vary depending on the type of material?

Yes. The Bluebook has three formats for: hard-copy print, print+electronic, and electronic only.

What is the basic format of a case citation?

General Format:

Case Name, Volume Number Reporter Abbreviation First Page of Case (Court Decision Year)

For Example:

Am. Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc., 60 F3d 913 (2nd Cir. 1994)

Note: In court documents (briefs, motions) and legal memoranda, a full case name is usually italicized or underlined but in academic legal writing (i.e., a law review article), full case names are generally NOT  underlined or italicized. 

What is the basic format of a statue citation?

General Format:

Title Code Abbreviation § Section (Date of Code Edition)

For Example:

17 U.S.C. § 107 (2012)

What is the basic format for other resources?

There are multiple formats for each and every type of resource. See the Bluebook guide for specifics for: books and reports, regulations, law reviews, etc. 

How do I cite Internet resources?

It’s important to remember that The Bluebook requires citation to printed material when it’s available, unless there is an authenticated, official, or exact digital copy of the printed sources.

Is "et al" allowed? 

No. Ex: Instead of ‘Smith et al v. Jones, type: Smith v. Jones

What if a business uses more than one name?

Drop all other names, keep the first name only.

Can I add the word ‘the’ in my citation?

No. Only if the business actually has ‘the’ in its official name.

What are common business abbreviations that are acceptable?


  • Co. (Company)
  • Inc. (Incorporated)
  • No. (Number)
  • Ass’n (Association)
  • Corp. (Corporation) 
  • Ltd. (Limited) 
  • & (And)
  • Bros. (Brothers)
  • and any widely recognized acronyms. 

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