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UCLA School of Law Legal Research and Writing Guide: A User-Friendly Guide to The Bluebook

This Guide provides basic research and writing guidance for UCLA School of Law students beginning their legal careers.
URL: http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/researchandwritingguide

Introduction

In legal memoranda, you must support your arguments with authority. This authority will include mostly cases and statutes. Whenever you rely on authority, you must cite to show the source of the authority.

The Bluebook provides all the rules on how to properly cite legal authority. This guide has three purposes: (1) to show you how to use efficiently The Bluebook; (2) to point out important sections that explain how to cite in court documents; and (3) to provide specific examples of commonly used rules. Note that this guide does not directly address proper Bluebook form for citations in law journals. The difference between citing in court documents and law journals is further addressed in Part II of the next section.

While this guide is not an exhaustive explanation of all The Bluebook rules, it is a helpful tool to use in conjunction with The Bluebook. This guide is broken down into eight sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. The General Organization of The Bluebook
  3. Citing Cases
  4. Citing Statutes
  5. Citing Secondary Resources
  6. Citing Discovery Materials 
  7. Formatting the Text 
  8. Tabbing System for The Bluebook