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Researching for a Scholarly Article or Seminar (SAW) Paper: Bluebooking

A guide to help you get started on your big paper.

How to Use the Bluebook

The Bluebook provides a system of citation for legal articles. When using the Bluebook it is useful to take a few minutes to read the Introduction (first two pages). When writing a scholarly article, you will spend most of your time in the "white pages" and the tables at the back the Bluebook. The blue pages at the front of the book are intended more for practicing attorneys. 

An effective method for using the Bluebook is to use the index at the back of the book to look up the type of source you are trying to cite. It is common to see Bluebooks tabbed with sticky tabs marking the most commonly used sections. You can also use the quick guide to Bluebooking in the Cite Checking Resources guide for more details on commonly used sections. 

Learning to Bluebook Workshop

Our online on-demand "Learning to Bluebook" workshop is available on our "Workshops in the Library Research Series" page.  

The asynchronous workshop is comprised of a series of videos (totaling one hour) that will guide you through citation exercises in an online quiz.  The workshop covers important points of Bluebook citations and tips for navigating the rules. Make sure you have access to the current Bluebook (the 21st edition) as you watch the videos! 

Other Bluebooking Resources

Loyola Law School Los Angeles Library -- Bluebooking and Legal Citation Guide.  This user-friendly and detailed guide provides information on creating Bluebook and California Style Manual citations.

Georgetown Law Library -- Bluebook Guide.  This guide serves as a good introduction to The Bluebook and basic concepts of legal citation.

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation.  Cornell Law Professor Peter W. Martin offers this online guide for basic legal citation.

Blue Tips.  Written by the editors of The Bluebook, Blue Tips answers common citation format questions.

Citing Legally.  For true citation wonks, this blog, maintained by Cornell Law Professor Peter W. Martin, is a forum for discussions of citation policy and practices.