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Legal Writing: Legal Citation


Choosing a Paper Topic
     In Introduction
     Ask a Librarian
     Circuit Splits
     Hot Legal Topics
     Further Reading
     General Legal News
     Law Blogs

Conducting a Preemption Check
     Does Your Paper Add New                             Information to the Field?
     Legal Indexes
     Full-Text Legal Databases
     Multidisciplinary Journal Content
     Working Paper Repositories

Avoiding Plagiarism
     Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
     Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism
     Resources for More Information

Legal Citation
    What is the Bluebook?
    Understanding Bluebook Citations
    Law Reviews and Journals


The reference librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are happy to help you find or navigate research resources. 

Librarians are available 9:00am-4pm Monday-Friday at the reference desk, by phone, or by e-mail.

Phone: (480) 965-6144
E-mail us now

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students can also make an individual appointment with a librarian for one-on-one assistance by submitting an online request form


The Bluebook, formally titled The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, is the style manual for citing to legal documents within the United States.  The Bluebook is compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal.

The Law Library has 4 copies of the current edition on reserve (and several of the previous edition in the study skills collection).  These can be checked out for in-library use at the Circulation Desk. 


The Bluebook Uncovered (Dionne E. Anthon)
Perfect for law students preparing for the All-Journal Write-on Exam or anyone trying to improve their citation sentences and footnotes, this slim volume features a practical rearrangement of Bluebook topics in descending importance.

Legal Citation in a Nutshell (Larry L. Teply)
Highlighting the key issues of legal citation and the differences between Bluebook and ALWD conventions of legal citation, either of which writers might apply depending in different jurisdictions.

Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook (Linda J. Barris)
A slimmer, friendlier guide to the most relevant rules in the Bluebook, featuring charts highlighting citation challenges, examples of how to apply the rules, and breakdowns of each component of a citation clause.


Citation Literacy (Alexa Z. Chew, Arkansas Law Review)
Citations in legal documents convey information about the cited authority, such as the degree of influence it has over subsequent cases. But many law students receive insufficient instruction in how to read these important components, as citation sentences tend to be excised from all but a small part of their first-year writing courses.

Shedding the Uniform: Beyond A “Uniform System of Citation” to a More Efficient Fit (Susie Salmon, Marquette Law Review)
Technology promises a new, more cost-effective alternative to the current prevailing citation systems, which appear to be moving toward obsolescence. Schools, lawyers, and courts should embrace time- and cost-saving online resources that provide clear indications of the source of legal matters and their weight.