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Legal Writing

What is the Bluebook?

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 Law Library Stacks).  These can be checked out from the Circulation Desk for in-library use. 

Books and Articles

ALWD Guide to Legal Citation (Carolyn V. Williams, 2021)
This resource from a legal writing professor and the Association of Legal Writing Directors focuses its attention on legal citation for legal practice, codifying the most common legal citation rules. It also notes differences in the rules of academic citation, with clear visual signals to prevent confusion. It includes guidelines for citing sources not specifically addressed in the rules.

Cite-Checker: Your Guide to Using The Bluebook (Deborah E. Bouchoux, 2021)
This title clearly explains Bluebook rules most commonly used by practitioners, including those regarding primary and secondary authority, quotations, signals, and abbreviated forms. 

The Bluebook Uncovered (Dionne E. Anthon, 2020)
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, 2021)
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. Also on West Academic (available on campus, remotely with ASURITE, or with an ASU West Academic account). 

Understanding and Mastering The Bluebook (Linda J. Barris, 2020)
This instruction manual for using the Bluebook lays out the basic rules of legal citation. It does not focus attention on the many exceptions to Bluebook rules or less common rules. It helps readers cite to cases, statutes, constitutions, regulations, procedural and court rules, secondary sources, and litigation documents. 

User's Guide to The Bluebook (Alan L. Dworsky, 2020)
This pamphlet, revised for the 21st Edition of The Bluebook, provides plain language interpretations of citation rules for practitioners (from the Bluepages) such as when and when not to underline words. It provides a brief overview of the rules in general, and goes into depth on commonly cited documents such as cases and statutes.

Alexa Z. Chew, Citation Literacy70 Ark. L. Rev. 869 (2018)
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.