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Faculty Research Assistants Resources

A guide to resources and procedures for students working as research assistants within the College of Law.

20th Edition Noteworthy Changes

There have been several noteworthy changes to The Bluebook for its 20th Edition. Some of the biggest include: 

  • The Bluepages (court documents and legal memoranda) now parallel the Whitepages (academic legal writing)
  • introduction of first citation format for eBooks Rule 15.9
  • clarity on using online newspapers instead of print newspapers Rule 16.6 (f)
  • direction on using archival tools to cite Internet resources Rule 18.2.1 (d)
  • guidelines for citing social media excerpts, like tweets and Facebook posts Rule 18.2.2 (a) & Rule 18.2.2 (b) (v) 
  • how to cite blog titles contained within a larger website Rule 18.2.2 (b) (iii)

For a more detailed list of changes, see the Preface of the 20th Edition.

Bluebook Citations

It's always a good idea to become more proficient in using the Bluebook, but it's even more important when you're working for faculty. Most of our faculty's work must conform to the Bluebook, and you may be asked to check that their citations are properly formatted. Unless the faculty member for which you are working says otherwise, it is also a good practice to make sure that any bibliographies or other lists of sources that you give to the faculty are properly formatted in Bluebook style. This will help when any of these sources need to be cited later.

The following sites contain some helpful information and guides to properly formatting Bluebook-style citations.

Bluebook Survival Tips

1. Tab your Bluebook. 

Tab rules or sources that you use often. 

2. Look up every rule.

There is a rule of almost every little nuance, so even when not in doubt, look it up. 

3. Use the Index. 

The index is your best friend. It's like having a librarian at your side. Most of the sources you will have questions about can be found in the index.  

4. Unable to locate source in Bluebook? 

If you are unable to locate an exampe of how to locate a source in the Bluebook, do a search to see how the source was cited in the Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and UPenn law reviews. Where better to find the answer than from the editors of the Bluebook. Additionally, if it is a source from a particular state, like the Peach Sheets, try searching for how that source was cited in law reviews from that state. 

Bluebook Organization

Bluepages (p. 3-51) provide an abbreviated introduction to the Bluebook. Start your citation search within this section for practitioner legal writing: court documents and legal memoranda.

Whitepages (p. 52-214) supplement the Bluepages, and are helpful in areas that the Bluepages may not address. This section is for academic legal writing: journals and law reviews.

RULES

Rules 1 - 9: Style and Order 

  • Rule 2: Typefaces for Law Reviews provides information on when to use ordinary roman type, underlinesitalicized, or Large and Small Capitals in Citations and textual material. 

Rules 10 - 14: U.S. Primary Sources 

Rules 15 - 17: Secondary Sources 

Rule 18: Internet, Electronic Media, and Other Nonprint Resources 

Rules 20 - 21: Foreign and International Sources 

TABLES

Tables 1 – 5: Jurisdictional sources

Tables 6 – 16: Abbreviations

  • Table 10: Abbreviations in case names
  • Table 13: Abbreviations in periodical names
  • Table 16: Subdivision abbreviations

Most Useful Bluebook Tables

The Bluepages Tables (BT1 and BT2): (p. 28)

The Bluepages Tables are the go-to for initial citation formation, and includes abbreviations for words commonly found in court documents and jurisdiction-specific citation rules.


T6 Case Names: (p. 430)  

This table provides all of the ways the Bluebook wants you to abbreviate case names.  By far the most referenced Bluebook table.


T1 United States Jurisdictions: (p. 215)

Provides correct citation and abbreviation information for all United States jurisdictions, including federal, state, and territories.


T7 Court Names: (p. 432)

Provides abbreviations for court names to be used in citing cases according to Rule 10.4.


T10 Geographical Terms: (p. 436)

Gives abbreviations for geographical locations for use in case citations, names of institutional authors, periodical abbreviations, foreign materials, and treaty citations.   


T13 Periodicals: (p. 444)

Contains an alphabetical list of abbreviations for select periodicals and individual words commonly found in periodicals. 


T2 Foreign Jurisdictions: (p. 277)

Provides correct citation and abbreviation for foreign jurisdictions, basic information about the legal system of various countries, and websites for additional information.  

Abbreviations

The following list most of the abbreviations you're likely to come across.

Style & Usage

Other Citation Styles

You probably remember other citation styles, such as APA or MLA, from undergrad; sometimes our faculty need to have their citations formatted in these styles rather than in Bluebook. If this is the case, we can help. Check out these resources first:

Citation Software

Citation software can help organize, store, and format citations in a variety of citation styles, including Bluebook. Some software allows sharing among a group of researchers, which can be helpful for you and your faculty member. The following citation managers all work with Bluebook format.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the State of Georgia, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Georgia State University College of Law and the authors of the works contained on this website do not assume or accept any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currentness, or comprehensiveness of the content on this website. The content on this website does not in any manner constitute the issuance of legal advice or counsel. The information on this website is intended to provide resources that may aid the research of the topics presented, and are in no way a comprehensive list of sources one should consult on the topics presented. Please note that case law, statutory law, and administrative law may be modified and/or overturned. Additionally, because the laws vary between jurisdictions, the laws referred to herein may or may not be applicable to the law within the reader’s jurisdiction.