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Bluebooking Tips and Resources

About this Guide

This guide is designed to give a brief overview to some often-overlooked Bluebook rules and some general tips on using the Bluebook. This guide is not a substitute for the Bluebook, but rather a source to be used to locate rules in the Bluebook.

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.

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.

General Tips

The Bluebook is complex. Very complex. To help you navigate your way, here are some general tips:

Bluebook Guides

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

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.

What to Do if You're Stuck

When the bluebook doesn't have an answer, you can begin your search on Lexis Advance and WestlawNext to locate articles published by the law reviews and journals that author the Bluebook. Those law reviews and journals include:

  • Harvard Law Review 
  • Columbia Law Review
  • Yale Law Journal 
  • University of Pennsylvania Law Review

Note: If searching for a Georgia specific citation such as peach sheets, treatises, reports, etc., limit the search to Georgia schools (Georgia State University College of Law, University of Georgia, Mercer Law School, etc.).

Once you have the article name, you can use HeinOnline to find the article and pull the print version to check citation formatting.

Tables Organization

Rules Organization

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:

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.