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.
There have been several noteworthy changes to The Bluebook for its 20th Edition. Some of the biggest include:
For a more detailed list of changes, see the Preface of the 20th Edition.
The Bluebook is complex. Very complex. To help you navigate your way, here are some general tips:
The following sites contain some helpful information and guides to properly formatting Bluebook-style citations.
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.
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:
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.
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: