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SJD Seminar and Thesis Formatting Guide

Formatting guide added during Sept., 2020

Bluebook Citation Hints

Please see the library's Legal Citation Research Guide for information about formatting footnotes. The library has many print copies of the 21th edition (2020) of the Bluebook, which you may use in the library.

Bluebook FAQs

These are some areas that many students find challenging:

  1. Pinpoint citations: A proper bluebook citation to a journal article or book includes the page on which the quote or assertion appears.  In this example, I am citing a quote that appears on page 72:

Joseph A. Custer, Managing Internal Administrative Change, 92 Law Libr. J. 71, 72 (2000) 

  1. Quotations in footnotes: When using someone else's words in a footnote, one must use quotation marks and cite the source. The two ways to do this are a parenthetical or including the citation after the quote, like this:

Joseph A. Custer, Managing Internal Administrative Change, 92 Law Libr. J. 71, 72 (2000) ("Change involves phases, and how well the phases are managed determines the level of successful change.")

"Change involves phases, and how well the phases are managed determines the level of successful change." Joseph A. Custer, Managing Internal Administrative Change, 92 Law Libr. J. 71, 72 (2000).

  1. Id and Supra:  You can only use "Id." if the previous footnote only contains a single source. When using supra, you need to give information about the source, in addition to the footnote where it appeared.  For example:

Footnote 1:  Joseph A. Custer, Managing Internal Administrative Change, 92 Law. Libr. J. 71, 72 (2000) ("Change involves phases, and how well the phases are managed determines the level of successful change."); Michael P. Scharf, Universal Jurisdiction and the Crime of Aggression, 53 Harv. Int'l L.J. 357 (2012).

Footnote 2: Custer, supra note 1.

Footnote 3: Id. 

Because of the Scharf article is with the Custer article in footnote 1, it is necessary to use supra to cite the Custer article, but because the Custer article is alone in footnote 2, it is OK to use id for footnote 3.

  1. Citing materials in non-Roman fonts: Bluebook Rule 20 is about documents in non-English languages. If the name of a work is not in a Roman font, transliterate it using "a standard transliteration system."  The Bluebook suggests the ALA-LC Romanization tables.