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Legal Citation

Tips and tricks for starting out with the Bluebook, ALWD, or other legal citation guide.


The seventh edition of the Association of Legal Writing Directors' Guide to Legal Citation (ALWD Guide) provides an appendix (Appendix 8) that maps each sentence that has a corresponding rule in the 21st edition of The Bluebook.

ALWD contains six major parts:

  1. Citation Basics
    Addresses key concepts—typeface, abbreviations, numbers, pinpoint references, and full or short citations.
  2. Citing Specific Sources
    Popular primary and secondary authorities
  3. Online Sources
    The internet, commercial databases, and other electronic mediablogs, email, listserv postings, and social media.
  4. Incorporating Citations into Documents
    Placement of citationscitation sentences, citation clauses, embedded citations, citations to multiple authorities, signals and parentheticals.
  5. Quotations
    Covers punctuation and formatting, as well as how to make alterations to or indicate omissions from a quoted text.
  6. Appendices
    General and specialized abbreviations for official and unofficial reporters, statutes, and administrative publications, as well as complete abbreviations for legal periodicals.
Rule / Table Pages Description
Rule 1 2-7 Typeface conventions for court documents and legal memoranda
Rules 35, 36 370-385 Introductory signals, order of signals, and order of authorities within signals
Rule 11 44-54 Short citation forms (i.e., citing materials previously cited)
Rule 38 392-403 Formatting quotations
Rule 12 54-108 Citing cases
Rule 13 108-112 Citing constitutions
Rule 14 112-131 Citing statutes
Rule 18 185-205 Citing regulations and administrative materials
Rules 30-33 333-363 Citing electronic sources and Internet sources
Appendix 1 417 Preferred U.S. federal and state sources and abbreviations
Appendix 3(E) 487 Abbreviations for case names
Appendix 5 Online Abbreviations for periodicals and looseleaf services