About the Bluebook
The Bluebook establishes rules for citing law sources like court cases, constitutions, statutes, etc. The rules are too complicated to summarize here, so be sure to get a copy of the printed guide.
Web-Based Guides to Bluebook Citation
These sites provide in-depth introductions to Bluebook citation rules. They aren't comprehensive, but they cover the basics well.
Understanding Statute Citations
Statutes are published in books called codes, which present laws arranged by subject.
Statute citations have a volume, the name of the cited code, a section, and a date:
Example: 42 U.S.C. § 7706(a) (1994).
- 42 = Volume that contains the statue
- U.S.C. = Abbreviation for the United States Code
- 7706(a) = Section of the code being cited
- 1994 = Year the code volume was published
Understanding Case Citations
Court opinions are published in sets of books called reporters.
Example: Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 318 (1993).
- Reno v. Flores = Names of the parties
- 507 = Volume that contains the cited case
- U.S. = Abbreviation for the reporter
- 318 = Starting page number for this case
- 1993 = Year of the court decision
For lower courts, we also add the name of the court:
Example: Curry v. State, 228 S.W.3d 292 (Tex. App.—Waco 2007).
- Curry v. State = Names of the parties
- 228 = Volume that contains the cited case
- S.W.3d = Abbreviation for the reporter
- 292 = Starting page number for this case
- Tex. App.-Waco = Name of the court
- 2007 = Year of the court decision