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Northern Illinois University
College of Law
David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library

Secondary Sources: Treatises

This Guide will provide a more in-depth explanation about finding, identifying, and using Treatises in legal research

Rule 15: books, Reports, and Other Nonperiodic Material

"This rule governs the citation of books, treatises, reports, white papers, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and all other nonperiodic material"

Main Elements

Rule 15.1 - Author

Rule 15.2 - Editor or Translator

Rule 15.3 - Title

*Rules 3.2 & 3.3 - Page, section, or paragraph (if only part of a work is cited)

Rule 15.4 - Edition, Publisher, and Date

Nuances to Treatise Citations

When citing to Treatises, be sure to keep these nuanced requirements in mind

Rule R15.1 = "Include the volume number, if any, at the beginning of the citation" - i.e. before the authors' names 

Rule R15.1 = Include suffixes ("Jr." or "III") but exclude professional designations ("Dr." or "Prof.")

Rule R15.1(a) = Separate multiple authors by an ampersand (&) not by writing "and"

Rule R15.1(b) = Multiple authors may be named or abbreviated with "et al" after the first author is named

Rule R15.2(a) = Provide the author's name before the title, but provide any editors within the parenthetical at the end of the citation

Rule R15.2(c) = When there are no named authors or editors, provide the publisher's name to attribute the source.

Rule R15.3 = Do not abbreviate the title of a Treatise, do not omit articles, and provide the subtitle only if relevant.

Rule R15.4 = Parenthetical Rule - only list Edition number, publisher, and date (and editor - see above) in the parenthetical

Rule R15.4(a) = Provide the edition your are citing with the ordinal followed by "ed."  Only do this when there are multiple editions.

Rule R15.4(c) = Provide the publisher in the parenthetical only when the cited edition is not published by the original publisher

Rules R3.2 & R3.3 = Citing to pages (only when the Treatise does not use section numbers) and sections in Treatises

Rule R3.2(a) = Provide the page number the citation begins prior to the parenthetical.  Do not preface pages with "p." or "pp."

Rule R3.3 = Identify the section the citation begins at designated with a section symbol (§) prior to the parenthetical.

Rule R3.3 = If a section spans multiple pages, you may also cite to the specific page cited, with "at" before the page number.

Rule R3.3(a) = When citing to multiple sections (two or more), use two section symbols (even if more than two sections are cited).

Example Citations

Below are citations to experts from the examples in "Print Treatises in the Law Library" Tab.

6 Daniel R. Coquillette, Gregory P. Joseph, Georgene M. Vairo & Chilton Davis Varner, Moore's Federal Practice § 26.40 (3d. 2018).

Volume 6, Four Authors, Title and Section cited to (Third edition updated in 2018)).

4 Wayne R. LaFave, Search and Seizure § 9.3 (5th ed. 2017).

Volume 4, One Author, Treatise title and Section 9.3 cited to (Fifth Edition updated in 2017).

4 Melville B. Nimmer & David Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright § 12B.02 (rev. ed. 2018). 

Volume 4, Two Authors, Title, Section cited to (revised edition updated in 2018).

2 Ronald D. Rotunda & John E. Nowak, Treatise on Constitutional Law § 13.4(a) (5th ed. 2017).

Volume 2, Two Authors, Title and Section cited (Fifth edtiion updated in 2017).

1 Gunnar J. Gitlin & H. Joseph Gitlin, Gitlin on Divorce § 2-7 (4th ed. 2018).

Volume 1, Two Authors, Title and Section cited to (Fourth Edition updated in 2018).

For More Information on Bluebooking

See the Sample Bluebook Citations LibGuide for more information on the Bluebook and for more sample citations.

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