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

Sample Bluebook Citations

How to use the Bluebook When Citing in Legal Research/Writing Classes

In this course, students will be expected to follow the rules of legal citation set forth in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.)

Always consult the Bluebook for additional information. Some helpful sections include:

  • See R. 3 (p. 71) for information on subdivisions, supplements, etc.
  • See R. 6 (p. 87) for information on spacing & abbreviations.
  • See R. 8 (p. 91) for information on capitalization.

Important: IGNORE R. 2 for assignments in Legal Research & Legal Writing classes

  • R. 2 refers to the typefaces used in law reviews and has nothing to do with the way practitioners cite. All of the examples in the Bluebook (except the "Blue Pages" and back cover Quick Reference) show law review typeface (e.g., SMALL CAPS).
  • For your Legal Research and Legal Writing classes you are to use the citation format used in documents being submitted to the court. Do not use SMALL CAPS in any citations.
  • Always italicize case names, article names, etc. See the chart on B1 (pp. 6-7) for a complete list and follow the "Non-Academic Citation" column.
  • Designating sections: Your word processing program should be able to produce the section symbol (§). In Word, select the Insert tab then select Symbol (at the far right hand side of the ribbon). If you are not able to produce a section symbol, use the abbreviation sec. for a single section and secs. for multiple sections.


The content in this guide is derived from the work of Professor Therese Clarke Arado, who has written and updated the print Basic Legal Research coursepacks for each semester for many years.

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