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Bluebook Guide: Whitepages

A LibGuide to the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Updated for the 20th edition.

Whitepages guide contents

For more information on how to cite different types of materials using the Whitepages, follow these links:

White or Blue?

Do it with style

Rule 1 tells you where to put citations, and the nitty gritty rules for citing particular authorities begin with Rule 10 for cases.  What's in between are the style rules.  These rules apply to everything in the Whitepages. 

It pays to know these rules, or at least know where they are, before you jump into the authority-specific rules.

R2 Typefaces for Law Reviews

R3 Subdivisions (citing parts of larger works)

R4 Short Citation Forms

R5 Quotations

R6 Abbreviations, Numerals, and Symbols

R7 Italicization for Style and in Unique Circumstances

R8 Capitalization

R9 Titles of Judges, Officials, and Terms of Court

Additional help with the bluebook

Introduction to the Whitepages

The Whitepages, which follow the Bluepages, are mostly intended for use in law journals.  That qualifier "mostly" is there because the rules in the Bluepages often refer to the Whitepages for the full rule.  Therefore, you will not be able to ignore the Whitepages just because you're not on a journal.

The rules in the Whitepages are usually abbreviated using the letter R.  ex. R12.4 is the rule for citing session laws.

 

Typeface conventions

The Bluebook uses four different typefaces:

  1. Ordinary Roman
  2. Underlined
  3. Italicized
  4. Large and Small Capitals

The rules for when you use each one in citations is summarized below: (from R2.1)

Italicize or underscore:

  • Full and short case names (ex. Brown v. Bd. of Ed. or Brown)
  • Titles of book, articles, and essays
  • Titles of legislative materials

Large and Small Caps used for authors and titles of books, titles of periodicals

Everything else should be in ordinary roman

Textual material (the actual text of your piece, as opposed to the citations) only uses ordinary roman and italics.  See R2.2.

Where do cites appear? Footnotes

In academic legal writing, law journals, citations are placed in footnotes.  For a detailed discussion on where to place the numbers for your footnotes, see R1.1(a).

Within those footnotes, citations are made in citation sentences and clauses.

Citation sentence: to cite support for the entire preceding sentence.

ex. The law may not block one group of citizens from access to government assistance.¹

¹Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620, 633 (1996).

Citation clause: to cite support for only part of a sentence.

ex. The Supreme Court once declared separate but equal constitutional,² but declared it unconstitutional nearly a century later.³ 

²Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).

³Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 347 U.S. 483 (1954).