The Indigo Book: A Manual of Legal Citation is the preferred resource for Bluebook legal citation at Rasmussen University. The Indigo Book is an open and compatible implementation of a Uniform System of Citation.
Why is it Called Bluebooking?
The History of the Bluebook Method
Introduction to Basic Legal Citation
For many years, the authoritative reference work on “legal citation” was a manual written and published by a small group of law reviews. Known by the color of its cover, The Bluebook was the codification of professional norms that introduced generations of law students to “legal citation.” So completely do many academics, lawyers, and judges identify the process with that book they may refer to putting citations in proper form as “Bluebooking” or ask a law student or graduate whether she knows how to “Bluebook.” For this and more information on the history of Bluebooking, refer to "Introduction to Basic Legal Citation" by Peter W. Martin. Peter W. Martin, Introduction to Basic Legal Citation, (2017), https://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/
A full citation to a book or other non-periodical is made up of the following elements:
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PDF version: The pdf versions below are visual sample papers. They show spacing and possible locations of citations. The colored boxes offer tips.
Word version: This is a template. You can download and type over for proper spacing and formatting.
Please utilize both versions below. Also, visit the table of contents tab for further instructions. Thank you!
How to Read a Case Citation
Where are Statutes Published?
If you use a website (for example your state's supreme court website) to find rules or statutes, you should cite to the statute, not the website containing the statute, just as you would cite to the statute as opposed to Lexis Advance if you search through Lexis Advance.
Citations to Internet sources follow this form: <Author Name>, <Title of Website Page>, <Main Website Title>, <pincite> <(Date & Time Accessed)>, <URL>.
Id. and supra can be used, together with the author name, as a short form citation following the full citation of an Internet source. Note: if no author is provided, use the title of the source (see section [NUMBER], above).
Citations to material written by students in law journals take the following form: <Author’s Name(s), if signed with more than initials>, <Designation of Piece>, <Italicized Title of the Article>, <volume number, if applicable> <Name of Publication, abbreviated> <page number of first page of article cited>, <pincite, if citing to specific point> <(year published)>.
Citations to newspaper articles take the following form: <Author’s Name(s), if signed>, <Italicized Title of the Article>, <Name of Publication, abbreviated>, <full date of publication>, at <number of first page of article>.
If you have already cited a work from a periodical in full . . .
Below are examples of pincites using the case of Terry v. Ohio. The section on this information in The Indigo Book is Rule 15 for cases. This short form would also be used for statutes, books, journals, etc., and is included in rules 26, 29, 31 and 34.
If you’re referring to a citation generally, or for background support (or including it in a reference page) you would not use a pinpoint citation. The first time a case is mentioned in the text, include a full citation as shown here:
However, if you are directing your reader to a specific quotation or holding, you would point to the pinpoint in that case by including a comma and the pinpoint location after the first page of the reporter number.
If you have already cited to the case, you would include only the first name, followed by the volume and reporter, and the specific pinpoint. For example:
If you are citing to the same case referenced in the immediately preceding citation, use id. as the short form citation. If you are referring to the immediately preceding case, but to a different page, use id. at pincite.
The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, developed by the American Bar Association's Center for Professional Responsibility, is a model for ethical rules governing lawyers. These rules have been adopted by most states.
The format for citing the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct in the Bluebook style is:
Model Rules of Prof'l Conduct R. # (Year).
Model Rules of Prof'l. Conduct R. 4.1 (2013).