Legal Research Paper Citation Styles

Rule 10 (and Rule B10 in the Bluepages) governs how to cite cases. It contains extensive instructions on how to format case citations, and Rule 10 also provides guidance on citing briefs, court filings, and transcripts.

In addition to Rule 10, you may need to consult the following tables in order to format the case citation:

  • Table 1: A list of (1) reporters* and reporter abbreviations, (2) courts and court abbreviations, and (3) preferred sources to cite for federal courts and each state's courts
     
  • Table 6: Abbreviations for terms used in case names (e.g., America[n] = Am.)
     
  • Table 7: Abbreviations for court names that you would use in the event a court abbreviation is not provided in Table 1
     
  • Table 10: Abbreviations for geographical terms (e.g., Virginia = Va.)
     

*What Is a Reporter?*
A reporter is a publication containing the opinions of a particular court or jurisdiction, organized chronologically by date of decision. The opinions of a given court or jurisdiction are often published in more than one reporter.  As you'll see below, for example, opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court are published in three reporters.  If a case is published in a reporter, The Bluebook prescribes which reporter is the preferred one to cite (Table 1). 

For more on reporters, see our Case Law Research Guide or watch Anatomy of a Case, Case Citation, and the Case Law Reporter System in our Case Law Research Tutorial (on the right).

Research and Citation Resources

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Conducting Research

These OWL resources will help you conduct research using primary source methods, such as interviews and observations, and secondary source methods, such as books, journals, and the Internet. This area also includes materials on evaluating research sources.

Using Research

These OWL resources will help you use the research you have conducted in your documents. This area includes material on quoting and paraphrasing your research sources, as well as material on how to avoid plagiarism.

APA Style

These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

MLA Style

These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the Works Cited page, as well as MLA sample papers, slide presentations, and the MLA classroom poster

Chicago Manual of Style

This section contains information on the Chicago Manual of Style method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, which was issued in September 2010.


American Medical Association (AMA) Style

These resources provide guidance on how to cite sources using American Medical Association (AMA) Style, 10th Ed., including examples for print and electronic sources.

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