Aids for Creating Bluebook Citations

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If you've ever wished that The Bluebook provided more example citations for unusual resources or that you could somehow ease the task of creating properly-formatted Bluebook citations, the following resources can help!

Example Citations in Prince's Dictionary of Legal Citations

Prince's Dictionary of Legal Citations supplements The Bluebook by providing many example citations for common legal sources, formatted and abbreviated according to Bluebook rules.  It contains entries for most law journals and primary law sources. Prince's Dictionary of Legal Citations is particularly helpful for tricky citation forms for non-print resources such as social media posts and e-books. You can access the most recent version of Prince’s Dictionary of Legal Citations at the Reference Desk on the 4th floor of the Law Library (KF246 .B45 2017).

Draft Citations for Articles in HeinOnline's Law Journal Library

If you are using HeinOnline to locate journal articles, you can take advantage of its feature that creates Bluebook-formatted draft citations for you. With an article on your screen in HeinOnline, click the "Cite" button towards the top-right, above the table of contents, to see citations for the article in a variety of formats, including Bluebook.

Example Citations in Published Journals

Alternatively, you can do a search in Lexis Advance or Westlaw to see how a source was cited previously in a law journal. Below are some strategies for targeting more authoritative results and instructions for forming your searches in each database.
  1. Use the Bluebook authorities: Your best bets for Bluebook compliance are likely the four law journals whose editors are responsible for compiling The Bluebook: Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Yale Law Journal.
  2. Search in your own publication: If you are working on a citation for a journal, try searching for a previous citation of the source in your journal.
  3. Use publications from the same state as the source: If it is a source of law from a particular state, try searching for how that source was cited in law reviews from that state.
  4. Limit to 2015 or later: Narrow your search by date to 2015 or later, which is the year of publication of the latest edition of The Bluebook (20th edition).
To find an example citation via Lexis Advance:
  • In Lexis Advance, select Advanced Search.
  • Click Select a different content type and choose Law Reviews and Journals.
  • In the Publication field, enter the name of the publication you wish to search, such as "Harvard Law Review" or "North Carolina Law Review".
  • In the Title field, enter the title of the source you need to cite, and/or use the other fields to specify any other information about the source.
  • For the Date, specify after 2015.
To find an example citation via Westlaw:
  • In Westlaw, start by selecting Secondary Sources.
  • Then, click Advanced next to the search field.
  • In the Source field, enter the name of the publication you wish to search, such as "Harvard Law Review" or "North Carolina Law Review".
  • In the Title field, enter the title of the source you need to cite, and/or use the other fields to specify any other information about the source.
  • For the Date, specify after 2015.


Posted by Sara M. Farnsworth on Wed. November 14, 2018 9:30 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


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