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Online Citation Tools: Learning to Cite

Why must we cite?

It might seem like a silly question, but knowing why we cite our sources is the first step in deciding what to reference and how to format citations. Citations serve several purposes:

  • It is "to allow the reader to efficiently locate the cited source." THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION 1 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 19th ed. 2010). 
  • It signals that your assertions are a part of settled law.
  • It gives credit for an idea where it is due.

Extra Resources

Bluebooking Citation videos

The following Bluebooking Series was prepared by the Research Center to guide students through the basics of creating legal citations. There are seven videos: an Introduction to the Bluebook, Secondary Sources, Case Citation, Legislative Materials, Administrative Materials, Electronic Tools for Legal Writing, and Internet Sources. To view videos individually or to see other video series, such as our Foreign and International Law Bluebooking series, check out the RC's Youtube page.

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