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Formatting Styles
Bluebook Format

Bluebook Format

Bluebook is one of the less known systems of citations that is used majorly in the legal system to provide reference and citations for the literature and sources that are used in legal documents and that build the foundation for the current case.

There is no specific history that would explain the name and origin of this style. Current edition is the nineteenth in the range of corrections and modifications incorporated to the Bluebook during the last decade. As it can be derived from the history of formation of the guide, major field of application of this style is among legal institutions and in academic works, prepared and written by the Law students.

Main peculiarities of the Bluebook style are as following:

  • This system does not provide guidance to the way the document as a whole should be structured; neither has it defined acceptable fonts and spacing for the document.
  • The main objective of the Bluebook format is to provide easy reference to the cases that are discussed or referenced in order to ground foundation for the decision.
  • Due to the nature of the discipline that Bluebook style is trying to support and address, it is one of the most dynamic and transformable styles that is adjusted on the basis of previous practices and requirements of modern legal systems all over the globe.
  • One of the distinguishing features of the Bluebook format style is its precise citation format that goes down to the pages and paragraphs that refer to previous cases and/or literature that support findings and conclusions of judges, lawyers and other legal system officials.

There are two alternatives to the Bluebook citation style, namely Maroonbook and ALWD styles. All of them follow the same objective to emphasize the importance of citation for logical reasoning and further reference of the case. There are also several locally based citation styles on the country and even court level that are required to meet specific characteristics of particular legal system or institution.

Remember, it is better to use correct formatting from the stage of writing drafts. It is also recommended to write down all the information considering sources you take as a basis at the stage of literature research so as not to forget some important details.