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No. 1 Bluebook Format Citation Generator for Journal Article

Are legal citations eating up too much of your time? Do you want to learn to tackle them with a smaller investment of time and effort? It’s a smart move – the sooner you optimize the process, the faster you will be able to focus on other things.

It probably wouldn’t be that big of trouble if legal citing followed some succinct style guide. Instead, it follows the revered Bluebook – one of the most extensive and painfully detailed style guides that have ever existed.

Due to the complexity of the guide itself, it is rather difficult to automate the process. With our free Bluebook journal article citation generator, however, you will be able to spend MUCH less time on your citations.

Let us tell you more about citing journal articles in legal papers and how to do it using this generator.

The norms of the Bluebook referencing style for journal article

The Bluebook style guide contains specific norms on citing different legal documents and academic sources. Being the most frequently used citation system in the U.S., it has lived through multiple editions and is currently in its 20th iteration.

The guide has four parts:

  • Bluepages – easily navigated chapter that contains the most frequently used norms of legal citation
  • Rules – the part with detailed information on how citations are to be organized, with each rule dedicated to a different type of source
  • Tables – the chapter with reference tables for abbreviations and other specific data
  • Index to help navigate the rest of the guide

The norms on citing periodicals are provided in Rule 16 and differ for consecutively and non-consecutively paginated journals. Consecutively paginated journals are those where page numbers continue with every next issue. In non-consecutive ones, every issue has page numbers starting from the first page. The majority of academic journals and law reviews have consecutive pagination. The following format is established in the Bluebook referencing style for journal article:

Author name (if any), The title of the article (underlined or italicized), Volume No., The title of the journal (small caps or Roman), at + Pages used, Date of publication.

The general rule is to omit the author’s name if it is not specified in the original source. If there are more than two authors, include both names in the citation joining them with an ampersand. For three or more authors, you are free to choose whether to give all of the names in the corresponding order or whether to specify only the first author followed by “et al.” All authors should be named if their names bear special significance for the citation.

The title should be underlined or italicized. All words except for conjunctions, articles, and prepositions that are shorter than four letters should be capitalized. If a part of the title is capitalized in the original source, reverse it in the citation.

As a very detailed guide, the Bluebook has a list of required abbreviations for journal titles. For an appropriate abbreviation of the journal name, consult Table 13 of the Tables chapter.

If the journal is non-consecutively paginated, the format will change to:

Author name (if any), The title of the article (underlined or italicized), The title of the journal (small caps or Roman), Date of the issue, at + The first page of the work.

The Bluebook is rather conservative in citing online sources and prefers hard-copy ones. However, there are a few cases when citing to an online source is appropriate:

  • Authenticated documents – those whose authenticity and comparability to the original sources have been confirmed on the governmental level. Therefore, you can be sure that the online source you have used matches its hard copy original by 100%.
  • Official documents available only in the online form.
  • When the original document is hard or impossible to retrieve, and its online equivalent is the exact copy (a PDF scan of the article, for example).

II you are adding the online part to your citation to improve accessibility, add the URL after “Available at” at the end of such citation. For electronic-only sources, cut the “available at” part from the citation completely.

Make sure your browser doesn’t turn the URL into a link since its formatting (blue font, underlined) does not conform to the Bluebook’s requirements.

And one last thing – short-form citations. After you have provided a full citation to a source, you can do further citing using short-form citations. Such citations point at a source that is already familiar to the reader.

Such short-form citations can be made using one of the following options:

  • : – points at a source that was cited in the same footnote or is the only source cited in the preceding footnote
  • : – specifies the number of the full-form citation that has been provided in the same footnote
  • Hereinafter – attached to the full-form citation and followed by the format that you establish to refer to the same source in the following citations

Please note that short-form citations are only appropriate where readers won’t have problems identifying the source, i.e. have immediate access to the full-form citation.

How to generate a Bluebook in-text journal citation

Now that you know the fundamentals of citing legal journals, there is nothing left to do but actually to get citing. To create a Bluebook in-text journal citation:

  • Select the appropriate style and the source you want to cite (our generator has multiple styles available)
  • Provide information about the source you are citing – author’s name, title, and other appropriate fields
  • Provide your email address
  • Click “Generate” and have a citation generated
  • Insert your citation in the appropriate footnote

Citing your sources with our Bluebook format citation generator for journal article is easy and effective. Don’t let silly work suck your time. Be smarter, have your citations done in half the time. We are sure you won’t regret giving it a try – none of our users ever do.

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