How to make Blue Book simple and easy to use in just 5 steps?

Before we begin, I would like to give an introduction to the Blue Book simply. 

It is a uniform system of citation, which is accepted worldwide. It is used for the legal citations, and this citation standard is considered as one of the best citation standards in the legal field. Severals of law students, lawyers, judges and legal professionals rely on this form of citation. But at the same time, it is also true that t is considered as one of the toughest forms of citation standard. 
But no worries after going through this article, Bluebook will be going to become a piece of cake for you. 

Step-I: Always start with the ‘content page’ while handling the BlueBook 

When I talk about the content page, it is generally the page which mentions the pages at which you gonna find the citation for various topics. 

But when you look at the content page the first thing which comes to your mind is what is the difference between the blue pages and the white pages? 
It seems complex as under both the categories you would find some similar kind of categories (like Cases, Statutes, et al.). 

So, their basic difference is that: 
The white pages are used for academic publications like law review articles, research papers, etc. 
And, the Blue pages are used primarily for briefs, motions, memoranda, and opinions. 
In simpler word, the Blue pages are designed to set forth some deviations from the white page to accommodate the needs of lawyers and law clerks. 
So, I suggest that you can simply skip the blue pages and do your citation as per the white pages. 

Step-II: Always use Ctrl+F in the content page to find your category of the citation 

It is really become tough if you navigate around the content page to find your category. So, it becomes really easy if you simply enter Ctrl+F and type your category like cases, journals, etc. 
One more thing which you should keep in your mind that you must enter Ctrl+F at the beginning of the content page. 
By doing so you will get all the possible variants of your category and this makes easier for you to find the exact category which is suitable for your citation. 
This is very necessary because there are several different citations for the same category. For example; if you are looking for the citation of International cases then you may be surprised by knowing that there are different citations for the international cases depend upon the type of court and the bench strength. 

Step-III: Always add 22 pages extra to find the exact page of your citation 

As most of us are using the online version of the Bluebook, so you may confuse when you will not able get your category of citation on the page at which it should be present as per the content page. 
This is because of the fact that there is an addition of 22 pages in the beginning of the Bluebook as an introductory part. 
So, in order to get rid of this problem, you are required to add 22 pages every time when you are looking for anything in the Bluebook. 
For example: Suppose you are looking for the short-citation forms and as per the content page it is on page number 78. 

So, in order to find this category of citation, you have to add 22 to 78 i.e. 100. This means that the short citation forms will be on page number 100 of the blue book. Now you can simply type 100 on the toolbar of your pdf opener and you directly come to your citation category. 

Step-IV: Always use the examples which is given under your category to understand the citation standard. 

One of my favourite part of Bluebook are the various examples which are provided under each category. When I say examples I am including general examples as well as the labelled examples both in it. 
What do I mean by labelled examples? 

What do I mean by general examples? 

By looking at the different types of examples under each category you will be able to get a sufficient idea about your form of citation. 
In fact, these examples are more important than the theory part. 
But I never suggest ignoring the theory part totally. You should always take a skimmy look at the theory part of your citation category. 
This will assure that your citation standard is 100% accurate. 

Step-V: Always make a note of the categories which you have used earlier along with their pages 

This step may not appear as important but you will come to know the importance of this category after using the Bluebook for a few minutes. 
This step helps in saving lots of time. Every time when you need the citation of the same category, you can simply look at your note and visit the required page directly. Otherwise, you have to revisit the content page and then you have to again search a while for your category. This is bothersome. So, I suggest you to please take a simple note of citations which you will visit. 
It is also required that your note should contain the categories and their respective pages. 
You can also add other things in your note like labelled examples, etc. 



Exact Page


Short Citation








This the process will also make you remember the pages of your categories. 

Last but not least, 

by applying all these five steps you can become a pro while handling with the Bluebook. 
You should not bother about the huge number of pages. However, you should only look for your category of citation and then follow these 5 steps. 
That’s it. 
If you need some further tips on the Bluebook citation, then you can look for our next article on Bluebook citation, which is going to be released very soon... 
And if you have any doubt regarding Bluebook you can write in the comment below or you can simply mail us at

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