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Bluebook 101

Basic information for getting started with The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation

Tools to Help You Create Citations

Think Bluebooking is challenging? So do a lot of other people! There are many different tools out there to help you create Bluebook-formatting citations. But beware--none of these tools are a perfect solution for all of your Bluebook troubles. You will need to double-check your citations to make sure they're correct even after using one of these tools.

Westlaw Copy with Reference

Select text, right click, Copy with Reference. Selectable Formats:

  • ALWD (Association of Legal Writing Directors)
  • Standard (Bluebook) [Default]
  • Westlaw
  • Various State Jurisdictions (including Washington State)

Lexis Copy with Reference, Shepard's Style Check, Lexis for Microsoft Office

Lexis Advance Copy with Reference

Select text, right click, Copy (Quick). Selectable Formats:

  • (none)
  • Standard (Blueboook) [Default]
  • ALWD Guide to Legal Citation
  • Various State Jurisdictions (including Washington State)

Select text, right click, Copy (Advanced).

Shepard's StyleCheck


Shepard's StyleCheck checks either Bluebook rules or California Citation forms. It is part of Shepard’s Brief Suite, a suite of programs that automates the cite checking process. To submit the brief you are viewing to the Shepard’s StyleCheck program:

  1. Click the Shepard’s StyleCheck button. Default style-verification options are already set. (To customize your options, e.g., to reflect the style of specific jurisdictions, click Properties in the Options screen.)
  2. Click OK.
  3. View your error report. Be sure to save the report if you wish to view it again.

Lexis for Microsoft Office

Free Trial:

Automatically checks the format of your citations and the accuracy of your quotations. Adds proper citation format to pasted quotes. Keeps track of each citation in the document for you. If the citation is valid and formatted properly, its long and short form will be updated as you make changes to the document. Any text you indicate is a citation (whether it’s valid or not) will be included in the document's Table of Authorities; however, which section of the Table of Authorities it is inserted in depends on how you resolve the citation format. Follow these steps:
  1. Click Set Cite Format to set court style manual style preferences.
  2. Click Check Cite Format under the LexisNexis tab.
  3. Click the Change button to add the correct citation format -OR-
  4. Click the Get Document button to view the source document and ensure accurate citation usage

Bloomberg Law Copy with Reference

Select text, click Copy with Citation. This will open a box with the formatted citation that you can copy and paste into your document. You also have the option of linking the citation to Bloomberg Law.

Bloomberg Law does not allow you to change the citation format.

Citation Management Tools: EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks, Zotero

EndNote Cite While You Write

EndNote Cite While You Write allows you to cite your references in Bluebook format. To download Cite While You Write go to Options>Download Installers>Cite While You Write. In Word, open the EndNote Tab and login with your EndNote email and password. Click Insert Citations, which opens a search box where you will search for you reference. Click Find and select your reference(s), then click Insert. If the Bluebook citation is not accurate, you can manually the citation.

EndNote supports the following styles:

  • Bluebook-Brief
  • Bluebook-Law Review

In the Bibliography section of the EndNote Tab, you can change the Style and Update your citations. You can download these styles from the EndNote website.

Mendeley Cite-O-Matic

Mendeley Cite-O-Matic will allow you to cite your references in Bluebook style. Mendeley should automatically download Cite-O-Matic into the References Tab in Word. Click Insert Citation. Search for your reference(s) and click OK. You can also change the Style of your citations. If the Bluebook citation is not accurate, you can manually edit the citation.

Mendeley supports the following Styles:

  • Bluebook Inline
  • Bluebook Law Review

You can find and edit styles on the Mendeley website.

RefWorks Write-N-Cite

RefWorks Write-N-Cite allows you to cite references in Bluebook style. To download Write-N-Cite from your RefWorks account: Tools>Write-N-Cite. RefWorks will download Write-N-Cite to the References Tab in Word. Click Insert Citation. Click Insert New. Search or browse for your referene(s) and you will see a preview of the formatted citation. Click OK. If RefWorks makes an error with the citation format, you can manually edit the citation.

RefWorks supports the following citation styles:

  • Bluebook (notes & bibliography)
  • Bluebook (notes only)

To add more citation styles, go to Output Style Manager in your RefWorks account. You can see the full list of styles on the RefWorks website.


Zotero will download a plugin into the Add-Ins tab on Word. Click Insert Citation. This will open a window where you can select the citation style. After selecting the style, another window will open allowing you to search for your reference(s). Once the references are added to your paper, you can edit those citations

Zotero supports the following citation styles:

  • Bluebook Inline
  • Bluebook Law Review

You can download additional citation styles from the Zotero website.

Georgetown Law Library has a series of three training videos about Zotero

Citation management software enables you to collect, organize, edit, and share your research. There are several options out there, but Georgetown Law Library recommends Zotero. This set of tutorials will focus on installing and using Zotero and its cloud storage and sharing.

For accessibility, there are also PDFs of the text, as well as options for closed captioning and variable playback speeds.

Juris-M is a Zotero spin-off aimed at legal researchers. It uses the free Indigo Book, similar to (but not licensed by) The Bluebook.

Other: Bestlaw, Citeus Legalus, LegalEase


Bestlaw is a free browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that adds features for WestlawNext and Lexis Advance. Bestlaw can automatically generate Bluebook citations with one click. There is also a Pro version for sale that adds more features.


Citeus Legalus

"The legal citation generator for lazy law students." A fun citation generator.



LegalEase is a subscription-based citation generator. It's priced at about $22 a month. The company offers a 7-day free trial.