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Resources for Research Assistants

How to Approach a Style Check

  1. Figure out which style guide is being followed.
    1. Research assistants helping a professor check endnotes for a book: ask professor.
    2. Students cite-checking an article or note for law review: The Bluebook.
    3. Law students checking their own internal citations for a student paper: ask professor; often will be The Bluebook (Bluepages).
    4. Lawyers or legal interns who are checking internal citations for a brief: generally, The Bluebook (Bluepages), but be aware that courts have their own citation rules as well; ask supervising attorney if unsure.
  2. Locate the style guide by searching the library catalog for:
    1. The Bluebook (multiple copies on reserve at the circulation desk).
    2. The Chicago Manual of Style (available online; BC credentials required if off-campus).
    3. Other citation guides, including MLA and APA.
  3. Become familiar with the layout and contents of the style guide.
  4. Make use of the index (for the first example below re: the Madison letter to Jefferson, checking the index for term “letter” quickly lead to the applicable rules).
  5. Go through reference by reference, and make sure that the citation is in the proper format. Keep in mind: multiple rules would often need to be consulted in order to create one properly-styled citation.
  6. If in doubt, make an educated guess, and be consistent! Flag any points of confusion for the author or journal editor.