- Spiral-bound: 365 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Law Review Assn; 16th edition (July 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0614199433
- ISBN-13: 978-0614199437
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,668,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation 16th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There are reasons, though, that there are several "guides to the Bluebook" in publication. The official Bluebook is only helpful once one has gone through the struggle of becoming familiar with the organization of the book and the style elements that it addresses. Countless times my classmates and I received corrected first year legal writing assignments with "see Bluebook, rule x.xx" written all over. The Bluebook is not written for 1Ls, but every 1L must learn it.
Once you've learned the Bluebook, you find that it's got everything you need. But compared to, say, the American Psychological Association's publications guide, it's agonizing to read.
Some of the 17th edition's changes are, I think, a little odd, see, e.g., Gil Grantmore, The Death of Contra, 52 Stan. L. Rev. 889 (Farber and Chen writing pseudonymously), but that doesn't affect the fact that you need this book if you write in the legal field.
Even so, when I have my copy of the 17th edition, I'll be happy to burn my copy of the 16th edition. On the other hand, maybe I'll keep it as a historic artifact of the days when you could still cite an article as directly contrary to a proposition in the text.
Having been sent on a business trip to a far-away state in the Midwest, I found myself writing case abstracts during the evening hours. Suddenly, I realized I had forgotten my Bluebook. I sat stunned, a cold shiver running down my spine. Although I was pretty sure I knew all the required forms of citation, pretty sure is not considered a viable method within the legal community. I contacted my wife who shipped me my treasured Bluebook by overnight carrier that evening. The wisdom of my investment in additional shipping soon became apparent . . . one of my cites was incorrect (and, believe it or not, I could have sworn it was right!)
Fighting the Bluebook is akin to fighting the aging process - you may win a small skirmish here and there, but you will undoubtedly be defeated in battle. And what a crushing defeat it will be (most likely with numerous witnesses to attest to your skillful tap-dancing all the way up to your demise). Humorous commentary aside, inaccurate citation is deemed by some in the profession as purposeful misrepresentation, outright lying, or worse. This, of course, can lead to disastrous consequences in the form of stinging rebukes, humble apologies, and formal court-imposed sanctions. Don't put yourself in such a position - learn to live and love this book. It will serve you well now and far into the future.
I am a teacher of legal research and writing--I've been using and teaching the Bluebook for over 10 years. Other than teachers like me, who have to use it, I think the only people who actually use the current Bluebook are law review and journal editors at law schools. That's about it. Everyone else tries to get their citation form right without having to consult the Bluebook. Why?
It's a nightmare to use. Exceptions are presented as rules, with the rule buried where you'd expect an exception. The examples are often baffling, and you must puzzle out how they reflect the rule they are supposedly an example of. And can someone tell me why we need TWO typeface conventions--one for practitioner documents and one for law reviews? Surely those differences began when practitioners used typewriters and law reviews were professionally printed. But it's 2002! We all have word processors now.
(This review refers to the 17th edition published in 2000).
For those of you who enjoy reading shampoo bottles, electric appliance instruction manuals, almanacs, or even raw computer code, I highly recommend this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The description said the condition was "very good" however when the book arrived the paper cover was very worn and ripped in places. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by Donna Garcia
I am a paralegal student and have to say this made citing a bit easier. It isn't the simplst book in the world to read, but for a beginner it is good. Read morePublished on April 27, 2007 by Kristie Bissen
You'll appreciate the information but hate the spiral binding! After a few weeks of use, the book was almost falling apart. Read morePublished on October 8, 2005 by 1L
this book never arrived. i emailed the seller several times but never received any response. i had to complain to amazon before they would respond, and then they only responded to... Read morePublished on September 2, 2005 by Matthew S. Sullivan
Let's be honest. A lot of people felt that Bluebook had fallen off. After that award show confrontation with ALWD and the concealed weapons charges, Bluebook looked like they were... Read morePublished on July 12, 2005 by A Super Cool Amazon Reviewer Bro
First, in response to the common complaint about the Blue Book that it is not user-friendly and confusing: As is the case with ALWD, and any other citation manual, the more you use... Read morePublished on July 9, 2005 by Kirstin A. Story
I agree that this a terrible book: terribly useful and terribly written.
I am through my 1L write-on ordeal, and I think I'll make the cut so I'm stuck with Bluebook... Read more
I agree that this book is absolutely essential to lawschool or practicing law. That's what makes even more horrible!!! Read morePublished on May 16, 2004
Leave it to attorneys to create something so poorly written, confusing and arachaic as The Bluebook. Read morePublished on January 5, 2004