All of the major citation style manuals (APA, Chicago, MLA, and Turabian) include citation information for government publications and court cases to varying degrees. Special citation manuals also exist that specifically focus on these types of resources. Two well-known manuals are: The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation and The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Social Science and Business Research.
The special citation manuals can be found in Beeghly Library in the Reference Section:
1. The Bluebook: Ref KF245.B58 2000
2. The Complete Guide: Ref Z7164.G7 G37 2002
You can find a list of Beeghly’s other citation manuals under "How to Cite" on the library's home page.
1. Not all online citations guides include information about legal sources, nor are they always updated in a timely manner. Using the print manual is preferable in most situations.
2. I find the Chicago, Turabian and The Complete Guide manuals very thorough in their coverage of legal citations and highly recommend these publications. However, whatever style you choose to use, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
a) To find the section on how to cite legal information, use the index in the regular manuals. Depending on the manual, information may be found under the headings of “Government documents or publications,” “Public documents,” “Legal style,” “Legal cases,” etc.
b) Remember to read introductions to citation sections and rules before trying to follow the examples. This is where the complete format rules will be found as well as reference to other areas of the citation manual you may need to reference.
c) Whatever style you may choose, remember to stay consistent. Keep with the same style throughout your paper.
*Remember, good citations are important and should lead a reader back to the exact source you used.*