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Introduction to Basic Legal Citation

A legal citation is a common type of language that allows a writer to attribute to legal authorities with common definiteness and abstraction that others can follow. The purpose of a legal citation is to attempt to do three things. First, it provides the reader with detailed information to find what they are looking for in the source the reader has. Second, it gives vital information about material and what connection it has to the writer's argument, assisting readers on the decision to pursue the publishing or not. Finally, it identifies the part of the document which the writer is referring to.

When citing as source, make sure the source has credibility. Using sources that are not reliable will decrease the value of your report. To cite legal citation, follow the general format. Include the case name with the author folled by a comma and the volume number. List the page number of when the case started following by the date in parenthesis. When citing an electronic source, make sure you have the exact information of the web address, include the page title, and the date the page was viewed. When citing a legal case, include the name, the court that predetermined the case, where the case can be located, and what year the case was settled. Here is an example of a court ruling in the case of Roe vs. Wade:

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 118 (1973).

If you are citing a constitution, it should be printed at the beginning of the code for jurisdiction. It should look something like this:

"The Constitution of the United States," Article 2, Section 4, Clause 5.

Arbitration's should be cited like court cases. It starts with the Arbitrator's last name followed by the citation in parentheses. When citing a book or journal, state the author's full name, followed by the title of the article in quotation marks and the year in parenthesis. Then list the title of the book which should be italicized or underlined followed by the volume numer. After that, the citation should show the section, paragraph, or page number used. A citation for a journal of law should look somthing like this:

J. Doe, "Legal Theory and Analysis" (2009) 33(4) Law Journal 387.

It is very important to get to know the abbreviations used in legal citation. Any state should be abbreviated in a citation. If the word has eight letters or more, an abbreviation can be used. A handbook of abbreviations is a useful tool to keep on hand. With an omission, take out “the” before a name. Procedural phrases has omissions such as phrases like “for the protection of” and “on behalf”. Do not include the first and middle names of people unless it is a business name, a surname, or a given name that follows the surname. Always italicize these citations: journal titles, case names, citation sentences that have signals, older explanatory phrases, cross- reference words, and book titles. If you are underlining instead of using italics, do so under successive words that are of the same phrase. In text, citations should start in the form of the sentence. Like most sentences, you start with a capital letter and end with a period. If you have more than one citation, set them off with a semi-colon.

Whether you are citing for a paper or article, it is vital that you know how to cite your sources in the proper way. The term citing means to borrowing ideas from other authors and use them for work of your own. Learning citation has been described as learning a foreign language to some. With a lot of practice and an open mind, one can easily pick up basic citation.

Why Are There Different Citation Styles? Examine the difference of citation styles.

In-Text Citations: The Basics A summary of different text citations.

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation Learn about Basic Legal Citation.

Guide: Citing U.S. Government Publications A guide to citing government publications.

Cite-Checker's Guide: Finding Articles in Law Reviews, Journals, and Other Periodicals How to find articles to cite.

("Legal information found on this page does not constitute legal advice.")

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