Battle of the Citation Guides: The Association of Legal Writing Directors vs. The Blue Book

Topics: Bibliography, Style guide, Citation Pages: 2 (457 words) Published: April 24, 2011
Whether a person is writing legal documents, an article or a simple memo there are rules that must be followed in regards to citation. Until the year 2000 the Bluebook was the only citation guide available and was the basis for all citations being taught to first year law students since 1926. However, the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) has come along and simplified the rules and is now being taught in 80 of the law schools in the United States. (Lysaght & Tonner, 2000)

Just a few differences do matter when it comes to how a document is cited correctly. The first thing a person must know is the rule by the state and which court the document is being filed in as the correct way to cite. The citation books are helpful to knowing how to cite for any source, but sometimes helpful guides can be hard to understand.

The Bluebook is written by law review students and is updated every five years. So since these students are graduating they are no longer a part of the review group, so new students come in and want to change things and now you have a book that is so full of inconsistent and confusing citation rules. The Bluebook also has two types of citation systems which are used for writing legal documents and scholarly writing. (Lysaght & Tonner, 2000) Perhaps one of the biggest advantages I found was comparing the two sites on the internet is the Bluebook has an online subscription that cost $32 for annual membership and with this you can access the book as long as you have internet connections. So if you forgot your Bluebook or lost it, you can get the answers from the website.

The ALWD is written by law professors that coordinate the instructions of legal writing in law schools so the book doesn’t make that aren’t necessary and consistent with the previous versions. This book only has one style of citation and that is legal writing. The ALWD doesn’t have an online subscription. Perhaps the best advantage of this book is the fact that it...

Cited: Retrieved on March 9, 2011, from
Lysaght, P. & Tonner, G. (2000), Bye-Bye Bluebook, retrieved from
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