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Pritzker Legal Research Center


Law Journals' Guide to Source & Cite

This guide is designed to help journal students locate and request materials for source and cite checking assignments.

Citations to Books

Citations to Books

Bluebook Rule 15 covers citations to books.  A typical book citation follows the following format:

Author's name, Title of Book, page cited, editor's name, edition cited, year of publication. 

Finding Books

1. Check to see if the book is owned by Northwestern University Libraries by searching for the book using NUsearch (our library catalog). To see whether a book is available in digital format as an e-book, you can refine your search in the left sidebar by format to "Books" and by availability to "Full Text Online" and look for a link that indicates "Online Access." 

NUsearch ebook availability

If the book is available only in print through any of Northwestern's campus libraries,  (e.g., Law Library, Main Library, etc.), place a scan request using the Scan & Deliver Request Form. Make sure to include the title, author, publication date, edition (if applicable), and relevant page number(s)/pincite(s) for each book needed. Library staff will scan the relevant pages + title and copyright pages from these books and save them to a shared Box folder for your journal.  Library staff will keep the requested books on the 4th floor journal shelves in the event that additional pages need to be scanned.

2. If the book does not appear in your search results on NUsearch, consider non-NU alternatives, including excerpts from Google Books and Amazon ("Look Inside" preview). Books published prior to 1924 in the United States are in the public domain (out of copyright) and should be available to download in full in PDF from Google Books. For books published after 1924, limited previews may be available through Google Books or Amazon, so you may be able to screenshot the relevant page(s) along with the title and copyright page. 

3. If Northwestern does not own the book and if you cannot find excerpts of the relevant pages through non-NU alternatives, add the book to your journal's shared spreadsheet and indicate that it is not owned by NU Libraries. Make sure to include the title, author, publication date, edition (if applicable), and relevant page number(s)/pincite(s) for each book needed. Your editors will coordinate with your journal's library liaison to obtain these books. 

Interlibrary Loan

If a book cannot be found via Google Books or through NUsearch in either digital or print formats, you can request it via Interlibrary Loan.  See the Interlibrary Loan page for details on placing requests.

Journal Shelves

Books requested for sourcing and citing assignments will be checked out and placed on the journal shelves on the fourth floor of the library by library staff. Journal members can consult the books or scan relevant pages from these books, but please do not remove them from the library.