In this unit, you will learn what citations are and how you use them to integrate information from other sources into your coursework and academic studies. Read the material and watch the video - and don't forget to take notes for the quiz.
Watch the video below to learn what citations are, and how to use them to document your sources in your paper.
NC State University, Source: YouTube
Different areas of study use different citation styles, and the Paralegal Program uses a legal citation formatting style. Like all kinds of other citations, legal citations ensure that you give credit to your sources and your work is not plagiarized. However, legal citations are also use to provide evidence to legal statements and arguments with primary and secondary authority.
The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School defines a legal citation as a:
Reference to a source that supports a statement or is otherwise related to it. In legal documents, the source may be a primary legal authority (such as a case or a statute) or a secondary legal authority (such as a treatise or dictionary).
To use the legal citation, style you need to look up the rules when you need them. You are not expected to remember them. For your Legal courses, you will use the The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation which is the accepted source to understand how to format legal citations.
Click on the title or book cover to see the website for the Bluebook.
(The information on the website will not be included in the tutorial quiz.)
The Legal Information Institute provides a helpful explanation of the role of legal citations in standardizing references to primary and secondary authority that is used to create, implement, enforce, interpret, and understand the laws in the United States:
What is “legal citation”? It is a standard language that allows one writer to refer to legal authorities with sufficient precision and generality that others can follow the references. Because writing by lawyers and judges is so dependent on such references, it is a language of abbreviations and special terms.
A reference properly written in “legal citation” strives to do at least three things, within limited space:
The task of “legal citation” in short is to provide sufficient information to the reader of a brief or memorandum to aid a decision about which authorities to check as well as in what order to consult them and to permit efficient and precise retrieval—all of that, without consuming any more space or creating any more distraction than is absolutely necessary.
You now have a good understanding the purpose of citations in general and legal citations in particular, and their importance in referencing the sources you use in your work. If you have any questions or you need help with citations, ask a librarian. We are here to help!
You have now completed the Library Tutorial.
You can now return to Canvas to take the Library Tutorial Quiz #2 which will cover units 8, 9 and 10.