how to cite for paper

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puckhead193, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    Does anyone know how to cite a supreme court case? (MLA)
    Like "163 U.S. 537" or "163 U.S. 559" or "347 US 483"
    Thanks
     
  2. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
  3. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #3
    Legal Cases
    To cite a law case give the names of the first plaintiff and the first defendent, the case number, the name of the court, and the date of the decision.

    American Library Association vs. Jones. No.00-345. Supreme Ct. of the US. 12 May 1992.

    from http://www.lib.usm.edu/research/guides/mla.html

    no, at least western us doesn't (the one i use)
     
  4. puckhead193 thread starter macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    no how weird is that, that site is my life line when it comes to papers :D
    I sent them an email as a suggestion

    Thanks a ton!
     
  5. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #5
    it's my life line as well for all research papers
     
  6. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #6
    google is your friend ;)
     
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #7
    its a legal case, is your source of the case electronic or not? i would start there. and cite based on the source of the mateirals. there may not be a set way to cite a case, but i would assume/guess that you should cite based around the source materials. (ie, if it is off of a website, cite the site, but if its from a particular document, cite the author of said document).
     
  8. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #8
    there is our resident english geek
     
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    indeedy. and as i said, i don't believe there is a set precedent for citing Legal cases in MLA as its usually not used for such, i would believe Footnotes/Chicago style is more apopros to Legal situations. but thats just my experiences. then again MLA changes every year and attemtps to change the rules all the time too... the best i could find in my handbooks that i have available would be citing a Government Document. if you want to know how that particular citing goes let me know, i'll type up an example.

    edit: just looked in another handbook. and i found a bit on legal citations as well. it says:
    "legislative acts and cour cases are included in the works cited list. your in-text citation should name the act or case either in a single phrase or in parentheses. in the text of a paper, names of acts are not underlined, cut names of cases are."
     
  10. amateurmacfreak macrumors 6502a

    amateurmacfreak

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    #10
    I'm thinking that if I was you that I would go with the MLA guidelines... they're usually right for pretty much anything.
    Also, this was noted at the top of "Legal Sources" on the MLA page:
    "The MLA Handbook, 6th ed. suggests that you use The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation (Cambridge: Harvard Law Rev. Assn.), if you are going to frequently cite legal sources in your paper."
    So, if you could check that out from your library or even buy it if you feel like you will be using it very frequently.
    The Legal Bluebook Website
    (note: Although referred to as The Legal Bluebook in the MLA guidelines, it's real name is The Legal Bluebook.
     
  11. Jon'sLightBulbs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #11
    Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 539 (1896).

    163 = volume
    537 = page case starts on
    539 = page you're actually citing ("pinpoint")

    Supreme Court cases are easy to cite, wouldn't you say? :) Use the bluebook. State courts and appellate courts each have their own rules.
     
  12. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
  13. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    Ugh, those MLA guidelines contradict themselves! They tell you to use Bluebook format, but then they provide an example that totally violates Bluebook form!

    Anyways, I would do as Jon'sLightBulbs suggests and use the Bluebook form.

    If following strict Bluebook form for footnotes in academic articles (it's a bit different for inline citations in briefs), you should cite U.S. Supreme Court cases as follows:

    First cite: Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 539 (1896).
    Subsequent citations: Plessy, 163 U.S. at 539.

    (This assumes that the pinpoint cite is 539 -- this will change depending on what particular page of the decision you're citing to.)

    The short-cite version adopts the name of whichever party is likely to be the most unique. In criminal cases, this is generally the defendant. In cases against the government, it is the name of the non-governmental party. In super-famous cases like Plessy, Brown, etc. it is okay to use the most commonly used name.

    EDIT: One other thing -- the date you use for the decision should be the year the opinion was issued, not the year it was heard. (This should be clear if you look at the information just below the title of the case on the first page.)
     
  14. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #14

    use www.easybib.com! It even saves to a word doc for you ! :rolleyes:
     
  15. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #15
    That uses the weird form that contradicts the MLA's own instructions, though. And that particular form makes no sense because it omits the information that most lawyers would use to find the case, which defeats the purpose of having a citation.

    For a contradictory example also claiming to follow MLA style, see:
    http://www.library.unr.edu/depts/bgic/guides/government/cite.html#2

    I would just go with Bluebook format. It's the standard in the U.S. legal community and the MLA permits you to use Bluebook form anyway.
     
  16. puckhead193 thread starter macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #16
    eh i just did this:
    BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION. 347 U.S. 483. U.S. Supreme Court. May 17, 1954.

    i don't care anymore to change it. I've been working on the flacking paper for way too long...
     

Share This Page