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History 369: Race and the Law in American History

Major Citation Style Manuals

Chicago Citation Quick Guide will help you get started with Chicago Style. 

Chicago Manual of Style (or Ref Desk Z253.U69 2003)

Citing Court Cases

Citing U.S. Supreme Court Cases

When citing a U.S. Supreme Court case, you must cite to the official reporter, the United States Reports.

A citation to a case in the United States Reports includes the following five elements: 

  1. Name of the case (underlined or italicized)
  2. Volume of the United States Reports
  3. Reporter abbreviation (Should always be U.S.)
  4. First page of the case
  5. Year the case was decided (in parentheses)

For example:

New York Times Co. v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483 (2001)
The elements are as follows:
  1. Name of the case: New York Times Co. v. Tasini,
  2. Volume of the Reporter: 533
  3. Reporter abbreviation: U.S.
  4. First page of case: 483
  5. Year of decision: (2001)
Citing Page numbers:

You may need to include a "pinpoint" citation, which is a citation to the page(s) on which the specific material referenced appears. If you need to include a pinpoint citation to, for example, a quotation or the holding of a case, add the page number after the first page.

New York Times Co. v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483, 491 (2001)

(This information adapted from Georgetown Law Library Guide to Citing Cases)