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Essay recommends thirteen new signals for The Bluebook’s next edition

Roark, Marc Lane and Emerson, Warren, Signals (November 10, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

”Currently, The Bluebook recommends twelve signals that give direction to the author’s intended use of sources. Bluebook signals communicate how the author believes the work cited is relevant to the proposition. But Bluebook signals could communicate so much more. This Essay recommends thirteen new signals for The Bluebook’s next edition. Indeed, this is no love sonnet to Baby Blue, but rather an urging to sample the selections of intention with the pairings of rote form. These signals would provide more than just form, and delve into the author’s voice in selection of authorities and his or her intention when citing a particular work. They may further do away with the need for parentheticals in some instances, making law reviews more concise, or may expand the need for parentheticals, which would also be good. Either way, law reviews prevail as these new signals dictate a further march towards author clarity in the pursuit of meaning.  While these citations may indulge some level of frivolity, we assure you, they are no mere joke. They relate to the way authors perceive the substance of their work, their position in the academy, and the moral equivalency of their place, substance, and words. This article proposes new signals arranged in taxonomy to their function – elucidating substance, elevating status, and un-equalizing moralities.”

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