You are on page 1of 3


Citing Books
This is the citation pattern for books:
author, title, edition (if needed), place of publication, publisher, year of publication, pinpoint (if needed).
SM Waddams, The Law of Contracts, 3d ed (Toronto: Canada
Law Book, 1993).
Citation Breakdown:
A. Author's Name

initial(s) or first name (as it appears in the book), then last name

B. Book Title

the title should be in italics

C. Edition Number

include if this is not the first edition (note that 2d and 3d are used, not 2 nd and 3rd)
D. Place of Publication

the city name is followed by a colon and contained in parentheses along with the publisher
name and year of publication
E. Publisher
F. Year of Publication
Note that all book citations are concluded with a period
PW Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada, 2d ed (Toronto: Carswell, 1985).

Citing Journal Articles

This is the citation pattern for journal articles:
author's name, title of article, year, volume and issue number, journal or review name, first page number

H Patrick Glenn, "A Concept of Legal Tradition" (2008) 34:1 Queen's LJ 427.

Citation Breakdown:
A. Author's Name

initial(s) or first name (as it appears in the journal), then last name, followed by a comma

B. Article Title

the title of the article is placed in quotation marks

C. Year

the year is always contained in round brackets

D. Volume and Issue Number

always include the volume and issue number

the issue number follows the volume number with a colon, e.g. 25:4 (volume 25, issue 4).
E. Journal or Review

use the proper abbreviation for the journal. Refer to the McGill Guide Appendix D for a list of
periodical abbreviations. For more information, consult the section on Finding Abbreviations for
Law Reports and Journals.
F. Page Number

this number refers to the first page of the article within the journal

Pinpoint to a page or section. See the following examples:
PW Hogg, Constitutional Law of Canada, 2d ed (Toronto: Carswell, 1985) at 73.
RJ Delisle, Evidence: Principles and Problems (Toronto: Carswell, 1984) at 129.
Journal Articles
Michael G Bridge, "Discharge for Breach of the Contract of Sale of Goods" (1985) 28:4 McGill LJ 867 at

Citing Electronic Sources

Online Sources
As a general rule, when citing electronic sources, give the traditional citation for the type of secondary
sources it is - whether it is an article, a government document, etc. - followed by a comma, and then

"online:", and give the name of the website, and the URL. The URL should not be underlined, but it should
be enclosed with "<" and ">".
Polly Donda-Kaplan & Natasha Bakht, The Application of Religious Law in Family Law Arbitration Across
Canada, online: Women's Legal Education and Action Fund <>.

Sources from a Database

If you retrieved an article or e-book from a database such as LexisNexis Quicklaw or Westlaw Canada,
you can indicate this by adding the name of the database in parentheses after the traditional citation.
Paul D Paton, "Accountants, Privilege, and the Problem of Working Papers" (2005) 28 Dal LJ 353 (QL).

Finding Abbreviations to Law Reports and Journals

Sometimes you need to find what a particular abbreviation stands for in order to track down the reporter
or journal, and other times, you might need to find the abbreviation for a journal or reporter in order to cite
it. There are a number of places to check:
Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 7th ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2010).
Call number: KE259 .C35 2010 (copies are in the Reserve and Reference sections as well as in regular
Canadian Abridgment - note that there is a list of abbreviations at the front of each volume.
(shelved in the Reference section along the north wall)

Donald Raistrick, Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations, 3d ed (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2008).
Call number: Ref. KD400 .R35 2008

Mary Miles Prince, Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations, 5th ed (Buffalo: W.S. Hein, 2001).
Call number: Ref. KF246 .B46 2001