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Legal Citation

This guide provides an introduction to the citation of cases, statutes and regulations, books and journal articles, and electronic sources.

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

G. Pinpoint

  • Pinpoint to a page or section. See the following example:

Michael G Bridge, "Discharge for Breach of the Contract of Sale of Goods" (1985) 28:4 McGill LJ 867 at 913.