Friday, January 19, 2018

Quick Tip: Convention for Underlining Signals

In a previous post, I discussed in detail when to use introductory signals. See When to use Introductory Signals. Today’s post focuses on the proper convention for underlining introductory signals and the citations that follow.

The general rule to follow is that the signal and the citation are two separate entities and should be separated by a nonunderlined space. Special attention should be given to commas following signals, which are not normally underlined.

See Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 41 (2004).


See Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 41 (2004).

The following list shows the proper form for the most common signals. This information also applies to italicized signals in law journal citations—just substitute the underlining for italics.

  • E.g., CITE
  • See, e.g., CITE
  • Accord CITE
  • See CITE
  • See also CITE
  • Cf. CITE
  • Compare CITE with CITE
  • Contra CITE
  • But see CITE
  • But cf. CITE
  • See generally CITE

Disclaimer: The statements and views expressed in this posting are my own and do not reflect those of my law firm. They are intended for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


No comments so far.
  • Leave a Reply
    Your gravatar
    Your Name

About Persuasive Authority

Blog dedicated to legal research and writing, law school, and the broader legal world.

Learn more »

If you are interested in contributing content to Persuasive Authority, please send a brief proposal to

Contact Form »
Get in touch


Online contact form »