order of signals

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The order of signals refers to the order in which citation sentences should be arranged when immediately following each other. In formal legal writing, citation sentences should be arranged based on the signals that introduce them, in the following order of precedence:

  • No signal
  • E.g.,
  • Accord
  • See
  • See also
  • Cf.
  • Compare with
  • Contra
  • But see
  • But cf.
  • See generally

All sources falling under the same signal should be put in a single citation sentence and separated by semicolons. Thus, each signal should appear only once in a given citation - at the start of its own citation sentence. 

See Order of authorities (for the arrangement of sources within each signal).

[Last updated in July of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]