Citation is important for legal research for a couple of reasons. First, you'll need to cite your sources if you are writing a paper (or the equivalent). If you are using APA, legal references should be presented in the conventional format of legal citation (this means Bluebook). You also need to understand the concept of a legal citation because it is important for finding cases, statutes, codes, and/or regulations both in print and electronic sources.
1. Case Name
Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka et al.
(plaintiff) (appellant) (party one) v. (defendant) (party two)
347 U.S. 483 (1954)
volume  source [United States Reports] page  year of decision 
3. Parallel Citations
347 U.S. 483: 74 S. Ct. 686; 98 L. Ed. 873; 1954 U.S. LEXIS 2094; 53 Ohio Op. 326; 38 A.L.R. 2d 1180
[other sources for the case]
NOTE: The source for case law is usually a "reporter." Reporters are sets of print volumes containing judicial decisions/opinions.
Once you have the names of the parties and/or the legal citation, use WestlawNext to read the full text of the decision.
WestlawNext KeyCite is similar to Shepardizing and is used to determine the validity of a decision, statute, agency opinion, or other legal documents. KeyCite highlights negative treatment by displaying a red or yellow flag. Red flags indicate the case is no longer good law; yellow flags indicate there is some negative history, but the case has not been reversed or overturned. For help in using KeyCite, select in order Help (bottom of each screen) | Documentation | Using KeyCite.
The order of appellate court opinions is: deciding opinion and judgment (upheld or reversed), then concurring opinions (agree on final disposition of the case but not for the reasons stated in deciding opinion, the dissents, which disagree with the deciding opinion.
The Secondary Sources tab in WestLawNext refers to Law Reviews and other materials that argue points of law. These sources may be used by themselves, or as ways to find other cases that pertain to a legal argument being made. Find the Seconday Sources in the second column of the main page, then use the search bar at the top to search by subject or legal word or phrase. When using a phrase, employ quotes to hold the words together, such as "hate speech".