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Citation Styles and Tools: Examples

In-text Citations

A citation or in-text citation is the reference you make to a specific author's work when presenting a specific argument in your own work.

General in-text citation rules

  • You do not have to include the authors' names or publication dates in your in-text citations
  • All citations are indicated by a number in square brackets
  • You must number your references in your reference list and in your in-text citations according to the order in which they appear in your document

For example:

"...end of the line for my research [13]."
"The theory was first put forward in 1987 [1]." "Scholtz [2] has argued that......."
"Several recent studies [3, 4, 15, 16] have suggested that..."
"For example, see [7]."

Table of examples



Single reference Jones notes [5]...
Single reference ... according to [7], it should be seen that...
Multiple references .. Wright demonstrates this in [7]-[8].
Multiple references  ... in [9] and [1]-[3], it appears that...
Three or more authors ... Singh et al. [6]... argue that...


When creating your reference list entry for a book, always include:

  • Number of citation, in order of appearance in your paper, in [square brackets]
  • Initials and last name of author(s)
  • Title in italics. Capitalize all words except for conjunctions like and, the, of, etc.
  • Edition (only if it is not the first edition). Abbreviate to ed
  • Place of publication: Publisher
  • Publication date

For example:

[1] C. Lampton, Unified Field Theory: For the Engineer and the Applied Scientist. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2009

More than one author:

[2] C. Jensen, J.D. Helsel, and D.R. Short, Engineering Drawing and Design. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2008


[3] J.W. Smither, Ed., Performance Appraisal: State of the Art in Practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998

When creating your reference list entry for a book chapter, always include:

  • Author of chapter or section (first initials, last name)
  • Title of chapter or section in "quotation marks"
  • Title of book in italics.
  • Editor(s) if named
  • Place of publication: Publisher. Date
  • Page number

For example:

[4] L.J. Slater, "Confluent hypergeometric functions," in Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables, vol. 55, Applied Mathematics Series, M. Abramowitz and I.A. Stegun, Eds. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1972, pp. 502-555

When creating your reference list entry for a journal article, always include:

  • Author(s); initials and last name
  • Title of article "in quotation marks"
  • Title of journal in italics. Capitalize first letter of each word except for conjuntions (and, of, the, for, etc.)
  • Volume number, issue number, and page numbers
  • Date of publication (month and year)

Note: You can write the full name of the journal title, or abbreviate the titles of IEEE journals (see IEEE Abbreviations for Transactions, Letters, Journals and Magazines for a full list of standard abbreviations).

For example:

[5] E. Strickland, "24 hours at Fukushima", IEEE Spectr., vol. 48, no. 11, pp. 35-42, Nov. 2011

When creating your reference list entry for a web site or document, always include:

  • Author(s) or editor(s); initials and last name
  • Date of publication (in round brackets). Abbreviate the month
  • Title in italics. Only capitalize the first letter and proper nouns
  • Format [in square brackets]
  • URL

For example:

[6] K. Bonsor and J. Strickland. (2007, Mar. 20). How nanotechnology works. [Online]. Available:                   

If there is no author, start the entry with the title of the site or document. Use (n.d.) if there is no date

[7] Electrical engineer. (n.d.) [Online]. Available:

When creating your reference list entry for a standard, always include:

  • Title of standard
  • Standard number
  • Date

For example:

[8] IEEE Criteria for Class IE Electric Systems, IEEE Standard 308, 1969

When creating your reference list entry for a patent, always include:

  • Inventor(s); initials and last name
  • Title "in quotation marks"
  • Issuing office
  • Patent number
  • Date of issue

For example:

[9] J.P. Wilkinson, "Nonlinear resonant circuit devices," U.S. Patent 3 624 125, July 16, 1990

When creating your reference list entry for a thesis or dissertation, always include:

  • Author; initials and last name
  • Title
  • Degree awarded
  • Department
  • University
  • City, state or province, and country
  • Date

Note: Names of universities and university departments should be abbreviated according to IEEE standards. Please see IEEE Standard Abbreviations for more information

For example:

[11] N. Kawasaki, "Parametric study of thermal and chemical nonequilibrium nozzle flow," M.S. Thesis, Dept. of Electron. Eng., Osaka Univ., Osaka, Japan, 1993

When creating your reference list entry for a conference paper, always include:

  • Author(s); initials and last name
  • Title of the paper "in quotation marks"
  • Name of conference
  • City and state and/or country of conference
  • Year

For example:

[10] H. Zhang, "LaB6 field emission gun: Making a decades old dream come true with nanotechnology," presented at the International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology for Sustainable Development, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2011

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