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IEEE Citation Style: Start Here

This guide provides information on the 2020 edition of the IEEE citation style.

How to Use This Guide

1. Check that your instructor has asked you to use IEEE citation style for your assignment. They have? Great! Continue on...

2. Read the 'IEEE in a Nutshelll' section below to ensure you know you need both in-text citations and reference list entries in your assignment.

3. Review the In-Text Citations tab for how to incorporate sources into your writing.

4. Find the source type you are trying to cite in the tabs at the top. Is it a book, a magazine, a website? Once you've found your source type, look for the option that best describes your source (e-book instead of print book, for example).

5. Use the template for your source type to create your reference list entry for that particular source. If you run into a scenario that isn't covered in the template or in the example, scroll down to the "What if" section for detailed information on how to incorporate this information. Examples of such scenarios are multiple authors, a source without a publication date, etc.

6. Have questions that aren't covered in this guide? Check out the 'Additional Help' tab or connect with the Library today.

IEEE in a Nutshell

An IEEE citation has two parts:

In-text - to let the person who's reading your work know that this isn't your idea and to show them where to find it in your reference list. For IEEE, each citation is represented by a sequential number in square brackets like this: [1]. Each new source is numbered subsequently - the next source would be [2], the next after that would be [3], and so on.

Reference list (at the end of your assignment) - to allow the reader to find where the idea came from. This will give them enough information that they can locate the source and find the information that you included in your assignment. The reference list citations are numerically ordered.

Anytime you use someone else's words, ideas, opinions, or illustrations, you need to show where you first retrieved or read that information. You need to provide both the in-text citation whenever you use that source in your paper, and a single reference list entry at the end of your paper for each source that you use. This guide provides examples of IEEE citations for various resources.

Why Cite Your Sources?

In all types of research and scholarly writing, it is important to cite your sources in order to:

  • Help readers identify and locate the source you used.

Readers may want to locate a source you have cited to verify the information or to learn more about the topic. A proper citation includes all of the information necessary for a reader to locate a source.

  • Provide evidence that your position is well-researched.

Professional and academic writing is grounded in research. Citations allow you to demonstrate that your position is thoroughly researched.

  • Give credit to the author of ideas which are not your own, and thereby avoid plagiarism.

Giving proper credit to those whose work or ideas you use is not only respectful to those authors, but is required to avoid plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs when a student submits work in respect of which ideas or words are taken from another source and presented as if they are the student’s own, without appropriate acknowledgement of the original source.  It is the act of presenting another’s materials as one’s own without appropriate acknowledgement that constitutes plagiarism, whether or not the student does so intentionally. 

Learn more about SAIT's policy on plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.

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