Caleb S.
Caleb S.

Learn IEEE Citation and Formatting With This Simple Guide

Read Time

10 min read

IEEE Citation Format

Have you ever felt lost when it comes to citing and formatting your academic papers in the IEEE citation style? 

It's a struggle that many students and researchers face. The technical jargon and specific rules can be a maze of confusion, making it tough to ensure your citations are spot on.

Don't worry; we're here to simplify the process. In this guide, we'll break down IEEE citation style and how you can format different types of sources following this style.

So, keep reading!

On This PageArrow Down

  • 1. What is the IEEE Citation Format?
  • 2. How to Do IEEE Format Citation?
  • 3. Formatting Paper in IEEE Style
  • 4. IEEE Heading Styles

What is the IEEE Citation Format?

The IEEE Citation Style (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is a specialized formatting style, designed for subjects like engineering,  computer science, and information technology. This format is based on the Chicago Manual of Style and it is commonly used to cite and format technical papers.

It is the go-to choice for students and researchers in these fields, providing a structured format for books, journals, papers, and websites. While you can create citations manually, using an online citation maker can simplify the process.

How to Do IEEE Format Citation?

Unlike some other citation styles, IEEE citation style doesn't require you to include the author's name or the publication date in the in-text citation. 

Instead, a number is placed in square brackets, which corresponds to a reference listed at the end of your paper. When citing multiple sources, ensure to number them separately, such as [1], [2], [3], and so on.

In-Text Citation

For in-text citations in IEEE style, simply add the reference number in square brackets or parentheses in front of the relevant phrase or sentence. 

Always include a space before the first bracket, and when mentioning a source again, refer to it by its corresponding number.

For instance:

  • "The theory has proved the point effectively [2]."
  • "The previous experiment was not as successful as expected [3]."
  • "Williams [4] has presented the theory forward in 2008."

IEEE Citation Reference List Format

Like APA and MLA format paper, IEEE format also requires a reference list. It should be titled "References" and centered or left-aligned at the top of the page. 

Each reference is listed numerically, with the bracketed number flushed to the left. Author names are written in first initial, last name format. 

Main titles are enclosed in quotation marks, and journal or book titles are italicized. Here are some IEEE citation examples:

For Printed Books: 

[1] B. Klaus and P. Horn, Robot Vision. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.

For a Chapter in a Book: 

[2] L. Stein, "Random patterns," in Computers and You, J. S. Brake, Ed. New York: Wiley, 1994, pp. 55-70.

For an eBook: 

[3] L. Bass, P. Clements, and R. Kazman, Software Architecture in Practice, 2nd ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 2003. [E-book] Available: Safari ebook.

IEEE Citation for Multiple Authors:

If there are more than three writers in the source then use ‘et al’ after the name of the first author.

[8] J. D. Bellamy et al., Computer Telephony Integration, New York: Wiley, 2010.

IEEE Journal Citation

      For a Journal Article:

[4] J. U. Duncombe, "Infrared navigation - Part I: An assessment of feasibility," IEEE Trans. Electron. Devices, vol. ED-11, pp. 34-39, Jan. 1959.
For an eJournal from an Online Database:

[5] H. K. Edwards and V. Sridhar, "Analysis of software requirements engineering exercises in global virtual team setup," Journal of Global Information Management, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 21+, April-June 2005. [Online]. Available: Academic OneFile, [Accessed May 31, 2005].

     IEEE Online Citation for an eJournal:

[6] A. Altun, "Understanding hypertext in the context of reading on the web: Language learners' experience," Current Issues in Education, vol. 6, no. 12, July 2003. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Dec. 2, 2004].

IEEE Conference Citation

For a Conference Paper:

[7] L. Liu and H. Miao, "A specification-based approach to testing polymorphic attributes," in Formal Methods and Software Engineering: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Formal Engineering Methods, ICFEM 2004, Seattle, WA, USA, November 8-12, 2004, J. Davies, W. Schulte, M. Barnett, Eds. Berlin: Springer, 2004. pp. 306-19.

For the Conference Proceedings:

[8] T. J. van Weert and R. K. Munro, Eds., Informatics and the Digital Society: Social, ethical and cognitive issues: IFIP TC3/WG3.1&3.2 Open Conference on Social, Ethical and Cognitive Issues of Informatics and ICT, July 22-26, 2002, Dortmund, Germany. Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2003.

IEEE Citation for Online Articles of a Newspaper:

[9] J. Riley, "Call for a new look at skilled migrants," The Australian, p. 35, May 31, 2005. [Online]. Available: Factiva, [Accessed May 31, 2005].

For a Technical Report:

[10] J. H. Davis and J. R. Cogdell, “Calibration program for the 16-foot antenna,” Elect. Eng. Res. Lab., Univ. Texas,

Austin, Tech. Memo. NGL-006-69-3, Nov. 15, 1987.

IEEE Patent Citation:

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

For a Standard:

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

For a Thesis or Dissertation:

[1] J. O. Williams, “Narrow-band analyzer,” Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. Elect. Eng., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, 1993.

IEEE Video Citation:

[1]Title. City: Publisher, Year Published.


[1]She's the man. Andy Fickman, 2006.

IEEE Image Citation:

[1] Author Initial.  Author Surname, Title. Year Published.


[1]Aurora Australis from Space. 2014.

Formatting Paper in IEEE Style

Formatting your research paper in IEEE citation style is essential to ensure that it complies with the academic standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. One of its distinct guidelines is that the text is divided in two columns of the page.

Here are the key requirements to keep in mind when formatting your paper:

Formatting Requirement

IEEE Citation Style Guideline

Font Style & Size

Paper title: 24 pt. Times New Roman, centered

Text: 10 pt. Times New Roman

Title Page

Title centered at the top of the first page


150-250 word summary of the paper


List of relevant keywords or phrases separated by commas, italicized


Level 1: Roman numeral, small caps, title case

In-text Citations

Numerical citations in square brackets

Tables and Figures

Labeled and captioned with references in text


Numbered with parentheses on the right side

Main Body

Logical section organization with headings

Results and Discussion

Clear presentation of findings and implications


Summary of key findings and research impact

Reference List

Titled "References" at the end of the paper

Numerical references in order of appearance


Supplementary materials, if needed

Component Headings

Used for non-main text sections (e.g., references)

Here’s a paper formatted in IEEE style:

IEEE Citation Paper -

IEEE Heading Styles

In IEEE formatting, distinct heading styles are used to differentiate between various sections of your paper. These heading styles play a crucial role in maintaining a well-structured and organized document. Here's a breakdown of the recommended IEEE heading styles:

1. Paper Title

  • Written in 24 pt. Times New Roman.
  • Centered at the top of the first page.

2. Level 1 Text Headings

  • Begin with a roman numeral followed by a period (e.g., I.).
  • Written in small caps, in title case (e.g., "Introduction").
  • Centered.

3. Level 2 Text Headings

  • Begin with a capital letter followed by a period (e.g., A.).
  • Italicized.
  • Left-aligned.
  • Written in the title case (e.g., "Methods and Materials").

4. Level 3 Text Headings

  • Start with a number followed by a closing parenthesis (e.g., 1).
  • Italicized.
  • Written in sentence case.
  • Indented like a regular paragraph.
  • Text of the section follows the heading immediately, after a colon (e.g., "1. Research Methodology:").

5. Level 4 Text Headings

  • Begin with a lowercase letter followed by a closing parenthesis (e.g., a).
  • Italicized.
  • Written in sentence case.
  • Indented slightly further than a regular paragraph.
  • Text of the section follows the heading immediately, after a colon (e.g., "a. Data Analysis:").

6. Component Headings

  • Used for various paper components outside of the main text, such as acknowledgments and references.
  • Written in small caps.
  • In the title case.
  • Centered.
  • No numbering is applied.

Now you've learned the ins and outs of IEEE format style, including how to cite and format your work effectively. 

If you ever find yourself needing a paper perfectly crafted in IEEE style, you can rely on our professional essay writing service to assist you. 

Our experienced writers will ensure your paper is in the right format, so you can concentrate on your research and writing. So, don’t miss out and place your 'do my essay' request now!

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Use our AI tool to generate high quality essay
Try AI Essay Writer Free
Caleb S.


Caleb S.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Top-class writers are here!Get Help