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Electrical and Computer Engineering: How to cite

Communication, Computer and Electronic

Steps to follow when citing

Most students work on assignments in chunks, meaning at different times and places. It is therefore helpful to write or save as many details of your sources as possible (author, title, chapter, page no., URL, etc.) every time you use one so you may refer back to it.

If you are getting information from databases such as Academic Search Complete through EBSCO, you should open an account and save your sources in folders. This is very helpful when you need to add/remove sources and compile your bibliography or reference list.

There are 2 steps when citing:


1. In-text citation


This means referring to the original source and adding a number in brackets within the assignment.  A number enclosed in square brackets, eg. [1], placed in the text, indicates the relevant reference. It should appear on the same line as the text, before any punctuation, with a space before the bracket.

  • Citations are numbered in the order in which they appear in the assignment.
  • Each citation corresponds to a numbered reference containing full bibliographic details about the source, which is cited in the reference/bibliography list at the end of the assignment.
  • Once a source has been cited, the same number is used in all subsequent references.

Some examples:

"...end of the line for my research [13]."
"The theory was first put forward in 1987 [1]." 
"Several recent studies [3, 4, 15, 16] have suggested that..." 
"For an example, see [7]."
2. Reference List or Cited Works or Bibliography
This refers to the full bibliographic details of the sources you've used to write your assignment. It is called a reference list. A numbered list of references must be provided at the end of the assignment. The list should be arranged in the order of the citation number used in the text of the assignment.
  • Put the number of the reference in square brackets. Eg: [1]
  • List only one reference per reference number, even if you refer to the source many times.
  • Footnotes or other information that is not part of the referencing format should not be included in the reference list.
  • The author name includes the initial of the first name, then family name. 
    Example: Adel Al Muhairy will be  cited as A. Al Muhairy NOT Al Muhairy, Adel.
  • The title of an article (or chapter, conference paper, patent, or other work inside a larger work) is in "quotation marks".
  • The title of a journal or book is in italics.


Example of a reference list:

[1] W.E. Stephens, H. Samueli, and G. Cherubini, "Copper wire access technologies for high performance networks," IEEE. J. Select. Areas Commun., vol. 13, no. 9, Dec. 1995, pp. 1537–1539.  

[2] M.R. Gibbard, A.B. Sesay, and L. Strawczynski, "Asymmetric equalization structure for broadband indoor wireless data communications," in Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Wireless Communications, vol. 2, Calgary, Alta., July 11–13, 1994, pp. 521–535.  

[3] K. Iba, H. Suzuli, M. Egawa, and T. Watanabe, "Calculation of the critical loading condition with nose curve using homotopy continuation method," presented at IEEE/PES 1990 Summer Meeting, Minneapolis, Minn., July 15–19, 1990.   


[4] J.E. Roy, W.R. Lauber, and J.M. Bertrand, "Measurements of the electromagnetic far-fields produced by a portable transmitter (principal planes)," Electromagnetics and Compatibility Group, Communications Research Centre, Ottawa, Ont., Report No. CRC-RP-98-002, Feb. 1998.