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English Communication: Reference guidelines

Use this guide to explore resources relating to the study of English & Creative Writing at Khalifa University

Tips to remember...

1. Reference numbers & layout of list

  • Each reference number should be enclosed in square brackets [1] and should run in a numeric order as appearing in the text.
  • The reference list or bibliography should appear at the end of the paper.
  • The heading of the section should not be numbered as other sections of your paper are.
  • The second & subsequent lines in the citation are indented.

2. Authors or 'statement of responsibility'


  • Authors' names should be listed in natural order (first initials followed by last or family name). Example:  A. M. Al Mazrouie NOT Al Mazrouie, A. M.
  • If there are four or more authors, the reference may list either all authors, or only the first author followed by et al. Example: M. Al Mualla, A. Husseini, F. L. Mumtaz, R. Al Ali. OR M. Al Mualla et al.
  • If no author is given for a work, the reference may begin with the name of the editor or sponsoring body. (EXAMPLE: J. Wilson and L. Balanis, eds., Two Approaches to ...) The sponsoring body may be listed as the author even if it is listed again as the publisher.
  • If there is no known author, publisher or sponsoring body, the reference should begin with the title of the work.
  • If both an author and an editor or translator are listed, the editor's or translator's name, preceded by "ed." (edited by) or "trans." (translated by), should follow the title of the work, separated by a comma. EXAMPLE: F. R. Amdur, Simulated Biological Materials, ed. J. Lauber and J. L. Bertrand, ...
  • Whenever a publisher is listed, the location of the publisher and the date of publication should be included.

3. Titles

  • Article titles and names of reports, chapters or unpublished papers and dissertations should be enclosed in quotation marks. Commas should go inside the final quotation mark.
  • Titles of journals, books, conference proceedings, and published dissertations should be italicized.
  • Names of IEEE publications should be abbreviated as shown in the "List of IEEE Transactions, Journals, and Letters" and the "List of IEEE Magazines." (To view the lists in a PDF format, go to IEEE's Information for Authors and see Appendices III and IV.)
  • Titles in quotation marks use a "down" style: All words should be lower case except the first word and commonly capitalized terms (e.g., proper nouns). Italicized titles use an "up" style: Most words (except conjunctions, etc.), are capitalized.
  • If the title of a non-English article is given in translation only, the language of publication should be indicated in parentheses following the title. EXAMPLE: "Surface-micromachined reconfigurable multi-slit mask" (in French), ...

4. Issue numbers, dates and locations

  • Whenever possible, journal references should include both issue number (volume and number) and issue date (month and year).
  • Conference proceedings should include conference location (city and province or state) and conference date (month and year).

5. Abbreviations

  • The terms "volume," "number," and "pages" should be abbreviated as "vol.," "no.," and "pp." (all lower case).
  • All months except May, June, and July should be abbreviated.
  • The following abbreviations are commonly used: Comm. (Communications); Comput. (Computer, Computing); Conf. (Conference); Elect. (Electrical); Electron. (Electronic(s)); Eng. (Engineering); Inform. (Information); Int. (International); J. (Journal); Lett. (Letters); Mag. (Magazine); Proc. (Proceedings); Rev. (Review); Symp. (Symposium); Syst. (System(s)); Trans. (Transactions).
  • Standard abbreviations rather than postal abbreviations should be used for states and provinces. EXAMPLE: Calif. NOT CA
  • Unless a conference is well known, its name should be written out; a commonly used acronym may be included in parentheses after the name. Minor words may be omitted from the name. EXAMPLE: Proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering 2002 WRITE Proc. Can. Conf. Elect. Comput. Eng. (CCECE 2002), ...

6. Online and electronic sources


In general, references to online and electronic information should identify (1) the document or item accessed, (2) the format in which it was accessed (online, CD-ROM, etc.), (3) the date on which it was accessed (citation date), and (4) the location at which it may be found. 



[25] Fuminao Okumura and Hajime Takagi, “Maglev Guideway On the Yamanashi Test
       Line,” [Online]. Available:, October 24, 1998.