IEEE might not be one of the more immediately recognizable formatting styles, but it’s widely used in the fields of computer science and engineering. IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the formatting style is the standard for IEEE journals and magazines. The IEEE itself is the world’s largest technical professional organization that aims to advance technology for society’s benefit. Its membership spans more than 400,000 individuals in more than 160 countries, and publishes approximately 200 journals and magazines annually.

The style manual has multiple sections, and is fairly easy to navigate – the online manual is less than 55 pages. Sections include Editing Principles, Grammar and Usage, Editing Mathematics, and Editing References. The Introduction states that for any questions about grammar and usage not specified in the IEEE manual, to consult The Chicago Manual of Style.

IEEE Quick Takes

IEEE is similar to CMoS in the sense that they use a Notes-Bibliography system. Endnotes are necessary, and then references need to be cited numerically in the paper.

Per IEEE, if the formatting style is being used for a paper for class or for a dissertation or thesis, the student should check with the instructor or school for any formatting specifics, since there might be slightly different requirements. If a student or individual is submitting to a specific IEEE journal or publication, the person should follow the specific submission guidelines.

The Reference list is in order of citation in the paper, not alphabetically. The author is cited as first initial, last name.

Some papers or scientific reports will require the IMRAD format: Introduction, Methods, Results, And Discussion. Sometimes the headings will differ, and for things like field or case studies, this format is not generally used.

Documentation is generally required for three things:

  • Paraphrasing and summaries

  • Ideas and information that are not common knowledge or easily found in standard reference work

  • Material that might be mistaken for your own unique work if not otherwise specified

Since direct quotes aren’t usually used in the STEM fields, they’re not included in this list.


UW-Madison Writing Center – IEEE Style

IEEE Style Manual

Even with a streamlined style manual, formatting can be tricky – especially if you’re overworked and have been going over the same paper multiple times. If you need assistance with editing, or would like some fresh eyes to review the paper and ensure formatting is done properly, contact us today! Our expert editors are happy to edit and format your project per the necessary requirements and help you reach your goals.


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