IEEE Format Guide for Computer Science and IT Students

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so they say. Once you enter computer science or information technologies classes, you find evidence suggesting it's true. Can often be you are asked to format your papers according to the IEEE format guidelines. There is nothing wrong with it. It is a unique writing style developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers specifically for students who study IT or professionals who work in the field of computer science. If you have ever used Chicago citation format before, you'll get it smooth. By and large, this proved perfectly feasible. Our guide will explain the basics of citing in IEEE as simply and clearly as it gets.

What is IEEE Format Main Feature?

As already mentioned, the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) offered its own citation format to keep the research papers written in the fullness of time by students and professionals well organized. It is one of the standard referencing styles used in the English-speaking environment to do justice to those whose findings, statistics, or theories have helped solve a specific problem.

How to Write in IEEE Format: Student-Friendly Guide

While many formats require inserting the writer's name directly in the text, IEEE is based on the numbering system. This way, the writers can ensure the study is easy to read and perceive. The number added to the text corresponds to the numbered reference at the end of the project. It makes it obvious for the reader which materials helped constitute the research and where they can read them in full.

As this style becomes more and more popular among both IT students and computer science professionals, we would like to explain in this brief yet convenient mini-guide how to write a paper in IEEE format. It is still better to learn it from this step-by-step than by reading the entire IEEE manual in full length.

IEEE Abstract Format

At this point, let us introduce you to the single most helpful hint of all. If you wish to inform the reader of what you are going to talk about and therefore score better in the end, you should develop an abstract without regard to whether it is required of you by your teacher or not. In fact, the chances are good that with the help of concise yet comprehensive abstract you attract even more readers adjacent to your domain. It is possible to communicate the message of the entire research paper in a single paragraph of 250-300 words long. In other words, an abstract should not take more than 1/3 of the A4 page.

What is the right IEEE format for the abstract? The rules for formatting this part are the same as for the rest of the paragraphs in your paper. Just insert a word "Abstract" in the center at the top to serve as the beacon and title for this page. Here are some of the rules to follow when working on this section:

  • Make a summary of the main points (topic sentences);
  • Explain the significance of the study;
  • Paraphrase a conclusion;
  • Include the possible implications of your findings;
  • Be self-contained — avoid abbreviations, footnotes, formulas, or citations in this part;
  • Stress what is novel in your paper;
  • Add up to 5 keywords that refer to your study so that you help your potential readers find your research on the Web (for online publications only).

In most cases, an abstract appears at the beginning of the research paper, but it is not forbidden to include it in the end. By and large, we recommend starting with an abstract to let the readership know why the problem in question is essential. You should ensure that this section accurately captures the complete writing.

In IEEE, do not add math symbols in the title or abstract — they risk not to show up correctly.

IEEE Cover Page

Apply style called "Paper Title" in your document to create an IEEE cover page. Do not use subtitles.

On the title page, include these elements:

  1. Your name and last name;
  2. Department Name of the organization;
  3. Name of organization;
  4. City, country;
  5. E-mail address.

Of course, you should also have room for the name of your work in the title page IEEE. The credits and thank yous in acknowledgment of possible financial support should follow and enclose the title page.

IEEE Title Page

To dig deeper, IEEE style usually goes without a separate cover page. A title is the first-level heading, followed by the body of the paper right thereafter. Center-aligned at the page's top, it should bear your name and other details mentioned above. Make sure there is a single blank line between the title and writer's info. A title is designed using Times New Roman 24pt font size for the main part and 10pt for the writer's details. No need to bold, italicize or underline the text.

There is plenty of choices on the Web should you be looking for a free IEEE cover page template if you have doubts as to format details.

IEEE Header

Headings serve to organize your research paper properly and let the audience skim the entire content faster. Mind the font styles!

According to the general rules IEEE heading format has to be done in Times New Roman. Avoid using more than 2 styles of fonts. One goes for the title and headings while the other one is for the text itself. Typically, as the second font, Arial is the best choice of all. Consider taking it instead of barely readable Courier or Comic Sans.

You may implement headers on different levels: ranging from H1 to H2 and even H4 or lower. You'd better be off without the latter. As for the 1st-level headings, apply them in the primary sections of your paper: Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.

Use the heading 1 to format the rest of the headers sequentially. These levels differ in font size. Use capitals to enumerate the 1st level headings. They should be left-aligned. Divide them from the content with a single blank line. Apply Times New Roman 10pt italics to these headings.

IEEE in Text Citation

Against the rest of the styles, you must have heard about IEEE citation format is a bit different. The objective to use it is the same: You should cite a passage properly (let alone use the credible sources as pieces of evidence to stitch together the evidentiary basis of your assignment).

One should identify the relevant reference by inserting a number in square brackets (like [2] or [30]). That is a significant difference as many other styles use parentheses to specify the source's details.

So, how to cite in IEEE format? Here is a brief how-to:

  1. Every reference number should be placed in square brackets (i.e. [...]) next to the quoted text, with a single space before the bracket.
  2. Number all citations sequentially. Every quotation should match a numbered reference with the information about the source. Such information should be presented on the last page of the assignment immediately following the conclusion.
  3. Use the same number pin in all subsequent references after citing a particular material.
  4. Do not make any distinctions between online and/or print sources while referencing the work.

The IEEE in-text citation example can look this way:

  • "The theory was first introduced in 1965 [3]."
  • "Muniz [6] has argued that…."
  • For instance, see [9]."
  • "…end of the line for my study [21]."

As you see, there is nothing complicated about inserting IEEE citation in-text. Keep an eye on the numbered references at the end (they should check with the body).

But what if you use more than one source in IEEE paper format? If you cite more than one source, it is applicable to list every reference number separately with the help of comma/dash between each. That would look like [2], [3], [6] or [4] — [7]. Another way is [2, 7, 9] or [3-6]. Other rules are:

  • Avoid using ibid or op. cit. while quoting a source for a 2nd or subsequent time;
  • Recall the reference number used before in the text;
  • Apply these forms when referring to a different page number or quoted material:
    [5, pp. 4-11], [9, Ch. 2, pp. 7-30], [4, Fig. 3], [2, Sec. 6.1]

IEEE Reference Format

You best learn how to develop a bibliography page by using an IEEE reference format example or several of them:

[4] F. J. Harold, Software for Learning. Saskatoon: Univ. of Saskatchewan Press, 1999.

[3] G. Simpler, Ed., JavaScript Basics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.

M. L. Stiller, "Synthetic future of our planet," in IT World, 3rd ed., vol. 6, J. Morgan, Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972, pp. 11-47.

[2] N. Cage and L. Lawrence, "Ways to modernize telecommunications in Central and Eastern European and former USSR," in Third Int. Telecommunications Energy Special Conf., 2002, pp. 7-19.

Before creating an IEEE reference page, explore how to cite different types of sources in this writing style: from e-Books and websites to scholarly articles and journals. As far as IEEE for computer science classes is concerned, it is recommended to work with the electronic sources you likely find on the Web. In fact, with the demise of hard copies, the electronic media might appeal to a lot of refugees. Try to pick credible, current information from the trusted sources for your IEEE format references.

That is pretty much it! After reading our helpful guide on what is IEEE format, you may still have questions regarding formatting. A full-length guide may be too long to master. Thus, if you have any problems, we recommend contacting our professional writing team as soon as possible. We will format your essays or research papers according to any citation format you need. Should your assignment be written from scratch, there is no better way to do so but placing an order right away! Don't forget to save our address for posterity with a descriptive name so you can use it again later on or share with your class fellows.