Navigation Aids

Research Guides


Main Content

ESE 450/451: Senior Design Project - Electrical and Systems Engineering Style Guide

This is a guide to help you write your paper. It shows you how to cite different reference sources in your bibliography and how to correctly use footnotes, tables and figures.
Take a look at this sample IEEE paper to see these guidelines in use! (Note: This is in PDF and takes awhile a load.)

The information in this guide is derived from the "Information for Authors" of IEEE Transactions, Journals and Letters

References should be numbered sequentially by order of mention in the text, with the number placed in square brackets on the same line eg. [1] . The list of all references cited in the text should appear in numeric order at the end of the paper.
Below are examples of the citation style for various types of reference.

[1] E. R. Tufte, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1996.

[2] J. H. Watt and S. A. van den Berg, Research Methods for Communication Science. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1995.

Articles/Chapters in a Book
[3] J. W. DuBois, S. Schuetze-Coburn, S. Cumming, and D. Paolino, "Outline of discourse transcription," in Talking Data: Transcription and Coding in Discourse Research (J. A. Edwards and M. D. Lampert, Eds.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993, pp. 45-89.

[4] R. C. Carter, "Search time with a color display: Analysis of distribution functions," Human Factors, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 302-304,1982.

Papers Presented in Proceedings
[5] P. Leone, D. L. Gillihan, and T. L. Rauch, "Web-based prototyping for user sessions: Medium-fidelity prototyping," in Proc. 44th Int. Technical Communications Conf. (Toronto, Canada, May 11-14, 1997, pp. 231-234).

Unpublished Papers
[6] K. Riley, "Language theory: Application versus practice," presented at the Conf. of the Modern Language Association, Boston, MA, December 27-30, 1990.

Technical Reports
[7] K. Kraiger and M.S. Teachout, "Application of generalizability theory to the Air Force job performance measurement project: A summary of research results," Human Resources Laboratory, Air Force Systems Command, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, Tech. Rep. AFHRL-TR-90-92, July 1991.

[8] G. Brandli and M. Dick, "Alternating current fed power supply," U.S. patent 4 084 217 Nov. 4, 1978.

Electronic documents, information obtained from a World Wide Web site or electronic journals and texts are invaluable resources. Information obtained from electronic resources must be properly cited, providing formal acknowledgment and recognition to the developer or originator of the materials.
The following guidelines are modified from the IEEE "Information for Authors" and the APA style guide, and give a basic format for each material type followed by an example to demonstrate.

REMEMBER when citing electronic information it is important to keep in mind the following two points:

1. Direct readers as closely as possible to the information being cited; whenever possible, reference specific documents rather than home or menu pages.

2. Provide addresses that work. In particular, most published articles are assigned a permanent address called a digital object identifier, or DOI. Here is an example of a DOI url: You should use this url, if it is available, rather than a site url when citing this type of material

Internet Article based on magazine or journal print source
Basic Form
Author(s). (Date; indicate "n.d." if date is unknown). Title [Electronic version]. Magazine or Journal Title, volume (issue, if given), paging. [Add the date of retrieval and the URL only if you believe that the print version differs from the electronic version.]

[9]Best S.R. ( 2002, April). On the use of scale brass models in HF shipboard communication antenna design [Electronic version]. IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, 44 (2), 12-23.

Article in an internet-only magazine or journal
Basic Form
Author(s). (Date). Title. Magazine or Journal Title, volume (issue), paging (if given). Retrieved [access date] from [URL]

[10]Henderson, A. (2002). Ubiquity, 3 (6). Retrieved August 20, 2002, from

Electronic Report
Basic Form
Author. (Date). Title. (Publication data). Retrieved [date] from [name of organization and URL]
[11]U.S. General Accounting Office. (1997, February). Telemedicine: Federal strategy is needed to guide investments. (Publication No. GAO/NSAID/HEHS-97-67). Retrieved September 15, 2000, from General Accounting Office Reports Online: aces/aces160.shtml?/gao/index.html

Document from Web Site [No Author, No Date]
Basic Form
Document title or name of Web page. (n.d.) Retrieved [date] from [URL]
[12]GVU's 8th WWW user survey. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from user_surveys/survey-1997-10/

Document from Web Site [Authors identified]
Basic Form
Author(s). (Date). Title. Retrieved [date] from [Host business, agency or program]: [URL]
[13]Gordon, C. H., Simmons, P., & Wynn, G. (2001). Plagiarism: What it is, and how to avoid it. Retrieved July 24, 2001, from Biology Program Guide 2001/2002 at the University of British Columbia Web site:

Footnotes are used to comment on the text, not as a substitute for listing references. Notes should be referred to in the text of the paper by a number printed in superscript at the place in the text where the note applies. Notes should be numbered sequentially in order of appearance in the paper.
Below is an example of how a footnote should be referred to in the text:

Fig. 14 shows the 65 536-point FFT spectrum on DSM output with a 2.5 dBFS input 2

The actual note will then be written at the foot of the page in a numbered list (using superscript numbers) that correspond to their numbering within the text. See below for an example:

1 In the actual implementation (Fig. 2), the transfer function of the loop filter should be chosen.
2 The full-scale level is determined by the maximum output of the DAC, and the corresponding analog-input level is 2 Vpp in differential.

Notes should NOT be used to replace a bibliography; do not use footnotes to list your references. They are to enhance the information in your paper. Possible uses of them are to explain more about a diagram in your text or to describe the parameters of an experiment. See this example IEEE paper for good use of notes.

Figures and Tables
Each figure and table must be given a number and a title. Number them separately from each other (i.e. start numbering figures from Figure 1, start numbering tables from Table 1). For a table, give the number and title at the TOP of the table. For a figure (e.g. a graph, a map), give the number and title at the BOTTOM of the figure. Titles should be detailed enough so that the table or figure makes some sense on its own, even to someone who has not read the paper or done the experiment.