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Citing Sources: Engineering Styles

Style Guides in the Library or Online

Three prominent Engineering organizations have published guides for authors, which include reference style guidelines, and are primarily available online or in PDF:

Format Your Paper

Some formatting details and examples are included in the In-Text Citation and References list examples on this page. 

However, for complete instructions for formatting your paper or article, visit the specific guides for your discipline, linked above.

How do I cite my sources in the text of my paper? (In-text citation examples)

In-Text Citations

ASCE uses the author-date method for in-text references, whereby the citation reads as the last names of the authors, then the year (e.g., Smith 2004, or Smith and Jones 2004).  The citation refers readers to a reference listed by the author’s surname and the year of publication. Often, the author and date appear in parentheses; a comma is not placed between them


Work with 1 Author

One recent report (Carson 2012) finds evidence that…

When the author of the referenced publication is part of the sentence, the last name does not need to be repeated.

For example: Carson (2006) finds evidence that…


Comparing 2 or more works

...yielded varying results (Jones 2010; Marks and Smith 2004a, b)

Some researchers (Jules et al. 2017, Oneida 2014, MacIntire 2018) have found…

…using the mobility study (Metcalfe and Froustet 2018).

Or: [for two authors only] …using the mobility study (Metcalfe and Froustet 2018).


For publications with three or more authors, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.” in the text citation.

…by limit equilibrium analysis (Merriweather et al. 2014).

Within the text, references should be cited in numerical order according to their order of appearance. The numbered reference citation within text should be enclosed in brackets. In the case of two citations, the numbers should be separated by a comma [1,2]. In the case of more than two references, the numbers should be separated by a dash [5-7].

Example: It was shown by Prusa [1] that the width of the plume decreases under these conditions.


Note: ASME primarily uses the Chicago Manual of Style for references formatting. Authors are encouraged to seek out precise instructions, such as the use of et al. in references at Note: ASME does not allow references to Wikipedia.


You can also visit our Chicago Style guide for more examples and guidelines.

References in Text:

References need not be cited in the text . When they are, they appear on the line, in square

brackets, inside the punctuation. Grammatically, they may be treated:

as if they were footnote numbers, e.g.,
as shown by Brown [4], [5]; as mentioned earlier [2], [4]–[7], [9]; Smith [4] and Brown and Jones [5]; Wood et

al. [7]

or as nouns: as demonstrated in [3]; according to [4] and [6]–[9].

NOTE: Use et al. when three or more names are given.

How do I cite my sources at the end of my paper? (References List examples)


Book with 2 authors

Evans, G. M., and J. C. Furlong. 2003. Environmental biotechnology: Theory and applications. Chichester, UK: Wiley.


Book with no author

Moody’s municipal and government manual. 1988. New York: Moody’s Investors Service.


Newspaper Article

Mossberg, W. S. 1993. “Word isn’t perfect but new WordPerfect is too much for words.” Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1993.



Eshenaur, S. R., J. M. Kulicki, D. R. Mertz. 1991. “Retrofitting distortion-induced fatigue cracking of noncomposite steel girder-floorbeam-stringer bridges.” In Proc., 8th Annual Int. Bridge Conf., 380–388. Pittsburgh: Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania.


Building Codes & Provisions

  • ACI (American Concrete Institute). 1989. Building code requirement for reinforced concrete. ACI 318-89. Farmington Hills, MI: ACI.
  • BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators International). 1993. The BOCA national building code. Country Club Hills, IL: BOCA.
  • CEN (European Committee for Standardization). 1992. Design of steel structures, part 1.1. Eurocode 3, Brussels, Belgium: CEN.



Brown, R. J. E., cartographer. 1967. Permafrost in Canada. Map 1246A. Ottawa: Geologic Survey of Canada.



Journal Article (online)

Beskos, D. E. 1987. “Boundary element methods in dynamic analysis.” Appl. Mech. Rev., 40 (1), 1–23.

[To look up journal name abbreviations, go to: ]


NOTE: ASCE no longer uses page numbers and has adopted a new format for ASCE Journal article references (including those older papers that still contain page numbers). Use the following style for citation to an ASCE journal:

Authors. Year of initial publication. “Title of paper.” Journal abbr. Volume (Issue): CID/page range. DOI.


Data Set

Thernstrom, S. 1986. “Boston mobility study, 1880.” ICPSR 7550. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. Accessed November 28, 2017.



  • Arizona Dept. of Commerce. 2005. “Community profile: Hualapai Indian Reservation.” Accessed March 17, 2014.
  • Foucher, J. 2017. “The role of construction companies before, during, and after disaster.” Construct Connect (blog). Accessed October 11, 2017.

[For other examples and guidelines on citing unpublished materials, see the Publishing in ASCE Journals: a guide for authors, p.38,]

  • References should be listed together at the end of the paper; footnotes should not be used for this purpose.
  • References should be arranged in numerical order according to the sequence of citations within the text. Each reference should include the last name of each author followed by initials.





Book with 2 Authors

[10] Gibson, T.A., and Tucker, M. T., 2008, The Big Book of Cellular Studies, John Wiley and Sons, NY.


Chapter in an edited volume

[32] Stevens, T. T., 1999, “Stochastic Fields and Their Digital Simulation,” Stochastic Methods. T. A. Sulle, and M. Siiu, eds., Martinius Publishers, Dordrecht, Germany, pp. 22-36.


Journal Article

[3] Adams, Z., 2014, “Bending of an Infinite Beam on an Elastic Substrate,” ASME J Appl. Mech., 3, pp. 221-228.

[see the style guide for preferred journal title abbreviations,]


Conference Paper/Proceedings

[21] Wions, T. T., and Mills, C. D., 2006, “Structural Dynamics in Parallel Manipulation,” Proceedings of the IDETC/CIE, New Orleans, LA, September 10-13, 2005, ASME Paper No. DETC2005-99532, pp. 777-798.


Theses and Technical Reports

[1] Oligaria, T. T., Fredy, C. W., Popullo, A. Z., and Tucker, M. A., 20111, “Characterization of PKM Dynamics,” SAE Technical Paper No. 2011-02-8345, 07ATC-96.



Website Content

[3] “Apple Privacy Policy,” last modified February 4, 2009, accessed July 19, 2010,


[for more examples and guidelines, see the style guide linked on this page]

  • Reference numbers are set flush left and form a column of their own, hanging out beyond the body of the reference. The reference numbers are on the line, enclosed in square brackets.
  • In all references, the given name of the author or editor is abbreviated to the initial only and precedes the last name. Use commas around Jr., Sr., and III in names. If there are many names, use them all; use et al. only if names are not given.
  • Note that when citing IEEE Transactions, if the month is not available, the number may be kept , although it is normally deleted. Keep the day of t he month when referencing a patent.
  • References may not include all information; please obtain and include relevant information. Do not combine references. There must be only one reference with each number. If there is a URL included with the print reference, it can be included at the end of the reference.



Book with 1 Author

Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author, “Title of chapter in the book,” in Title of His Published Book, xth ed. City of Publisher, Country if not

USA: Abbrev. of Publisher, year, ch. x, sec. x, pp. xxx–xxx.


[1]  B. Klaus and P. Horn, Robot Vision. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.


Journal Article

Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author, “Name of paper,” Abbrev. Title of Periodical, vol. x, no. x, pp. xxx-xxx, Abbrev. Month, year.


[1]  R. E. Kalman, “New results in linear filtering and prediction theory,” J. Basic Eng., ser. D, vol . 83, pp. 95-108, Mar. 1961.



Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author, “Title of report,” Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, Rep. xxx, year.:


[1]  E. E. Reber, R. L. Michell, and C. J. Carter, “Oxygen absorption in the earth’s atmosphere,” Aerospace Corp., Los Angeles, CA, Tech. Rep. TR-0200 (4230-46)-3, Nov. 1988.



Basic Format:
[1] Name of Manual/Handbook, x ed., Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, year, pp. xxx-xxx.


[1]  Transmission Systems for Communications, 3rd ed., Western Electric Co., Winston-Salem, NC, 1985, pp. 44–60.


Conference Proceedings

The general form for citing conference proceedings is to list the author and title of the paper, followed by the name (and location, if given) of the conference in italics using standard abbreviations (see Style Guide for details)


Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” in Unabbreviated Name of Conf., City of Conf., Abbrev. St ate (if given), year, 


[1]  G. R . Faulhaber, “Design of service systems with priority reservation,” i n Conf. Rec. 1995 IEEE Int. Conf. Communications, pp. 3–8. *** If the year is given in the conference title, it may be omitted from the end of the reference as shown here.***


Paper Presented at Conference

Basic Format:

[1] J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” presented at the Unabbrev. Name of Conf., City of Conf., Abbrev. State, year.


[1]  M. Mayer, presented at the 4th Congr. Permanent Magnets, Grenoble, France, Mar. 1995.



Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author, “Title of patent,U.S. Patent x xxx xxx, Abbrev. Month, day, year.


[1] J. P. Wilkinson, “Nonlinear resonant circuit devices,” U.S. Patent 3 624 125, July 16, 1990. NOTE: Use “issued date” if several dates are given.


Theses and Dissertations

Theses (M.S.) and Dissertations (Ph.D.)

Basic Format:

[1]  J. K. Author, “Title of thesis,” M.S. thesis, Abbrev. Dept., Abbrev. Univ., City of Univ., Abbrev. State, year.

[2]  J. K. Author, “Title of dissertation,” Ph.D. dissertation, Abbrev. Dept., Abbrev. Univ., City of Univ., Abbrev. State, year.


[1] N. Kawasaki, “Parametric study of thermal and chemical nonequilibrium nozzle flow,” M.S. thesis, Dept. Electron. Eng., Osaka Univ., Osaka, Japan, 1993.

[2] J. O. Williams, “Narrow-band analyzer,” Ph. D. dissertation, Dept . Elect . Eng., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, M A, 1993.



Basic Format:
[1] Title of Standard, Standard number, date.


[1]  IEEE Criteria for Class IE Electric Systems, IEEE Standard 308, 1969.



Article from Online Database

Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author. (year, month). Title. Journal [Type of medium]. volume(issue), paging if given. Available: site/path/file


[1]  R. J. Vidmar. (1992, Aug.) On the use of atmospheric plasmas as electromagnetic reflectors. IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. [Online]. 21(3), pp. 876–880. Available:



Basic Format:
[1] J. K. Author. (year, month day). Title (edition) [Type of medium]. volume(issue). Available: site/path/file


[1] S. Khutaina. (1 995, Aug. 15). EMBASE handbook (3rd ed.) [Online]. 3(21). Avail able: Knowledge Index File:

EMBASE Handbook (EMHB)


 [Many more examples and abbreviations are included in the PDF in the Style Guides box on this page; also click on  the link to the University of Michigan guide for citing data]