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If you are asking about flipping the sign of the reducing agent then that happens because the reducing agent is the substance being oxidized. In the book they use Ecell=Ecathode+Eanode, so you flip the sign of the thing being oxidized because it is the reverse reaction, but in class Lavelle went over subtracting not adding. Either way works but you have to just pick one.
The standard convention is to list standard reduction potentials, meaning the E values for the reduction reactions. If you are dealing with an oxidation half-reaction (the reverse of the reduction half-reaction), you typically have to negate the given E value.
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