Electrodes in cells usually have a sign of either + or - My textbook talks about the + as because the electrode is positively charged and - when negatively charged. But is that correct? The electrodes are meant to be conductors and shouldn't be charged at any time. When they do, the ions leave them and migrate into the solution. So the + or - should instead point to the cell with the higher (+) or lower potential (-) given by the table of redox reactions. Nothing to do with charges.