Alphabetizing Your Citation List

(Citations, Computers and Technology, Writing and Formatting) Permanent link

Your References (APA), Works Cited (MLA), or Bibliography (Turabian) is probably the last thing you do before turning in your paper.   Are you tired of cut & pasting or dragging citations so that they are in alphabetical order?  There is an easier way.  Make Microsoft Word do all the work.

  1. Highlight the text you want to sort
  2. In the Paragraph box on the Home tab, click on the A/Z (Sort) icon
  3. In the Sort Text dialog box, select Sort by: Paragraphs and Type: Text
  4. Ascending order (A-Z) and OK

That should do it.  If you see problems, Undo the sort and look for formatting errors. Use the Show/Hide icon (Ctl+*) to show hidden paragraph marks and other formatting symbols.

WARNING:  A paragraph mark (what happens when you hit ENTER) will tell Word that that is the end of the citation and will sort each line as a separate entry.  Using Hanging Indents to fix this.

Creating Hanging Indents.

  1. In the Paragraph box on the Home tab, click on the arrow at the lower right of the box, to open the Paragraph dialog box.
  2. Under Indentation, set Special to Hanging by 0.5"
  3. Under Spacing, Before: 0; After: 12 pt; Line spacing: Double (MLA, APA), Single (Turabian)
  4. OK

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