Nothing Goes Before Something
Building a perfect APA reference list is no easy task. There’s just so much to consider—like what to capitalize, italicize, and abbreviate; how to cite a podcast, a musical recording, and the zillion electronic sources of information; and then there’s the whole DOI thing.
What’s a DOI, anyway? It’s a digital object identifier, and we’ll pursue that topic in another post.
For now, I want to impart a quick tip for alphabetizing that might be helpful not only for the crafting of your reference page but also for your general A-B-C needs.
Nothing goes before something.
And by that, I mean:
Donald goes before Donalds goes before Donaldson.
Basically, you alphabetize letter by letter, and the word with fewer letters goes before the word with more letters.
APA Style says to alphabetize by author surname, so that’s the first task. Then, we move on to initials. So, Donald, J. precedes Donaldson, D., even though first initial D. comes before first initial J.