How to Put APA Format in Alphabetical Order With Different Articles Under the Same Author

When writing a research paper in APA format, a common question that arises revolves around how best to alphabetize citations when several articles have been penned by the same author. Fortunately there are several solutions to this problem that ensure your readers will know the exact article to which you are referring.

Alphabetizing Your Reference Page

On your reference page, all of your citations should be listed alphabetically by the author's last name. This method makes it easy for readers to find a specific article or other reference. When the same author has written several articles, you should then place the articles in chronological order by year, beginning with the oldest entry.

Multiple Articles in the Same Year

Sometimes, articles written by the same author will also have been published in the same year. When this is the case, the articles should be listed in alphabetical order by the title of the article. To do this, look for the first significant letter of the title, ignoring any punctuation and frivolous words, such as "the," "a" or "an." Once you have listed the articles correctly, you should assign letters to the end of the year. Thus, if you have two articles with the same author written in 2010, you would add an "a" and "b" to the end of the year. For example:

Smith, J. (2010a). Article name. Publication Name, volume number, page numbers. Smith, J. (2010b). Different article name. Publication Name, volume number, page numbers.

In-Text Citations

When referencing your articles within the text, you have to include the author's last name and the year. When the articles have the same author but a different year, then you cite them like you would any other reference. However, when these articles have both the same author and year, then you will want to employ the letter suffixes that you will establish ahead of time on your reference page. In the text, state the last name, followed by the year and letter, with no added space to allow your reader to distinguish between the different articles. The entry would look like this:

(Smith, 2010b).