Use Hanging Indentation for Works Cited/References

Jared Aragona

Use hanging indentation: Hanging indentation is when the first line is at the left margin, but every other line in the entry or paragraph is indented a half-inch.  To get hanging indentation in Word, (1) click the “View” tab and click “Ruler” if the ruler isn’t already available at the top of your document. (2) Select all of your works cited entries. (3) On your ruler, move the whole left margin hourglass over one 1/2 inch. (4) Move the top part of the hour glass back over to the old left margin.  There are also preset hanging indention formats in some word processors or text editors.

Alternatively, in Word, select all entries, then in the Home toolbar select “Paragraph,” and under “Indentation,” see the dropdown box under marked “Special.” Click on it and select “Hanging.”  All selected entries will then be hanging indented.

Here’s how to do it in Google Docs: Select the text that you want to have the hanging indent. Click “Format,” then click “Align & Indent,” then click “Indentation Options.”  In the “Special” Indent section, click the drop down and then select “Hanging.”



West, Delno C. “The Imagined World of Christopher Columbus.” Columbus and the New World. Eds. Joseph Shnaubelt and Frederick

Van Fleteren. New York: Peter Lang, 2001. 85-97.



Ames, C., & Archer, J. (1988). Achievement goals in the classroom: Students’ learning strategies and motivation processes. Journal of

Educational Psychology, 80(3), 260-267. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.80.3.260.

The MLCKRB (Master List Code Key and Rule Book): An English Grammar & Style Handbook by Jared Aragona, CC BY 4.0


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Use Hanging Indentation for Works Cited/References Copyright © by Jared Aragona is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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