Bibliographies are required for just about any research paper ever written, but they’re so hard to format. The worst part is trying to create a hanging indent for each source. Unfortunately, hanging indents are required in LMA, APA, and CMS formats, so you can’t skirt around them. Luckily, they’re easy once you know the tricks — here’s how to do a hanging indent on Google Docs.

We just so happen to have a spare bibliography lying around from college, so we’ll use it as an example. Whether you’re writing your first paper of the semester or just practicing, grab your Google Doc, and let’s get started!

Related: How to Add a Border in Google Docs

How to do a hanging indent on Google Docs

1. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, make sure your ruler is visible. We’ve used this before while changing margins, and it’s a good setting to default. To add your ruler, head to the View tab and make sure there’s a checkmark next to Show ruler.

2. Now highlight the text you want to indent. In our case, we’ll do each source individually.

3. Click and drag on the Left indent button — the small blue triangle on the ruler. Move it 0.5-inches to the right to make the total margin 1.5-inches.

4. Once you’re happy with the indent, grab the First line indent button — the small blue rectangle. Drag it back to the gray line that indicates the page margin.

5. Repeat the process for each source. This also works if you need to indent a large quote within a paragraph.

Learning how to do a hanging indent in Google Docs is just that easy! Now get out there and finish that paper. If you’re not rushing to hit a deadline, there are quite a few more skills to learn in Google Docs.

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