In indexing a lengthy, clumsy title like this:

The Orphans, The First Day: The Blue Sedan

I'm wondering where the ", The" should be placed:

Orphans, The, The First Day: The Blue Sedan

Orphans, The First Day: The Blue Sedan, The

Neither of these seems like a good solution. Any other suggestions? I've checked the CMOS15 and could not find guidance there.


  • Have you tried going to a citation generator online? They tend to do the hard work for you. Just plug in the information and it will spit it out in order. Also as an FYI, this should be tagged as Citation and you should not assume people reading know what CMOS15 is (Chicago Manual of Style 15th ed). In the future, please spell out acronyms before using them... I had a devil of a time looking for what the heck it meant and almost gave you a library ordering system.
    – hszmv
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Unlike the prescribed style guidance of writing that it (normally) be unambiguous and easy to read (in other words, that it avoid awkward-looking constructions), I don't believe there is any such consideration in the back matter of books.

The rule is that if there is an article at the front of a title, it is placed at the end of the title after a comma.

By that, it should be:

Orphans, The First Day: The Blue Sedan, The

It shouldn't matter if it looks odd or not. It's not meant to be read and understood in the same way that a book's narrative should allow a reader to easily parse and comprehend it.

Anybody who knows the rules of alphabetization will know what the title of this book actually is—which is the only important piece of information.

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