This is not based on efficiency, and has to be done with only a very very basic knowledge of python (Strings, Tuples, Lists basics) so no importing functions or using sort/sorted. (This is using Python 2.7.3).
For example I have a list:
unsort_list = ["B", "D", "A", "E", "C"]
sort_list = 
"A, B, C, D, E"
Here's a very short implementation of the Quicksort algorithm in Python:
def quicksort(lst): if not lst: return  return (quicksort([x for x in lst[1:] if x < lst]) + [lst] + quicksort([x for x in lst[1:] if x >= lst]))
It's a toy implementation, easy to understand but too inefficient to be useful in practice. It's intended more as an academic exercise to show how a solution to the problem of sorting can be written concisely in a functional programming style. It will work for lists of comparable objects, in particular for the example in the question:
unsort_list = ['B', 'D', 'A', 'E', 'C'] sort_list = quicksort(unsort_list) sort_list > ['A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E']