- Plagiarism and grammar
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A comprehensive guide to apa citations and format, overview of this guide:.
This page provides you with an overview of APA format, 7th edition. Included is information about referencing, various citation formats with examples for each source type, and other helpful information.
If you’re looking for MLA format , check out the Citation Machine MLA Guide. Also, visit the Citation Machine homepage to use the APA formatter, which is an APA citation generator, and to see more styles .
Being responsible while researching
When you’re writing a research paper or creating a research project, you will probably use another individual’s work to help develop your own assignment. A good researcher or scholar uses another individual’s work in a responsible way. This involves indicating that the work of other individuals is included in your project (i.e., citing), which is one way to prevent plagiarism.
Plagiarism? What is it?
The word plagiarism is derived from the Latin word, plagiare , which means “to kidnap.” The term has evolved over the years to now mean the act of taking another individual’s work and using it as your own, without acknowledging the original author (American Psychological Association, 2020 p. 21). Plagiarism can be illegal and there can be serious ramifications for plagiarizing someone else’s work. Thankfully, plagiarism can be prevented. One way it can be prevented is by including citations and references in your research project. Want to make them quickly and easily? Try the Citation Machine citation generator, which is found on our homepage.
All about citations & references
Citations and references should be included anytime you use another individual’s work in your own assignment. When including a quote, paraphrased information, images, or any other piece of information from another’s work, you need to show where you found it by including a citation and a reference. This guide explains how to make them.
APA style citations are added in the body of a research paper or project and references are added to the last page.
Citations , which are called in-text citations, are included when you’re adding information from another individual’s work into your own project. When you add text word-for-word from another source into your project, or take information from another source and place it in your own words and writing style (known as paraphrasing), you create an in-text citation. These citations are short in length and are placed in the main part of your project, directly after the borrowed information.
References are found at the end of your research project, usually on the last page. Included on this reference list page is the full information for any in-text citations found in the body of the project. These references are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name.
An APA in-text citation includes only three items: the last name(s) of the author(s), the year the source was published, and sometimes the page or location of the information. References include more information such as the name of the author(s), the year the source was published, the full title of the source, and the URL or page range.
Why is it important to include citations & references
Including APA citations and references in your research projects is a very important component of the research process. When you include citations, you’re being a responsible researcher. You’re showing readers that you were able to find valuable, high-quality information from other sources, place them into your project where appropriate, all while acknowledging the original authors and their work.
Common ways students and scholars accidentally plagiarize
Believe it or not, there are instances when you could attempt to include in-text and full references in the appropriate places, but still accidentally plagiarize. Here are some common mistakes to be aware of:
Mistake #1 - Misquoting sources: If you plan to use a direct quote, make sure you copy it exactly as is. Sure, you can use part of the full quote or sentence, but if you decide to put quotation marks around any words, those words should match exactly what was found in the original source. Here’s a line from The Little Prince , by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”
Here’s an acceptable option:
“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).
Here’s a misquote:
“Grown-ups barely ever understand anything by themselves,” stated de Saint-Exupéry (1943, p. 3).
Notice the slight change in the words. The incorrect phrasing is an instance of accidental plagiarism.
Mistake #2 - Problems with paraphrasing: When we paraphrase, we restate information using our own words and writing style. It’s not acceptable to substitute words from the original source with synonyms.
Let’s use the same sentence from The Little Prince .
A correct paraphrase could be:
de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything. It’s too bad adults are unable to comprehend anything on their own (p. 3).
An incorrect paraphrase would be:
de Saint-Exupéry (1943) shares that adults never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for kids to be always and forever clarifying things to them (p.3).
Notice how close the incorrect paraphrase is from the original. This is an instance of accidental plagiarism.
Make sure you quote and paraphrase properly in order to prevent accidental plagiarism.
If you’re having a difficult time paraphrasing properly, it is acceptable to paraphrase part of the text AND use a direct quote. Here’s an example:
de Saint-Exupery (1943) shares various ways adults frustrate children. One of the biggest being that kids have to explain everything, and “it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” (p. 3).
Information About APA
Who created it.
The American Psychological Association is an organization created for individuals in the psychology field. With close to 121,000 members, they provide educational opportunities, funding, guidance, and research information for everything psychology-related. They also have numerous high-quality databases, peer-reviewed journals, and books that revolve around mental health.
The American Psychological Association is also credited with creating their own specific citation and reference style. Today, this format is used by individuals not only in the psychology field, but many other subject areas as well. Education, economics, business, and social sciences also use APA style quite frequently. Click here for more information . This guide covers general information about the style, but is not affiliated with the American Psychological Association.
Why was this style created?
This format was first developed in 1929 to form a standardized way for researchers in science fields to document their sources. Prior to the inception of these standards and guidelines, individuals were recognizing the work of other authors by including bits and pieces of information in random order. There wasn’t a set way to format citations and references. You can probably imagine how difficult it was to understand the sources that were used for research projects!
Having a standard format for citing sources allows readers to glance at a citation or APA reference and easily locate the title, author, year published, and other critical pieces of information needed to understand a source.
The evolution of this style
The guide below is based on APA style 7th edition, which was released in 2020. In previous versions of APA format, researchers and scholars were required to include the publisher location for books and the date that an electronic resource was accessed. Both are no longer required to be included.
Details on the differences between the 6th and 7th editions is addressed later in this guide.
Citations & References
The appearance of citations & references.
The format for references varies, but most use this general format:
%%Author’s Last name, First initial. (Date published). Title . URL
Researchers and scholars must look up the proper format for the source that they’re attempting to cite. Books have a certain format, websites have a different format, periodicals have a different format, and so on. Scroll down to find the proper format for the source you’re citing or referencing.
If you would like help citing your sources, CitationMachine.com has a citation generator that will help make the APA citation process much easier for you. To start, simply click on the source type you're citing:
- Journal articles
An APA in-text citation is included in research projects in three instances: When using a direct quote, paraphrasing information, or simply referring to a piece of information from another source.
Quite often, researchers and scholars use a small amount of text, word for word, from another source and include it in their own research projects. This is done for many reasons. Sometimes, another author’s words are so eloquently written that there isn’t a better way to rephrase it yourself. Other times, the author’s words can help prove a point or establish an understanding for something in your research project. When using another author’s exact words in your research project, include an APA in-text citation directly following it.
In addition to using the exact words from another source and placing them into your project, these citations are also added anytime you paraphrase information. Paraphrasing is when you take information from another source and rephrase it, in your own words.
When simply referring to another piece of information from another source, also include a citation directly following it.
Citations in the text are found near a direct quote, paraphrased information, or next to a mention of another source. To see examples of some narrative/ parenthetical citations in action, look at the image above, under “All About Citations & References.”
Note: *Only include the page or paragraph number when using a direct quote or paraphrase. Page numbers have a p. before the number, pp. before the page range, and para. before the paragraph number. This information is included to help the reader locate the exact portion of text themselves. It is unnecessary to include this information when you’re simply referring to another source.
Examples of APA in-text citations:
“Well, you’re about to enter the land of the free and the brave. And I don’t know how you got that stamp on your passport. The priest must know someone” (Tóibín, 2009, p. 52).
Student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers (Kent & Giles, 2017, p. 12).
If including the author’s name in the sentence, place the year in the parentheses directly next to his or her name. Add the page number at the end, unless it’s a source without any pages or paragraph numbers (See Section 8.10 of the Publication manual for more details).
In-text citation APA example:
According to a study done by Kent and Giles (2017), student teachers who use technology in their lessons tend to continue using technology tools throughout their teaching careers.
The full references, or citations, for these sources can be found on the last part of a research project, titled the “References.”
Here’s how to create in-text citations for specific amounts of authors:
APA citation with no author
When the source lacks an author’s name, place the title, year, and page number (if available) in the text. The title should be in italics if it sits alone (such as a movie, brochure, or report). If the source is part of a whole (as many web pages and articles are), place the title in quotation marks without italics (See Section 8.14 of the Publication manual ).
Structure of an APA format citation in the text narratively, with the author's name missing:
Title of Source (Year) or “Title of Source” (Year)
Structure of an APA style format citation, in parentheses at the end of the sentence, with the author’s name missing: (Title of Source, Year) or (“Title of Source,” Year)
Structure for one author
In the text, narratively: Last name of Author (Year)...(page number).
In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author, Year, page number).
Structure for two authors
Place the authors in the order they appear on the source. Only use the ampersand in the parenthetical citations (see Section 8.17 of the Publication manual ). Use ‘and’ to separate the author names if they’re in the text of the sentence.
In the text, narratively: Last name of Author 1 and Last name of Author 2 (Year)....(page number).
In parentheses, at the end of the sentence: (Last name of Author 1 & Last name of Author 2, Year, page number).
Structure for three or more authors
Only include the first listed author’s name in the first and any subsequent citations. Follow it with et al.
(Last name Author 1 et al., Year, page number)
(Agbayani et al., 2020, p. 99)
Last name of Author 1 et al. (Year)...(page).
Agbayani et al. (2020)...(p. 99)
One author, multiple works, same year
What do you do when you want to cite multiple works by an author, and the sources all written in the same year?
Include the letters ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ and so on after the year in the citation.
Writers can even lump dates together.
Example: Jackson often studied mammals while in Africa (2013a, 2013b).
On the APA reference page, include the same letters in the full references.
Groups and organizations
Write out the full name of the group or organization in the first citation and place the abbreviation next to it in brackets. If the group or organization is cited again, only include the abbreviation. If it doesn’t have an abbreviation associated with it, write out the entire organization’s name each and every time (see Section 8.21 of the Publication manual ).
First APA citation for an organization with an abbreviation: (World Health Organization [WHO], Year)
World Health Organization (WHO, Year)
Notice in the example directly above, the name of the organization is written out in full in the text of the sentence, and the abbreviation is placed in parentheses next to it.
Subsequent APA citations in the text for an organization with an abbreviation: (WHO, Year) OR WHO (Year)
All citations in the text for an organization without an abbreviation: (Citation Machine, Year) or Citation Machine (Year)
One in-text citation, multiple works
Sometimes you’ll need to cite more than one work within an in-text citation. Follow the same format (author, year) format but place semicolons between works (p. 263).
(Obama, 2016; Monroe et al., 1820; Hoover & Coolidge, 1928)
Reminder: There are many citation tools available on CitationMachine.com. Head to our homepage to learn more, check out our APA citation website, and cite your sources easily! The most useful resource on our website? Our APA citation generator, which doesn’t just create full references, it’s also an APA in-text citation website! It’ll do both for you!
Click here to learn more about crediting work .
Reference list citation components
References display the full information for all the citations found in the body of a research project.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to the references:
- All references sit together on their own page, which is usually the last page(s) of a paper.
- Title the page ‘References’
- Place ‘References’ in the center of the page and bold it. Keep the title in the same font and size as the references. Do not italicize, underline, place the title in quotation marks, or increase the font size.
- The entire page is double spaced.
- All references are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the reference, which is usually the author’s last name. If the source lacks an author, alphabetize the source by the title (ignore A, An, or The)
- All references have a hanging indent, meaning that the second line of text is indented in half an inch. See examples throughout this guide.
- Remember, each and every citation in the text of the paper MUST have a full reference displayed in the reference list. The citations in the text provide the reader with a quick glimpse about the sources used, but the references in the reference list provide the reader with all the information needed to seek out the source themselves.
Learn more about each component of the reference citation and how to format it in the sections that follow. See an APA sample paper reference list at the end of this entire section.
The names of authors are written in reverse order. Include the initials for the first and middle names. End this information with a period (see Section 9.8 of the Publication manual ).
Format: Last name, F. M.
- Angelou, M.
- Doyle, A. C.
Two or more authors
When two or more authors work together on a source, write them in the order in which they appear on the source. You can name up to 20 authors in the reference. For sources with 2 to 20 authors, place an ampersand (&) before the final author. Use this format:
Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.
Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., Last name, F. M., & Last name, F. M.
Kent, A. G., Giles, R. M., Thorpe, A., Lukes, R., Bever, D. J., & He, Y.
If there are 21 or more authors listed on a source, only include the first 19 authors, add three ellipses, and then add the last author’s name.
Roberts, A., Johnson, M. C., Klein, J., Cheng, E. V., Sherman, A., Levin, K. K. , ...Lopez, G. S.
If you plan on using a free APA citation tool, like the one at CitationMachine.com, the names of the authors will format properly for you.
If the source lacks an author, place the title in the first position in the reference (Section 9.12 of the Publication manual ). When the source’s title begins with a number (Such as 101 Dalmatians ), place the reference alphabetically as if the number was spelled out. 101 Dalmatians would be placed in the spot where ‘One hundred’ would go, but keep the numbers in their place.
Additionally, if the title begins with the words ‘A’, ‘An,’ or ‘The,’ ignore these words and place the title alphabetically according to the next word.
See the “Titles” section below for more information on formatting the title of sources.
On an APA reference page, corporate authors are always written out in full. In the text of your paper, you may have some abbreviations (such as UN for United Nations), but in the full references, always include the full names of the corporation or organization (following Section 9.11 of the official Publication manual ).
%%United Nations. (2019). Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/02/1031981
Publication date & retrieval date
Directly after the author’s name is the date the source was published. Include the full date for newspapers and magazine articles, and only the year for journals and all other sources. If no date is found on the source, include the initials, n.d. for “no date.”
%% Narducci, M. (2017, May 19). City renames part of 11th Street Ed Snider Way to honor Flyers founder. The Philadelphia Inquirer . http://www.philly.com/
If using our APA Citation Machine, our citation generator will add the correct format for you automatically.
Giving a retrieval date is not needed unless the online content is likely to be frequently updated and changed (e.g., encyclopedia article, dictionary entry, Twitter profile, etc.).
%%Citation Machine [@CiteMachine]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved October 10, 2019, from https://twitter.com/CiteMachine
When writing out titles for books, articles, chapters, or other non-periodical sources, only capitalize the first word of the title and the first word of the subtitle. Names of people, places, organizations, and other proper nouns also have the first letter capitalized. For books and reports, italicize the title in the APA citation.
Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Roots: The saga of an American family.
For articles and chapters in APA referencing, do not italicize the title.
Wake up the nation: Public libraries, policy making, and political discourse.
For newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, and other periodicals, capitalize the first letter in each word and italicize the title.
The Seattle Times.
A common question is whether to underline your title or place it in italics or quotation marks in the reference list. Here’s a good general rule: When a source sits alone and is not part of a larger whole, place the title in italics. If the source does not sit alone and is part of a larger whole, do not place it in italics.
Books, movies, journals, and television shows are placed in italics since they stand alone. Songs on an album, episodes of television shows, chapters in books, and articles in journals are not placed in italics since they are smaller pieces of larger wholes.
The Citation Machine citation generator will format the title in your citations automatically.
Additional information about the title
If you feel it would be helpful to include additional information about the source type, include a descriptive noun or two in brackets immediately following the title. Capitalize the first letter.
%%Kennedy, K., & Molen, G. R. (Producers), & Spielberg, S. (Director). (1993). Jurassic Park [Film]. USA: Universal.
Besides [Film], other common notations include:
- [Audio podcast]
- [Letter to the editor]
- [Television series episode]
- [Facebook page]
- [Blog post]
- [Lecture notes]
- [PowerPoint presentation]
- [Video file]
If you are using Citation Machine citing tools, additional information about the title is automatically added for you.
For books and reports, include the publisher name but not the location (see Section 9.29 of the Publication manual ). Older editions of the style required the city, state and/or country, but this hasn't been the case since the 7th edition was released.
It is not necessary to include the entire name of the publisher. It is acceptable to use a brief, intelligible form. However, if Books or Press are part of the publisher’s names, keep these words in the reference. Other common terms, such as Inc., Co., Publishers, and others can be omitted.
For newspapers, journals, magazines, and other periodicals, include the volume and issue number after the title. The volume number is listed first, by itself, in italics. The issue number is in parentheses immediately after it, not italicized. There is no space after the closing parenthesis and before the volume number.
%%Giannoukos, G., Besas, G., Hictour, V., & Georgas, T. (2016). A study on the role of computers in adult education. Educational Research and Reviews , 11 (9), 907-923. https://doi.org/10.5897/ERR2016.2688
After including the publisher information, end this section with a period.
Electronic source information:
For online sources, the URL or DOI (Direct Object Identifier) are included at the end of an APA citation.
DOI numbers are often created by publishers for journal articles and other periodical sources. They were created in response to the problem of broken or outdated links and URLs. When a journal article is assigned a DOI number, it is static and will never change. Because of its permanent characteristic, DOIs are the preferred type of electronic information to include in APA citations. When a DOI number is not available, include the source’s URL (see Section 9.34 in the Publication manual ).
For DOIs, include the number in this format:
For URLs, type them in this format:
http:// or https://
Other information about electronic sources:
- If the URL is longer than a line, break it up before a punctuation mark.
- Do not place a period at the end of the citation/URL.
- It is unnecessary to include retrieval dates, unless the source changes often over time (like in a Wikipedia article).
- It is not necessary to include the names of databases
If using the Citation Machine APA citation website autocite features, the online publication information will be automatically replaced by the DOI. The Citation Machine APA template will properly cite your online sources for you.
Make sure you run your completed paper through the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader, which scans for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism. Whether it’s an adjective , verb , or pronoun out-of-place, our technology helps edits your paper for you!
An APA annotated bibliography is a full bibliography that includes a small note for each reference citation. Each note should be short (1-2 paragraphs) and contain a summary or your evaluation about each source. When creating your citations on CitationMachine.net, there is a field at the bottom of each form to add your own annotations.
Follow the publication manual guidelines on paper format and writing style. Let your instructor guide other details about your annotations. Still confused? Read our guide on annotated bibliographies .
These types of projects look different depending on the style you’re using. Use the link at the top of the page to access resources related to the Modern Language Association’s style. Here’s information related to Chicago citation style .
Need help with the design and formatting of your paper? Look no further! This section provides the ins and outs of properly displaying the information in your APA essay.
- Times New Roman, 12-point size.
- Calibri, Arial, or Georgia, 11-point size
- Lucida, Sans Unicode, or Computer Modern, 10-point size
- Indents = Every paragraph should start with an indent.
- Margins = 1 inch around the entire document
- Spacing = Double space everything!
Arrange your pages in this order:
- Page 1 - APA Title Page (see below for information on the title page)
- Page 2 - Abstract (If your professor requests one)
- Page 3 - First page of text
- References begin on their own page. Include the list of references on the page after the text.
- Tables and figures
Keep in mind that the order above is the recommendation for papers being submitted for peer review. If you’re writing an APA style paper for a class, your professor may be more lenient about the requirements. Also, if you’re submitting your paper for a specific journal, check the requirements on the journal’s website. Each journal has different rules and procedures.
Just a little nudge to remind you about the Citation Machine Plus smart proofreader. Whether it’s a conjunction or interjection out of place, a misspelled word, or an out of place citation, we’ll offer suggestions for improvement! Don’t forget to check out our APA citation maker while you’re at it!
In older editions of APA, running heads were required for all papers. Since the 7th edition, that’s changed.
- Student paper: No running head
- Professional paper: Include a running head
The running head displays the title of the paper and the page number on all pages of the paper. This header is found on every page of a professional paper (not a student paper), even on the title page (sometimes called an APA cover page) and reference list (taken from Section 2.8 of the Publication manual ).
It's displayed all in capital letters at the top of the page. Across from the running head, along the right margin, is the page number.
- Use the header feature in your word processor. Both Google Docs and Word have these features available.
- Use one for the recommended fonts mentioned under "Page formatting."
A title page, sometimes called an APA cover page, graces the cover of an essay or paper. An APA title page should follow rules from Section 2.3 of the official Publication manual and include:
- Page number, which is page 1
- Use title case and bold font
- The title should be under 12 words in length
- The title should be a direct explanation of the focus of the paper. Do not include any unnecessary descriptors such as “An Analysis of…” or “A Study of…”
- Exclude any labels such as Mr., Ms., Dr, PhD...
- Name of the school or institution
- Course number and/or class name
- Name of your instructor, including their preferred honorifics (e.g., PhD, Dr., etc.)
- Paper’s due date
- If this is a professional paper, also include a running head. If this is a student paper, do not include one.
Follow the directions for the running head and page number in the section above. Below the running head, a few lines beneath, and centered in the middle of the page, should be the title. The next line below is the author’s name(s), followed by the name of the school or institution, the class or course name, your instructor’s name, and the paper’s due date.
All components on this page should be written in the same font and size as the rest of your paper. Double space the title, names, name of school or institution, and all other information on the page (except for the running head and page number).
Example - Student Title Page APA:
Example - Professional Title Page APA:
If you’re submitting your paper to a journal for publication, check the journal’s website for exact requirements. Each journal is different and some may request a different type of APA format cover page.
Looking to create an APA format title page? Head to CitationMachine.com’s homepage and choose “Title Page” at the top of the screen.
An abstract briefly but thoroughly summarizes dissertation contents. It’s found in the beginning of a professional paper, right after the title page. Abstracts are meant to help readers determine whether to continue reading the entire document. With that in mind, try to craft the lead sentence to entice the reader to continue reading.
Here are a few tips:
- Be factual and keep your opinions out. An abstract should accurately reflect the paper or dissertation and should not involve information or commentary not in the thesis.
- Communicate your main thesis. What was the examined problem or hypothesis? A reader should know this from reading your abstract.
- Keep it brief. Stick to the main points and don’t add unnecessary words or facts. It should not exceed 250 words.
- Consider your paper’s purpose. It’s important to cater your abstract to your paper type and think about what information the target audience for that paper type would want. For example, an empirical article may mention methodology or participant description. A quantitative or qualitative meta-analysis would mention the different variables considered and how information was synthesized.
- Use verbs over noun equivalents, and active voice. Example: “There was research into…” becomes “We researched…”
- The abstract goes after the title page.
- It should have the same font (size and type) as the rest of the paper.
- It should stick to one page.
- Double-space all page text.
- Center and bold the word “Abstract” at the top of the paper.
- Don’t indent the first line of the abstract body. The body should also be in plain text.
- For the keywords, place it on the line after the abstract and indent the first line (but not subsequent lines). The word “Keywords:” is capitalized, italicized, and followed by a colon. The actual keywords are sentence case and in plan font.
- List each keyword one after the other, and separate them by a comma.
- After the last keyword, no ending punctuation is needed.
Tables & Figures
If your paper includes a lot of numerical information or data, you may want to consider placing it into a table or a figure, rather than typing it all out. A visual figure or simple, organized table filled with numerical data is often easier for readers to digest and comprehend than tons of paragraphs filled with numbers. Chapter 7 of the Publication manual outlines formatting for tables and figures. Let's cover the basics below.
If you’d like to include a table or figure in your paper, here are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind:
- At the end of the paper after the APA reference page
- In the text after it is first mentioned
- The table first mentioned in the text should be titled ‘Table 1.’ The next table mentioned in the text is ‘Table 2,’ and so on. For figures, it would be 'Figure 1,' 'Figure 2,' and so forth.
- Even though every table and figure is numbered, also create a title for each that describes the information it contains. Capitalize all important words in the title.
- For tables, do not use any vertical lines, only use horizontal to break up information and headings.
- Single spacing is acceptable to use in tables and figures. If you prefer double spacing your information, that is okay too.
- Do not include extra information or “fluff.” Keep it simple!
- Do not include the same exact information in the paper. Only include the complete information in one area—the table or the text.
- All tables and figures must be referenced in the text. It is unacceptable to throw a table or figure into the back of the paper without first providing a brief summary or explanation of its relevance.
Publication Manual 6th Edition vs 7th Edition
The 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in 2009. The current 7th edition came out in the fall of 2019 and was designed to be more student focused, provide more guidance on accessibility, and address changes that have developed over the last 10 years.
Below, we’ve listed what we feel are the most relevant changes related to APA format.
Journals and DOIs
DOI stands for “digital object identifier.” Many journal articles use and have a unique DOI that should be included in a full citation.
When including a DOI in a citation, format it as a URL. Do not label it “DOI.” Articles without DOIs from databases are treated as print works. For example:
%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8
%%Gänsicke, B. T., Schreiber, M. R., Toloza, O., Fusillo, N. P. G., Koester, D., & Manser, C. J. (2019). Accretion of a giant planet onto a white dwarf star. Nature, 576 (7785), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1789-8
There are few new guidelines when you are citing a book. First, the publisher location no longer needs to be indicated.
%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. Bloomington, IN: First Books Library.
%%Zack, P. O. (2001). The shoals of time. First Books Library.
Second, the format of an ebook (e.g., Kindle, etc.) no longer needs to be indicated.
%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic [Kindle].
%%Niven, J. (2012). Ada Blackjack: A true story of survival in the Arctic .
Lastly, books from research databases without DOIs are treated the same as print works.
When using a URL in a citation, you no longer need to include the term “Retrieved from” before URLs (except with retrieval dates). The font should be blue and underlined, or black and not underlined.
%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show
%%Flood, A. (2019, December 6). Britain has closed almost 800 libraries since 2010, figures show. The Guardian . https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/06/britain-has-closed-almost-800-libraries-since-2010-figures-show
Within a full APA citation, you may spell out up to 20 author names. For two to 20 authors, include an ampersand (&) before the name of the last author. For sources with 21 or more authors, structure it as follows:
Structure: First 19 authors’ names, . . . Last author’s name.
7th edition example: Washington, G., Adams, J., Jefferson, T., Madison, J., Monroe, J., Adams, J. Q., Jackson, A., Van Buren, M., Harrison, W. H., Tyler, J., Polk, J. K., Taylor, Z., Filmore, M., Pierce, F., Buchanan, J., Lincoln, A., Johnson, A., Grant, U. S., Hayes, R. B., Garfield, . . . Trump, D.
When creating an in-text citation for a source with 3 or more authors, use “et al.” after the first author’s name. This helps abbreviate the mention.
6th Edition: (Honda, Johnson, Prosser, Rossi, 2019)
7th Edition: (Honda et al., 2019)
Tables and Figures
Instead of having different formats for tables and figures, both use one standardized format. Now both tables and figures have a number, a title, name of the table/figure, and a note at the bottom.
If you’re still typing into Google “how to cite a website APA” among other related questions and keywords, click here for further reading on the style .
When you’re through with your writing, toss your entire paper into the Citation Machine Plus plagiarism checker , which will scan your paper for grammar edits and give you up to 5 suggestions cards for free! Worry less about a determiner , preposition , or adverb out of place and focus on your research!
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) (2020). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Updated March 3, 2020
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Wendy Ikemoto. Michele Kirschenbaum has been an awesome school librarian since 2006 and is an expert in citing sources. Wendy Ikemoto has a master’s degree in library and information science and has been working for Citation Machine since 2012.
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Free APA Citation Generator
Generate citations in APA format quickly and automatically, with MyBib!
🤔 What is an APA Citation Generator?
An APA citation generator is a software tool that will automatically format academic citations in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.
It will usually request vital details about a source -- like the authors, title, and publish date -- and will output these details with the correct punctuation and layout required by the official APA style guide.
Formatted citations created by a generator can be copied into the bibliography of an academic paper as a way to give credit to the sources referenced in the main body of the paper.
👩🎓 Who uses an APA Citation Generator?
College-level and post-graduate students are most likely to use an APA citation generator, because APA style is the most favored style at these learning levels. Before college, in middle and high school, MLA style is more likely to be used. In other parts of the world styles such as Harvard (UK and Australia) and DIN 1505 (Europe) are used more often.
🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?
Like almost every other citation style, APA style can be cryptic and hard to understand when formatting citations. Citations can take an unreasonable amount of time to format manually, and it is easy to accidentally include errors. By using a citation generator to do this work you will:
- Save a considerable amount of time
- Ensure that your citations are consistent and formatted correctly
- Be rewarded with a higher grade
In academia, bibliographies are graded on their accuracy against the official APA rulebook, so it is important for students to ensure their citations are formatted correctly. Special attention should also be given to ensure the entire document (including main body) is structured according to the APA guidelines. Our complete APA format guide has everything you need know to make sure you get it right (including examples and diagrams).
⚙️ How do I use MyBib's APA Citation Generator?
Our APA generator was built with a focus on simplicity and speed. To generate a formatted reference list or bibliography just follow these steps:
- Start by searching for the source you want to cite in the search box at the top of the page.
- MyBib will automatically locate all the required information. If any is missing you can add it yourself.
- Your citation will be generated correctly with the information provided and added to your bibliography.
- Repeat for each citation, then download the formatted list and append it to the end of your paper.
MyBib supports the following for APA style:
Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.
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APA Referencing Generator
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- Select style:
- Archive material
- Chapter of an edited book
- Conference proceedings
- Dictionary entry
- DVD, video, or film
- E-book or PDF
- Edited book
- Encyclopedia article
- Government publication
- Music or recording
- Online image or video
- Press release
- Religious text
What is Cite This For Me’s APA Reference Generator?
If you are using APA referencing to reference your work, you know that correctly formatting your references can be a complicated task that requires a lot of patience. Fortunately, APA referencing has never been so easy. Introducing your new best friend: Cite This For Me’s APA reference generator. Using an automated reference generator to create an accurate bibliography allows students to work smarter, leaving them more time to focus on their studies.
Cite This For Me’s powerful open-access APA referencing generator fully-formats all of your references in just a click. So if you’re unsure how to accurately create your references, or you need to cite all of your sources in record time, using Cite This For Me’s accurate and intuitive APA reference generator will ensure that you don’t lose valuable points on your work unnecessarily.
This APA referencing guide provides you with everything you need to know to ensure you get the grade that reflects all your hard work. Read ahead for tips on how to structure and present your work according to the guidelines, how to avoid charges of plagiarism, and how to cite sources both in-text and in your reference list or bibliography.
Popular APA Citation Examples
- Dictionary entry
- Edited book
- Image or video online
- PDF or E-book
- Presentation or lecture
- Video, film, or DVD
Why Do I Need To Cite?
Essentially, citing is the crediting of sources used in academic work. When another source contributes to your work you must acknowledge the original author with an accurate reference, unless it is common knowledge (e.g. The Second World War began in 1939). Failing to cite all of your sources or citing them incorrectly constitutes plagiarism , which is considered a serious academic offence. It is important to remember that information doesn’t just belong to anyone who happens to stumble upon it. If you are caught plagiarising it is more than likely that you will lose marks on your assignment, or even face expulsion from your university.
Aside from avoiding plagiarism, attributing your research is crucial in ensuring that your work is firmly anchored in academic tradition. Correctly citing your sources validates the statements and conclusions you make in your work by providing supporting evidence. For many students, APA referencing can be a frustrating process, but it’s an excellent way to enhance the quality of your work and inject it with authority.
Imagine if all the stress of APA referencing simply vanished. Well, Cite This For Me’s APA reference generator is here to help you – now you can create your in-text citations and bibliography without all of the usual frustrations of referencing.
What is APA Referencing?
APA style referencing (6th Edition) is a parenthetical author-date style, so you need to put the author’s last name and the publishing date into parentheses wherever another source is used in the narrative.
The latest edition consists of in-text citations and a reference list, along with rules for formatting the paper itself. Both the in-text citations and the reference list can be created in the blink of an eye using Cite This For Me.
Although primarily used by social and behavioural sciences, the style is used amongst other scientific publications for its editorial efficiency. Cite This For Me’s APA reference generator uses the latest edition of the style, ensuring ultimate accuracy whether you are using the generator for university assignments or are preparing research projects for publishing.
Aside from APA referencing there is a plethora of different citation styles out there – the use of which depends on your discipline, university requirements, your professor’s preference or the publication you are submitting the work to. It is important to make sure that you are using the correct style – so if you’re unsure, consult your department and follow their guidelines exactly. You can also find your university’s style by logging into your Cite This For Me account and setting your institution in ‘My Profile’.
If you’re struggling to get your APA referencing done on time, why not try out Cite This For Me’s APA generator? The generator above will generate your references in the APA format as standard, but you can sign up to Cite This For Me to select from over 1,000+ styles, including individual university variations of each style. So, whether your lecturer prefers that you adopt Harvard referencing your referencing style will be supported. To access all of them, simply go to Cite This For Me’s website to create your free Cite This For Me account and search for your specific style such as AMA or MLA .
How Do I Create and Format My References?
When you cite a source with an APA reference, whether you are using a direct quote, repurposing an image, or simply referring to an idea or theory, you should:
- Insert an in-text reference (the author’s surname and the date of publication within parentheses) straight after a direct quote
- Insert an in-text reference at the end of the sentence where a source has contributed, but was not a direct quote
- If you have already mentioned the author’s name in the sentence, you only need to insert the date immediately after their surname
- Include page numbers within the parentheses (after the date), if referring to a particular page or section of the source
- When referencing a source with three to five authors, include all surnames for the first in-text citation, then use the first author’s surname followed by et al. for subsequent citations
- When citing six or more authors – use the first author’s surname followed by et al. for all citations
- If you are mentioning both the year and author in the text, don’t include an additional citation in parentheses – unless you are referring to a particular section of the source, in which case you should cite the page number
- Provide an alphabetical list (ordered by author’s surname) of all sources used, titled ‘References’, on a separate page at the end of the narrative
- Inclusive page numbers for the electronic version of a print source (i.e. a PDF)
- Provide your appendices on a separate page after the reference list
- Use ‘&’ in place of ‘and’ in both in-text and full references
Use Cite This For Me’s APA reference generator to create citations with ease; this will allow you to add references to your project, edit on the spot, and export separate in-text references as well as fully-formatted reference lists.
APA 6th Edition Referencing Examples
In-text APA referencing examples:
- Page specified, author mentioned in text:
Lutz & Huitt (2010, p. 4) argue that “the statistical significance of …”
- Page specified, author not mentioned in text:
The results were consistent throughout the study (Fernández-Manzanal, Rodríguez-Barreiro, & Carrasquer, 2007).
- Six authors:
The study found that … (Sania et al., 2011)
The data presented …. (“How sleep enhances memory retention”, 2015).
APA referencing bibliography examples:
- Book, one author, multiple editions:
Hawking, S. W. (1998). A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes (10th ed.). New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
- Ebook, online only:
Tyler, G. (n.d.). Evolution in the systems age. Retrieved from http://www.onlineoriginals.com/showitem.asp?itemID=142&action=setvar&vartype=history&varname=bookmark&v1=1&v2=46&v3=2
- Journal article, three authors, with a DOI:
Fernández-Manzanal, R., Rodríguez-Barreiro, L., & Carrasquer, J. (2007). Evaluation of environmental attitudes: Analysis and results of a scale applied to university students. Science Education, 91(6), 988–1009. doi:10.1002/sce.20218
How Do I Format My Reference List And Bibliography?
Drawing on a range of relevant sources in your work proves that you have read widely around your chosen topic, so it’s a surefire way to impress your reader.
To ensure your reader’s ease of comprehension you must adhere to the style’s formatting guidelines. In APA referencing, a list of all the sources that have directly contributed to your work should be placed on a new page at the end of the narrative and titled ‘References’ (center align the title). The references should all have a hanging indentation – the second and subsequent lines of each reference should start ½ inch from the margin. Before submitting your work, make sure that you have formatted your whole paper according to the guidelines.
You may also be required to provide a full bibliography. This is a comprehensive list of all the source material you used to complete the assignment, even if it was not cited in the text. Your bibliography should include any book, journal, article etc. that you may have consulted throughout your research and writing process in order to get a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.
Sound like a lot of work? Although the guidelines are strict in regard to how references should be formatted, Cite This For Me’s APA reference generator takes the weight off your shoulders by accurately compiling your reference list and bibliography in a matter of seconds.
APA Referencing Guidelines (6th Edition)
When following the guidelines, you must pay attention to presentation details such as font type, line spacing, margins and page headers to ensure your work is easily legible.
- 1 inch margins on all sides
- Easily readable font – Times New Roman recommended, 12pt. size
- Double-space the entirety of the paper
- Page numbers in the header, aligned to the right
- Title of the paper in all capitals, 50 characters or less, in the header on each page of the body (the ‘running head’), aligned to the left
- The paper should typically include four major sections – Title Page, Abstract, Main Body and References.
- If infographics (tables, charts) were used in the narrative you should also add Appendices as a separate section at the end of the paper.
A Brief History of the APA Format
APA stands for American Psychological Association , the scientific organisation that assembles the publishing manual for APA referencing. The style was developed in 1929 by a group of scientists to standardise scientific writing. It was created in the hopes that it would provide a coherent and professional manner of citing sources for students and researchers in the fields of social and behavioural sciences.
The first publication manual of the style was published in pursuit of a neat and efficient research formatting style, mainly for editorial purposes. Although some contemporary scientists argued that having such strict regulations restricted personal writing styles, the format has since become one of the most popular referencing styles. Today APA referencing is adopted in term papers, research reports, literature reviews, theoretical articles, case studies etc.
How Do I Create Accurate Citations With Cite This For Me’s APA Referencing Generator?
APA referencing giving you a headache? Let Cite This For Me’s APA reference generator remove the stress by turning any of your sources into a fully-formatted reference in an instant.
The accessible interface of the generator makes it easy for you to identify the source you have used – simply enter its unique identifier (URL, DOI or ISBN , title, or other unique source information) into the search bar. If this information is not available you can search for the title or author instead, and then select from the search results. The generator will then create your reference in two parts; an in-text citation and a full reference that is ready to be copied straight into your work.
To unlock the full potential of the generator simply sign up or login to Cite This For Me’s multi-platform tool. Use the web platform to add and edit citations, export full projects and individual entries, utilise the add-ons and save all of your citations in the cloud. Or make use of Cite This For Me for Chrome – the browser extension for Google Chrome that allows you to instantly create and edit a citation for any online source, without leaving the web page you’re viewing.
Cite This For Me gives students the confidence to achieve their full academic potential by encouraging them to research and cite diverse sources. There are no limits to what sources you can cite using the APA reference generator; whether it be a PDF report, podcast, a musical score or many more .
Manage all your references in one place
Create projects, add notes, cite directly from the browser and scan books’ barcodes with a mobile app.
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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography - APA Style (7th Edition)
What is an annotation, how is an annotation different from an abstract, what is an annotated bibliography, types of annotated bibliographies, descriptive or informative, analytical or critical, to get started.
An annotation is more than just a brief summary of an article, book, website, or other type of publication. An annotation should give enough information to make a reader decide whether to read the complete work. In other words, if the reader were exploring the same topic as you, is this material useful and if so, why?
While an abstract also summarizes an article, book, website, or other type of publication, it is purely descriptive. Although annotations can be descriptive, they also include distinctive features about an item. Annotations can be evaluative and critical as we will see when we look at the two major types of annotations.
An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources (like a reference list). It differs from a straightforward bibliography in that each reference is followed by a paragraph length annotation, usually 100–200 words in length.
Depending on the assignment, an annotated bibliography might have different purposes:
- Provide a literature review on a particular subject
- Help to formulate a thesis on a subject
- Demonstrate the research you have performed on a particular subject
- Provide examples of major sources of information available on a topic
- Describe items that other researchers may find of interest on a topic
There are two major types of annotated bibliographies:
A descriptive or informative annotated bibliography describes or summarizes a source as does an abstract; it describes why the source is useful for researching a particular topic or question and its distinctive features. In addition, it describes the author's main arguments and conclusions without evaluating what the author says or concludes.
McKinnon, A. (2019). Lessons learned in year one of business. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting , 30 (4), 26–28. This article describes some of the difficulties many nurses experience when transitioning from nursing to a legal nurse consulting business. Pointing out issues of work-life balance, as well as the differences of working for someone else versus working for yourself, the author offers their personal experience as a learning tool. The process of becoming an entrepreneur is not often discussed in relation to nursing, and rarely delves into only the first year of starting a new business. Time management, maintaining an existing job, decision-making, and knowing yourself in order to market yourself are discussed with some detail. The author goes on to describe how important both the nursing professional community will be to a new business, and the importance of mentorship as both the mentee and mentor in individual success that can be found through professional connections. The article’s focus on practical advice for nurses seeking to start their own business does not detract from the advice about universal struggles of entrepreneurship makes this an article of interest to a wide-ranging audience.
An analytical or critical annotation not only summarizes the material, it analyzes what is being said. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of what is presented as well as describing the applicability of the author's conclusions to the research being conducted.
Analytical or critical annotations will most likely be required when writing for a college-level course.
McKinnon, A. (2019). Lessons learned in year one of business. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting , 30 (4), 26–28. This article describes some of the difficulty many nurses experience when transitioning from nursing to a nurse consulting business. While the article focuses on issues of work-life balance, the differences of working for someone else versus working for yourself, marketing, and other business issues the author’s offer of only their personal experience is brief with few or no alternative solutions provided. There is no mention throughout the article of making use of other research about starting a new business and being successful. While relying on the anecdotal advice for their list of issues, the author does reference other business resources such as the Small Business Administration to help with business planning and professional organizations that can help with mentorships. The article is a good resource for those wanting to start their own legal nurse consulting business, a good first advice article even. However, entrepreneurs should also use more business research studies focused on starting a new business, with strategies against known or expected pitfalls and issues new businesses face, and for help on topics the author did not touch in this abbreviated list of lessons learned.
Now you are ready to begin writing your own annotated bibliography.
- Choose your sources - Before writing your annotated bibliography, you must choose your sources. This involves doing research much like for any other project. Locate records to materials that may apply to your topic.
- Review the items - Then review the actual items and choose those that provide a wide variety of perspectives on your topic. Article abstracts are helpful in this process.
- The purpose of the work
- A summary of its content
- Information about the author(s)
- For what type of audience the work is written
- Its relevance to the topic
- Any special or unique features about the material
- Research methodology
- The strengths, weaknesses or biases in the material
Annotated bibliographies may be arranged alphabetically or chronologically, check with your instructor to see what he or she prefers.
Please see the APA Examples page for more information on citing in APA style.
- Last Updated: Aug 8, 2023 11:27 AM
- URL: https://libguides.umgc.edu/annotated-bibliography-apa
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Annotated Bibliography Samples
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This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.
Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your assignment.
As mentioned elsewhere in this resource, depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand. Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Consider the purpose of your annotated bibliography and/or your instructor’s directions when deciding how much information to include in your annotations.
Please keep in mind that all your text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.
Sample MLA Annotation
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . Anchor Books, 1995.
Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal critic.
In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Lamott offers sane advice for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.
Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1 address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes. Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.
In the sample annotation above, the writer includes three paragraphs: a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.
For information on formatting MLA citations, see our MLA 9th Edition (2021) Formatting and Style Guide .
Sample APA Annotation
Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America . Henry Holt and Company.
In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.
An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.
The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.
For information on formatting APA citations, see our APA Formatting and Style Guide .
Sample Chicago Manual of Style Annotation
Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess . London: Routledge, 1998.
Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.
This annotation includes only one paragraph, a summary of the book. It provides a concise description of the project and the book's project and its major features.
For information on formatting Chicago Style citations, see our Chicago Manual of Style resources.
Home / Guides / Citation Guides / Citation Basics / Annotated Bibliography Format & Examples
Annotated Bibliography Format & Examples
A complete guide to the mla & apa annotated bibliography.
If you’ve just received an assignment that requires an MLA or APA annotated bibliography, you may be wondering where to start. This guide will help answer all of your questions and includes step-by-step instructions on how to do an annotated bibliography in MLA style, as well as an APA annotated bibliography. You will also find sample annotated bibliographies, real-life examples, and opportunities to practice what you have learned.
The MLA ( Modern Language Association ) and APA (American Psychological Association) are not associated with this guide. All of the information provided here, however, offers direction for students and researchers who use these citation styles in their work.
The structures and annotated bibliography templates on this page were created by the in-house librarians at EasyBib.com.
If you’re simply looking for an example of an annotated bibliography (both in MLA format and APA format), scroll down toward the bottom of the page. We’ve included links to visuals for those of you who need help with the structure and styling of an annotated bibliography. If you’re looking for a variety of annotated bibliography topics, and you’re truly searching for the answer to, “What is an annotated bibliography?” then continue reading!
Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:
Table of contents
What is an annotated bibliography, annotations vs. abstract, why include annotations.
- Step 1: Analyze your sources
Step 2: Write the descriptions
- Step 3a: Formatting an MLA style annotated bibliography
- Step 3b: Formatting an APA style annotated bibliography
Annotated Bibliography Templates
Using the easybib annotation tool.
A bibliography is a complete list of the sources that were used to complete a research paper or project.
Depending on the style guide you follow, you may also see this called a Works Cited (also called an MLA bibliography) or Reference List (APA format). Each listed source, or citation , shares information about the author, title, publishing year, and other details that serve to credit the original authors whose work informed your research. These details also help other students and researchers find and read the source materials.
When your research is related to a scholastic assignment, you should always verify your instructor’s requirements for the types and number of sources to include, as well as the style you should adhere to when formatting your paper and bibliography.
An MLA annotated bibliography and an APA format annotated bibliography are bibliographies that include a concise explanation, or annotation , of each listed source. Depending on the assignment, this annotation may be solely descriptive, or analytical.
An abstract and annotation should not be confused; they differ in both their substance as well as their placement in a paper.
- Usually found in bibliographies at the end of a paper
- Are subjective
- Purpose is to summarize and evaluate . It should briefly communicate the work’s main point, but also discuss the background of the author or study, and the strengths/weaknesses of the work.
- Usually found in journal databases or the beginning of a paper
- Are objective
- Purpose is to summarize . It should provide a short overview of the article and communicate the main points and themes.
If you would like to learn more , this link further explores the difference between an abstract and an annotation.
This resource provides additional information on how to write a bibliography with annotations in other formats. You can also take advantage of the plagiarism checker and bibliography tools that come with EasyBib Plus to help you create your reference lists.
Before you learn how to make an annotated bibliography, you may be wondering why you need to.
Sometimes instructors want you to create and include annotations in your bibliography, either as part of an assignment or as an assignment unto itself. Understanding the purpose of this approach to your reference list can help to ensure that you gain all of the benefits that the annotated bibliography process provides.
As a student, this method will help you develop or hone your research skills, providing you with practice not only in locating sources but also in analyzing and evaluating them for relevance and quality.
Your instructor will gain insight into your research abilities, as well, allowing them to assess your work more thoroughly. If you plan to publish your research, this comprehensive approach to detailing your sources will provide readers and other researchers with a substantial directory of resources to evaluate for their own work.
Whether you’re publishing or submitting your annotated bibliography, make sure your spelling and wording is correct! If you need to brush up on any parts of speech topics, check out our interjection , determiner , and adverb pages!
Step 1: Analyze your sources
Each annotation should be a summarization or analysis of your source. If you have been tasked with writing annotations as part of a research paper or project, begin to create both the citation and notes on the source while you identify and analyze your sources.
Not only will this approach help you to hone your research skills and identify sources that are relevant and useful for your topic, but you will also save time. When done in this manner, both your citations and annotations will be nearly complete before you begin to write the body of your paper.
Analyzing your potential sources requires a two-pronged approach that first evaluates the author, publication, and date, and then examines the content.
When conducting your initial assessment of the source, consider some of the following questions to guide your appraisal:
- What qualifies the author to write on this subject?
- Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution in this field?
- Is the author credentialed or otherwise considered an expert in this field?
- Is this source current?
- Is this the most recent edition?
- Is the publisher reputable?
- Is the journal reputable?
Once your primary evaluation is complete, you will move on the assessing the content itself. Consider some of these elements as you review each source:
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the author presenting her opinion or interpretation as the truth, or stating facts?
- What supporting evidence does the author provide?
- Did the author perform the research, or curate and present the research of others?
- If the author used the research of others, are the sources the author cites credible?
- Are there errors or omissions of fact?
- Is the author writing objectively and without bias?
Also, consider the value each source provides to you:
- Is the information helpful for your particular assignment?
- Does it help answer your research question(s)?
- Is this source different from your other sources, or does it repeat information you already have?
- Is the source providing you with a different perspective on your topic, or changing your beliefs or thinking about your subject?
To make it easier for you to create your reference page, write your notes in the format you will be using when you construct this part of the assignment (for instance, as short phrases or complete sentences). Once you have identified all of the sources you wish to include, you will merely need to insert what you have already written on the page and write your citation, which is explained in the next section.
Click here for additional information and a supplementary annotated bibliography sample. For an MLA bibliography example (with annotations), check out our visual example of an MLA annotated bibliography .
An annotated bibliography entry may be written either as short phrases or complete sentences. Your instructor will advise you of which approach you are required to take.
Annotations should include either:
- The main points from the source, as well as the topics covered, the approach used, and any findings.
- Or your critical evaluation.
- A standard annotation is approximately one paragraph.
- Take care not to include any unnecessary details, as the goal is to summarize each source as succinctly as possible and, in some cases, evaluate them.
- Your field of study or instructor will determine what format your annotated bibliography will use. In this guide, you’ll find examples of an MLA and an APA annotated bibliography.
Here is an annotated bibliography example MLA annotation for the book The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by UK author and blogger Mark Forsyth:
The author, Mark Forsyth, examines the rhetorical devices used in the English language, analyzing the patterns and formats that create memorable quotes. He traces the history of rhetoric to the Ancient Greeks, and provides an abridged timeline, following their use and evolution through to modern day. The author also explores the broader subject of persuasion and maps out the role that the figures of rhetoric play in it. In all, he examines over thirty devices, dissecting notable passages and phrases from pop music, the plays of William Shakespeare, the Bible, and more to explore the figures of rhetoric at work within each of them. Thorough definitions accompany this examination of structure to demonstrate how these formulas have been used to generate famously memorable expressions as well as how to reproduce their effects.
Notice how the annotated bibliography MLA entry above is descriptive enough so the reader has an idea of what the source is about with just a single paragraph. For more information on annotations, check out this informative site . If you’re looking to strengthen your writing in general, reading these grammar guides could be a good start.
For guidance on creating entries in MLA format , APA format , and more styles , check out the EasyBib library of resources or try the EasyBib annotation tool—we talk about it below!
Step 3a: MLA annotated bibliography format
The MLA Style Center and the current edition of the MLA Handbook provide the following guidance for formatting an MLA annotated bibliography:
- Title your reference page as “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.”
- Place each annotation after its reference.
- Annotations should typically not exceed a single paragraph.
- Annotations should be indented one inch from the start of your citation.
- Double-space all text on the page.
- 1-inch margins around the page.
Sources in an annotated bibliography can be organized alphabetically by the first word in each reference (as with a normal Works Cited page), by publication date, or by subject.
For a visual example of an annotated bibliography, as well as specific annotation examples, visit the MLA annotated bibliography guide .
If you are required to share your references in a manner other than in MLA bibliography format, the EasyBib style guides can help you with many common styles. While you’re at it, check out their conjunction , preposition , and pronoun pages to help keep your paper in mint condition!
Step 3b: APA annotated bibliography format
The American Psychological Association states that your instructor should set the guidelines for your annotated bibliography, but asks that the bibliography be formatted according to their standard reference page rules (see Section 9.51 of the Publication Manual ). If your teacher has requested an APA formatted annotated bibliography, first ask them for guidelines. Otherwise, here are some quick rules for you to follow:
- Double space all text on the page.
- Title your page “Annotated Bibliogra phy”. Bold and center the title.
- Organize references alphabetically by the first word of each reference.
- Only the first line of a ref erence is flush with the left margin. Any other lines after the first line should be indented ½ inch from the left.
- Add annotations on the next line after their paired reference.
- Fully indent annotations by a ½ inch from the left.
- Keep annotations short. No more than one paragraph.
For examples of a properly formatted APA annotation, visit this guide on APA annotated bibliographies .
In comparison to the sample annotated bibliography MLA, the APA sample formats its page elements and references differently.
Students and researchers who type their research notes can save time by using an annotated bibliography template in MLA format while reviewing and analyzing sources. By adding the relevant information into a pre-formatted template, you’ll create a resource that helps you when you begin writing your paper in addition to saving time by completing your references and summaries alongside your research.
Students who prefer to take notes by hand can employ a modified version of this approach, with an additional step required to transfer your handwritten and formatted references from your notebook to populate your reference page.
Bibliography Template for MLA
To create an annotated bibliography MLA template, copy the following details into the program in which you will take notes or hand write it on the top margin of a page in your notebook. For each source, use this template to guide you as you identify the necessary details and insert them into your notes:
- Author (Last name, First name).
- Title of source.
- Title of the container ,
- Other contributors (names and roles),
- Publication Date,
- Location of the source (such as URL or page range).
- Summary or Analysis.
The MLA 9 model for MLA works cited entries offers a single format for all source type, and a great deal of flexibility to include the information most relevant to your topic and omit that which isn’t.
Hopefully our visual annotated bibliography example in MLA above has helped. If you still have lingering questions, visit the MLA Style Center online ( linked here ). Also, here’s a guide if you’re looking for more on the related topic of MLA in-text & parenthetical citations .
Bibliography Template for APA
Students and researchers who are still asking themselves how to piece together an annotated bibliography, or still questioning what is an annotated bibliography, could probably benefit from a template, similar to the one above. This one, however, is for those of you who are tasked with creating an annotated bibliography in the style created by the American Psychological Association.
The tricky thing about this specific style though, is that every reference is styled differently. Books, websites, journal articles, newspaper articles, and many others each have their own reference structure.
For most sources though, you should look for the following, basic information:
- Type of source
- Author (last name, first name)
- Title of source/article/web page, etc.
- Title of where source was found (e.g., database name, website name, etc.)
- Other contributors (names and roles)
- Location of the source (such as URL, DOI, or page range)
- Summary or Analysis
We understand it can get tricky, and it’s very different from the Modern Language Association’s structure for references. Take a moment to either use the other handy guides on EasyBib.com or use our automatic generator to form your references in just a few clicks. Our tools help take the pain away from having to rack your brain to form references properly. Capitals, lowercase letters, italics, quotation marks, punctuation in the appropriate places, it can all be quite overwhelming. Do yourself a favor, and use the EasyBib automatic citation generator.
Even though there are a lot of different variations, here’s a commonly used structure for sources:
Author’s Last Name, First initial, Middle initial. (Year the source was published). Title of the source . Retrieved from (insert the website address here)
Underneath the reference, include your summary or analysis paragraph.
Hopefully, this page helped answer all of your “What is an annotated bibliography?” questions. If you’re seeking out an annotated bibliography generator, follow the steps above the annotated bibliography examples.
Looking for additional help with other related topics? Don’t forget about the various beneficial guides on EasyBib.com! Our APA in-text citation guide and our APA parenthetical citation guide are two of our most popular pages. Learn the ins and outs of referencing your work in the body of your paper with our thorough, complete, and reader-friendly guides.
If you are creating a bibliography in MLA format, the EasyBib MLA bibliography generator can help save you time formatting your citations and annotations correctly. You can create entries for websites, books, videos, databases, dictionary articles, and many other types of sources.
In addition to forming the citations, you can also enter your annotation text to produce the complete entry for each source. The process for this is simple. You can follow along below to practice creating one:
- First, select your source type from among the 50+ available options. For this example, we will use the acting career of Keanu Reeves as our research topic and use the movie Point Break from 1991 as our first source. To cite this film, you would select the option for “Film/Online Video.” As you follow along, pick the option that is suitable for your source if you are using a different example.
- Enter the title of your source or, if you are citing a website, you may enter the URL. (Now would be a great time to peek at how to cite websites in MLA ). After you enter the title or URL for your reference, the EasyBib citation tool will scan for titles that match it and provide you with a list of results. Select “Cite this” next to the listing that matches your source.
- You will see a citation form. This gives you the option to add additional relevant or necessary information. For our sample topic, we will specifically cite Keanu Reeves as the performer and Kathryn Bigelow as the director.
- After entering any additional details, you have the option to expand your entry and include an annotation. To do so, select “Add annotation” at the bottom of the page, and a text box will open up.
Then, type your summary or analysis into the text box. If you took notes during the research stage using the format of your paper, this might be as simple as copying and pasting your already written summary or critique. Once you have entered all of the necessary information, select “Create citation” to generate the complete entry. You can then copy and paste this into your MLA bibliography.
Here’s what it’ll look like:
Point Break . Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, performance by Keanu Reeves, 20th Century Fox, 1991.
Reeves’ role as rookie FBI Agent Johnny Utah in Point Break marks the turning point in his Hollywood film career. While he’d risen to fame due to the success of the Bill and Ted franchise, his status today as an action star began when Point Break provided him with the material to establish himself as capable of portraying more than the lovable but unserious characters of his previous starring roles. In a parallel arc, director Kathryn Bigelow’s career also sees a shift beginning with Point Break , establishing her within the traditional action genre as a serious director capable of creating high-action and visually memorable films. While Point Break leaves plenty to be desired in terms of dialogue, it afforded Bigelow and Reeves the opportunities to showcase themselves and their talent in new ways that still echo in their work today.
- Works Cited
Harner, James L. On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography . 2nd ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2000.
MLA Handbook . 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 7th ed., American Psychological Association, 2020.
“What Guidance Should I Give My Students for Preparing an Annotated Bibliography?” The MLA Style Center , The Modern Language Association, 4 Nov. 2016, style.mla.org/annotated-bibliographies/.
Visit our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.
Published October 18, 2015. Updated July 25, 2021.
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and is the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.
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- View MLA Guide
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An annotated bibliography is a list containing complete information of sources, such as journals, books, and reports, cited in the text. In addition, it provides a brief description of each source in about 100–150 words. The annotation can explain the topics covered in the source or evaluate the source. The main objective of giving the annotation is to provide the reader the importance, accuracy, and value of the source.
An example of an annotated bibliography in APA style is given below.
Lim, L. (2014). Ideology, rationality and reproduction in education: A critical discourse analysis. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35 (1), 61–76. https://doi:10.1080/01596306.2012.739467
Lim (2014) focuses on issues of power and ideology dominant in curricular discourses of rationality to study a discourse analysis of the goals of one of the most important curricula in the teaching of thinking. He proves that political and class commitments are reproduced in the forms of thinking that are valued in societies. Through his research, Lim asserts that such curricula engage in making our understanding of what thinking and rationality are. It must facilitate the social reproduction of a specific proportion of the middle class.
If you want to evaluate or provide a description of a source you are citing, you can create an annotated bibliography. Write your annotation in 100–150 words and add it below the source for which you are providing your annotation. Remember, your annotation should provide the reader the importance, accuracy, and value of the source. Below are the guidelines and rules to be followed while writing an annotated bibliography for APA style:
Order your reference entries in alphabetical order, similar to how you would order entries in the reference list.
If you want to add an annotation to an entry, add it as a fresh paragraph below the reference entry. The annotation is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin. However, the first line of the annotation is not indented.
To format the annotated bibliography, follow the recommendations given below:
Set the left, right, top, and bottom margins to 1 inch.
Give double-line spacing.
Title the page “Annotated Bibliography.” Set it in bold.
The title should be aligned to the center of the page.
As you format reference entries, left-align all references in the annotated bibliography section. If any entry runs over more than a line, indent the subsequent lines 0.5 inch from the left margin.
Arrange all reference entries alphabetically according to the surname of the authors.
Provide your annotations below the reference entry for which you want to give your annotation. Indent annotations 0.5 inches from the left margin.
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APA Citation Generator (Free) & Complete APA Format Guide
When it comes to writing styles, the format for APA citations can be a formidable foe. However, if you break down the APA format into the basics, it doesn’t look so scary. Use this easy-to-follow APA format paper guide to break down your research writing into easy steps. Get a free APA citation generator to help in your reference page creation and examples for tricky APA citations.
Table of Contents
- APA Citation Generator & Guideline
- Formatting an APA Paper
- Tips and Tricks for Thesis and Resource Help
Why Use APA Style?
Apa citation generator and guidelines.
You can make the writing of your paper easier by using a free APA citation generator. The American Psychological Association (APA) writing format has a whole book of guidelines for creating a paper from start to finish. However, the most important aspect of the APA writing style is the APA in-text and reference list citations. While you can create these citations by hand, the Bibliography.com citation generator creates accurate and free citations to use in-text and in your reference list.
How to Create APA In-Text Citations
Parenthetical or in-text citations sometimes get confused with reference citations, but these two are different.
- In-text citations are found in the body of your paper.
- Reference citations are at the end of the paper in the “references” section.
That’s an easy way to keep track of the two. Additionally, for every in-text citation, you should have a corresponding reference list citation.
How to Make an APA In-Text Citation
Chapter 8 of the APA manual gives you a clear run down for creating in-text citations . APA in-text citations use the author-date format. In addition to having a specific format, different types of text are going to be quoted differently. Explore how to make citations for quotes.
- Short quotes use quotation marks around the quoted text and have the author’s name (or multiple authors’ names), date, and the page number.
- Long quotes are in block quote format.
- Summarizing or paraphrasing should include the name and date. The page number can be included but isn’t required.
Working With Authors
Whether the cited source has one author, six authors, or no author, you have to account for everything. Just a few ways the authors might be cited in the text include:
- Unknown Author: Title of Source
- One Author: Author’s Last Name
- Two Authors: Last Name Author 1 & Last Name Author 2
- Three or More Authors: Author Name 1 et al.
Footnotes in APA Format Paper
Footnotes can cause a lot of writers anxiety; thankfully, they aren’t commonly used in APA format. When used, footnotes are used for copyrighted material or to provide extra information in the text. Rather than use the author-date format, you create footnotes in APA style using superscript numbers in the text and a reference at the bottom of the page.
APA Format Citation: Reference List
Just like everything else in your paper, your references list needs to follow specific rules for formatting and creating your citations set forth by chapters 9 and 10 of the APA manual. Besides being double spaced and including a page number, you need to put your references in alphabetical order.
Listing Authors in APA Format Paper
When listing authors in APA article citations , follow the same basic format for one or two authors as you did for your in-text citations. But, when it comes to two to twenty authors, you need to write them out in full. For a resource with twenty-one or more authors, write out the first nineteen authors, then add three ellipsis points, followed by the final author.
Alberts B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K., & Walter, P.
21 or More:
Jaramillo, C., Gilbert, A.N., Bulixi, T.P., Farland, N., Smith, L.J., Leland, K., Thomas, P., Luna, K., Leer, K., List, K., Like, K., Ryan, O., Leland, R., Terry, D., Deel, S., Turner, T., San, E., Tyr, K., Land, A., …Wintle, N.
Click for Citation Examples
- Reference Books
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Jump to Formatting an APA Paper
APA Format Citations for Periodicals
When it comes to APA citations, periodicals are published at specific intervals. They include journals, magazines, newspapers, and reviews. Basically, the citation for a periodical includes the author, year, title, pages, and DOI.
Author, A. B. (Year). Article title. Title of periodical, volume number (issue number), pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy
APA Book Citations
In a book citation , including reference books and anthologies, you write out the author’s last name and include both the first and middle initial. You italicize the title and only capitalize the first word of the title. You also need a hanging indent.
Author, A. B. (Publication year). Work title : Capital letter also for subtitle . Location: Publisher.
Additional Print Source Citations
While books and periodicals are the main print sources you encounter, you can come across print sources like an encyclopedia or dictionary. Be wary of some of these sources simply because they are considered secondary sources. However, if you choose to use them, the corresponding citation includes the publication, edition, and year.
Author. (Publication year). Entry title. In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (edition., p. 00)
APA Website Citation
Now, it’s time to explore a website citation . A website citation includes the title, publication date, and URL.
Author, A. B. (Publication date). Title of page . Name of site. URL
Photo and Image Citations
Did you know you need to cite images? Well, you do. It is important to give credit to anything you use within your paper, including images. Image citations can take a couple of formats depending on whether or not they have an author.
Photo Example With Author:
Author, A. B. (Year). Title of the artwork [Format]. Location. URL
PowerPoint APA Citations
Lecturers love to share their PowerPoint presentations , so if you use one, you need to know how to cite a PowerPoint correctly. That includes PowerPoint reference lists that your teacher might ask you to create. To correctly cite a PowerPoint presentation, you include the author, publication, title, and URL if one is available.
Author, A. B. (year of publication). Title of presentation: Subtitle of presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Format. URL
No Reference Needed
Some sources don’t need to be cited in the reference list. For example, classical works don’t need to be listed in your references. This is also true of personal communication, like interviews. However, if your teacher requests it, be sure to add it to the references.
APA Annotated Bibliography
While your paper typically ends with your references, sometimes, you are asked to create an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography in APA style includes each APA citation and an overview of the source authority, information, and value it adds to your research.
Citation Mistakes in APA Format Citations
It’s important to include proper APA formatting and citations throughout your paper to avoid citation mistakes. To ensure your science research paper deserves an A, avoid these common APA citation pitfalls.
- Include a reference list to match your in-text citation
- Misquoting your source information
- Incorrectly citing multiple authors
With a clear understanding of how to create citations and a few common mistakes, it’s time to check out some formatting guidelines.
How to Create an APA Format Paper
The time has come to format your APA paper . And, the style guide has everything broken down for you when it comes to formatting the body of your paper.
APA Paper Requirements
Formatting requirements can be easy to miss. A few APA formatting style highlights include:
- Double spacing
- Page number header
- 1-inch margins
- Flush-left style
- Indented paragraphs
Must-Have Sections in APA Format
In addition to formatting, you need to include specific sections within your APA-style research paper. The basic sections include:
- Title page : This is the first page with your title and name.
- Abstract: This provides an overview of the paper.
- Body: The main part of your paper includes your introduction, methods, materials, results, conclusion, and discussion.
- References: Here, you provide a list of all the sources used in your article.
APA Five Levels of Headings
APA format uses unique headings that fall into one of five levels.
Headings are used in order. If you need two headings in your section, then you start with a level 1 heading at the beginning of the section. This heading is bold and centered. Your level 2 subsection heading is left aligned and bold. If you require three levels of headings in your section, then you start with a level 1 heading, then move to a level 2 and level 3 in order. All headings are in title case, meaning you capitalize most words.
Tables & Figures in APA
Adding tables and figures to your APA paper is a fabulous way to condense information and add visuals to your writing. When creating a table or figure, make sure it’s attractive and displays the information you want in an accessible way. Per chapter 7 of the APA manual, tables have four main sections:
- Number – include numbers for each table like (Table 1)
- Title – appears below table number
- Headings – like column headings
- Body – rows and columns showing your information
Figures in APA , like images, also include basic important components. Following sections 7.22 to 7.36 of the APA manual, figures include:
- Number – each figure included has a number (Figure 1)
- Title – title double spaced under number
- Image – the image, drawing, photo, etc.
- Legend – key for your figure to explain symbols
- Notes – general, specific, or probability information needed to understand the figure
APA Style Writing Tips
Since academic writing requires a specific tone, knowing a few APA writing style tips can really make your work shine. Your writing should be clear and concise. Use simple sentences that are straight to the point and unpack your details in a clear, easy-to-follow way. Being vague could lead to misinterpretation, and nobody wants that. Additionally, follow specific punctuation, spelling, capitalization, numbers, and abbreviation rules laid out in chapter 6 of the APA manual.
Tone and Wording in APA Writing
Being clear and easy-to-follow doesn’t mean that you need to use a passive voice in your tone and wording in APA writing. Rather, an active voice is preferred for dissecting experiments.
And don’t forget about verb tense. You must present the facts as they are to avoid any bias. It’s also important to rethink the use of gender pronouns to avoid bias as well. Consider an alternative like specific names, people, or groups, rather than he or she. Additionally, APA 7 supports the use of the singular ‘they’ in their style.
APA Research Tips and Tricks
Understanding the constraints of your style guide are important for writing an APA Paper. However, it’s just as important to start on the right foot by having a few research tips and tricks up your sleeve.
Select Your Thesis
The first step in the APA paper writing process is choosing your thesis. Behavioral and social sciences are big fields. So, it’s important to narrow down your focus before you begin your paper. Depending on your interests, you might look for topics in:
Once you narrow down your topic, you need to research a specific question in that field you want to answer. Use your topic and research question to clearly define your thesis . This is important because it guides your research for your APA paper.
Finding Sources for APA Format Paper
With a clear research focus, you need to find the right sources for your APA paper. It’s important to find authoritative sources for academic writing. Authoritative sources for social sciences topics include scholarly journals and books by experts in the field. Additionally, look at the year the study or research was published. Theories are constantly changing in the field; therefore, it’s important to find the most up-to-date information. If you need a little help finding credible primary and secondary sources, you can use Bibliography.com’s source generator .
Creating an APA Format Outline
Depending on the magnitude of your phenomenal research, you can choose to create an outline of your paper before writing it. APA doesn’t have a specific format for making an outline for your essay or research paper. However, there are a few different formats you can use, like a topic or sentence outline. While not required, having an outline can help keep your paper flowing smoothly and on topic.
The reason to choose APA citation style vs. MLA or Chicago is that it’s designed to provide credibility by making your resources accessible and creating a focus for the reader. Since APA was created for behavioral science, social science, education, and psychology research papers, it creates a cohesive format for writing and citing your resources.
Difference Between APA 6 and APA 7 Format
With the why securely in your mind, it’s time to explore APA’s changes in their style guide when they updated from APA 6 to APA 7 . While most of the changes were small, a few major ones include:
- Inclusive, gender-neutral, bias-free language
- Shortening of authors for in-text citations
- Including 20 author names on the reference list
- Removal of [Kindle] from ebooks
- More online source examples
- Font flexibility
Publishing an APA paper
Research papers are published in scholarly journals . After an author submits a paper for review, it undergoes a rigorous double-blind, peer-reviewed process.
Double-blind means that the author or authors’ names are scrubbed from the manuscript. This way, the reviewers do not know who the author is, and the authors do not know who the reviewers are. This process helps maintain the integrity of the review.
Peer-reviewed means that others review each manuscript at a similar level in the research field. For example, papers submitted by those with doctorate degrees will be reviewed by researchers who hold equal authority in the field. Usually, at least two reviewers are assigned to each manuscript. The editor-in-chief of the journal holds the final decision.
Using journal articles in your research paper is a good way to understand previous research. It’s also a good way to keep up with current research. Always check the article’s date and look to see if there are more recent articles with updated conclusions. Using academic databases available through your school or library helps you find the latest research.
Writing Your APA Format Paper
Faq apa format and citations, what does apa format look like.
The look of an APA format paper is specific and includes running headers, 1-inch margins, flush-left style, double spacing, and indented paragraphs. Each APA format paper will include a title page, abstract, body, and references page.
How do you set up a paper in APA format?
To set up a paper in APA format, you need 1-inch margins and indented paragraphs. You also include running headers and double spacing throughout the entire paper. In addition to the body of your paper, you'll include a title page, abstract, and references.
What is a running head in APA format example?
In an APA format example, the running header is found at the top of each page of the paper. The APA running header includes the title of the paper in all capital letters like: POLLUTION IN THE ARTIC
How do you do APA referencing?
When it comes to doing an APA referencing list, you include citations for all the references you used in your paper. The title should be centered and 1 inch down. The citations are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Additionally, for book and journal article titles, APA uses sentence case capitalization so only the first letter of the title will be capitalized like: Exploration of the holocaust
What is a level 1 heading APA?
A level 1 heading in APA style is the first level of header used. Level 1 headings are in title case, bold, and centered on the page. Level 1 headings are the first level of 5 levels of heading that APA dictates in their style guide.
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APA Anthology Citation Examples
How to write an apa bibliography, how to cite youtube and other videos in mla and apa, apa citation examples for peer reviewed articles.
Using a citation generator
Discover how a citation generator can help you create a bibliography.
You can use a citation generator to produce citations in selected styles based on the bibliographic information you provide. Always make sure to double-check that your generated citations are correct either with a style guide or at the Purdue Online Writing Lab. Citation generators are a helpful first step, but they are subject to errors. You can use the below guides to check proper citation formats.
- APA citation guide
- MLA citation guide
- Chicago citation guide
- Other styles
Some library databases have built-in citation generators, where you can select a "Cite" button to get the citation for that article or book in various formats. Library Search has a built-in generator for APA 7, AMA 11, Chicago 17, Harvard, and MLA 9 styles. You can access it by clicking on the quotation mark icon next to the title in your search results list. In other databases, you might have to first click on the title of the article, then find the “Cite” button to generate a citation.
Below are some recommended citation generators.
- Creates citations and bibliographic references for MLA, APA, Turabian, and Chicago styles
- Look up your reference by URL, title, or ISBN, then it automatically converts to a citation and bibliographic reference
- Create a free account and save your references for future use
View the BibME website
- Look up options for APA and MLA styles
View the Citation Machine website
- Creates citations and bibliographic reference for APA, MLA, and Chicago styles
- Consists of a live editor that allows you to highlight portions of text and automatically create citations for it
View the CitationGenerator website
View the EasyBib website
Citation management systems
Citation management systems allow you to download citations from various websites and databases (sometimes with the full-text article) and electronically store and organize the citations, as well as insert citations and a bibliography into your paper in the format of your choice as you write your paper. If you need to manage a large number of citations, or are going to need to write a lot of papers that require you to cite sources, a citation management system may make citing sources in your paper a lot easier. If you work collaboratively on some projects, your citations can also be shared with groups or co-authors.
The University of Nevada, Reno provides support for several free-to-use citation management tools, as well as tutorials on how to use them:
- Endnote Basic
- How we work
Efficient Annotated Bibliography Generator MLA for Any Paper Type
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Annotated Bibliography APA Generator | Errorless Descriptions Assured
When you write a research or a culminating project, you need to compile all sources used in a paper to generate a consistently annotated list. These citations should be generated with info about an author, the name of their scientific work, a year of publication, and also other facts concerning the paper, like its credibility and originality. To fulfill this annotation task properly and not make tons of mistakes, you’d better use an annotated bibliography generator that will place citations in a text and build a reference list.
Depending on your research type, we’ll choose a fitting formatting style to generate an annotated list. Our generator will help you implement APA, MLA, or Chicago formatting style to meet all the needed requirements concerning your paper’s technical arrangement and its errorless design. Here you’ll be able to apply our reliable annotated bibliography APA generator for psychology or economics paper or an MLA format annotated bibliography generator to create a sound and well-structured work.
Our generator of any annotated list creates clear content without discrepancies and mistakes, so nothing can worry you as your paper is in safety.
Individualized Annotated Bibliography MLA Generator + Any Other Styles
Besides generating a fitting style, a student should understand how to use it to generate the annotated list. However, they can use an annotated bibliography generator MLA to make a reference list correctly and enumerate literature sources used in cultural and humanities texts.
Additionally, a student should find and analyze scrupulously the proper sources that will be used further in generating an annotated list. It might sound challenging, but nothing to be afraid of – you can rely on our first-class generator to get a personalized assignment. Our tool will generate a fitting page layout and preserve all stylistic technicalities – that’s what our annotated bibliography MLA generator is about.
The same concerns APA format. Our APA format annotated bibliography generator will make it easier to comprehend and understand the text and follow the main ideas efficiently.
Annotated Bibliography Chicago Style Generator, Bugless & Easy-to-Use
We offer our customers an effective annotated bibliography machine that will summarize and estimate all publications used to generate bibliography and highlight the key sources that helped to show the background and advantages of the issues.
We highly recommend using our generator of any bibliographies in Chicago format that will create an annotation list according to its demands. An annotated bibliography Chicago style generator will create the bibliography that will highlight your research skills, in-depth analysis, and assessing the paper’s relevance and applicability. This style will be handy if you need to cope with history, philosophy, or religion papers, and it even doesn’t require specific font and size usage but generate readable content.
No matter what formatting style you need to apply – APA, MLA, Chicago, or maybe ALA format – our useful bibliography generator will help you form a reference list properly. It’s easy to use and generate the bibliography according to your requirements. So, no difficulties will occur when applying the generator on your own – have no hesitations about that.
Choose Our APA Annotated Bibliography Generator – Enjoy Quick Results
Need to apply the APA style in your bibliography but don’t have a clue how to manage it properly? Don’t panic and have a glance at a superb APA annotated bibliography generator. That will generate a solid bibliography for your academic paper. And due to this tool, you won’t waste your time checking whether you did everything correctly and according to the set rules. You’ll receive an impeccable result if you apply this generator when working on your annotated list.
Writing annotated bibliography APA shouldn’t stress you any longer. Get irreplaceable help by using an effective annotated bibliography generator APA to make concise content and a valid summary of the used sources that will represent your ideas and plans accurately and efficiently in the shortest possible time.
To save time, you just need to reach out to the generator team and ask us: “ Write my annotated bibliography !” and relax.
Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Generator or True Experts’ Help
If you’ve never generated a list in a particular formatting style before, it may seem daunting to you and will take quite much time to get used to it. In such a case, you can use a super-speedy Chicago style annotated bibliography generator that will form a reference list for your paper automatically. Otherwise, rely on our service, where pro writers will generate a list meticulously and do the following:
- A full analysis of an author and their publication.
- Identifying a source’s reputability, feasibility, and applicability to your task.
- Generating a full bibliography citation.
- Showing the author’s background.
- Defining the major arguments and the used methods.
- Preserving the key APA standards.
It’s up to you what option you’ll choose, but in both cases, you’ll generate an impressive outcome. It doesn’t matter whether you need APA or MLA annotated bibliography generator. You’ll receive a credible and distinct paper that will express your competence and general performance in the chosen field. Apply a proven annotated bibliography citation generator to ensure your paper’s quality and relevance to the college requirements.
By using the annotated bibliography maker , you save time and effort.
Benefit From Using Advanced Annotation Generator
By compiling a well-structured annotated bibliography meeting the standards of the required citation style, you ensure your paper is regarded as a trusted source by other researchers. Using an annotated bibliography maker, you create a list of citations demonstrating your knowledge of a specific area and make your arguments well-grounded.
In case you don’t have sufficient experience when it comes to creating such lists, you can benefit from an annotated bibliography generator tool. You can employ an effective annotated bibliography summary generator to arrange all the sources in chronological or alphabetical order. An annotated bibliography generator ensures all the materials you have used when writing your paper, be it printed articles, films, or audio recordings, are mentioned in citations.
A detailed list of citations demonstrates you have extensive knowledge of your topic. It shows you can conduct thorough research and develop sound arguments supporting your hypothesis, and that’s what an annotated bibliography generator helps with.
An annotation generator could be a time-saving solution for those who need to review the available sources before writing a research paper or a larger project. An annotated bibliography generator can enable you to analyze the existing sources and see clearly whether there is a topic requiring thorough research. By using this annotated bibliography generator tool, you can get a clear understanding of what arguments were made by other researchers interested in your topic.
Test out an annotated bibliography generator to get invaluable insights for researching your topic and find out how your research fits into a broader perspective. An annotated bibliography generator allows you to put your research into context and make your voice heard in the professional community.
Are you wondering how to include print, digital, and multimedia materials in your AMA annotated bibliography ? Try this annotated bibliography generator, and it can assist you with situating your paper within the discipline of your research.
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APA Referencing Style
Example references for, an overview of our bibliography generator.
As a student, you must be aware of the consequences of committing plagiarism; it doesn't matter if it is intentional or unintended. So the act is considered a crime, right? But you can have similar ideas with another person when you are writing an assignment. So, how do you differentiate your thoughts from others and make your write-ups unique?
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As per your university guidelines, you have to imply bibliographies in different formats such as APA and MLA styles. These can be pretty hectic for you. So, our designers have added the features to our tool so that you can use it as an APA or MLA bibliography generator tool.
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If you need to do annotation, our online bibliography maker can help a lot. No matter if it is Harvard or Oxford referencing, our tool will provide you instant support. It is totally okay that you can’t be aware of every referencing style guideline, so let our tool do the job for you.
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Our Online Bibliography Creator Supports All Types of Source Citation
For college/university students, Myassignmenthelp.com has established a free online bibliography generator. It's possible that you finished your work flawlessly but didn't use the proper referencing style. With our free bibliography maker , you can never go wrong. There is no charge, and it is available to all users.
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Before presenting you with the results, we perform your reference search through a number of databases. Our online bibliography maker has listed thousands of publications and papers to ensure that we supply the correct reference to your paper.
There is no room for errors when you acquire annotation from us. We are known for our precision, and we strive to provide the same to our clients. We also offer annotated bibliography samples with the main paper.
Rocketing up your grades
Our bibliography maker online has helped students all around the world improve their intellectual development. You will be able to avoid receiving low grades if you use accurate citations.
While many students overlook accurate annotation, toppers understand how it might assist them in improving their marks. As a result, use our online bibliography maker to make your paper stand out from others.
So, what else do you want?
Most Popular FAQs Searched By Students:
q1. how can i make my own bibliography.
Ans. Making your own bibliography is really easy. First, go to MyAssignmenthelp.com’s online bibliography generator dashboard. Then put all the necessary details and select the citation style per your university guideline. Then click on the "Generate" button. That’s it. You will get your answers in a few seconds.
Q2. What should be written in a bibliography?
Ans. A bibliography is a list of the sources you utilised to create your paper. Even if you don't specifically acknowledge them, you should include anything you actively referenced in your work and read as part of your project's research and learning phase.
Q3. How Does a Bibliography Machine Work?
Ans. A bibliography generator works simply in three steps.
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Q4. Why Should I Use the Free Bibliography Maker?
Ans. When doing research for your article, bibliography maker is a fantastic tool to employ. It might assist you in keeping track of any sources you've utilised in your research work. Make an MLA Works Cited page, an APA citation, or a simple citation in our other style options. If you use the free tool, you can avoid the charges of bibliography-making helpers.
Q5. What Is an Annotated Bibliography, And How Do I Make One?
Ans. There is a simple template for annotated bibliography that you can follow and make one.
Here is the template –
Name of the author, Surname of the author, year of publication in brackets, the title of the book, volume, respective page
Example – Brown, D.A, (1996), The Impact of the Internet on the Young learners of the World, The Daily tech Journal, 67, 645-652
Q6. What are the types of bibliographies?
Ans. There are primarily three types of bibliography. They are –
- a) Enumerative bibliography
- b) Analytical bibliography
- c) Annotated bibliography
Apart from them, there are other types of bibliography such as retrospective bibliography, period bibliography, serial bibliography, etc.
Generate accurate MLA citations for free
- Knowledge Base
- How to create an MLA style annotated bibliography
MLA Style Annotated Bibliography | Format & Examples
Published on July 13, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on June 14, 2022.
An annotated bibliography is a special assignment that lists sources in a way similar to the MLA Works Cited list, but providing an annotation for each source giving extra information.
You might be assigned an annotated bibliography as part of the research process for a paper , or as an individual assignment.
MLA provides guidelines for writing and formatting your annotated bibliography. An example of a typical annotation is shown below.
Kenny, Anthony. A New History of Western Philosophy: In Four Parts . Oxford UP, 2010.
You can create and manage your annotated bibliography with Scribbr’s free MLA Citation Generator. Choose your source type, retrieve the details, and click “Add annotation.”
Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr
Table of contents, mla format for annotated bibliographies, length and content of annotations, frequently asked questions about annotated bibliographies.
The list should be titled either “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.” You may be told which title to use; “bibliography” is normally used for a list that also includes sources you didn’t cite in your paper or that isn’t connected to a paper at all.
Sources are usually organized alphabetically , like in a normal Works Cited list, but can instead be organized chronologically or by subject depending on the purpose of the assignment.
The source information is presented and formatted in the same way as in a normal Works Cited entry:
- 0.5 inch hanging indent
The annotation follows on the next line, also double-spaced and left-aligned. The whole annotation is indented 1 inch from the left margin to distinguish it from the 0.5 inch hanging indent of the source entry.
- If the annotation is only one paragraph long, there’s no additional indent for the start of the paragraph.
- If there are two or more paragraphs, indent the first line of each paragraph , including the first, an additional half-inch (so those lines are indented 1.5 inches in total).
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MLA gives some guidelines for writing the annotations themselves. They cover how concise you need to be and what exactly you should write about your sources.
Phrases or full sentences?
MLA states that it’s acceptable to use concise phrases rather than grammatically complete sentences in your annotations.
While you shouldn’t write this way in your main text, it’s acceptable in annotations because the subject of the phrase is clear from the context. It’s also fine to use full sentences instead, if you prefer.
- Broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day.
- Kenny presents a broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day.
Always use full sentences if your instructor requires you to do so, though.
How many paragraphs?
MLA states that annotations usually aim to be concise and thus are only one paragraph long. However, it’s acceptable to write multiple-paragraph annotations if you need to.
If in doubt, aim to keep your annotations short, but use multiple paragraphs if longer annotations are required for your assignment.
Descriptive, evaluative, or reflective annotations?
MLA states that annotations can describe or evaluate sources, or do both. They shouldn’t go into too much depth quoting or discussing minor details from the source, but aim to write about it in broad terms.
You’ll usually write either descriptive , evaluative , or reflective annotations . If you’re not sure what kind of annotations you need, consult your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor.
An annotated bibliography is an assignment where you collect sources on a specific topic and write an annotation for each source. An annotation is a short text that describes and sometimes evaluates the source.
Any credible sources on your topic can be included in an annotated bibliography . The exact sources you cover will vary depending on the assignment, but you should usually focus on collecting journal articles and scholarly books . When in doubt, utilize the CRAAP test !
Each annotation in an annotated bibliography is usually between 50 and 200 words long. Longer annotations may be divided into paragraphs .
The content of the annotation varies according to your assignment. An annotation can be descriptive, meaning it just describes the source objectively; evaluative, meaning it assesses its usefulness; or reflective, meaning it explains how the source will be used in your own research .
No, in an MLA annotated bibliography , you can write short phrases instead of full sentences to keep your annotations concise. You can still choose to use full sentences instead, though.
Use full sentences in your annotations if your instructor requires you to, and always use full sentences in the main text of your paper .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2022, June 14). MLA Style Annotated Bibliography | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 2, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/mla-annotated-bibliography/
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