The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Annotated Bibliographies

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain why annotated bibliographies are useful for researchers, provide an explanation of what constitutes an annotation, describe various types of annotations and styles for writing them, and offer multiple examples of annotated bibliographies in the MLA, APA, and CBE/CSE styles of citation.

Introduction

Welcome to the wonderful world of annotated bibliographies! You’re probably already familiar with the need to provide bibliographies, reference pages, and works cited lists to credit your sources when you do a research paper. An annotated bibliography includes descriptions and explanations of your listed sources beyond the basic citation information you usually provide.

Why do an annotated bibliography?

One of the reasons behind citing sources and compiling a general bibliography is so that you can prove you have done some valid research to back up your argument and claims. Readers can refer to a citation in your bibliography and then go look up the material themselves. When inspired by your text or your argument, interested researchers can access your resources. They may wish to double check a claim or interpretation you’ve made, or they may simply wish to continue researching according to their interests. But think about it: even though a bibliography provides a list of research sources of all types that includes publishing information, how much does that really tell a researcher or reader about the sources themselves?

An annotated bibliography provides specific information about each source you have used. As a researcher, you have become an expert on your topic: you have the ability to explain the content of your sources, assess their usefulness, and share this information with others who may be less familiar with them. Think of your paper as part of a conversation with people interested in the same things you are; the annotated bibliography allows you to tell readers what to check out, what might be worth checking out in some situations, and what might not be worth spending the time on. It’s kind of like providing a list of good movies for your classmates to watch and then going over the list with them, telling them why this movie is better than that one or why one student in your class might like a particular movie better than another student would. You want to give your audience enough information to understand basically what the movies are about and to make an informed decision about where to spend their money based on their interests.

What does an annotated bibliography do?

A good annotated bibliography:

  • encourages you to think critically about the content of the works you are using, their place within a field of study, and their relation to your own research and ideas.
  • proves you have read and understand your sources.
  • establishes your work as a valid source and you as a competent researcher.
  • situates your study and topic in a continuing professional conversation.
  • provides a way for others to decide whether a source will be helpful to their research if they read it.
  • could help interested researchers determine whether they are interested in a topic by providing background information and an idea of the kind of work going on in a field.

What elements might an annotation include?

  • Bibliography according to the appropriate citation style (MLA, APA, CBE/CSE, etc.).
  • Explanation of main points and/or purpose of the work—basically, its thesis—which shows among other things that you have read and thoroughly understand the source.
  • Verification or critique of the authority or qualifications of the author.
  • Comments on the worth, effectiveness, and usefulness of the work in terms of both the topic being researched and/or your own research project.
  • The point of view or perspective from which the work was written. For instance, you may note whether the author seemed to have particular biases or was trying to reach a particular audience.
  • Relevant links to other work done in the area, like related sources, possibly including a comparison with some of those already on your list. You may want to establish connections to other aspects of the same argument or opposing views.

The first four elements above are usually a necessary part of the annotated bibliography. Points 5 and 6 may involve a little more analysis of the source, but you may include them in other kinds of annotations besides evaluative ones. Depending on the type of annotation you use, which this handout will address in the next section, there may be additional kinds of information that you will need to include.

For more extensive research papers (probably ten pages or more), you often see resource materials grouped into sub-headed sections based on content, but this probably will not be necessary for the kinds of assignments you’ll be working on. For longer papers, ask your instructor about their preferences concerning annotated bibliographies.

Did you know that annotations have categories and styles?

Decisions, decisions.

As you go through this handout, you’ll see that, before you start, you’ll need to make several decisions about your annotations: citation format, type of annotation, and writing style for the annotation.

First of all, you’ll need to decide which kind of citation format is appropriate to the paper and its sources, for instance, MLA or APA. This may influence the format of the annotations and bibliography. Typically, bibliographies should be double-spaced and use normal margins (you may want to check with your instructor, since they may have a different style they want you to follow).

MLA (Modern Language Association)

See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for basic MLA bibliography formatting and rules.

  • MLA documentation is generally used for disciplines in the humanities, such as English, languages, film, and cultural studies or other theoretical studies. These annotations are often summary or analytical annotations.
  • Title your annotated bibliography “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.”
  • Following MLA format, use a hanging indent for your bibliographic information. This means the first line is not indented and all the other lines are indented four spaces (you may ask your instructor if it’s okay to tab over instead of using four spaces).
  • Begin your annotation immediately after the bibliographic information of the source ends; don’t skip a line down unless you have been told to do so by your instructor.

APA (American Psychological Association)

See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for basic APA bibliography formatting and rules.

  • Natural and social sciences, such as psychology, nursing, sociology, and social work, use APA documentation. It is also used in economics, business, and criminology. These annotations are often succinct summaries.
  • Annotated bibliographies for APA format do not require a special title. Use the usual “References” designation.
  • Like MLA, APA uses a hanging indent: the first line is set flush with the left margin, and all other lines are indented four spaces (you may ask your instructor if it’s okay to tab over instead of using four spaces).
  • After the bibliographic citation, drop down to the next line to begin the annotation, but don’t skip an extra line.
  • The entire annotation is indented an additional two spaces, so that means each of its lines will be six spaces from the margin (if your instructor has said that it’s okay to tab over instead of using the four spaces rule, indent the annotation two more spaces in from that point).

CBE (Council of Biology Editors)/CSE (Council of Science Editors)

See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for basic CBE/CSE bibliography formatting and rules.

  • CBE/CSE documentation is used by the plant sciences, zoology, microbiology, and many of the medical sciences.
  • Annotated bibliographies for CBE/CSE format do not require a special title. Use the usual “References,” “Cited References,” or “Literature Cited,” and set it flush with the left margin.
  • Bibliographies for CSE in general are in a slightly smaller font than the rest of the paper.
  • When using the name-year system, as in MLA and APA, the first line of each entry is set flush with the left margin, and all subsequent lines, including the annotation, are indented three or four spaces.
  • When using the citation-sequence method, each entry begins two spaces after the number, and every line, including the annotation, will be indented to match the beginning of the entry, or may be slightly further indented, as in the case of journals.
  • After the bibliographic citation, drop down to the next line to begin the annotation, but don’t skip an extra line. The entire annotation follows the indentation of the bibliographic entry, whether it’s N-Y or C-S format.
  • Annotations in CBE/CSE are generally a smaller font size than the rest of the bibliographic information.

After choosing a documentation format, you’ll choose from a variety of annotation categories presented in the following section. Each type of annotation highlights a particular approach to presenting a source to a reader. For instance, an annotation could provide a summary of the source only, or it could also provide some additional evaluation of that material.

In addition to making choices related to the content of the annotation, you’ll also need to choose a style of writing—for instance, telescopic versus paragraph form. Your writing style isn’t dictated by the content of your annotation. Writing style simply refers to the way you’ve chosen to convey written information. A discussion of writing style follows the section on annotation types.

Types of annotations

As you now know, one annotation does not fit all purposes! There are different kinds of annotations, depending on what might be most important for your reader to learn about a source. Your assignments will usually make it clear which citation format you need to use, but they may not always specify which type of annotation to employ. In that case, you’ll either need to pick your instructor’s brain a little to see what they want or use clue words from the assignment itself to make a decision. For instance, the assignment may tell you that your annotative bibliography should give evidence proving an analytical understanding of the sources you’ve used. The word analytical clues you in to the idea that you must evaluate the sources you’re working with and provide some kind of critique.

Summary annotations

There are two kinds of summarizing annotations, informative and indicative.

Summarizing annotations in general have a couple of defining features:

  • They sum up the content of the source, as a book report might.
  • They give an overview of the arguments and proofs/evidence addressed in the work and note the resulting conclusion.
  • They do not judge the work they are discussing. Leave that to the critical/evaluative annotations.
  • When appropriate, they describe the author’s methodology or approach to material. For instance, you might mention if the source is an ethnography or if the author employs a particular kind of theory.

Informative annotation

Informative annotations sometimes read like straight summaries of the source material, but they often spend a little more time summarizing relevant information about the author or the work itself.

Indicative annotation

Indicative annotation is the second type of summary annotation, but it does not attempt to include actual information from the argument itself. Instead, it gives general information about what kinds of questions or issues are addressed by the work. This sometimes includes the use of chapter titles.

Critical/evaluative

Evaluative annotations don’t just summarize. In addition to tackling the points addressed in summary annotations, evaluative annotations:

  • evaluate the source or author critically (biases, lack of evidence, objective, etc.).
  • show how the work may or may not be useful for a particular field of study or audience.
  • explain how researching this material assisted your own project.

Combination

An annotated bibliography may combine elements of all the types. In fact, most of them fall into this category: a little summarizing and describing, a little evaluation.

Writing style

Ok, next! So what does it mean to use different writing styles as opposed to different kinds of content? Content is what belongs in the annotation, and style is the way you write it up. First, choose which content type you need to compose, and then choose the style you’re going to use to write it

This kind of annotated bibliography is a study in succinctness. It uses a minimalist treatment of both information and sentence structure, without sacrificing clarity. Warning: this kind of writing can be harder than you might think.

Don’t skimp on this kind of annotated bibliography. If your instructor has asked for paragraph form, it likely means that you’ll need to include several elements in the annotation, or that they expect a more in-depth description or evaluation, for instance. Make sure to provide a full paragraph of discussion for each work.

As you can see now, bibliographies and annotations are really a series of organized steps. They require meticulous attention, but in the end, you’ve got an entire testimony to all the research and work you’ve done. At the end of this handout you’ll find examples of informative, indicative, evaluative, combination, telescopic, and paragraph annotated bibliography entries in MLA, APA, and CBE formats. Use these examples as your guide to creating an annotated bibliography that makes you look like the expert you are!

MLA Example

APA Example

CBE Example

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

American Psychological Association. 2010. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bell, I. F., and J. Gallup. 1971. A Reference Guide to English, American, and Canadian Literature . Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Bizzell, Patricia, and Bruce Herzburg. 1991. Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing , 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford Books.

Center for Information on Language Teaching, and The English Teaching Information Center of the British Council. 1968. Language-Teaching Bibliography . Cambridge: Cambridge University.

Engle, Michael, Amy Blumenthal, and Tony Cosgrave. 2012. “How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography.” Olin & Uris Libraries. Cornell University. Last updated September 25, 2012. https://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/content/how-prepare-annotated-bibliography.

Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

Huth, Edward. 1994. Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers . New York: University of Cambridge.

Kilborn, Judith. 2004. “MLA Documentation.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated March 16, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/mla.html.

Spatt, Brenda. 1991. Writing from Sources , 3rd ed. New York: St. Martin’s.

University of Kansas. 2018. “Bibliographies.” KU Writing Center. Last updated April 2018. http://writing.ku.edu/bibliographies .

University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2019. “Annotated Bibliography.” The Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/annotatedbibliography/ .

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography: The Annotated Bibliography

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Explanation, Process, Directions, and Examples

What is an annotated bibliography.

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Annotations vs. Abstracts

Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they may describe the author's point of view, authority, or clarity and appropriateness of expression.

The Process

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Critically Appraising the Book, Article, or Document

For guidance in critically appraising and analyzing the sources for your bibliography, see How to Critically Analyze Information Sources . For information on the author's background and views, ask at the reference desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials and book review sources.

Choosing the Correct Citation Style

Check with your instructor to find out which style is preferred for your class. Online citation guides for both the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) styles are linked from the Library's Citation Management page .

Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries

The following example uses APA style ( Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th edition, 2019) for the journal citation:

Waite, L., Goldschneider, F., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51 (4), 541-554. The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

This example uses MLA style ( MLA Handbook , 9th edition, 2021) for the journal citation. For additional annotation guidance from MLA, see 5.132: Annotated Bibliographies .

Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554. The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

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how to properly write an annotated bibliography

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Learn how to write and format an annotated bibliography in APA Style (7th ed.).

Conducting research and documenting your findings is an essential part of the academic writing process. There are times when you will need (or be required) to conduct initial research prior to deciding on a thesis or focus for your writing. An annotated bibliography is a helpful tool to help you track and assess your sources.

Similar to formatting a paper, an annotated bibliography is formatted with double spacing and has a title page. An annotated bibliography does not typically include a list of references, since the annotated bibliography itself is a list of references, only each entry also provides information about the source.

Components of an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes a reference entry and a short annotation (paragraph) for each source. How annotations are written depends on the purpose of the research. There are two main components for each source included in an annotated bibliography:

  • Bibliographic Information : This includes the same information you would provide in a reference list, formatted according to a reference entry for the particular type of source it is.
  • Annotation : This is a short paragraph about the source that oftentimes summarizes the source and evaluates the usefulness of the source for your research paper or project, but what you include in the paragraph will largely depend on your particular assignment requirements.

Purposes of Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Writing an annotated bibliography is an effective way to document the research process and better prepare for a first draft. By requiring an annotated bibliography, your professor is setting you up for success. Some of the purposes and benefits of writing an annotated bibliography include the following:

  • Formulate a thesis : Conducting research is a prewriting activity that can help narrow the focus of a topic that you are researching. Writing annotations for each source can help you understand the breadth and depth of a subject and determine your focus.
  • Review the literature : An annotated bibliography can help you analyze the available literature on a subject. This is especially helpful for relatively new or persuasive topics where it is important to read about multiple sides of an issue.
  • Illustrate the direction of your research : An employer or professor may want a preview of your research prior to the final draft of your paper. An annotated bibliography is a way to show your current research and its usefulness.
  • Help other researchers : When other researchers find your paper particularly engaging, they often will examine your reference entries. However, an annotated bibliography provides more information about a source, such as a summary, which allows researchers to make an informed decision about whether to locate that source. With a references list, the reader has to guess whether a source will be useful and relevant.

Ways to Annotate Sources

There are several ways to write annotations depending on the purpose or the requirements of the assignment or research. Common approaches to writing annotations include the following:

  • Summarize the source : Summarizing the source means to state briefly the main ideas of the source in relation to the current research. For instance, a medical book may have multiple chapters, but the only part to summarize for this source is the information that pertains to the research for the current paper’s topic. Please note: A summary must be written in your own words.
  • Evaluate the source : To evaluate a source means you determine the strengths and weaknesses of the piece in relation to a particular research topic. When evaluating a source, the reliability and validity of the source are also determined. Reliability refers to the source’s credibility. Is it biased? Is the article from a website that is also selling a product related to the subject of the article? Is there a hidden agenda in the source? Validity indicates the accuracy or correctness of the information. Is the information gathered from experts? Is it just the opinion of the author? Is the author an authority on the topic at hand? What are their professional or academic credentials?
  • Reflect on the usefulness of the source : How does this source fit in with the current research project? Is this a source you can use in your paper? Does it help define a problem or present an argument that would add depth and detail to your research? Is it better suited as a starting point to find other sources (i.e., is it useful only for background information)?
  • Combination : Any combination of the above approaches to writing an annotation may be required. You may choose to write a separate short paragraph for each approach, or combine them into one annotation. As always, it is essential that you are careful to restate things in your own words to avoid plagiarizing an authors’ original words or ideas.

Sample Annotated Bibliography

Note. When formatting an Annotated Bibliography on a Word document, the bibliographic references have hanging indents .

Baker, B. (2003, November 27). Version control helps keep rework to a minimum. *EDN, 48*(26), 227-232. https://doi.org/10.9999/1.111111

This is a short article geared mostly toward digital developers who either are programming more than 10,000 lines of code or are programming within teams. It also emphasizes the importance of a VCS, but more so in the development environment. For this project, the only thing I might use this for is the simple statement that while a VCS is great for any work environment, without the discipline to use it regularly, they are worthless.

Huber, T. (2005, May). *JEDI version control system*. SourceForge. https://jedivcs.sourceforge.net

This site includes detailed instructions for operating an open source VCS. It is written for a technical audience that must have some background on this particular system. What is interesting about this site is the idea of open source. Maybe there are other version control systems available via the Internet through shareware sites. This particular site will probably not be used in writing the final project, but it is a source that can lead to further research on this idea of freeware for a VCS.

McVittie, L. (2007). Version control, with integrity. *Network Computing, 12*(21), 34-45. https://doi.org/10.9999/2.222222

This is an informative article with an overview of the details inside a VCS—branching, configuration, repository, access management, and more. What makes this article valuable though is the overview of several version control systems on the market (at least in 2001). After reading through the overview of several products, if one fits what my company is looking for, I can begin searching for that product and further information on the Internet. This article may or may not be used in the actual writing of the final proposal, but it will be useful information for further research on the project.

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Annotated Bibliographies

What is an annotated bibliography, creating an annotated bibliography, what about formatting, sample papers.

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to sources, such as books and articles. Each citation is followed by an annotation, a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph about 150 words long, that analyzes the source. An annotated bibliography usually looks like any other bibliography with alphabetized citations of sources, except that here each source is followed by an explanatory paragraph. The purpose of the annotation is to inform on the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited, and this work can form the basis of a literature review later in the writing process.

Types of annotations 

  • Descriptive: states the topic of the source only
  • Evaluative: evaluates the source, which may include placing the work in context of other research or evaluating its usefulness. This is the type expected for most research assignments. 
  • Summary: summarizes the source but does not take a stance or make an argument about the source.

Select Topic

Your topic should be neither too broad nor too narrow, but engage with a specific research question. You may not have a thesis but will form one in the course of reading sources. Consider some strategies for selecting and refining a topic.

Locate Sources 

This is a time-consuming process when writing an annotated bibliography. You are looking for sources that work together to support or refute your research question, not just the first few sources available. You should also consider a variety of sources, including books, articles, primary sources, and reference materials. Check the Research Guide in your discipline for suggestions. 

Read and Evaluate Sources

Evaluating a source is about more than reading the abstract. As part of the annotation, you should provide the following information: a summary of the source, the intended audience, a critical evaluation of the argument, and a contextual analysis of how it fits in your own research. 

Create Citations 

The citation is the first piece of information a reader will see, and should conform to one of the major citation style guides . Most guides require a "hanging first line," whereby the first line of the citation sits further to the right on the page with subsequent lines indented. This is a special indentation feature offered in the paragraph formatting section of Word (or other word-processing software). Don't try to indent by just adding spaces.

Write Annotations

Each annotation immediately follows the citation, and consists of a short, evaluative paragraph. It can include a very brief summary of the source, along with information about the author(s) and intended audience, followed by a critical analysis of the source in relation to your topic and research question. 

Ask yourself: Does it cover my topic? Is it a good representation of the sources available on the topic?  An annotated bibliography isn't only a list of sources; the annotations should indicate some relationship between the sources and how they work together in the context of your research. 

Style and Format 

As a final check, be sure all the citations are formatted in accordance with your chosen style guide. Also make sure the overall organization of the bibliography makes sense in the context of the research question. 

Most of the major citation styles call for a hanging first line on annotated bibliographies. This means the first line of the citation will align with the left margin of the page, and all subsequent lines of the citation and annotation will indent to the right. 

Annotated Bibliography Samples

Stoll, J. S., Leslie, H. M., Britsch, M. L. & Cleaver, C. M. (2019). Evaluating aquaculture as a diversification strategy for Maine's commercial fishing sector in the face of change. Marine Policy , 107(103583), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103583

This article discusses the growth of the aquaculture sector in Maine and analyzes the overlap between commercial fishing licenses and aquaculture leases and licenses to determine the extent to which commercial fishers are diversifying into aquaculture. A small percentage of commercial fishers are licensed to do aquaculture and instead, those getting into aquaculture appear to be a new group of ocean users. This has implications for efforts to diversify commercial fishing-dependent livelihoods as a response to climate change impacts. This is relevant to my research in which I am exploring the potential for aquaculture to be a diversification strategy for commercial fishermen. I will likely use this source as supporting evidence that such a transition does not currently appear to be taking place other than for a minority of commercial fishermen.

Chicago Notes & Bibliography

Stoll, Joshua S., Heather M. Leslie, Melissa L. Britsch, and Caitlin M. Cleaver. "Evaluating Aquaculture as a Diversification Strategy for Maine's Commercial Fishing Sector in the Face of Change." Marine Policy 107, (2019): 103583.

The annotation should be indented one inch from the start of the citation, while the hanging indent should be indented half an inch.

Stoll, Joshua S., et al. "Evaluating Aquaculture as a Diversification Strategy for Maine's Commercial Fishing Sector in the Face of Change." Marine Policy , vol. 107, 2019, pp. 103583.

How to create this format

In microsoft word.

  • Highlight your citations and annotations.
  • Open Format  > Paragraph.  Alternatively, highlight the text, right-click and select Paragraph .
  • Under Indentation , there is a drop down menu for Special options. This includes the Hanging First Line .

In Google Docs

  • In the  menu, click on Format , then go down to Align & indent , then click on Indentation options .
  • In the Indentation options menu, under  Special,  select  Hanging.
  • Norton: Sample Annotated Bibliography (PDF) A sample bibliography from the Norton Field Guide to Writing.
  • Purdue OWL Annotated Bibliography Samples Samples of citations and annotations in various style guides from Purdue OWL.
  • Updated: Oct 15, 2021 12:41 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.bates.edu/annotatedbib

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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition): Writing an Annotated Bibliography

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Annotations

What is an annotation.

An annotation is a short (100-300 words) summary or critical evaluation of a source. Annotations can help you learn about your topic, develop a thesis statement, decide if a source will be useful for your assignment, and determine if there is enough valid information available to complete your project.

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources. The annotated bibliography looks like a Works Cited page but it also includes an annotation after each source cited. Annotated bibliographies are a great research tool. 

What Goes Into an Annotation?

Most annotations both summarize and evaluate. Be sure to check with your professors to know what they want in annotations. 

A summary describes the source by answering who wrote the document and their overall argument. You don't need to include every part of the argument; just the parts that are most relevant to your topic.

An evaluation  critically assesses the work for accuracy, relevance, and quality. Check for any biases, holes, or particular strengths. Try out this Quick-How-To about  Evaluating Sources  for detailed guidance on assessing a source.

Tip:  Annotations are original descriptions that you create after reading the document. You may find a short summary, often titled "abstract," at the beginning of journal articles. Do not copy the abstract as that would be plagiarism.

Writing an Annotation

Cite the source using MLA style.

Describe the main ideas, arguments, themes, theses, or methodology, and identify the intended audience.

Explain the author’s expertise, point of view, and any bias he/she may have.

Compare to other sources on the same topic that you have also cited to show similarities and differences.

Explain why each source is useful for your research topic and how it relates to your topic.

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source.

Identify the observations or conclusions of the author. 

Tips on Writing and Formatting

Each annotation should be one or two paragraphs and between three to six sentences long (about 100- 300 words total).

All lines should be double-spaced (unless your professor has noted a different format).

Do not add an extra line between the citations.

Try to be objective, and give explanations if you state any opinions.

Use the third person (e.g., he, she, the author) instead of the first person (e.g., I, my, me), unless discussing your own research.

Sample Annotation

London, Herbert. “Five Myths of the Television Age.” Television Quarterly , vol. 10, no. 1, Mar. 1982, pp. 81-89.

Herbert London, the Dean of Journalism at New York University and author of several books and articles, explains how television contradicts five commonly believed ideas. He uses specific examples of events seen on television, such as the assassination of John Kennedy, to illustrate his points. His examples have been selected to contradict such truisms as: “seeing is believing”; “a picture is worth a thousand words”; and “satisfaction is its own reward.” London uses logical arguments to support his ideas which are his personal opinion. He does not refer to any previous works on the topic. London’s style and vocabulary would make the article of interest to any reader. The article clearly illustrates London’s points, but does not explore their implications leaving the reader with many unanswered questions.

Adapted from: "How to Write Annotated Bibliographies."  Memorial University Libraries ,  www.library.mun.ca/researchtools/guides/writing/annotated_bibl/ .

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  • Finding Sources
  • Writing the Annotations
  • Formatting the Annotated Bibliography
  • Citation This link opens in a new window

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources in proper citation format, each with a descriptive paragraph. The description may critique, analyze or just summarize the content of the item. For this assignment,  you will write a critical/evaluative annotation for each source, critically appraising the evidence that addresses your practice problem. 

A good annotated bibliography:

  • Encourages you to think critically about the content of the works you are using, the importance of the works within the field of study, and the relation of the works to your own research and ideas
  • Proves you have read and understand your sources
  • Establishes your work as a valid source and you as a competent researcher
  • Provides a way for others to decide whether a source will be helpful to their research if they read it

*Excerpted from The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .

The Annotated Bibliography should be the final result after a thorough review of the literature on your topic. Different databases should be searched to get different perspectives. If 8-10 sources are required, you should be reviewing many more sources (20-25), in detail,  before making final selections.

Steps to Writing an Annotated Bibliography

No matter which course or discipline you're researching in, the steps of writing an annotated bibliography should be similar:

  • Research, identify, locate and read scholarly and professional articles, books, and documents for your bibliography
  • Critically screen, analyze and evaluate the sources
  • organize the sources in a logical order
  • Create citations in proper APA format (see APA tab)
  • Compose annotations

Resources on the Web

For more information on annotated bibliographies, visit these pages:

  • Writing an Annotated Bibliography Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre, University of Toronto
  • Annotated Bibliographies The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Next: Finding Sources >>
  • Last Updated: May 7, 2024 6:08 PM
  • URL: https://stevenson.libguides.com/annotatedbib

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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

Writing annotations.

  • Introduction
  • New RefWorks
  • Formatting Citations
  • Sample Annotated Bibliographies

An annotation is a brief note following each citation listed on an annotated bibliography.  The goal is to briefly summarize the source and/or explain why it is important for a topic.  They are typically a single concise paragraph, but might be longer if you are summarizing and evaluating.

Annotations can be written in a variety of different ways and it’s important to consider the style you are going to use.  Are you simply summarizing the sources, or evaluating them?  How does the source influence your understanding of the topic?  You can follow any style you want if you are writing for your own personal research process, but consult with your professor if this is an assignment for a class.

Annotation Styles

  • Combined Informative/Evaluative Style - This style is recommended by the library as it combines all the styles to provide a more complete view of a source.  The annotation should explain the value of the source for the overall research topic by providing a summary combined with an analysis of the source.  

Aluedse, O. (2006). Bullying in schools: A form of child abuse in schools.  Educational Research Quarterly ,  30 (1), 37.

The author classifies bullying in schools as a “form of child abuse,” and goes well beyond the notion that schoolyard bullying is “just child’s play.” The article provides an in-depth definition of bullying, and explores the likelihood that school-aged bullies may also experience difficult lives as adults. The author discusses the modern prevalence of bullying in school systems, the effects of bullying, intervention strategies, and provides an extensive list of resources and references.

Statistics included provide an alarming realization that bullying is prevalent not only in the United States, but also worldwide. According to the author, “American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims.” The author references the National Association of School Psychologists and quotes, “Thus, one in seven children is a bully or a target of bullying.” A major point of emphasis centers around what has always been considered a “normal part of growing up” versus the levels of actual abuse reached in today’s society.

The author concludes with a section that addresses intervention strategies for school administrators, teachers, counselors, and school staff. The concept of school staff helping build students’ “social competence” is showcased as a prevalent means of preventing and reducing this growing social menace. Overall, the article is worthwhile for anyone interested in the subject matter, and provides a wealth of resources for researching this topic of growing concern.

(Renfrow & Teuton, 2008)

  • Informative Style -  Similar to an abstract, this style focuses on the summarizing the source.  The annotation should identify the hypothesis, results, and conclusions presented by the source.

Plester, B., Wood, C, & Bell, V. (2008). Txt msg n school literacy: Does texting and knowledge of text abbreviations adversely affect children's literacy attainment? Literacy , 42(3), 137-144.

Reports on two studies that investigated the relationship between children's texting behavior, their knowledge of text abbreviations, and their school attainment in written language skills. In Study One, 11 to 12 year-old children reported their texting behavior and translated a standard English sentence into a text message and vice versa. In Study Two, children's performance on writing measures were examined more specifically, spelling proficiency was also assessed, and KS2 Writing scores were obtained. Positive correlations between spelling ability and performance on the translation exercise were found, and group-based comparisons based on the children's writing scores also showed that good writing attainment was associated with greater use of texting abbreviations (textisms), although the direction of this association is not clear. Overall, these findings suggest that children's knowledge of textisms is not associated with poor written language outcomes for children in this age range. 

(Beach et al., 2009)

  • Evaluative Style - This style analyzes and critically evaluates the source.  The annotation should comment on the source's the strengths, weaknesses, and how it relates to the overall research topic.

Amott, T. (1993). Caught in the Crisis: Women in the U.S. Economy Today . New York: Monthly Review Press.

A very readable (140 pp) economic analysis and information book which I am currently considering as a required collateral assignment in Economics 201. Among its many strengths is a lucid connection of "The Crisis at Home" with the broader, macroeconomic crisis of the U.S. working class (which various other authors have described as the shrinking middle class or the crisis of de-industrialization).

(Papadantonakis, 1996)

  • Indicative Style - This style of annotation identifies the main theme and lists the significant topics included in the source.  Usually no specific details are given beyond the topic list . 

Example: 

Gambell, T.J., & Hunter, D. M. (1999). Rethinking gender differences in literacy. Canadian Journal of Education , 24(1) 1-16.

Five explanations are offered for recently assessed gender differences in the literacy achievement of male and female students in Canada and other countries. The explanations revolve around evaluative bias, home socialization, role and societal expectations, male psychology, and equity policy.

(Kerka & Imel, 2004)

Beach, R., Bigelow, M., Dillon, D., Dockter, J., Galda, L., Helman, L., . . . Janssen, T. (2009). Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.  Research in the Teaching of English,   44 (2), 210-241. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27784357

Kerka, S., & Imel, S. (2004). Annotated bibliography: Women and literacy.  Women's Studies Quarterly,  32 (1), 258-271. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/233645656?accountid=2909

Papadantonakis, K. (1996). Selected Annotated Bibliography for Economists and Other Social Scientists.  Women's Studies Quarterly,   24 (3/4), 233-238. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40004384

Renfrow, T.G., & Teuton, L.M. (2008). Schoolyard bullying: Peer victimization an annotated bibliography. Community & Junior College Libraries, 14(4), 251-­275. doi:10.1080/02763910802336407

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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography: Home

What is an annotated bibliography.

An annotated bibliography resembles a works cited page, reference list, or bibliography because it will list properly cited sources about a topic in alphabetical order by author last name or source title.  What makes it different than these is the inclusion of annotations written by you below each citation in the list.

There are two main types of Annotations:

  • Summary Annotations in which the writer identities the main arguments, topics, and conclusions of the source and summarizes them in your own words without quoting the source.  No evaluation is done.
  • Critical/Evaluative Annotations in which the writer starts with the same content as a summary annotation, but looks more critically at the biases, evidence, etc., of the source and the author.  Examination of the author's expertise can be done as part of this.  The writer then explains how the source will be useful in their own research project.

The type you use will depend upon your professor's assignment.  Check with them about what type of information they would like to see in the annotations.

Steps to Writing an Annotated Bibliography

  • Consider how it relates to your topic, is it general summary or original research?
  • How current is the information?
  • Create citations for your sources, check to make sure they are correct, use the Citation Help link below to create or check your citations.
  • Select the type of annotation you are going to write up, consult your professor to be sure of what is required.
  • Read each source and identify arguments and conclusions.
  • Identify what type of source you are using, ex: newspaper, photograph, infographic, journal article, etc., as part of your annotation. 
  • Summarize the source and author's point of view.  If you are only doing summary annotations, this is the final step.
  • Examine the source for credibility.  Research the author or authors for biases and expertise. Examine and evaluate their evidence and conclusions.  Are they valid? 
  • Reflect on the source.  How does it relate to your research?  How can you use it?

Additional Resources

  • Annotated Bibliographies from the Purdue OWL
  • Citation Help Use the resources on this guide to make correct citations for your annotated bibliography

Click to See Guidelines for Specific Citation Styles

Chicago style.

Format Rules:

  • APA (7th edition) recommend short descriptions of the source as guidelines for the annotation content.  It does allow for multiple paragraph annotations.
  • Annotations should be a separate paragraph indented 0.5" much like a block quote
  • APA examples do show comparisons of sources within annotations.
  • Ultimately, you should follow your professor's guidelines for length and content.

Smith, J. (2010).  A brief history of clowns . New York: Circus Press.

This book examines the history of the clown throughout history.  The author touches briefly on clowns in ancient and early modern history. This offers much stronger coverage of clown history in medieval times and from the 19th century to the present.  The author contends that clowns have served as comic relief for centuries as well as serving as the earliest form of satire and political commentary.  It is only with changing technologies and political freedoms that they have lost this important role.

Information based upon the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th edition.

Format Rules

  • If your annotations one sentence or less they should be put in brackets. 
  • Most annotations are brief paragraphs and the entire annotation should be indented 0.5" like a block quote.
  • Annotations can be summary or critical/evaluative.

Smith, John.  A Brief History of Clowns . New York: Circus Press, 2010.

Information based upon the Chicago Manual of Style , 17th edition and  A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations , 9th edition by Kate L. Turabian. 

  • CSE Format annotations should be indented 0.5" as a block quote.
  • It offers no recommendations on length or type of content.
  • Ultimately, you should follow your professor's guidelines for length and content.

Example in name-year:

Smith J. 2010. A brief history of clowns. New York (NY): Circus Press.

Information based upon  Scientific Style and Format  by Council of Science Editors, 8th edition.

MLA Style recommends

  • Title the list Annotated Bibliography or Annotated List of Works Cited.
  • If annotations are only one sentence align them to the left margin.
  • If longer than one sentence, put a space between the citation and the annotation and indent the first line as you would a paragraph, but align the annotation to the left margin.  Annotations should be no longer than a paragraph.
  • Annotations do not need to be double spaced unless the paper is double spaced.
  • Annotations should cover the main point, not details or specifics.

Smith, John.  A Brief History of Clowns . Circus Press, 2010.

      This book examines the history of the clown throughout history.  The author touches briefly on clowns in ancient and early modern history. This offers much stronger coverage of clown history in medieval times and from the 19th century to the present.  The author contends that clowns have served as comic relief for centuries as well as serving as the earliest form of satire and political commentary.  It is only with changing technologies and political freedoms that they have lost this important role.

Information based upon the  MLA Handbook , 8th edition

  • The AMA Manual of Style does not offer guidance on the format for an annotated bibliography
  • Content of annotations can be summary or critical/evaluative
  • Annotations are left aligned under the left aligned citation
  • Citations are not numbered and are in alphabetical order by author last name

Smith J. A Brief History of Clowns . Circus Press; 2010.

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / APA Annotated Bibliography Format

APA Annotated Bibliography Format

The American Psychological Association states that your instructor should set the guidelines for your annotated bibliography, but does ask that the list be formatted according to their standard reference page rules (see Section 9.51 of the  Publication Manual ). Since there are no set rules for creating one, you may be wondering how to create an annotated APA bibliography. If your teacher or professor requests one, don’t worry, here are our recommendations:

  • Make sure you create your references according to APA’s guidelines. If you need some help, here’s a great  APA citation website , which shows how to create references for electronic sources. We also have a page on developing a reference for an  APA journal . Need other source types? Check out the other helpful pages on EasyBib.com.
  • Annotations should be kept short and are usually not more than one paragraph.
  • For more information on writing an annotation, visit the general  annotated bibliography guide .

Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:

  • Quick APA formatting guidelines

Annotation example

Visual example, using the easybib annotation tool, troubleshooting, quick  apa  formatting guidelines:.

  • Use 1-inch page margins on all sides.
  • The entire page should be double-spaced.
  • Title your page, “Annotated Bibliography”. Center and bold it.
  • Left-align references. If a reference runs over more than one line, any line(s) that comes after the first should be indented a ½ inch from the left margin.
  • Organize your references alphabetically by the first word in the reference. (See further details in this  APA Reference Page  guide).
  • Add the annotations on the line right after their corresponding reference.
  • Indent annotations ½ inch from the left margin.
  • Include a page number in the upper right corner; if this is a professional paper, it should be a running head.

For an annotated bibliography APA example, we’re using the same description as above. The only thing we’re going to change is the structure of the reference. For an APA bibliography, the reference needs to be an  APA citation , and the description can be formed the same way as above.

Here’s what the  APA book citation  for  The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase  looks like:

Forsyth, M. (2014).  The elements of eloquence: Secrets of the perfect turn of phrase.  Penguin Books.

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.

how to properly write an annotated bibliography

The EasyBib citation generator has an annotation tool that can help you easily add your annotation to a citation.

  • To do this, begin creating a citation in the EasyBib citation generator. Already have a citation on EasyBib.com? Go to the citation, open your citation options and select “Edit citation.”
  • Once you get to the citation form (where you review found information), scroll to the bottom until you see the sections “More options.”
  • Under that section, click on the “Add annotation” link to open the annotation box.
  • Copy and paste your annotation into the box.
  • Complete your citation.
  • Your annotation will automatically be included and formatted with your citation. You can copy and paste directly into your paper!

Annotated bibliography tool

Again, even though the APA style does not support the creation of bibliographies that include annotations, many schools and professors expect their students to include summaries or commentary alongside their citations in APA style.

Solution #1: How to write an annotation

Annotations are brief paragraph summaries of your source and may include details about how you plan to use the information in your paper, or the quality of information in your source. Take these steps:

  • Read through the source.
  • Identify the main thesis theme of the source then consider how you would summarize the article and its purpose in one sentence.
  • Evaluate the source. Is the author(s) qualified? Is the source and its arguments credible? Well-written? Why or why not?
  • How does the source relate to your paper?
  • Write your annotation based on the above steps. Choose only the points that would most help you or your reader gain an understanding of the source and its significance.

Here are writing tips:

  • Avoid describing every event, statistic, or detail that occurs in your source.
  • Focus on details that are relevant to your topic or your paper. Help the reader understand why the source was selected and is importance.
  • Think about how the information impacts your perspective, how it contributes to your topic, and the effect on your overall paper.

Annotated paragraph example:

Solution #2: How to correctly format an annotation with multiple paragraphs

  • Indent the entire annotated paragraph at ½ of an inch. When done correctly, the left edge of the annotated paragraph will look entirely straight, as in the first example below.
  • If there are multiple paragraphs, follow step one but use a second 0.5-inch indention on the second and following paragraphs.
  • Avoid indenting the paragraph at 0.5 inch like a regular essay paragraph, as shown in the third example.

Single annotated paragraph example:

Multiple annotated paragraphs example:

In his novel, “A True Story of John Doe,” Samuel Smith outlines his life through the eyes of a fictional character. His recollection outlines the immigrant experience and demonstrates how modern life in England came to be.

          Chapters two and three outline the novelty of moving to a new location by describing the eventual progression to culture shock. Smith describes life as beautiful and wonderous in chapter two by emphasizing sensory experiences. However, in chapter three, he slowly gains awareness of the differences between his current and previous lives and of how the locals treat him. Smith nullifies the sensory experiences and, instead, focuses on the depth of the human emotion. I intend to use this source to compare to my own experience as an immigrant.

APA Formatting Guide

APA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Multiple Authors
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Parenthetical Citations
  • Reference Page
  • Sample Paper
  • APA 7 Updates
  • View APA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all APA Examples

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To create an annotated APA bibliography, follow the below recommendations:

  • 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 new paragraph below the reference entry. The entire annotation is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin.

For example:

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.org/10.1080/01596306.2012.739467 Lim 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 creating our understanding of what thinking and rationality are.

To format an annotated bibliography in APA, follow the recommendations given below:

  • Set the left, right, top, and bottom margins as 1 inch.
  • Use 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 inches 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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How to Write a Research Paper: Annotated Bibliography

  • Anatomy of a Research Paper
  • Developing a Research Focus
  • Background Research Tips
  • Searching Tips
  • Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Journals
  • Thesis Statement
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Citing Sources
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Literature Review
  • Academic Integrity
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Understanding Fake News
  • Data, Information, Knowledge

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

UMary Writing Center

UST Writing Center

Check out the resources available from the  Writing Center . 

Write an Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?

It is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources on a topic. 

An annotation is a short summary and/or critical evaluation of a source.

Annotated bibliographies answer the question: "What would be the most relevant, most useful, or most up-to-date sources for this topic?"

 Annotated bibliographies can be part of a larger research project, or can be a stand-alone report in itself. 

Annotation versus abstracts 

An abstract is a paragraph at the beginning of the paper that discusses the main point of the original work. They typically do not include evaluation comments. 

Annotations can either be descriptive or evaluative. The annotated bibliography looks like a works cited page but includes an annotation after each source cited. 

Types of Annotations: 

Descriptive Annotations: Focuses on description. Describes the source by answering the following questions. 

Who wrote the document?

What does the document discuss?

When and where was the document written? 

Why was the document produced?

How was it provided to the public?

Evaluative Annotations: Focuses on description and evaluation. Includes a summary and critically assess the work for accuracy, relevance, and quality. 

Evaluative annotations help you learn about your topic, develop a thesis statement, decide if a specific source will be useful for your assignment, and determine if there is enough valid information available to complete your project.

What does the annotation include?

Depending on your assignment and style guide, annotations may include some or all of the following information. 

  • Should be no more than 150 words or 4 to 6 sentences long. 
  • What is the main focus or purpose of the work?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • ​How useful or relevant was the article to your topic?
  • Was there any unique features that useful to you?
  • What is the background and credibility of the author?
  • What are any conclusions or observations that your reached about the article?

Which citation style to use?

There are many styles manuals with specific instructions on how to format your annotated bibliography. This largely depends on what your instructor prefers or your subject discipline. Check out our citation guides for more information. 

Additional Information

Why doesn't APA have an official APA-approved format for annotated bibliographies?

Always consult your instructor about the format of an annotated bibliography for your class assignments. These guides provide you with examples of various styles for annotated bibliographies and they may not be in the format required by your instructor. 

Citation Examples and Annotations

Book Citation with Descriptive Annotation

Liroff, R. A., & G. G. Davis. (1981). Protecting open space: Land use control in the Adirondack Park. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.

This book describes the implementation of regional planning and land use regulation in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York. The authors provide program evaluations of the Adirondack Park Agency’s regulatory and local planning assistance programs.

Journal Article Citation with Evaluative Annotation

Gottlieb, P. D. (1995). The “golden egg” as a natural resource: Toward a normative theory of growth management. Society and Natural Resources, 8, (5): 49-56.

This article explains the dilemma faced by North American suburbs, which demand both preservation of local amenities (to protect quality of life) and physical development (to expand the tax base). Growth management has been proposed as a policy solution to this dilemma. An analogy is made between this approach and resource economics. The author concludes that the growth management debate raises legitimate issues of sustainability and efficiency.

Examples were taken from http://lib.calpoly.edu/support/how-to/write-an-annotated-bibliography/#samples

Book Citation

Lee, Seok-hoon, Yong-pil Kim, Nigel Hemmington, and Deok-kyun Yun. “Competitive Service Quality Improvement (CSQI): A Case Study in the Fast-Food Industry.” Food Service Technology 4 (2004): 75-84.

In this highly technical paper, three industrial engineering professors in Korea and one services management professor in the UK discuss the mathematical limitations of the popular SERVQUAL scales. Significantly, they also aim to measure service quality in the fast-food industry, a neglected area of study. Unfortunately, the paper’s sophisticated analytical methods make it inaccessible to all but the most expert of researchers.

Battle, Ken. “Child Poverty: The Evolution and Impact of Child Benefits.”  A Question of Commitment: Children's Rights in Canada . Ed. Katherine Covell and R.Brian Howe. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 2007. 21-44.

             Ken Battle draws on a close study of government documents, as well as his own research as an extensively-published policy analyst, to explain Canadian child benefit programs.  He outlines some fundamental assumptions supporting the belief that all society members should contribute to the upbringing of children.  His comparison of child poverty rates in a number of countries is a useful wake-up to anyone assuming Canadian society is doing a good job of protecting children.  Battle pays particular attention to the National Child Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve to be criticized by politicians and journalists.  He outlines the NCB’s development, costs, and benefits, and laments that the Conservative government scaled it back in favour of the inferior Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).  However, he relies too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary author of almost half the sources in his bibliography.  He could make this work stronger by drawing from others' perspectives and analyses.  However, Battle does offer a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter provides a concise overview of government-funded assistance currently available to parents.  This offers context for analyzing the scope and financial reality of child poverty in Canada.

Journal Article Example

  Kerr, Don and Roderic Beaujot. “Child Poverty and Family Structure in Canada, 1981-1997.”  Journal of Comparative Family Studies  34.3 (2003): 321-335.

             Sociology professors Kerr and Beaujot analyze the demographics of impoverished families.  Drawing on data from Canada’s annual Survey of Consumer Finances, the authors consider whether each family had one or two parents, the age of single parents, and the number of children in each household.  They analyze child poverty rates in light of both these demographic factors and larger economic issues.  Kerr and Beaujot use this data to argue that. 

Examples were taken from  http://libguides.enc.edu/writing_basics/ annotatedbib/mla

Check out these resources for more information about Annotated Bibliographies. 

  • Purdue Owl- Annotated Bibliographies
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- Annotated Bibliographies
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  • Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024 5:51 PM
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  1. How to write an annotated bibliography step-by-step with examples

    how to properly write an annotated bibliography

  2. Annotated Bibliography Mla Format Example

    how to properly write an annotated bibliography

  3. Learn How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Example in Different

    how to properly write an annotated bibliography

  4. MLA Annotated Bibliography Examples and Writing Guide

    how to properly write an annotated bibliography

  5. Overview

    how to properly write an annotated bibliography

  6. Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography: Format + Example

    how to properly write an annotated bibliography

VIDEO

  1. How to Create an Annotated Bibliography (MLA)

  2. How to Write an MLA Annotated Bibliography

  3. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

  4. Write PERFECT Annotations for Your Annotated Bibliography

  5. Annotated Bibliography APA Style Formatting and Helpful Advice

  6. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography in MLA 9 Formatting

COMMENTS

  1. What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

    Learn what an annotated bibliography is, how to format it in APA, MLA, or Chicago style, and how to write different types of annotations. See interactive examples of descriptive, evaluative, and reflective annotations for various sources.

  2. MLA Style Annotated Bibliography

    Learn how to create an annotated bibliography in MLA style with this guide. Find out how to format, write, and organize your sources with examples and tips.

  3. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

    Write the citation and annotation - When writing your annotation, the complete citation should always come first and the annotation follows. Depending on the type of annotated bibliography you are writing, you will want to include some or all of the following: The purpose of the work; A summary of its content; Information about the author(s)

  4. Annotated Bibliographies

    Learn why and how to write annotated bibliographies for research papers. Find out the types, styles, and elements of annotations, and see examples in MLA, APA, and CBE/CSE formats.

  5. The Annotated Bibliography

    Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography ...

  6. Annotated Bibliography Examples for MLA & APA

    For examples of a properly formatted APA annotation, ... 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 ...

  7. The Writing Center

    Learn what an annotated bibliography is, why to write one, and how to write one. See examples of different types of annotations and tips for writing them.

  8. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

    An annotation is a short paragraph that summarizes a source and describes how it is relevant to your research. To annotate literally means "to make notes.". There is not an official format for annotated bibliographies, though usually the bibliographic citation is written in APA or MLA format. If this is being done for a class, ask the ...

  9. Writing an Annotated Bibliography

    Learn how to write and format an annotated bibliography in APA Style (7th ed.). Conducting research and documenting your findings is an essential part of the academic writing process. There are times when you will need (or be required) to conduct initial research prior to deciding on a thesis or focus for your writing. An annotated bibliography ...

  10. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

    Write the citation and annotation - When writing your annotation, the complete citation should always come first and the annotation follows. Depending on the type of annotated bibliography you are writing, you will want to include some or all of the following: The purpose of the work; A summary of its content; Information about the author(s)

  11. The Essentials

    An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to sources, such as books and articles. Each citation is followed by an annotation, a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph about 150 words long, that analyzes the source. An annotated bibliography usually looks like any other bibliography with alphabetized citations of sources, except that ...

  12. Annotated Bibliographies

    Learn how to write an annotated bibliography with definitions, purposes, formats, and examples. An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each source used for researching a topic.

  13. Annotated Bibliography Examples & Step-by-Step Writing Guide

    Learn how to write an annotated bibliography with this step-by-step guide and examples. Find out what an annotated bibliography is, why to write it, and how to choose the right citation style.

  14. Writing an Annotated Bibliography

    What is an annotated bibliography? An annotated bibliography is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources. The annotated bibliography looks like a Works Cited page but it also includes an annotation after each source cited. Annotated bibliographies are a great research tool.

  15. SU Library: Writing an Annotated Bibliography: Home

    An annotated bibliography is a list of sources in proper citation format, each with a descriptive paragraph. The description may critique, analyze or just summarize the content of the item. For this assignment, you will write a critical/evaluative annotation for each source, critically appraising the evidence that addresses your practice problem.

  16. APA Annotated Bibliography Guide With Examples

    After your APA annotated bibliography is formatted, you create a citation for each entry. The composition of your citation varies based on the type of source you are using. For example, a book citation in APA is different than a journal citation. Therefore, when creating your citation, use the format APA has designated for that specific source.

  17. Writing Annotations

    An annotation is a brief note following each citation listed on an annotated bibliography. The goal is to briefly summarize the source and/or explain why it is important for a topic. They are typically a single concise paragraph, but might be longer if you are summarizing and evaluating.

  18. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography: Home

    If longer than one sentence, put a space between the citation and the annotation and indent the first line as you would a paragraph, but align the annotation to the left margin. Annotations should be no longer than a paragraph. Annotations do not need to be double spaced unless the paper is double spaced.

  19. APA Annotated Bibliography Format

    Use 1-inch page margins on all sides. The entire page should be double-spaced. Title your page, "Annotated Bibliography". Center and bold it. Left-align references. If a reference runs over more than one line, any line (s) that comes after the first should be indented a ½ inch from the left margin.

  20. Annotated Bibliography Samples

    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 ...

  21. How to Write a Research Paper: Annotated Bibliography

    Annotated bibliographies can be part of a larger research project, or can be a stand-alone report in itself. Annotation versus abstracts. An abstract is a paragraph at the beginning of the paper that discusses the main point of the original work. They typically do not include evaluation comments. Annotations can either be descriptive or evaluative.

  22. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out ...