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.

For example:

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

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography: The Annotated Bibliography

  • The Annotated Bibliography
  • Fair Use of this Guide

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.

Versión española

Tambíen disponible en español: Cómo Preparar una Bibliografía Anotada

Content Permissions

If you wish to use any or all of the content of this Guide please visit our Research Guides Use Conditions page for details on our Terms of Use and our Creative Commons license.

Reference Help

Profile Photo

  • Next: Fair Use of this Guide >>
  • Last Updated: Sep 29, 2022 11:09 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography

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

Make a Gift

Banner

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

  • Critical Appraisal & Analysis

Sample Annotations

Attributions.

  • Citation Styles

Need Help? Ask Us.

Profile Photo

Hesburgh Library First Floor University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-6258 [email protected]

Chat with us!

sample summary annotated bibliography

SAMPLE DESCRIPTIVE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY FOR A JOURNAL ARTICLE

The following example uses the APA format for the journal citation.

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51 (4), 541-554.

This example uses the MLA format for the journal citation. NOTE: Standard MLA practice requires double spacing within citations.

Waite, Linda J., Frances Kobrin Goldscheider, and Christina Witsberger. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review 51.4 (1986): 541-554. Print.

More Sample Annotations

  • ​​ Annotated Bibliography Examples
  • ​ Annotated Bibliography Samples

The University of Toronto offers  an example  that illustrates how to summarize a study's research methods and argument.

The Memorial University of Newfoundland presents  these examples of both descriptive and critical annotations.

The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin gives examples  of the some of the most common forms of annotated bibliographies.

The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina gives examples of several different forms of annotated bibliographies in 3 popular citation formats: 

  • MLA Example
  • APA Example
  • CBE Example

This page was adapted with permission from the following:

http://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography

How to prepare an annotated bibliography Research & Learning Services Olin Library Cornell University Library  Ithaca, NY, USA

  • << Previous: Critical Appraisal & Analysis
  • Next: Process >>
  • Last Updated: Jul 28, 2022 10:35 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.library.nd.edu/annotated-bibliography

Need help? Ask us.

Report a problem

Hesburgh Library Logo

Rasmussen University Flame logo

  • General Education Courses
  • School of Business
  • School of Design
  • School of Education
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Justice Studies
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Technology
  • CBE Student Guide
  • Online Library
  • Ask a Librarian
  • Learning Express Library
  • Interlibrary Loan Request Form
  • Library Staff
  • Databases A-to-Z
  • Articles by Subject
  • Discovery Search
  • Publication Finder
  • Video Databases

NoodleTools

  • Library Guides
  • Course Guides
  • Writing Lab
  • Rasmussen Technical Support (PSC)
  • Copyright Toolkit
  • Faculty Toolkit
  • Suggest a Purchase
  • Refer a Student Tutor
  • Live Lecture/Peer Tutor Scheduler
  • Faculty Interlibrary Loan Request Form
  • Professional Development Databases
  • Publishing Guide
  • Professional Development Guides (AAOPD)
  • Rasmussen University
  • Library and Learning Services Guides

APA 7th Edition Guide

  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • APA Paper Basics
  • Preventing Plagiarism
  • Academic Integrity Video
  • Setting Up Your Paper
  • In-Text Citations
  • eTextbooks and Course Materials
  • Images & Audiovisual Media
  • Legal Resources
  • Personal Communications & Secondary Sources
  • Missing Reference Information
  • Citing Sources in PowerPoint Presentations
  • Finding Help
  • Additional Resources from the APA

Creating an Annotated Bibliography

  • What is an Annotated Bibliography

Writing an Annotation

Formatting an annotated bibliography.

  • Resources and Tools
  • Creating an Annotated Bibliography Video

Components of an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is an APA reference list that includes a brief summary and analysis -- the annotation --  under the reference entry.  

An annotated bibliography includes:

  • APA Title page
  • Pages are numbered beginning with title page
  • References centered and bolded at top of page
  • Entries listed in alphabetical order
  • Annotations begin under its associated reference
  • Annotations are indented 0.5 inches from the left margin
  • The entire document is double spaced; no extra space between entries

Example of an annotated bibliography entry:

sample summary annotated bibliography

An  an n otated bibliography is composed of the full APA reference for a source followed by notes and commentary about that so urce. T he word  “annotate” means “critical or explanatory notes” and the word “bibliography” means “a list of sources”.  Annotation s are meant to be critical in addition to being descriptive.

Annotations are generally between five to seven sentences in length and appear directly under the APA reference.  The entire annotation is indented 0.5 inch from the left margin and lines up with the hanging indent of the APA reference.

Use the question prompts below as a guide when writing annotations:

• 2 to 4 sentences to  summarize   the main idea(s) of the source.

     - What are the main arguments?

     - What is the point of this book/article?

     - What topics are covered?

• 1 or 2 sentences to  assess   and  evaluate   the source.

     - How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography?

     - Is this information reliable? current?

     - Is the author credible? have the background to write on this topic?

     - Is the source objective or biased?

• 1 or 2 sentences to  reflect   on the source.

     - Was this source helpful to you?

     - How can you use this source for your research project?

     - Has it changed how you think about your topic?

  • a title page, and
  • the annotated bibliography which begins on its own page with the word References bolded and centered at the top of the page.

Each entry begins with an APA reference for the resource with the annotation appearing directly beneath. The entire annotation is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin.

Entries are listed in alphabetical order. The entire document is typed on one of the six approved font styles and sizes and is double spaced.  There is no additional space between entires.

Consider using Academic Writer or NoodleTools to create and format your annotated bibliography.  

sample summary annotated bibliography

APA Citation Style Resources and Tools

Apa academic writer.

Use the tools in the  References tab to create APA references for the resources in your annotated bibliography.  The form includes a text box for your annotation.  You can create your title page and assemble your annotated bibliography in the Write tab in this authoritative resource.

  • APA Academic Writer This link opens in a new window Formerly APA Style Central, Academic Writer is a digital library of quick APA guides and tutorials: - Learn - view videos and tutorials, test your APA knowledge with quizzes, and view sample papers, references, tables, and figures. - Reference - view tutorials, search APA dictionaries, develop research ideas, plan and track your research, and manage your references. - Write - use templates to write papers (includes step-by-step help), and work on saved papers. (Must create a personal account to use.)

Create and format your annotated bibliography in NoodleTools .  Find information on how to create an account, create APA references, and creating and formatting an annotated bibliography in the NoodleTools Guide.

  • NoodleTools Guide

This video below provides an overview of how to create an annotated bibliography including evaluating resources, writing annotations, creating APA references, and formatting the final document in the APA style. 

  • << Previous: Citing Sources in PowerPoint Presentations
  • Next: Finding Help >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 16, 2024 8:42 AM
  • URL: https://guides.rasmussen.edu/apa

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

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text.

Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes.

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

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:

  • Double-spaced
  • Left-aligned
  • 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).

MLA annotated bibliography

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

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 February 15, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/mla-annotated-bibliography/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, what is an annotated bibliography | examples & format, how to format your mla works cited page, mla format for academic papers and essays, what is your plagiarism score.

University Libraries      University of Nevada, Reno

  • Skill Guides
  • Subject Guides

APA Citation Guide (7th Edition): Annotated Bibliography

  • Audiovisual Media
  • Books and eBooks
  • Dictionaries, Thesauruses and Encyclopedias
  • Figures and Tables
  • Government Documents
  • Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles
  • Personal Communications
  • Presentations and Class Notes
  • Social Media
  • Websites and Webpages
  • Generative AI
  • In-Text Citation
  • Reference List and Sample Papers

Annotated Bibliography

  • Citation Software

An  annotated bibliography  is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources on a topic. The annotated bibliography looks like a References page but includes an annotation after each source cited. An annotation is a short summary and/or critical evaluation of a source. Annotated bibliographies can be part of a larger research project, or can be a stand-alone report in itself.

Basic Tips on Formatting

  • Start with the same format as a regular References list.
  • The first line of the citation starts at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches (hanging indent).
  • The annotation begins on a new line and is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin.
  • Entries are double-spaced with no extra lines between entries.
  • If the annotation consists of more than one paragraph, indent the first line of each successive paragraph an additional 0.5 inches.
  • Use the third person (e.g., he, she, the author) instead of the first person (e.g., I, my, me).

Sample Evaluative Annotation

Maak, T. (2007). Responsible leadership, stakeholder engagement, and the emergence of social capital.  Journal of Business Ethics ,  74 , 329-343. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9510-5

This article focuses on the role of social capital in responsible leadership. It looks at both the social networks that a leader builds within an organization, and the links that a leader creates with external stakeholders. Maak’s main aim with this article seems to be to persuade people of the importance of continued research into the abilities that a leader requires and how they can be acquired. The focus on the world of multinational business means that for readers outside this world many of the conclusions seem rather obvious (be part of the solution not part of the problem). In spite of this, the article provides useful background information on the topic of responsible leadership and definitions of social capital which are relevant to an analysis of a public servant.

Useful Links for Annotated Bibliographies

The formatting of annotated bibliographies can vary. The University Libraries recommend the format exhibited in the examples below, but if you are still unsure what format to use, ask your professor. 

  • Includes a sample of one APA annotation (from the Purdue OWL).
  • A guide covering the basics of writing an annotated bibliography.
  • << Previous: Reference List and Sample Papers
  • Next: Citation Software >>

UC Logo

  • Research Guides
  • CECH Library

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

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

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is an enhanced list of citations that briefly summarizes each article, book, or other source of information and explains why it is important for your topic.  It can be divided into two distinct parts: the annotation and the bibliography.

  • A bibliography is a list of articles, books, and or other sources of information that have been used for researching a topic. This list is called “References” In APA format or “Works Cited” in MLA format.  All academic papers should have a bibliography that lists the sources used for its creation. 
  • 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 instructor which format you should use. ​

  • Example of an Annotated Bibliography The William Morris Collection at the Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati
  • More Examples

Example of entries on an Annotated Bibliography

Henderson, R., & Honan, E. (2008). Digital literacies in two low socioeconomic classrooms: Snapshots of practice. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, (7)2 , 85-98.

Provides snapshots of digital practices in two middle-level classrooms within low socioeconomic suburbs in Australia during one school term. Ethnographic research techniques were used to investigate (1) teachers' pedagogical approaches to using digital literacy practices with low-income students; (2) students' access to digital technologies at home and at school; and (3) how home literate practices compared to the practices valued in school. Results underscore the need to disrupt teachers' deficit views of these students' home digital literacies so that school practices can be built upon the knowledge and literacies students already have. 

(Beach et al., 2009)

Frazen, K., & Kamps, D. (2008). The utilization and effects of positive behavior support strategies on an urban school playground. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 10, 150-161. doi: 10.1177/1098300708316260.

This study examined the effectiveness of a school-wide PBS recess intervention across three grades—2 nd , 3 rd , and 4 th .  The intervention included a token economy system for following five operationally defined, positively stated school rules.  A multiple baseline design across grades was used to determine the effectiveness of the swPBS recess intervention on inappropriate behaviors.  Intervention was implemented across the three grades at staggered times.  When intervention was implemented, inappropriate behavior demonstrated a change in level for all grades and a decrease in variability for one grade (2 nd ). Trend was relatively stable across all phases for two classrooms and a slight increasing trend was observed during baseline for the 4 th grade that stabilized once the intervention was implemented. Experimental control was demonstrated when (1) baseline behavior remained consistent despite the implementation of intervention in other grades, (2) only when intervention was implemented was a change in behavior level observed, and (3) experimental control was demonstrated at three distinct points. 

(McCoy, 2015)

Why are Annotated Bibliographies useful?

An annotated bibliography demonstrates your understanding of a topic.  It's easy to add a source to a reference list and forget about it when you just need a citation, but you will read and evaluate that source more carefully when you have to write an annotation for it. Since annotations need to be more than just a summary and explain the value of each source, you are forced to think critically and develop a point of view on the topic.  Writing an annotated bibliography is a great way to start preparing a major research project because you will see what arguments have already been proposed in the literature and where your project can add something new to the larger body of work.

Reading published scholarly annotated bibliographies is an efficient method for starting research since they will provide a comprehensive overview of a topic and introduce what other researchers are saying about a topic.

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

McCoy, D. (2015). Annotated bibliography #1 behavior research methods [Class handout]. Behavior Analysis, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Accessing Library Resources

How to Access Library Resources :  Click the link to a library resource. You may be prompted to log in with your UC username and password. You may have to complete Duo Two-Factor Authentication as well.

These prompts can occur both on and off campus.

Library Resources Access Information Link

Additional Information and Resources for Accessing Library Resources

  • Affiliate and Guest Access Information for Affiliates, Guests and Alumni for connecting from off campus.
  • Help and Troubleshooting Tech support for common connection and password issues.
  • Tools Proxy link generators and linking via Google Scholar.
  • Next: New RefWorks >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 27, 2023 10:50 AM
  • URL: https://guides.libraries.uc.edu/annotated_bibliography

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

Contact Us | Staff Directory

University of Cincinnati

Alerts | Clery and HEOA Notice | Notice of Non-Discrimination | eAccessibility Concern | Privacy Statement | Copyright Information

© 2021 University of Cincinnati

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.

sample summary 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

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

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.

APA Citation Examples

Writing Tools

Citation Generators

Other Citation Styles

Plagiarism Checker

Upload a paper to check for plagiarism against billions of sources and get advanced writing suggestions for clarity and style.

Get Started

Library Homepage

Annotated Bibliography

  • What Is It?

Different Ways of Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Note the differences in the annotated bibliographies below.   The differences are not because of the different requirements of different citation styles, but are just examples of the different ways you can write an annotated bibliography.

  • In the MLA example, the writer includes a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.
  • In the Chicago/Turabian example, the writer 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.
  • In the APA example, the writer 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 the writer's own research.

How much to include in your annotated bibliography is up to you as the writer, but keep in mind that the information included should be helpful to both you and to potential readers. If you're writing an annotated bibliography for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.

MLA Example

From  Purdue OWL :

Lamott, Anne.  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . Anchor Books, 1995.

Chicago/Turabian Example

Davidson, Hilda Ellis.  Roles of the Northern Goddess . London: Routledge, 1998.

APA Example

Ehrenreich, B. (2001).  Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America . New York: Henry Holt and Company.

  • << Previous: What Is It?
  • Last Updated: Dec 12, 2023 3:05 PM
  • URL: https://library.knox.edu/annotated-bibliography

Your browser does not support javascript. Some site functionality may not work as expected.

  • What is an Annotation?
  • Why Do an Annotated Bibliography?
  • What Should be Included in the Annotation?
  • What Format Should I Use for the Citations?
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Summative Annotations
  • Evaluative Annotations
  • Examples from the Web
  • Additional Resources
  • University of Washington Libraries
  • Library Guides
  • Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies: Summative Annotations

What is a summative annotation.

Summative annotations (also known as "informative" annotations) provide only a summary of the author's main ideas. Summative annotations are typically two to three sentences long and include no statements of the source’s relevance to your paper or critical remarks evaluating the source’s quality. 

Summative annotations may include the following type of information:

  • The hypothesis of the work
  • The methodology of the work
  • The author's main points
  • The conclusion or results of the work

Summative Annotation: Examples

image of three example citations with summative annotations

*Examples follow MLA format. For other documentation formats (e.g., Chicago and APA), please consult one of the links in the Examples of Annotations on the Web box or a writing consultant, a handbook, a  citation guide  or a  librarian .

  • << Previous: Annotation Types & Examples
  • Next: Evaluative Annotations >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 3, 2023 12:04 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.uw.edu/bothell/annotatedbibliographies

sample summary annotated bibliography

Quick Links:

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Annotated Bibliographies

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.

Definitions

A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited" depending on the style format you are using. A bibliography usually just includes the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.).

An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following.

For more help, see our handout on paraphrasing sources.

For more help, see our handouts on evaluating resources .

  • Reflect : Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?

Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others. If you're doing this for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.

Why should I write an annotated bibliography?

To learn about your topic : Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project. Just collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you're forced to read each source more carefully. You begin to read more critically instead of just collecting information. At the professional level, annotated bibliographies allow you to see what has been done in the literature and where your own research or scholarship can fit. To help you formulate a thesis: Every good research paper is an argument. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. So, a very important part of research is developing a thesis that is debatable, interesting, and current. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being said about your topic. By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you'll start to see what the issues are, what people are arguing about, and you'll then be able to develop your own point of view.

To help other researchers : Extensive and scholarly annotated bibliographies are sometimes published. They provide a comprehensive overview of everything important that has been and is being said about that topic. You may not ever get your annotated bibliography published, but as a researcher, you might want to look for one that has been published about your topic.

The format of an annotated bibliography can vary, so if you're doing one for a class, it's important to ask for specific guidelines.

The bibliographic information : Generally, though, the bibliographic information of the source (the title, author, publisher, date, etc.) is written in either MLA or APA format. For more help with formatting, see our MLA handout . For APA, go here: APA handout .

The annotations: The annotations for each source are written in paragraph form. The lengths of the annotations can vary significantly from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages. The length will depend on the purpose. If you're just writing summaries of your sources, the annotations may not be very long. However, if you are writing an extensive analysis of each source, you'll need more space.

You can focus your annotations for your own needs. A few sentences of general summary followed by several sentences of how you can fit the work into your larger paper or project can serve you well when you go to draft.

Advanced Search

EDUC 102: Educational Psychology : Annotated Bibliographies

  • Getting Started
  • Finding Sources
  • APA Citation Guide
  • Annotated Bibliographies

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotation is a brief summary of a book, article, or other publication. Its purpose is to describe the work in such a way that the reader can decide whether or not to read the work itself. A bibliography is a list of works and is a standard appendage to a scholarly book or article. An annotated bibliography, in which each item is summarized, is valuable because it helps the reader understand the particular uses of each item.

The following five points provide guidance for writing an annotation:

  • The authority and the qualifications of the author , unless extremely well known, should be clearly stated. Preferably this is to be done early in the annotation: "John Z. Schmidt, a Russian history professor at Interstate University, based his research on recently discovered documents."
  • The scope and main purpose of the text must be explained . This is usually done in three short sentences. For example, "He reveals that a few Germans played a key role in the events leading up to the revolution. They provided money, arms, and leadership which helped the revolution get started." Unlike an abstract, which is an abridgement or synopsis, the writer cannot hope to summarize the total content of the work.
  • The relation of other works, if any, in the field is usually worth noting : "Schmidt's conclusions are radically different from those in Mark Johnson's Why the Red Revolution? "
  • The major bias or standpoint of the author in relation to his/her theme should be clarified : "However, Schmidt's case is somewhat weakened by an anti-German bias, which was mentioned by two reviewers."
  • The audience and the level of reading difficulty should be indicated : ..."Schmidt addresses himself to the scholar, but the concluding chapters will be clear to any informed layperson." Such a comment will serve to warn you (and other college student readers) away from writings which are too elementary or too scholarly.

Another way to think about the steps of writing an annotation is: Summarize – Assess – Reflect

You may also find this annotated bibliography worksheet useful as a guide when writing annotations.

Resources for Creating an Annotated Bibliography

Here are some guides and examples to get you started as you work on your annotated bibliography.

  • Purdue OWL Guide to Annotated Bibliographies Includes a sample annotated bibliography.
  • Trinity University Guide to Annotated Bibliographies
  • Annotated Bibliography Worksheet From the University of Michigan -- use this worksheet to guide you in writing an annotation.

Chicago Manual of Style online

  • Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition Link to the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed.
  • Chicago style quick guide Examples of commonly used source types

Subject Librarian

Profile Photo

  • << Previous: APA Citation Guide
  • Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 9:34 AM
  • URL: https://researchbysubject.bucknell.edu/edpsych

Bates College

Biology 195N - Plant Hormones and Climate Change

  • Scientific Article Discovery
  • EndNote Resources For Bio195N
  • Short EndNote "How To" Videos Created by Bates Research Librarians This link opens in a new window
  • Examples of "Journal of Experimental Biology" Citation Style

Understanding an Annotated Bibliography

What about formatting.

  • Image Sources
  • Bates Biology Department On-Line Resources Page This link opens in a new window

Online Resources

  • Purdue OWL Annotated Bibliographies An explanation of annotated bibliographies from Purdue OWL, including examples in MLA, APA, and CSE styles.

What is an annotated bibliography? 

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. This work can form the basis of a literature review later in the writing process. The purpose of the annotation is to inform on the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

What isn't an annotated bibliography? 

An annotation is not only a summary of the source in question. It should be a short but critical analysis as to why and how the source fits into the larger research question. An abstract functions as a summary, an annotation should be contextual to the specific topic at hand. It should be both descriptive and evaluative. 

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.

What about formatting?

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.

Example of an Annotated Citation using the Ecology Journal Style

Patra, A., Park, T., Kim, M. and Yu, Z. (2017). Rumen methanogens and mitigation of methane emission by anti-methanogenic compounds and substances.   J. Anim. Sci. Biotechnol.   8 , 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40104-017-0145-9

This study reviews some of the work through 2017 identifying ruminal methanogens and the in vivo and in vitro effects of anti-methanogenic compounds. Of specific interest is the summary of evidence suggesting that archaea make up only ~10% of the ruminal microbiome (see "Overview of methanogens present in the rumen"). Also of note, this paper cites work indicating many rumen ciliate protozoa have ecto- and endo-associated methanogenic archaea (see "Methanogens associated with rumen protozoa"). However, most ruminal methanogens are "free-living" (i.e. not protozoa-associated; see "Free-living ruminal methanogens").

[ Depending on your device and browser, the proper hanging first line may or may not be visible here. ]

To export a bibliography from EndNote with this format, see " Exporting a Bibliography From EndNote " on the " EndNote Resources For Bio195N " page of this guide.

Alternatively, to create this format in Word, see 

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 . 

  • << Previous: Examples of "Journal of Experimental Biology" Citation Style
  • Next: Image Sources >>
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2024 2:22 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.bates.edu/bio195n

Banner

  • UTEP Library
  • UTEP Library Research Guides

ESOL 1311 - Zuniga

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Use Library Resources from Anywhere Off-Campus
  • Advanced Searching
  • Find Sources
  • Evaluate Sources
  • Citing Your Work
  • RefWorks This link opens in a new window
  • Purdue Owl Examples

The Annotated Bibliography

sample summary annotated bibliography

How to Make an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a bibliography [a list of the sources- like articles & books- referred to in a scholarly work] that gives a summary of each of the entries. The purpose of annotations is to provide the reader with a summary and an evaluation of the source. Each summary should be a concise exposition of the source's central idea(s) and give the reader a general idea of the source's content.

Source: The Free Dictionary

Contents include:

  • Summary : Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.  Who is the intended audience?
  • Assessment : After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Evaluation : Once you've summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?
  • Information on the author(s) : What is the author's authority? What are their qualifications?

Source: The OWL, Annotated Bibliographies.

More Annotated Bibliography Examples:

(These are links to electronic articles/annotated bibliographies found through the UTEP Library online catalog)

Conte, S. (2015). Learning Community Literature: Annotated Bibliography. New Directions For Student Services , (149), 91-100.  Retrieved from: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.lib.utep.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=101557586&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Cox, M. B., & Faris, M. J. (2015). An Annotated Bibliography of LGBTQ Rhetorics. Present Tense: A Journal Of Rhetoric In Society , 4 (2). Retrieved from: http://www.presenttensejournal.org/volume-4/an-annotated-bibliography-of-lgbtq-rhetorics/ 

Johnson, D. E., Schroder, S. I., Erickson, J. P., & Grimes, K. N. (2008). Annotated Bibliography on the Teaching of Psychology: 2007. Teaching Of Psychology , 35 (4), 376-384. doi:10.1080/00986280802390811 Retrieved from: http://0-search.ebscohost.com.lib.utep.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=35052650&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Masschelein, A., Meurée, C., Martens, D., Vanasten, S., & Willem, G. (2014). The Literary Interview: An Annotated Bibliography. Poetics Today , 35 (1/2), 51-116. doi:10.1215/03335372-2646854 Retrieved from : http://0-poeticstoday.dukejournals.org.lib.utep.edu/content/35/1-2/51.full.pdf+html?sid=fe54194d-1a61-456d-8a75-1e22d6184258

  • << Previous: RefWorks
  • Last Updated: Feb 16, 2024 3:22 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.utep.edu/esol1311/zuniga

live chat

GLBC 1200 Plants: Why We Can't Live Without Them

  • Dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Writing & Citing
  • Films on Reserve

What is an annotated bibliography?

Annotation vs abstract, choosing a citation style, help with annotated bibliography, annotated bibliography guide in the library, webster university's writing center.

Ask A Librarian  for help finding sources, narrowing or expanding your topic, and more!​

  • Research Desk: 314-246-6950
  • Toll-free: 800-985-4279
  • Visit us:  Library hours
  • Search our FAQs or email us 

An annotated bibliography is a list of cited sources from books, articles, documents, or websites. Some annotated bibliography summarize a source and some evaluate or assess a source. Your professor will specify the type and citation style of annotated bibliography they would like.

Sample of an Annotated Bibliography

The following example uses APA style ( Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 6th edition, 2010) for the journal citation:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults.  American Sociological Review,   51 , 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 , 8th edition, 2016) for the journal citation:

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.

The content in this box was created by 

Olin Library Reference Research & Learning Services Cornell University Library Ithaca, NY, USA

And is used with permission.

An abstract is a descriptive summary of the content offered of a main ideas offered of a book, article, document, or other work. An annotation is often a descriptive and critical summary of the main ideas added after a citation of the analyzed source. The annotation may describe the author's view point and evaluates the source's authority, clarity, and value.

Ask your professor which citation style is preferred for the annotated bibliography. Research guides for APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles are noted below.

  • APA Style Guide
  • Chicago / Turabian Style
  • Purdue OWL - Annotated bibliographies Annotated bibliography information from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL)

Cover Art

Whether you are an experienced academic writer or this is your first paper, Webster University's Writing Center offers writing support for students. Find help with all kinds of research projects, including "reports; résumés and cover letters; admission essays and personal statements; summaries, critical analyses, and literature reviews; research and term papers; theses and dissertations; and more." Writing Center coaches are available at all stages of the writing process from brainstorming to draft revision and everything in-between.

Visit Writing Support to: 

  • Schedule an appointment with a writing coach
  • Submit a paper online to the Writing Center for review
  • Select Writing Resources to find help with citation, grammar, avoiding plagiarism, and more
  • << Previous: Films on Reserve
  • Last Updated: Feb 13, 2024 2:55 PM
  • URL: https://library.webster.edu/Plants

AFS/FREN 190 : What is African Cinema?

  • Assignment/Choosing a Topic
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Reference Sources
  • Find Articles
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Citing Sources
  • Selected Websites

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

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.

Thanks to   Olin Library Reference   Research & Learning Services  Cornell University Library  Ithaca, NY, USA https://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography

  • << Previous: Assignment/Choosing a Topic
  • Next: Reference Sources >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 10:15 AM
  • URL: https://guides.libraries.emory.edu/AfricanCinema

Banner

WRT 200 (Prof. Ilknur Sancak-Marusa) Research Guide

  • Searching Beyond Google
  • Research Process
  • Mapping Concepts
  • Evaluating Online Sources

MLA Citation Examples

Citation tools in library databases, mla citation tutorials, annotated bibliography.

  • Writing and Presenting

Business Librarian

Profile Photo

MLA Style Examples:

Works Cited List:  Olsen, Dale A.  Music of El Dorado: the Ethnomusicology of Ancient South American Cultures . UP of Florida, 2002.

In-text: (Olsen 25)

Scholarly Article:

Works Cited List : Latartara, John. "The Timbre of Thai Classical Singing."  Asian Music , vol. 43, no. 2, 2012, pp. 88-114.  Project MUSE ,  https://doi.org/10.1353/amu.2012.0013

In-text:  (Latartara 97-8)

Online Website:

Works Cited List : Andaya, Barbara. "Introduction to Southeast Asia."  Center for Global Education,  Asia Society, 2017,  asiasociety.org/education/introduction-southeast-asia . Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

In-text citation:  (Andaya)

Note: If an author is not listed, begin the citation with the title of the page. For example if the author was not evident on the citation above, the works cited entry would be:

"Vietnam: a Historical Introduction."  Center for Global Education,  Asia Society, 2017, asiasociety.org/education/vietnam. Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

Adapted from  https://guides.library.unr.edu/mlacitation  

MLA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)

Covers all aspects of MLA formatting, including the paper itself and references. From The Writing Lab and  The Owl  at Purdue University.

MLA Documentation

Covers MLA formatting of citations and works cited list. From the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

EBSCO databases (e.g. Academic Search Ultimate) provide citation tools for your to create citations based on different citation styles. Click the article title , you will find the following tools list on the right of the screen. Use the Cite tool to create citations.

sample summary annotated bibliography

ProQuest Databases (e.g. Wall Street Journal Online) also provide citation tools. Click the title of the article , the following tools are listed on the top of the screen above the title of the article, use the Cite tool to create citations.

sample summary annotated bibliography

  • << Previous: Evaluating Online Sources
  • Next: Writing and Presenting >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 1:26 PM
  • URL: https://library.wcupa.edu/wrt200S

IMAGES

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

    sample summary annotated bibliography

  2. How to format apa annotated bibliography. 7 Tips for Writing Annotated

    sample summary annotated bibliography

  3. 🎉 Annoted bibliography example. Annotated Bibliography Samples

    sample summary annotated bibliography

  4. APA Annotated Bibliography Guide With Examples

    sample summary annotated bibliography

  5. Annotated Bibliography Example

    sample summary annotated bibliography

  6. 💐 Annotated bibliography instructions. 3 Ways to Write an Annotated

    sample summary annotated bibliography

VIDEO

  1. "Annotated Bibliography" (Brief Description/Instructions)

  2. Primary Source in an Annotated Bibliography

  3. Annotated Bibliography 2

  4. Annotated Bibliography introduction

  5. WRITING AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

  6. Annotated Bibliography for ENG 102

COMMENTS

  1. Annotated Bibliography Samples

    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).

  2. What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

    An annotated bibliography is a list of source references that includes a short descriptive text (an annotation) for each source. It may be assigned as part of the research process for a paper, or as an individual assignment to gather and read relevant sources on a topic.

  3. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography, With Examples

    An annotated bibliography is a type of bibliography that includes a comment by the author about the source in addition to the source's publishing information. The author's notes, or annotations, can discuss anything relevant to the topic, such as the source's accuracy, the context in which it was written, or even your personal views on the source.

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

    9 Min read An annotated bibliography is a unique form of bibliography providing a short summary or analysis of sources. While creating an annotated bibliography shouldn't be stressful, many students might find the process hard. Keep it simple by using this step-by-step annotated bibliography guide for perfect annotations in any style.

  5. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

    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:

  6. The 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

  7. Annotated Bibliography Examples for MLA & APA

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Writing Center

    An annotated bibliography is a list of sources on a single topic, with an annotation provided for each source. An annotation is a one or two paragraph summary and/or analysis of an article, book, or other source. Generally, the first paragraph of the annotation provides a summary of the source in direct, clear terms.

  10. Sample Annotations

    The University of Toronto offers an example that illustrates how to summarize a study's research methods and argument.. The Memorial University of Newfoundland presents these examples of both descriptive and critical annotations.. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin gives examples of the some of the most common forms of annotated bibliographies.

  11. Creating an Annotated Bibliography and Research Summary

    To write an annotated bibliography, Keeping your research question(s) in mind, choose a few keywords that will serve as search terms. Browse the library's catalog or Search Discovery using your keywords.; After you find sources related to your project, briefly read through the texts to determine which are the most relevant and helpful for answering your research question(s).

  12. RasGuides: APA 7th Edition Guide: Annotated Bibliographies

    An annotated bibliography includes: APA Title page. Pages are numbered beginning with title page. APA formatted reference list beginning on own page. References centered and bolded at top of page. Entries listed in alphabetical order. Annotations begin under its associated reference. Annotations are indented 0.5 inches from the left margin.

  13. MLA Style Annotated Bibliography

    An example of a typical annotation is shown below. Example of an MLA source annotation Kenny, Anthony. A New History of Western Philosophy: In Four Parts. Oxford UP, 2010. Broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day.

  14. APA Citation Guide (7th Edition): Annotated Bibliography

    Annotated Bibliography Sample Includes a sample of one APA annotation (from the Purdue OWL). University Libraries Annotated Bibliography Quick How-To A guide covering the basics of writing an annotated bibliography.

  15. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

    An annotated bibliography is an enhanced list of citations that briefly summarizes each article, book, or other source of information and explains why it is important for your topic. It can be divided into two distinct parts: the annotation and the bibliography.

  16. APA Annotated Bibliography Format

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. MLA Annotated Bibliography Examples and Writing Guide

    4 Min read Is your professor asking you to write an MLA annotated bibliography? Are you clueless? You've come to the right place. The world of bibliographies can be a tricky web to weave, especially when talking about annotated bibliographies. Take a deep breath and get ready.

  19. Examples

    In the APA example, the writer 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 ...

  20. Annotated Bibliographies: Summative Annotations

    Summative Annotation: Examples *Examples follow MLA format. For other documentation formats (e.g., Chicago and APA), please consult one of the links in the Examples of Annotations on the Web box or a writing consultant, a handbook, a citation guide or a librarian. Last Updated: Oct 3, 2023 12:04 PM

  21. Annotated Bibliographies

    Definitions A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) one has used for researching a topic. Bibliographies are sometimes called "References" or "Works Cited" depending on the style format you are using.

  22. Annotated Bibliography

    Annotated Bibliography - definition: A list of sources accompanied by a brief summary or critical statement about each source. Example of an Annotation. ... Sample citations using APA Style 7th edition (including sample table and figures) Interactive, pre-formatted paper templates;

  23. Writing the annotation

    The first part of an annotation is usually a summary or description of the text. This involves briefly outlining the author's main points, as well as providing an overview of the approach or methodology they have used. As you read each source, focus on understanding the main ideas. Take notes on the following questions, in your own words, and ...

  24. EDUC 102: Educational Psychology : Annotated Bibliographies

    A bibliography is a list of works and is a standard appendage to a scholarly book or article. An annotated bibliography, in which each item is summarized, is valuable because it helps the reader understand the particular uses of each item. The following five points provide guidance for writing an annotation:

  25. Getting Started With Annotated Bibliographies

    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. This work can form the basis of a literature review later in the writing process. ... An annotation is not only a summary of the source in question. It should be a ...

  26. Annotated Bibliography

    An annotated bibliography is a bibliography [a list of the sources- like articles & books- referred to in a scholarly work] that gives a summary of each of the entries. The purpose of annotations is to provide the reader with a summary and an evaluation of the source. Each summary should be a concise exposition of the source's central idea(s) and give the reader a general idea of the source's ...

  27. Annotated Bibliography

    An annotated bibliography is a list of cited sources from books, articles, documents, or websites. ... Sample of an Annotated Bibliography. The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2010) ... An abstract is a descriptive summary of the content offered of a main ideas offered ...

  28. Annotated Bibliography

    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.

  29. Citation & Annotated Bibliography

    MLA Style Examples: Book: Works Cited List: Olsen, Dale A. Music of El Dorado: the Ethnomusicology of Ancient South American Cultures.UP of Florida, 2002. In-text:(Olsen 25) Scholarly Article: Works Cited List: Latartara, John."The Timbre of Thai Classical Singing."