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APA Style Annotated Bibliography: Definition and Examples

What is an annotated bibliography? Why write an annotated bibliography? How is an annotated bibliography summary written?

Annotated Bibliographies

A bibliography is a list of sources on a particular topic. Put together, an annotated bibliography is a list of sources on a topic that offers a summary for each source.

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations (or references) for books, articles, documents, etc: all the sources used for your research, with an accompanying paragraph that describes, explains and/or evaluates each entry in terms of quality, authority and relevance.

What is included in the summary part of an annotated bibliography?

Your summary should include the following elements:

(1) a sentence or two that describes the author's credentials, purpose, and audience.

(2) a brief summary of its content, and is this source answering the research question; clarifying your understanding of the research; reviewing the literature of the research, etc.

(3) a sentence at the end of the summary that explains its value to the student.

5-minute Video: Formatting APA Annotated Bibliography

Looking for Scholarly Annotated Bibliographies?

Sample APA Annotations

Your professor may require some variation of standard APA-style annotation. Two examples are illustrated below.

STANDARD APA ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY FORMAT

NOTE:  

  • Annotated Bibliography is double-spaced throughout.

  • Full Citation precedes annotation.

  • Hanging indent for first line of each reference cited.