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APA Style Annotated Bibliography

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

Annotated Bibliographies

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 how this source is answering the research question, clarifying your understanding of the research, and/or reviewing the literature of the research, etc.

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

Sample APA Style Annotated Bibliographies






  • Annotated Bibliography is double-spaced throughout.

  • Full Citation precedes annotation.

  • Hanging indent for first line of each reference cited.



This Annotated Bibliography from the Lake-Sumter State College is a good example of APA style citations, accompanied by concise and descriptive annotations.