Nova A.
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Top 5 Annotated Bibliography Examples You Can Follow

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Published on: Feb 27, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 4, 2023

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You're staring at a blinking cursor, wondering how to even begin an annotated bibliography. 

It feels impossible, doesn't it? But don't worry, you're not alone. Most students feel overwhelmed when they have to do annotations for the first time.

Don't worry, we've got your back. Here are some annotated bibliography examples that will help you get started. Plus, we've included tips on how to write annotations so you can knock this assignment out of the park.

So without further ado, let's get started.

What Is An Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of references with brief descriptions or summaries of the texts. When you create an annotated bibliography, you evaluate your sources in order to provide a better understanding of their relevancy to the topic.

This helps you to create a stronger argument while writing your research paper.

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What Does an Annotated Bibliography Look Like? 

An annotated bibliography is typically organized by the author’s last name, or by subject if category. Each entry includes two parts: 

  • A citation 
  • An annotation.

The citation usually follows the format of either an MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) format. The annotation follows the citation and is usually about two to four paragraphs in length. It should include a summary of the source’s main points.

Expert Tip

Are you in need of an all-inclusive tutorial on annotated bibliography? Check out this link for the comprehensive guide!

How To Write An Annotated Bibliography? Examples

When writing an annotation for a source, there are four steps to consider: 

1. Summarize the text 
2. Analyze the text’s content and style 
3. Explain why you think this text is relevant to your research topic
4. Reflect on how the source could be used in your research paper

Let's take a  look at an annotated bibliography example that you can use as a guide.

Example: Smith, J. (2020). The History of Ancient Greece. Oxford University Press.

Annotation: This is an authoritative resource on the history of ancient Greece and its culture. It covers major themes such as politics, social dynamics, religion, and philosophy in detail, and examines how they shaped the development of the civilization. The text is well-documented and provides insights into the era.

This annotation summarizes the text and analyzes its content and style. It also explains why it's relevant to the research topic, and reflects on how it could be used in the paper. 

The introduction should include the research topic, the types of sources included, and how you found the sources. The focus of this assignment is on the sources, not the introduction, so keep this part brief. 

Here is an example: 

Trevor, C.O., Lansford, B. and Black, J.W., 2004, ‘Employee turnover and job performance: monitoring the influences of salary growth and promotion’, Journal of Armchair Psychology, vol 113, no.1, pp. 56-64.
This article, written by Trevor, Lansford, and Black in 2004 and published in the
Journal of Armchair Psychology, investigates the effects of salary growth and
promotion on employee turnover and job performance. Focusing on the influences
that these factors have on employees, this study aims to better understand how
they shape decisions made within a workplace.

Expert Tip

Need more inspiration for your Bibliography? We've compiled additional helpful annotated bibliography topics- just follow this link!

Annotated Bibliography Example APA

APA stands for American Psychological Association. APA formatting is one of the most commonly used forms of citation in academic writing. It is often used in fields such as psychology, education, linguistics, and social sciences. 

Formatting Tips for Your Annotated Bibliography APA 

Here are some key formatting tips to keep in mind when writing your annotated bibliography in APA style: 

  • Alphabetize entries by author's last name 
  • Indent each entry after the first line by 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) using a hanging indent 
  • Include an annotation for each source that provides a summary of its content and relevance to your research topic 
  • Follow guidelines for citing each type of source according to APA style (i.e., books, journal articles, websites). 

Annotated Bibliography Example APA 7

Samples are a great way to get an idea of how your annotated bibliography should look. Here are two PDF examples of a citation and annotation in APA 7 format: 

Expert Tip

Searching for more information on APA style? Check out our annotated bibliography APA comprehensive guide - just click this link and get inspired!

Annotated Bibliography Example MLA

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. It is used by scholars and students in many fields such as literature, cultural studies, linguistics, and more. 

Basic Formatting Tips 

When using MLA style there are several key steps that must be taken to ensure accuracy. Here are some basic tips for getting started: 

  • Make sure all sources are properly cited in-text with author name(s) and page number(s). 
  • Create a separate ‘Works Cited’ page at the end of your paper listing all sources alphabetically by author last name (or title if no author). 
  • Use parenthetical citations whenever possible. For example: (Smith 12). 
  • Follow specific guidelines for formatting different types of sources such as books, websites, videos etc. 
  • Use double spacing throughout your entire paper including your ‘Works Cited’ page.

Annotated Bibliography Example MLA 9

Need to see what an MLA 9 bibliography entry looks like? Check out this comprehensive example of a citation and annotation in PDF form!

If you're looking to learn more about MLA format, watch this enlightening video now!

Annotated Bibliography Example Chicago

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is a style guide used by scholars, editors, and publishers for writing about a variety of topics. The CMS provides guidelines for citing sources in both print and digital formats.

Basic Formatting Tips:

When creating an annotated bibliography using the Chicago style, there are some formatting tips you should keep in mind: 

  • The citation should start with the author's last name followed by a comma and their first name.     
  • The title should be italicized.         
  • The annotation should follow after a double space. 
  • Start with a short summary sentence including the main idea of each source cited.  
  • Each annotation should be no more than 150 words long.   
  • Citations should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name at the end of your paper. 

See the PDF example of a Chicago Style format citation below to get an idea of how it should look.

Annotated Bibliography Example Harvard

Harvard referencing is a style often used in academic writing, particularly in the social sciences.

Harvard Style Formatting 

Here are some basic formatting tips to help you get started with your Harvard-style annotated bibliography: 

  • Cite all sources using author-date format. 
  • Alphabetize entries by author last name or title if no author is given. 
  • Double-space all lines in each entry and indent the first line of each entry by 0.5 inches (1 cm). 
  • Include page numbers when available for direct quotations from books or other print sources. 
  • Provide full publication information for each source listed at the end of your paper in a “References” section. 
  • If you are writing an undergraduate paper, limit your references to three pages. If it's a graduate paper, make sure that your references don’t exceed five pages.

Annotated Bibliography Example Turabian

The Turabian format is a style of academic writing based on Kate L. Turabian’s Manual. It is used for Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

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Turabian Style Basic Formatting Tips:

Here are some essential formatting tips to keep in mind when writing your bibliography using the Turabian style: 

  • Use Times New Roman font size 12 for your paper text  
  • Double-space all lines throughout your paper  
  • Include page numbers at the top right corner for each page  
  • Create a separate title page with the title centered horizontally   
  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides  
  • For notes use superscript numerals outside punctuation marks    
  • Place the bibliography at the end of your paper  
  • All entries should be alphabetically ordered according to the author's last name  
  • Begin each entry flush with the left margin; indent all subsequent lines by 0.5 inches   
  • Do not include URLs when citing online sources 

Different Types of Annotated Bibliography Examples

Creating annotations doesn't have to be a one-size-fits-all ordeal. There are plenty of ways to tailor your approach depending on what you intend for them. Consider the options: descriptive, summary, or evaluation - or even better yet, why not combine them? 

As you form your ideas, make sure that they meet the parameters outlined by your instructor! Here is a breakdown of the various types of annotations.

Indicative Annotated Bibliography

An indicative annotation provides a brief overview of the book or article and what it covers. It just gives readers an idea about the content, structure, and relevance of the work. 

Here’s a written example:

Griffin, C. (Ed.). (1982). Teaching writing in all disciplines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This book is an informative and comprehensive guide to the practice of teaching writing across the curriculum. Edited by Curtis Griffin, it is composed of ten essays written by a variety of authors on the topics of writing-across-the-curriculum programs, teaching writing in disciplines other than English, and teaching techniques for using writing as learning. Essays include Toby Fulwiler's "Writing: An Act of Cognition;" Barbara King's "Using Writing in the Mathematics Class: Theory and Practice;" Dean Drenk's "Teaching Finance Through Writing;" and Elaine P. Maimon's "Writing Across the Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future." The book offers an insightful look at the value of writing for promoting critical thinking and improving student learning outcomes. It is essential reading for anyone interested in expanding their understanding of teaching writing across disciplines.

Informative Annotated Bibliography

An informative annotation goes beyond simply giving a general overview of the source material. This type lays out important facts and details that are significant to the text. 

Let’s take a look at the example:

Voeltz, L.M. (1980). Children's attitudes toward handicapped peers. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 84, 455-464.

This article examines the attitudes that children have toward handicapped peers in integrated school settings. The study was conducted by Laura M. Voeltz, and it was published in the American Journal of Mental Deficiency in 1980. The study examined the responses from 2,393 children and revealed four factors underlying attitudes toward handicapped peers: social-contract willingness, deviance consecration, and two actual contact dimensions. Results showed that upper elementary-age children, girls, and children in schools with the most contacts with severely handicapped peers expressed the most accepting attitudes. This study provides valuable insight into understanding how children perceive and interact with their handicapped peers. 

Evaluative Annotated Bibliography

An evaluative annotation will evaluate the source material and explain how it meets or fails to meet certain criteria. It should also explain any potential strengths and weaknesses of the text in relation to its intended purpose. 

Below is the evaluation annotated bibliography example for you. Take a look:

Lange, Karl P. "Native American Medicines and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.” Journal of Western American History 51 (1992): 534-568.

In this article "Native American Medicines and the Lewis and Clark Expedition", Karl P. Lange presents a convincing argument that the success of the expedition was reliant upon the medicines provided by Native American tribes. Through extensive research, he examines passages from published journals and letters from expedition members to support his argument. He provides an extensive inventory of native medicines and illustrates numerous diagrams of plants used by the expedition. The article is well-written and provides detailed information backed up with evidence from the source material. Its intended purpose to provide insight into the contribution of Native American medicines to the Lewis and Clark Expedition is fulfilled effectively, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in this topic.

Combination Annotated Bibliography

A combination annotated bibliography is a combination of all types. It draws connections between different sources and explains how each contributes to the overall discussion. 

This type of annotation is great for research projects that require the synthesis of multiple sources. Check out the example below:

Morris, J.M. (1959). Reading in the primary school: An investigation into standards of reading and their association with primary school characteristics. London: Newnes, for National Foundation for Educational Research.

This large-scale investigation into English children's reading standards conducted by Morris (1959) is a significant work in the field of literacy education. The study, which was conducted in sixty schools in Kent, surveyed 8,000 children learning to read English as their mother tongue and focused on the size of classes, organization, and methods of teaching. It is notable for its thoroughness of research techniques. The findings of this report are still used today to inform best practices in reading instruction. 

For the researcher, student, or writer - annotated bibliographies are an invaluable asset. We've put together a handy guide covering types of annotations and examples. 

If you're still feeling stuck when it comes to crafting your perfect bibliography – is here to help! Our team delivers superior write my essay service. 

In addition, our writers provide top-tier assistance in putting together thoughtfully composed annotations worthy of distinction—making our service truly stand out as best among all!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography consists of three distinct parts - title, annotation, and citation.  The title gives a brief insight into what the source contains. Annotations provide summaries or observations about it. Citations then make sure that all resources are properly cited according to designated style guidelines such as MLA, APA, or Chicago formatting styles.

What is the easiest way to write an annotated bibliography?

Creating an annotated bibliography is best done by breaking the process into three main steps: 

  • Gathering sources
  • Writing summaries or annotations 
  • Compiling the list into a bibliography. 

How long should an annotated bibliography be?

Crafting an annotated bibliography typically takes between three and six sentences or approximately 150 words. Though if your research requires more thorough details, the annotation could lengthen to 300 words and beyond.

Nova A.


Nova A., Literature, Marketing

Nova Allison has eight years of experience writing both technical and scientific content. As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova focuses on developing online content plans that engage audiences. She strives to write pieces that are not only informative but also captivating.

Nova Allison has eight years of experience writing both technical and scientific content. As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova focuses on developing online content plans that engage audiences. She strives to write pieces that are not only informative but also captivating.

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