Nova A.
Nova A.

Annotated Bibliography Template: How to Make Writing Research Easier

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Published on: Mar 2, 2023

Last updated on: Mar 21, 2023

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Writing an annotated bibliography can be an intimidating task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. 

You need to find the right sources, analyze them and then write a summary of each source. It takes time and effort to get it done correctly. has got you covered! Our annotated bibliography template makes this process easier. It provides you with an organized structure for collecting all of your research information in one place. 

This blog will walk you through what an annotated bibliography is, why it’s important, and how to create one. So, let’s get started!

What is Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that you use to support your research. The sources can be books, articles, websites, or any other type of source. Each entry in the bibliography includes a citation and an annotation. 

The annotation is a short summary of the source that helps the reader understand why it was included in the bibliography. 

It also explains how the source is relevant to the research topic. Moreover, provides additional context for evaluating it. 

Expert Tip

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

What Does an Annotation Include?

An annotation should include the following:

A brief summary of the content of the source that is relevant to your research 
An evaluation of how useful or reliable the source is for your research 
A few keywords or phrases that can be used to search for more sources on this topic

Here is a pdf template that you can use to create an annotated bibliography. 

Types of Annotations

Annotations can be written in different ways depending on the purpose of your research. Here are some types of annotations you may need to write:

Indicative/Descriptive Annotations

These annotations provide a brief description of the source, summarizing its content and main points. They help you decide which sources are most helpful to your research. 

For example

Zachs, Mitch. The Little Book of Stock Market Profits. John Wiley & Sons, 2011. 

This book is a comprehensive guide to the stock market, providing readers with invaluable advice on how to maximize their returns. Through its insightful chapters - "Understanding the Markets," "Using Profits to Achieve Your Elusive Goals" and "The Challenge of Investing" - this text offers practical steps for achieving success in the world of investing. Enlightening tips from experts will help you make informed decisions when it comes time to buy or sell stocks and build lasting wealth.

Informative/Summary Annotations

These annotations provide a summary of the source’s main arguments along with the various topics covered. This is where you show why this source was essential and made it to your list. 

See an example of informative annotations here.

Doerr, John. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs. Penguin. 2018.

This book is written by Doerr, who is the chair of a venture capitalist group. The book describes how a business organization can use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to establish targets, measure progress, and track results in order to achieve their goals. It offers insight into the different aspects of OKRs, including how to set and communicate them effectively. This is a valuable resource for anyone looking to understand the process of setting goals and measuring progress toward them. 

Evaluation Annotations

These annotations go beyond summarizing and provide an evaluation of the source. You will want to look at the reliability of the information and any bias it may have. 

Here is an example:

Wilson, John Philip. When the Texans Come: Missing Records from the Civil War in the Southwest. UNM Press, 2001.

This book looks at the missing records from the Civil War in the Southwest and how they impact our current understanding of the conflict. The author draws on primary sources such as letters, diaries, newspapers, and oral histories to provide a detailed account of events. While this book is reliable due to its use of historical evidence, it should be noted that it had a pro-Confederate bias. This should be taken into consideration when using the information from this book. 

Combination Annotations

The three types of annotations - indicative, informative, and evaluation - can all be combined into one for an annotated bibliography. This way, you can provide a brief summary of the content along with an evaluation of its usefulness in your research. Here is an example: 

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. Ace Books, 1984.

This classic sci-fi novel by William Gibson is set in a dystopian future and follows the story of a computer hacker as he attempts to make his way in the world. The book paints a vivid picture of a grim reality, exploring themes such as technology, artificial intelligence, and identity. While it is an entertaining read, it also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked technological advancement. This is an important source for anyone looking to gain insight into how technology can shape our world in both positive and negative ways.

Writing Styles for Annotations

Annotations come in many forms and can be written in a variety of styles. For annotations that vary in length, three distinct formats are traditionally utilized.

1- Phrases - Short, impactful phrases that present the data effectively and rapidly. 
2- Sentences – Construct complete sentences with punctuation and proper grammar to ensure comprehension is not compromised by brevity.  
3- Paragraphs – Utilize longer annotations that subdivide information into separate sections for a more organized appearance.

Free Annotated Bibliography Templates

In this section, we will provide you with invaluable annotated bibliography templates that can be downloaded and used as a reference.

Apa 7th Edition Annotated Bibliography Template

Looking for ideas to write your APA annotated bibliography? We have an excellent pdf of Apa style annotated bibliography template for you. 

Take a look at the PDF attached!

Expert Tip

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

MLA Format Annotated Bibliography Template

We have an amazing template that can help get you started on your MLA annotated bibliography. Download the PDF attached and make use of this helpful resource today!

Ready to discover more about MLA format? Don't miss out on this invigorating video!

Chicago Style Annotated Bibliography Template

Ready to kickstart your Chicago-style annotated bibliography? Our remarkable template is here to help you on your journey. 

Download the attached PDF now and let it become your guide to success!

Critical Annotated Bibliography Template

Templates are an easy way to get help with formatting your critical annotated bibliography. Download our template and make sure that you follow all the guidelines for a perfect result.

Expert Tip

Are you in need of some inspiration? Then click the link to uncover an infinite selection of captivating annotated bibliography topics!

To sum it up! writing annotated bibliographies can be tricky without the right help. Luckily, this template guide provides essential details on different types of annotations. It definitely makes constructing a perfect bibliography easier than ever! 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is composed of three distinct elements: 

  • Title
  • Annotation
  • Citation

To start off with the title - it should be short yet descriptive of what your source material entails. The annotation comprises a concise overview along with any thoughts you may have on that particular work. Lastly, make sure to adhere to whatever style guidelines are required for this assignment (e.g., MLA style, APA formatting, Chicago).

How do I write an annotated bibliography?

Here are the steps for writing an annotated bibliography:

  • Establish your style guide (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago).
  • Create a citation for each source material
  • Write a concise summary of the source material 
  • Include a reflection on the quality/appropriateness of the source material and its usefulness in relation to your research paper.
  • Provide an accurate bibliographic citation at the end of each annotation.
  • Finally, review and proofread your reference list.
Nova A.


Nova A., Thesis, Literature

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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