Annotated Bibliography Examples: Preparing and Creating

, Staff Writer
Updated June 15, 2022
student writing an annotated bibliography
    student writing an annotated bibliography
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Bibliographies cite sources that are used in a research paper. They help readers see where you got your information and point them to other works where they can learn more. Annotated bibliographies add extra information in the form of a short summary known as an annotation. Learning how to perfectly format an annotated bibliography can help you support your next research paper.

What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

The basic format for an annotated bibliography involves a citation followed by the annotation. While a regular bibliography offers a simple list of sources, an annotated bibliography goes a step further by including:

  • A summary of the information provided by the source
  • An evaluation explaining why or how the notation is a useful, valid source
  • An explanation of the source’s value or relevance

Some annotated bibliographies offer only summaries, while others offer all three components. All annotations are in third-person. Your annotation should also be succinct, so summarize the content, providing only information that describes and evaluates the source material.


APA Style Annotated Bibliography Example

The APA style is most common in science and technical documents, though it can be used in any scholarly journal article. This starts with the source citation in APA format followed by the annotation. The entire annotation is indented.

Baker, T. (1995). Gun control and you. Stevenson Learning Law Review, 45 (2), 180-193.

The author researches several federal and state firearms regulations and their effect on the everyday citizen. By testing his hypothesis that firearms regulations have an inherent effect on everyday citizens, findings yield in support of the hypothesis.

MLA Style Annotated Bibliography Example

If you have to write a paper for school, it’s probably going to be in MLA style. MLA is the most common style for high school and college research papers in language arts and humanities. This starts with the source citation in MLA format and the annotation. Only the first line of each paragraph in the annotation is indented in MLA style.

Johnson, Jaime. "Gun Control: Your Only Means of Defense.” Researcher's Special Journal (1999): 254-325.

     The author researches several federal and state firearms regulations and their effect on the everyday citizen. By testing his hypothesis that firearms regulations have an inherent effect on everyday citizens, findings yield in support of the hypothesis. In contrast, Baker cited in an earlier study the complete opposite.


Sample Annotated Bibliography

Understanding the general format for a single annotated citation, you simply have to repeat the process for all of the sources you used. The below example uses MLA format throughout and includes all three components of an annotation (the summary, evaluation and mention of relevance). However, not all annotated bibliographies require all three components.

Crohn’s and Colitis - An Annotated Bibliography

Crohn’s and colitis drug effective in trials. (2013). Medical News Today. Retrieved from:…

     Published on Medical News Today, this article discusses the research findings of two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Vedoluzimab is a drug being tested to help Crohn’s and Colitis patients deal with the debilitating effects of these diseases. The article briefly outlines the research suggesting effectiveness of the drug.

     MediLexicon International, the publisher of the article, is a UK-based healthcare publishing company that is dedicated to providing top-notch unbiased content. Publishing since 2003, this reputable company’s articles are reliable for use for research support.

Glover, Sonia B. Coping With Crohn’s, The Pain and The Laughter. Boulder Publications, 2007.

     This insightful account of one woman’s struggles with her symptoms and diagnosis of Crohn’s provides valuable personal information for those struggling with Crohn’s.

     Published by Boulder Publications, a self-proclaimed “publisher of high-quality books,” this book is a useful tool to understand Crohn’s disease. It is a reliable resource for anecdotal information about Crohn’s disease.

Linking Vitamin D deficiency to inflammatory bowel disease. (2013). Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Journal. Retrieved from:…

     A comprehensive scholarly article about the links between Vitamin D and inflammatory bowel diseases, this piece offers scientific information about how Vitamin D works within the body and information from a wide variety of doctors and researchers that supports a link between the vitamin and IBD disorders.

     Scientific and evidence-based, this journal article from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundations of America’s journal is a highly useful resource to support the topic of this paper.

No reservations - How to take the worry out of eating out. (2013). Take Charge Magazine. Retrieved from:…

     An insightful article, this piece gives information to those suffering from Crohn’s and Colitis to help to ease the anxiety and stress of eating outside of the home.

     Including information that is research-based, and published by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, this resource is highly reliable and gives a useful context for the information within this research paper.