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Caleb S.

Annotated Bibliography Example and Writing Tips

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Annotated Bibliography Examples

Are you a research student trying to write an annotated bibliography for your project?

We understand that it's not an easy task. Especially if you don't know how to write and format your annotations. That is why you need examples to help you out.

If you are having trouble understanding the format and need examples of how to get started, then this guide is for you.

In this blog, we will provide annotated bibliography examples and writing tips to help you create your own bibliography quickly and easily. 

So continue reading!

On This PageArrow Down

  • 1. What is an Annotated Bibliography
  • 2. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography?
  • 3. Annotated Bibliography Example - MLA Style
  • 4. Annotated Bibliography Example - Chicago Style
  • 5. Annotated Bibliography Example Harvard
  • 6. Annotated Bibliography Example Turabian
  • 7. Examples of Different Types of Annotated Bibliography

What is an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources with a brief summary and explanation. 

The first part is a simple citation and then comes a brief explanation of the source, which is 150-200 words long. The length of the annotation will also be according to your teacher’s requirements.

The main purpose of creating an annotated bibliography is to analyze the sources. Besides, they are also helpful for other researchers, authors of annotations, and teachers. Moreover, it helps in honing a student’s writing and critical analysis skills.

What Does an Annotated Bibliography Look Like?

An annotated bibliography usually contains the following elements for each source:

  • Citation in an accepted format, such as MLA or APA
  • A brief description of the content and purpose of the source
  • An evaluation of the source's reliability, accuracy, and usefulness
  • Relevant information that may not be included in the citation, such as the author's credentials or other works by the same author
  • A reflection on how the source contributes to the research project
  • The relevance of the source to its context.

The annotations for each source should be concise and to the point. However, they should also provide enough information for readers to understand the relevance of the source.

Check out the video below to see how an annotated bibliography looks like in practice:

How to Write an Annotated Bibliography?

Below are the steps to write an annotated bibliography;

  • Analyze the sources properly.
  • Add the citation and follow the given format like MLA, APA, or Chicago.
  • Add the annotation afterward. The annotation is a short and brief summary of the source.
  • Discuss the qualification of the author. Tell the readers why he is qualified to write the paper or conduct the cited research.
  • Evaluate the source in a few lines.
  • Add self-reflection and personal evaluation at the end of the annotation.

Expert Tip

Check out this list of possible annotated bibliography topics for help!

You will understand how to write an annotated bibliography better after going through the examples discussed in this blog.

Here an example to prepare an annotated bibliography:

Pardo, M S. (1998). Mexican American women activists : Identity and resistance in two Los Angeles communities. Philadelphia :
Temple University Press.

This article describes the development and growth of two community-based organizations that provided Latinas in Los Angeles with the tools to effectively confront social justice issues. It outlines the actions taken by Latina members of these neighboring communities as they mobilized to create constructive and unified solutions to perceived threats against them. It further examines how their collective efforts have resulted in meaningful progress in addressing social disparities and inequities. Ultimately, it highlights the importance of community-led efforts in striving towards a more just society through a results-focused approach.

Here is another introduction for annotated bibliography example:

Prop, Jouke, et al. "Climate change and the increasing impact of polar bears on bird populations." Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3 (2015): 33.

This research studied the behavior and habitat of polar bears in the light of changing climatic conditions in the arctic. 

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely heavily on sea ice for hunting seals, but as the Arctic continues to warm at an alarming rate and sea ice contracts, these top predators are being forced to find alternate sources of food. This research analyzed time series of polar bear observations in Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and east Greenland, revealing that the probability of encountering bears on land has increased significantly since the 1970s/80s. 

This coincided with shorter ice seasons in these areas, resulting in an inverse relationship between polar bear appearance and the length of sea ice season. The authors conclude that a few bears have adapted their behavior to survive the consequences of vanishing sea ice due to climate change. 

This study contributes to a growing literature about the effects of climate change on biodiversity in the Arctic region, and the methods used can be replicated in studying other regions and species as well.

Annotated Bibliography Example - APA Style

One of the most commonly used annotated bibliography styles is APA, developed by the American Psychological Association. It is used in a diverse set of fields, from hard sciences to social sciences. If your teacher has not specified any citation style, using APA is the safest bet.

If you are doing an annotated bibliography according to APA format, the first thing you should consider is the citation. Make sure that you format the link of the journal, book, or article that you use, in APA format style. 

After the citation, write an indented paragraph, giving a brief explanation of what is stated in the respective citation or source. An example of annotated bibliography, APA is mentioned below.

Annotated Bibliography Example APA 7

APA 7th edition is one of the editions of APA that is still widely used. Knowing how to write your annotated bibliography using these guidelines can help you throughout your academic career.

Here is an example of an annotation in APA 7th style:

Annotated Bibliography Example - MLA Style

The MLA format is developed and named after the Modern Language Association. It is more commonly used in fields related to humanities, including religion, literature, and others.

Now, coming down to the MLA format, the only changes will be in the citation. The annotation part will stay the same. A better way to explain this is by giving examples. Examples of annotated bibliography MLA are as follows.

Annotated Bibliography Example MLA 9

The Modern Language Association (MLA) 9th edition is a widely-used formatting style for research and academic papers. It is recommended by many universities and scholarly organizations, as it provides guidelines that's easy to read and follow.

Annotated Bibliography Example - Chicago Style

Similar to APA and MLA, in Chicago style annotated bibliography, the main thing that changes is the citation format. The annotation pretty much follows the same pattern as we have discussed above.

Below is a Chicago style annotated bibliography example:

As you can see, this is an example of an annotated bibliography in its simplest form. In the above example, the writer has only given a brief explanation of what the paper is about. The main focus of the small brief is to talk about the project the book has worked on.

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Annotated Bibliography Example Harvard

Harvard format is a widely used referencing style. It is primarily used in the field of humanities and social sciences to cite sources in academic writing. In Harvard format, a detailed reference list is given at the end of the document. 

An annotation is Harvard is similar to other styles, except for the difference in the citation. Here is an example:

Annotated Bibliography Example Turabian

Turabian format is a style of writing developed by Kate L. Turabian in her book A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 

It is designed to provide guidelines for the general structure and format of academic papers written at the college or university level. It is based on Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) but includes several unique features and provides more flexibility for students who are not experts in the style. 

The example below shows how to write an annotated bibliography in the Turabian style.

Examples of Different Types of Annotated Bibliography

There are four different types of annotated bibliographies:

  • Descriptive Annotated Bibliography
  • Evaluative Annotated Bibliography
  • Informative Annotated Bibliography
  • Combination Annotated Bibliography

Each type demands a different style of writing the annotation. Let’s take a look at each type of bibliography with examples:

Descriptive Annotated Bibliography 

An indicative annotated bibliography, also known as a descriptive type of annotation, gives you an overview and explanation of the citation or reference.

This citation covers:

  • The main theme and content of the material
  • A concise overview of its most important points


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

Ten essays about the writing curriculum, teaching writing in other disciplines, and techniques for using writing to learn. They include Toby Fulwiler's "Writing: An Act of Cognition"; Barbara King's "Using Writing in Mathematics Class: Theory and Practice"; Dean Drenk's "Teaching Finance Through Writing"; and Elaine Maimon's "Writing Across the Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future."

Evaluative Annotated Bibliography

An evaluative bibliography is an invaluable tool that allows you to assess the validity and accuracy of a source. More in-depth than a regular bibliography, it involves summarizing main ideas as well conducting critical judgment and offering personal opinion about its content. 

This means that you will need to look at the big picture, as well as smaller details. You will also need to provide your own thoughts on it. With this kind of annotation at hand, assessing any text becomes effortless!


Gurko, Leo. (1968). Ernest Hemingway and the pursuit of heroism. New York: Crowell.

This book is about a writer from the 20th century named Hemingway. He wrote many books and was famous for writing about his life. There is a quick summary of him at the beginning, but then it gets into his work. There are two sections to this book: biography and works by Hemingway. 

The biography is short, easy to read, and sounds like it's just telling you what happened in his life without giving any details or going deep into anything. The section on his work goes over every one of his books in detail and also tells you how they were received by critics when they were published.

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Informative Annotated Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of the Informative type is just like its name suggests, providing a summary of the source. This bibliography does not contain any personal views or opinions. Instead, it simply presents factual information such as arguments and research data.

This type of annotation includes an overview only without making value judgments on the content presented in it. Specifically, it contains

  • The thesis of the paper
  • The main hypothesis of the paper
  • The data and evidence presented in the study
  • Results of the study


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

The socialization of disabled children in schools has been a hot topic for many years. We've seen more and more services made available to these kids as they come into contact with them regularly, which is prompting new questions about how their attitudes will change over time.

A study of 2,392 children found four factors that affect their attitudes towards kids with disabilities. The first factor is social-contact willingness: how willing they are to have contact and play with others who may be different than them?\

The second factor is deviance consequation: the likelihood that an individual will act in ways that could result in being excluded or bullied by other kids for engaging with someone outside one's typical peer group.

Thirdly, there were two different kinds of contact that were measured - both how to communicate during interactions and how to deal with people who have needs that are different than most people.

This is a study that shows that children who are in schools with severely handicapped peers, or girls, have more accepting attitudes. We must develop interventions to help these children accept people with different abilities.

Combination Annotated Bibliography

By blending two or more kinds of annotations, annotated bibliographies typically include the writer's own perspective at their conclusion. As such, many writers combine multiple types of annotation in order to create a comprehensive overview for readers.


Morris, Joyce 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.

The report explores how large-scale English children’s reading standards are related to conditions - size classes, organization types, and methods of teaching. 60 schools from Kent were surveyed where the kids were learning English as their first language.

Studying everything about these kids included meticulous research techniques that explored whether there was any correlation between family background or the social environment that affected their learning process.

In short,

The above examples can help as your starting points for writing an effective annotated bibliography.

However, if it still seems too overwhelming, know our legit essay writing service is here to help! Our team is experienced in crafting the right annotated bibliographies in any citation style. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography?

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The parts of an annotated bibliography include a title, annotation, and citation. The format of the citation and title page could be different and according to the format the annotation is following. 

How long should an annotated bibliography be?

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Usually, an annotated bibliography is between 150 and 200 words. However, the length could vary, depending on the kind of referencing format you use. For example, Chicago style annotation would be shorter than APA and MLA style. 

What are the 3 types of annotations?

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The 3 kinds of annotations are descriptive, summary, and evaluation. However, you can use any of these types or even all three of them in your annotation bibliography. 

Where do you put the annotated bibliography?

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Like the References and Works Cited page, an annotated bibliography is also placed at the end of the paper or essay. Instead of giving a list of references only, an annotated bibliography explains the sources to the readers. 

Who is the audience for an annotated bibliography?

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Usually, the audience for the annotated bibliography is the authors of other books and annotations, researchers, and instructors. Besides, it also guides the professors in assessing the kind of sources a student has used in his work. 

How many articles should be in an annotated bibliography?

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You should aim at adding at least 15 to 20 entries in your annotated bibliography. But, it depends on the kind of paper and your teacher’s requirements also. 

How to write a critical annotated bibliography?

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  • Mention and explain the strengths and weaknesses of the source. 
  • How is it relevant to and useful for the paper or work? 
  • How does the source compare to other sources, articles, papers, and books? 

Answer all these questions when working on your critical annotated bibliography. 

How do you explain credibility in an annotated bibliography?

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Inform the readers that the sources are from credible and recognized authors. Check the established and reputable institutes with which the author is affiliated. In case of citing a paper from a journal, make sure that the journal is credible. 

Can you quote in an annotated bibliography?

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Yes, you can add quotes from the chosen source. Usually, an annotation is no longer than 150 to 200 words. Try to use the same kind of language that the author has used and place the quote within the quotation marks. 

Does an annotated bibliography need an introduction and conclusion?

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Please check your assignment’s guidelines or instructions. If you are adding it in place of the references or bibliography, then it will not need a separate introduction and conclusion. If it is a standalone assignment then you may need to add it. 

Can you use websites in an annotated bibliography?

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Yes, you can add relevant, credible, and reputable websites in your annotated bibliography. However, make sure that you add relevant sites only that could offer greater insight into your topic. 

What is the main advantage of having to write an annotated bibliography?

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Here are the benefits of writing an annotated bibliography; 

  • It helps you in evaluating the credibility and authority of the added sources. 
  • It helps you understand the sources completely and in a better manner. 
  • It helps the readers know about your research and the kind of sources used in it. 

Besides, it also helps in making the students’ writing skills better. 

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Caleb S.


Caleb S.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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