Cathy A.
Cathy A.

A Comprehensive Guide to Writing an Annotated Bibliography in APA Format

6 min read

Published on: Feb 23, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

annotated bibliography apa

Ah, the annotated bibliography. 

A task that can seem totally overwhelming - where do you even start? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! 

You lack confidence in exactly how to format and compose an annotated bibliography in the APA  style guide... but have no fear! 

We have compiled a comprehensive guide on putting together an awesomely effective and impressively accurate annotated bibliography.

Keep reading for all the best tips! This guide will take you from overwhelmed student to a pro-level author of the perfect annotated bibliography!

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Basics of Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is essentially a list of sources that you have used for research or reference purposes. It has annotations written about each source that explains its relevance and usefulness. 

Annotations can range from a few sentences to a single paragraph long, depending on the length requirements of the assignment. 

Annotations can include a: 

  • Summary of the source material
  • Your own reflections on it
  • Its relevance to your topic or research question
  • How it has influenced your argument or ideas. 

They should be written in your own words, as opposed to simply copying and pasting text from the original source. This is important for avoiding plagiarism. 

When writing an annotation for a source, it's important to remember that it should be objective.

Additionally, annotations should demonstrate your understanding of how the source relates back to your topic and overall argument.

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Components of an Annotated Bibliography 7th Edition

An annotated bibliography is like a supercharged version of a regular bibliography.

On top of listing your sources, it also includes information such as summaries, evaluations, and analyses. 

We’ll break down the components of an annotated bibliography in the 7th edition format. 

  • Citation Information 

You’ll need to include all relevant citation information for each source that you used in your paper or project. 

  • Summary 

The summary section will be slightly longer than the citation information section but still relatively brief. 

Here, you can write a brief summary (1-2 sentences) about the main idea behind each source listed in your bibliography. 

  • Evaluation 

In this section, you can go beyond just summarizing. You can provide a more detailed analysis and evaluation of each source listed in your bibliography. 

  • Analysis 

The analysis section provides an even deeper dive into what each source means for your work as a whole.

Annotated Bibliography APA 7 Example

Williams, P. (2020). How to Write an Annotated Bibliography in APA Format. The Classroom.

This resource is a step-by-step guide to writing an annotated bibliography in APA 7th Edition (2020) format. It provides clear explanations on how to organize each source citation and annotation in the correct order, as well as tips on what information should be included in each section. This article is useful for those needing an accessible introduction to the basics of APA 7th Edition annotated bibliographies.

Check out this informative video!

How to Write an Annotated bibliography APA 7th Edition?

Here are a few steps to make sure that you always compose the perfect annotated bibliography.

1. Gather the Necessary Information 

The first step in creating an annotated bibliography is gathering all the necessary information. 

For each source, you need to include the 

  • Author’s name,
  • The title of the work
  • Publication information
  • Brief description of the content. 

Additionally, if available, include any other relevant information such as volume number or page numbers. 

2. Evaluate Relevance and Usefulness 

Next up is evaluating sources and checking the relevance and usefulness of each source for your research topic. 

When assessing relevance and usefulness, think about how each source relates to your research topic. Evaluate whether it provides useful or important information on your subject matter. 

3. Analyze the Importance or Relevance 

After assessing the relevance of each source for your research topic, analyze its importance or relevance to your research topic. 

You should consider whether a particular source is essential to understand your research project.

4. List Sources Alphabetically 

Once you have determined which sources are relevant and important for your research project. 

To make sure that everything looks neat, be sure to use hanging indents when formatting. 

It will ensure that all lines after the first line are indented from the left margin by 1 inch (2 tabs).

APA Annotated Bibliography Formatting Guidelines

APA annotated bibliography formatting guidelines are an important part of any research paper.

When using the APA writing style, it is essential to understand to properly format your citations and references.

In terms of formatting your annotated bibliography, it’s important to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Your entries should be alphabetically ordered and double-spaced. 
  • For each annotation, include a brief summary and/or evaluation of the source. 
  • Provide any necessary background information on the topic or author. 
  • Include the bibliographic information for each source at the beginning of the annotation in APA format. 
  • Each entry should be no more than 200 words. 
  • Identify gaps in existing research and suggest potential topics for future research.
  • When referring to information from a source, cite the source in APA style. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your annotated bibliography is accurately and properly formatted according to APA standards. 

This will help make your research paper professional and credible.

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Examples of Annotated Bibliography APA 

Struggling with APA 7th edition Annotated Bibliography formatting? has the perfect solution! 

Our examples are designed to get you started in writing your own bibliography.

With our help, learn quickly how to construct a successful Annotated Bibliography in no time at all!

Annotated Bibliography APA 7th Edition Template

It is essential to know how to compile sources correctly if you want to create a comprehensive annotated bibliography.

To be sure your work meets these standards, consider using an example from experts who understand this format.

Title Page for Annotated Bibliography APA

An annotated bibliography APA typically begins with a title page that is essential to your bibliography. 

It allows the reader to easily identify which sources you have used and any conclusions you may have drawn from them. 

To make sure that your annotated bibliography has an effective, appropriately formatted title page, here's an example for reference!

This blog has provided all the information, examples, and templates for writing an effective annotated bibliography.

We hope that you are now on your way to composing a perfect annotated bibliography!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography APA?

The 3 parts of an APA annotated bibliography are the citation, summary, and evaluation. The citation is a reference to the source you used for your research. 

The summary is a brief (usually about 150 words) description that summarizes the main points of your source.

How long should an APA annotated bibliography be?

In general, a minimum length of 150 words per source is recommended.

However, if you are working on a longer project or dissertation, your annotations may be substantially longer.

Cathy A.


Cathy A. (Marketing, Thesis)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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