An annotated bibliography is the full APA Reference of a source followed by notes and commentary about a source. The word “annotate” means “critical or explanatory notes” and the word “bibliography” means “a list of sources”. Annotations are meant to be critical in addition to being descriptive.
For annotated bibliographies, use standard APA format for the citations, then add a brief entry, including:
• 2 to 4 sentences to summarize the main idea(s) of the source.
- What are the main arguments?
- What is the point of this book/article?
- What topics are covered?
• 1 or 2 sentences to assess and evaluate the source.
- How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography?
- Is this information reliable? current?
- Is the author credible? have the background to write on this topic?
- Is the source objective or biased?
• 1 or 2 sentences to reflect on the source.
- Was this source helpful to you?
- How can you use this source for your research project?
- Has it changed how you think about your topic?
The format for an annotated bibliography is similar to that of a research paper.