Annotated Bibliography: Overview

About this Guide

This guide explains the purpose and process of writing annotated bibliographies, provides information on what constitutes an annotation and offers practical suggestions on how to write an annotation. 

The content of the guide was developed using the following resources:

American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: The official guide to APA style (7th ed.). American Psychological Association.

King, J. (2010). How to write an annotated bibliography. Access24(4), 34-37. 

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University 

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An Annotated Bibliography is a list of sources on a particular topic. Sources may include books, journal articles, credible online documents and webpages. The usual format of an Annotated Bibliography is a citation presented in a specific referencing style followed by a concise annotation with information on the content, topic relevance, and quality of the cited source.


An annotated bibliography includes two main sections:

a reference

The reference will present the details of the source in accordance with the referencing style


an annotation 

The annotation section contains a short description, an evaluation of each source, and whether the information from that particular source is relevant to the particular topic and examines the quality of the work.