Barbara P
Barbara P

Top Annotated Bibliography Examples to Get You Started

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Published on: Feb 27, 2023

Last updated on: Mar 21, 2023

Annotated bibliography Examples

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You're stuck on how to start your annotated bibliography and you don't want to get it wrong. 

You want your annotation to stand out, but it's hard to know what format or style is expected of you.

Our guide provides five expert-approved examples that will help make your assignment stand out. With our examples, creating an outstanding annotation is easier than ever before.

So put on your thinking cap; let's explore what we've got in store for you!

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.

The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. In addition, an annotated bibliography may also include:

  • A summary of the key points/arguments in the source
  • Relevant quotes from the source
  • An indication of how the source is relevant to your research

Now that you know what an annotated bibliography is, let’s take a look at what it looks like.

What Does an Annotated Bibliography Look Like? 

An annotated bibliography typically follows the following format:

  • Citation--This is the reference for the source following a certain formatting style. Commonly used styles include MLA, APA formatting, and Harvard referencing.
    Each citation should be followed by a brief summary or evaluation of the source, known as the annotation.
  • Annotation--This is the descriptive and evaluative part of the annotation. It should include a summary of the source’s main ideas. 
    In addition, how the source is relevant to your research, and a comparison with other sources.
    The annotation may also include the author's background or qualifications, the intended audience, and any biases or limitations of the source.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Annotated Bibliography 

If you’re wondering how to write an annotated bibliography example, then this guide is here to help!

1. Choose the type of sources. You may use books, articles from academic journals or magazines, websites, and other types of sources. It's important to make sure that all of your sources are valid and reliable. 

2. Create a list of the sources you plan to use. Be sure to include all pertinent information about each source such as author name(s), title, publication date, etc. This will make it easier for you when it's time to actually write your annotations for each source.  

3. Read and summarize each source. This summary should provide enough detail so that the reader can get a good idea about the source.

4. Include any additional information. Add any bold claims made by an author or if there is any new information that is relevant.

5. Proofread your annotations. Once you have written the summaries for each source, be sure to go through them before submitting your work! There should be no typos or errors in grammar or punctuation. These mistakes can hurt your credibility as a researcher and writer! 

These steps can ensure that you write an effective annotated bibliography!

Expert Tip

Still need help? Check out this detailed blog on annotated bibliography to gain deeper insight!

Annotated Bibliography Example 

Here's an example of an annotated bibliography for a book:

Doe, Jane. 2020. The Power of Empathy: How to Connect with Others and Create Lasting Change. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY. 

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the power of empathy and how it can be used to create lasting change. It discusses how empathy can be used to build relationships with others, explore the motivations and emotions behind peoples’ actions, and foster understanding between people from different backgrounds. The book also includes real-life examples of how empathy can be used in various areas of life, from resolving conflicts to promoting social justice. This book is an essential read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the power of empathy and create meaningful connections with others.

Introduction for Annotated Bibliography Example

It is important to write an introduction for your annotations. Make sure it tells the reader about the subject and where those resources came from. 

But don't worry about making it too long. Just write what you need to and list the sources you used at the end.

Here is an example of an introduction to an annotated bibliography:

Trevor, C.O., Lansford, B. and Black, J.W., 2004, ‘Employee turnover and job performance: monitoring the influences of salary growth and promotion’, Journal of Armchair Psychology, vol 113, no.1, pp. 56-64.

This article examines the role of salary growth and promotion on employee turnover and job performance. It uses data from a large company to analyze the effects of these two factors on turnover and job performance.

This example shows what a typical introduction for an annotated bibliography looks like. 

Annotated Bibliography Example APA

An annotated bibliography in the American Psychological Association (APA) style lets researchers find study materials quickly. APA style is used in fields such as education, psychology, and the social sciences.

To correctly cite sources within an APA annotation requires following certain guidelines; for example: 

  • Font should be Times New Roman 12pt font size throughout  
  • Double-spacing all lines   
  • Paragraphs are indented    
  • References page on own page

Annotated Bibliography Example APA 7

An APA 7th edition annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation.

Here’s an example PDF to help you:

Expert Tip

Check out this detailed guide on annotated bibliography APA to learn more!

Annotated Bibliography Example MLA

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is one of the most widely-used bibliographic formats. It is common in middle school through college-level research papers. It's used in fields of arts and humanities such as:

  • Language
  • Literature
  • History
  • Fine Arts

A bibliography with annotations is a compilation of sources, including books and articles, each accompanied by a brief description. An annotation is a brief description or explanation of the source.

APA annotation requires following certain guidelines; for example: 

  • Font should be Times New Roman 12pt font size throughout  
  • Double-spacing all lines   
  • Paragraphs are indented    
  • References page on own page

Check out this sample annotated bibliography in MLA:

Check out this video of tips for writing an annotated for any format.

Annotated Bibliography Example MLA 9

Annotated bibliography in MLA 9 is a great way to help structure your research paper. The proper use of an annotated bibliography helps you create a comprehensive research paper.

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Annotated Bibliography Example Chicago

Chicago-style formatting is a popular choice for citing sources. It is often used in writing and research within the humanities, social sciences, and historical review.

It follows a specific set of formatting guidelines including: 

  • Endnotes or footnotes at the bottom page with corresponding numbers to find source material in the bibliography  
  • Annotated bibliographies listed alphabetically by title after the document ends 
  • Text left justified & double spaced lines used throughout

View this example to get an idea of how to format the annotated bibliography in Chicago style:

Annotated Bibliography Example Harvard

Harvard-style formatting is a popular choice for academic papers. It requires that authors cite their sources both in the text and on the reference list at the end.

An annotated bibliography example from Harvard includes extra bits, such as: 

  • Brief summaries of each source  
  • Descriptions outlining content & scope  
  • Insight into the reliability & importance to the topic

Annotated Bibliography Example Turabian

The Turabian style is a popular choice for formatting academic papers in fields like history and social sciences. It takes elements from the Chicago Manual of Style to make paper writing easier for students.

Key features include:

  • Formatting references & bibliography
  • Annotated Bibliographies with Harvard examples - can range from one-sentence summaries up to detailed descriptions
  • Giving your paper extra depth through insight into how reliable sources are & their importance on the topic

Different Types of Annotated Bibliography Examples

An annotated bibliography can be used for various purposes. Depending on the type of work you are doing, there may be different types of annotations that your professor requires.

Here are the different types of annotated bibliographies:

Indicative Annotated Bibliography

An indicative annotated bibliography is a list of sources with brief descriptions of each item. It is often used to help readers find resources for their research quickly.

This type of bibliography allows readers to quickly access relevant and valuable information. So they can determine which sources are worth exploring and studying further.

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

This book is an informative and comprehensive guide to the practice of teaching writing across the curriculum. Edited by Curtis Griffin, it is composed of ten essays written by a variety of authors on the topics of writing-across-the-curriculum programs, teaching writing in disciplines other than English, and teaching techniques for using writing as learning. Essays include Toby Fulwiler's "Writing: An Act of Cognition;" Barbara King's "Using Writing in the Mathematics Class: Theory and Practice;" Dean Drenk's "Teaching Finance Through Writing;" and Elaine P. Maimon's "Writing Across the Curriculum." This book is a great resource for teachers looking to gain a better understanding of the various strategies for teaching writing in multiple disciplines. 

Informative Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a great way to learn more about a topic and its related sources. It can help students organize their research materials in an easy-to-use format.

An annotated bibliography includes information such as:

  • Author of a source
  • It's title
  • Publication information
  • Short summary or evaluation of the material

Doerr, John. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs. Penguin. 2018.

Written by Doerr, the chair of a venture capitalist group, this book reveals how OKRs can be utilized to foster agility and drive explosive growth within business organizations. Drawing from first-person narratives by iconic leaders like Bill Gates, the book helps guide an understanding of leading management strategies for success at large companies.

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Evaluative Annotated Bibliography

An evaluative annotated bibliography is a very helpful tool to have when you are researching a particular topic. 

This type of bibliography allows you to evaluate different sources and write down your thoughts about them. It helps you to be critical about the sources.

Here is an evaluative annotated bibliography example:

Maak, T. (2007). Responsible leadership, stakeholder engagement, and the emergence of social capital. Journal of Business Ethics, 74, 329-343. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9510-5

This article by Maak provides an interesting insight into the ways in which responsible leadership and stakeholder engagement can lead to the development of social capital. Through various case studies, the author looks at how successful leaders have incorporated “soft” skills such as communication, delegation, trust-building, and negotiation into their management style for improved performance and increased stakeholder engagement. The article also offers an in-depth look into the concept of social capital and how it contributes to improved business outcomes. This is a great resource for those looking to gain a better understanding of the power of responsible leadership and stakeholder engagement.

Combination Annotated Bibliography

Combination annotated bibliographies have different elements from each source, such as the title, author, and publisher. 

They also have an annotation that tells you what the source is about. In the end, it discusses if it is a good source of information for what you are researching.

Morris, J.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.

Morris’s work provides a comprehensive look into English children’s reading standards and the associated factors, such as the size of classes, organization, and method of teaching. The research is based on surveys from sixty schools in Kent and covers 8,000 children learning English as their mother tongue. This book is notable for its thoroughness of research techniques and provides an interesting perspective on reading standards in English primary schools. It is a great resource for those looking to gain a better understanding of the factors that affect English children's reading performance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 parts of an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography generally has three parts. 

  • The first part is the citation of the source. This includes the author's name, title, date of publication and the source's URL. 
  • The second part is a brief summary of the source, which describes its content and main arguments. 
  • The third part is the actual annotation. This includes an evaluative or descriptive paragraph about the source and its relevance to the topic.

What is the easiest way to write an annotated bibliography?

The easiest way to write an annotated bibliography is to use a template or format. This will provide you with the structure of the bibliography and make it easier to fill in the appropriate information. 

How long should an annotated bibliography be?

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that you have used for your research. Each source has a short description next to it. The recommended length for an annotated bibliography is around 150 words.

This means that you should provide enough detail. This way the readers can understand the scope and quality of your research, but also not write too much.

Barbara P


Barbara P (Marketing, Literature)

Barbara has a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university and extensive experience working in the medical field. With her practical experience conducting research on various health issues, she is skilled in writing innovative papers on healthcare. Her many works have been published in multiple publications.

Barbara has a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university and extensive experience working in the medical field. With her practical experience conducting research on various health issues, she is skilled in writing innovative papers on healthcare. Her many works have been published in multiple publications.

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