Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Formatting Annotated Bibliography | Learn with Examples

4 min read

Published on: Jun 4, 2024

Last updated on: Jun 4, 2024

Annotated Bibliography

If you are working on a research project, you may need to write an annotated bibliography as part of your assignment or as a standalone document. 

But what is an annotated bibliography and how do you format it correctly? 

In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about annotated bibliography, from its definition and purpose to its format and style rules. 

So, let's dive right in!

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is different from a regular bibliography, which only lists the sources without any commentary. 

An annotated bibliography adds your analysis and evaluation of each source, such as:

  • The main idea or argument of the source.
  • The relevance and usefulness of the source for your research.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the source.

Why Do You Need an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography can help you with various aspects of your research project, such as:

  • Developing a research question or thesis statement.
  • Finding and selecting relevant and credible sources.
  • Reviewing and synthesizing the literature on your topic.
  • Identifying gaps and controversies in the existing knowledge.
  • Formulating arguments and supporting evidence.

Annotated Bibliography Format Rules

The citation style that you use for your annotated bibliography depends on the discipline and the requirements of your instructor. 

Here are some general formatting rules for an annotated bibliography:

  • The title of the page is “Annotated Bibliography” and it is centered and bold at the top.
  • The references are listed in alphabetical order by the first word of the citation, usually the author’s last name.
  • The references are single-spaced and have a hanging indent of 0.5 inches.
  • The annotations are indented 0.5 inches from the left margin and are double-spaced.
  • The annotations can be descriptive, evaluative, or both, depending on the purpose and scope of the assignment.
  • The annotations are usually between 50 and 250 words long and provide relevant information about the source, such as its main arguments, methods, findings, and implications.
  • The annotations may also include the author’s credentials, the source’s reliability, the source’s relevance to the research topic, and the source’s strengths and weaknesses.

Here is an annotated bibliography example APA for your understanding:

APA Annotated Bibliography

Note:

The rules that we have discussed so far are specific to the APA citation style. However, different citation styles have different requirements for an annotated bibliography, such as the format, length, and content of the annotations. Therefore, it is important to check the guidelines of your chosen citation style before you start writing an annotated bibliography.

You can also write an annotated bibliography in MLA style. If you want to have a detailed look at the formatting rules of MLA annotated bibliography format then take a look at this blog: MLA Annotated Bibliography.

Here is an MLA annotated bibliography example for your understanding:

MLA Annotated Bibliography

Chicago style is a popular citation style used for writing annotated bibliographies. Go to this blog if you want to have an insight into the features and formatting rules: Annotated Bibliography in Chicago Style.

Here is a Chicago style annotated bibliography template:

Chicago Annotated Bibliography

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Cathy Aranda

WRITTEN BY

Cathy Aranda (Marketing)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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