Some of your courses will require you to write an annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources with accompanying paragraphs, called annotations. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source, and to state how this source will be used in the paper or project.

An annotated bibliography entry has two main parts:

  1. A reference entry for the book, article, web page, video, or document (using the style required for the assignment, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago)
  2. The annotation

Need help making an Annotated Bibliography? Download our Annotated Bibliography template for Microsoft Word:

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MLA Annotated Bibliography Template Button


How to Create an Annotated Bibliography:

  • Use the university library to find the required number of scholarly sources for your project.
  • Write a reference list entry for each source in alphabetical order and in the format required (such as APA, MLA, or Chicago)
  • Write the annotation paragraph(s)under each source as a new paragraph:
    • The annotation is a short summary of the article in your own words. Avoid quoting and do not copy the abstract of the article.
    • You may be asked to include information beyond a summary of the source, such as a short discussion of how the source supports your paper’s topic or your argument.
  • Indent the entire annotation (rather than just the first line)in the same way you indent a block quotation
  • If your annotation includes multiple paragraphs, indent the first line of each paragraph after the first

View a Sample

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View an annotated sample for tips and tricks to writing an effective annotated bibliography.

Related Video Tutorial

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