An annotated bibliography includes, along with the alphabetical listing
of works, an annotation (commentary or explanatory note) about the
Prepare the basic bibliographical entries in the usual way, arranging
the information about the works according to the style manual recommended
by your teacher or the manual appropriate to the field or discipline
for which you are writing, for example, Modern Language Association
(MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) style.
With each entry, include a commentary of between two and four complete
sentences. The commentary should contain all or some of the following
elements (check with your teacher if you are uncertain about which
elements to include). The following list is suggested in James D.
Lester's Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, 5th edition
Explain the main purpose of the work.
Briefly describe the contents.
Indicate the possible audience for the work.
Note any special features.
Warn of any defect, weakness, or suspected bias.
EXAMPLE OF MLA ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY
D. Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide. 5th ed. Glenview,
Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1987. Freshmen who need to understand the
research process, the writing process, and the technical aspects
of scholarly documentation will benefit from the detailed explanations
and helpful illustrations in this book. The sections on non-MLA
documentation, for example, APA and medical styles as well as footnote
and endnote styles, make the book useful as a reference for many
different subjects. The Appendix of scholarly sources for various
academic disciplines will save student researchers hours of library
EXAMPLE OF APA ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY
Turabian Kate. (1976). Student's Guide for Writing College Papers.
3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Turabian's book, similar
to the Chicago Style Manual from the same publisher, is the
preferred style guide for writing undergraduate history papers.
Undergraduate history papers use footnotes or endnotes, so Turabian
gives detailed information about writing notes and bibliography
entries from the same sources. Parenthetical in-text documentation
is explained as well. The arrangement of information with a numbering
system by chapters and chapter subdivisions is very easy for students