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An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that has standard entries using the American

Psychological Association (APA) format for citations and short abstracts describing the work.
The annotation helps the reader determine whether the work cited is relevant to a particular
research topic. Annotations may be descriptive or evaluative. A descriptive annotation
summarizes the content of a work and an evaluative annotation provides critical analysis of
the work. Read more :


1Begin each citation with the appropriate standard entry using the APA format for

2 Write the description or evaluation for each citation. Generally, use no more than
150 words (or four to six sentences) in the description or evaluation. Be concise.
Include some or all of the following information: the main focus or purpose of the work;
the intended audience for the work; the usefulness or relevance to your research topic;
special features of the work that were helpful; the background and credibility of the
author; the author's conclusions or observations; and your conclusions or

3List the name of the author first when citing books, then the year of publication in
parentheses, followed by a period. Capitalize the title of the work (and the subtitle, if
there is one), followed by a period. Give the place of publication, followed by a colon,
then give the name of the publisher.
Here is an annotated book citation example from the Cal Poly website:
Liroff, R. A., & G. G. Davis. (1981). Protecting open space: Land use control in the Adirondack
Park. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.
This book describes the implementation of regional planning and land use regulation in the
Adirondack Park in upstate New York. The authors provide program evaluations of the
Adirondack Park Agency's regulatory and local planning assistance programs.

Write the author's name first for journal, magazine and newspaper articles, followed by
the year in parentheses. Give the title of the article, the title of the periodical, the volume (or
issue) number and the page range.
Here is an annotated journal citation from the Cal Poly website:
Gottlieb, P. D. (1995). The "golden egg" as a natural resource: Toward a normative theory of
growth management. Society and Natural Resources, 8, (5): 49-56.
This article explains the dilemma faced by North American suburbs, which demand both
preservation of local amenities (to protect quality of life) and physical development (to
expand the tax base). Growth management has been proposed as a policy solution to this
dilemma. An analogy is made between this approach and resource economics. The author
concludes that the growth management debate raises legitimate issues of sustainability and
efficiency .

List the author first for web pages, then the date of publication (in parentheses), the
title of the page or document, then the URL. Write (n.d.) after the author's name if there is no
Here is an example of an annotated Internet citation from Dr. Joel Nicholson's APA Writing
Style Assistance Page:
Mt. Holyoke College Library (n.d.). Style Guides for Citing Electronic
2003 from

Resources. October 10,

This site provides an interesting, topic-by-topic comparison chart of APA and MLA Style
Guides. It also tackles some topics not seen elsewhere, including synchronous communication
protocols, telnet, email, ISO protocols, and the Columbia Writing Style Guide.