An Annotated Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography

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An Annotated Bibliography Example

One can either use an APA bibliography format or an annotated bibliography MLA format. Let’s start with an example of annotated bibliography APA format for a journal citation.

Patrick, M. K. Gorbachev, L. T., & Carlton, C. (1998). “’Nonfamily living and the loss of traditional family roles’’ United States Review, 84, 377-942.

The authors of this article use data to confirm if their theory that attitudes, plans, expectations, and values get altered in young men by nonfamily living by young adults. It changes their belief in traditional sex roles. Young females are the staunchest supporters of the authors’ hypothesis, but in young men, the results are fewer. Individualism, attitude changes towards family and self-sufficiency increases once one moves from their parents’ home before being married. However, an earlier study cited below differs from this train of thought. The study by Williams argues that there are no significant differences in gender when it comes to sex role attitudes as an outcome of nonfamily living.

The following is an example of MLA annotated bibliography for a journal article:

Patrick, M. K., Gorbachev, L. T., & Carlton, C. (1998). “’Nonfamily living and the loss of traditional family roles’’ United States Review, 84, 377-942.

The authors in their research use data to find out the truth in their hypothesis that values, attitudes, plans, and expectations in young adults change because of nonfamily living. It causes them to move away from their traditional beliefs on sex roles. Their theory mostly applies to young women according to their research but has little or no effect on young men. Moving away from parents before getting married increases self-sufficiency, individualism and changes attitude towards family. But an earlier study by Williams contrasts these findings as he saw no significant changes in sex role attitudes as a product of nonfamily living depending on gender.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

So what is an annotated bibliography? A list of citations of articles, websites, books or journals is known as an annotated bibliography. Its purpose is informing readers on the accuracy, relevance, and quality of the works cited. Many people confuse annotated bibliography MLA and APA bibliography format with abstracts. Abstracts are only descriptive sum-ups mostly, and you place it at the start of academic articles or essays. Annotations, on the other hand, are both critical and explanatory. Sometimes, they describe the author’s opinion, clarity or authority, expression, and appropriateness.

You need some skills – both intellectual and physical. Your research skills should be exceptional and have concise analytical skills and crisp description knowledge. Also, practice on annotated bibliography example to master the formatting requirements. You should first find and record book citations, documents, and periodicals that contain ideas and information about your topic. Review these items and select the ones that give a more definite perspective on your subject. You then cite the book and author using MLA annotated bibliography or APA annotated bibliography format. Then write a summary that covers the entire theme of your topic and scope of the journal, book or article. Use sentences that evaluate the author’s background and his authority on the issue. Also, comment on the targeted audience of the project and compare this author’s work with others you have cited. Finally, explain how this work adds to your topic.

The formatting that gets used for annotated bibliography depends on the instructions from the tutor. There are those that prefer MLA to APA annotated bibliography formatting and vice versa. There is some annotated bibliography maker available online. Under each source, you use, write two paragraphs. The first one should be a summary of the article using your own words. The second one should be a discussion that points to how the source you have used supports and strengthened your topic. It should support your claim or argument through expert testimony, statistics and examples which relate to your topic.

How to Select Sources to Use for Your Annotated Bibliography

Know your topic and the scope that you wish to cover with it. By doing this, you get an idea of the information to include and what to leave out. Your research should have an idea that you are trying to put forward, and the sources you use should support your argument. If what you are researching on is part of a project, it would get guided by a question. You should know which aspect of the subject to pursue and the problem to investigate. But if you are writing on a general topic, formulate your topic into some questions to explain your research accurately. You should also know where to find the information you are looking for to save time. Books and journal articles are available in libraries, while some information is available online. Look for sources that have cited even by professionals. It means their research is reliable.

Your annotation should restate the primary argument of your source. If it is academic, it should reaffirm the thesis, tools of investigation and conclusion. You should not believe that stating the contents included in the author’s article is not the same as identifying the main arguments. Instead, the annotation should account for why the information is there.


Before starting to work on your project, you should get well versed with what is an annotated bibliography. Numerous websites offer annotated bibliography maker. Any sources you use for your annotated bibliography should add value to your topic. State the contribution that the source you have cited brings to your research. Know whether your interest should be on how the author puts his questions forward, or how he goes about answering them. The conclusion that the author has to pertain to your research is also essential. How does his conclusion compare to yours? The annotated bibliography should contain factual and reliable information that either supports what is already known or puts forth a new argument and perspective towards a particular issue. Whether you use annotated bibliography APA or MLA, the information should remain the same as the annotated bibliography example given in this article has shown.

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