Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Annotated Bibliographies: Getting Started

This guide provides information to help you write an annotated bibliography.

Basic Format Guidelines

The Citation

  • Cite your sources as you would in a typical Works Cited or Reference List page according to specific style guidelines
  • See our Citation Guide for information about how to format your sources

 

Annotations

  • Usually written in paragraph format with complete sentences
  • The format of annotated bibliographies can differ greatly. Make sure you are following guidelines set by your instructor on style and format
  • See information below about specific format guidelines for different styles
    • If you do not see the style required by your instructor below, feel free to chat with us for help or visit the Reference Desk to refer to the correct manual

 

Check with your instructor for:

  • the number of sources and types of sources needed
  • how long each annotation should be
  • what style to use (APA, MLA, etc.)

Format Guidelines for Different Styles

MLA 9th ed. - Format Guidelines

 

  • Style your citation as you would in a works cited page

    • Hanging indent

  • Double-space the entire paper

  • One inch margins on the top, bottom, and both sides of the paper

  • Use an easily readable font

    • 11-point - 13-point 

  • Annotations begin on a new line directly under the citation

    • Do not skip a line

  • Annotations are indented an inch from the left margin

    • This clearly separates them from the citation

  • If the annotation is one paragraph, do not indent the first line. If it is more than one paragraph, indent the first line of each paragraph

  • Title the page Annotated Bibliography or Annotated List of Works Cited

  • If your instructor requests different formatting, always follow the instructor's guidelines 

 

For more information, please see the MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition (2021) available at the Reference Desk. 

MLA 8th Edition - Format Guidelines

 

  • Follow the format of the the MLA 9th Edition guidelines with the following exception:

    • Annotations begin immediately following the end of the citation. You will not begin the citation on a new line

  • If your instructor requests different formatting, always follow the instructor's guidelines

 

For more information, please see the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, available at the Reference Desk. 

 

APA 7th ed. - Format Guidelines

 

  • Style your citation as you would in a reference list

    • Hanging indent

    • Sort citations in alphabetical order by author's last name

  • Double-space the entire paper

  • One inch margins on the top, bottom, and both sides of the paper

  • Use an accessible font

    • San serif options:

      • 11-point Calibri

      • 11-point Arial

      • 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode

    • Serif

      • 12-point Times New Roman

      • 11-point Georgia

      • 10-point Computer Modern

  • Annotations begin on a new line directly under the citation

    •  Do not skip a line

  • Annotations are indented .5 inches from the left margin

  • Do not indent the first line of the paragraph. If the annotation is more than one paragraph, indent the first line of the second following paragraphs to 1 inch from the margin

  • If your instructor requests different formatting, always follow the instructor's guidelines

 

For more information, please see the APA Handbook, Seventh Edition (2019) available at the Reference Desk. 

Chicago 17th ed. / Turabian 9th ed. - Format Guidelines

 

  • Style your citation as you would in a bibliography

    • Hanging indent

    • Sort citations in alphabetical order by author's last name

  • Single-space all citations and annotations

  • One inch margins on the top, bottom, and both sides of the paper

  • For font, use 10-point Arial or 12-point Times New Roman

  • Annotations begin on a new line directly under the citation

    •  Do not skip a line

  • Annotations are indented .5 inch from the left margin

  • Do not indent the first line of the paragraph.

  • Title the page Annotated Bibliography

  • Leave two blank lines between the title and the first citation

  • Leave a blank lines between every entry (after a annotation, leave a blank line before beginning your next citation)

  • If your instructor requests different formatting, always follow the instructor's guidelines

 

For more information, please see A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian, 9th edition (2018) and The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017) available at the Reference Desk. 

For styles not mentioned in this guide, please consult the appropriate handbook for basic style guidelines, take a look at our Citation Guide, or contact us