An annotated bibliography is a list of works (books, websites, articles, lections, etc.) that includes evaluative and descriptive information about the sources that were used in your paper. These comments are called annotations.

Annotated bibliography format

A bibliography paper consists of two parts: a citation and an annotation.


You should form your citation in a bibliographic style requested for your assignment. The most common are APA style annotated bibliography and MLA style annotated bibliography. You may also be asked to use Harvard or Chicago/Turabian style. You can find an annotated bibliography example MLA, APA and other styles on the Internet.


In general, an annotation is one paragraph (100-300 words) in length. However, your tutor may give you other instructions, and you are recommended to clarify them before you start writing.

Annotations should include the following:

  • A short summary of the source
  • Weaknesses and strengths of the source
  • Conclusions of the source
  • Explanations why this source is relevant to your project
  • A few words about the author and his/her background
  • You own conclusions about the source

Try to figure out what are the main arguments and the whole point of the work

What is the purpose of annotated bibliography

Depending on a type of the project you have, your annotations should do the following:

  • Summarize

Try to figure out what are the main arguments and the whole point of the work. Specify the topics covered and briefly describe what is this book/article about.

  • Assess

After you summarize a source, you should evaluate it. Is it useful and reliable? What is its goal?

  • Reflect

After summarizing and assessing a source, try to think how it is related to your research. Was it helpful? What contributions and changes did it bring to your paper? Has it changed your thinking about the topic?

If you still have questions, check out annotated bibliography sample found online or hire an annotated bibliography maker at our company!