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APA Citation Style - 7th Edition

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Annotated Bibliography

The information provided is found in the APA Manual, 7th Ed. Sections 1.10 & 9.51.

Annotated bibliographies consist of reference list entries followed by short descriptions of the work called annotations. Instructors generally set requirements, but APA Style guidelines still apply.

For guidance on paper margins, font, and line spacing, see Chapter 2.

When writing the text of your annotations, consult the writing style and grammar guidelines in Chapter 4, the bias-free language guidelines in Chapter 5, and the mechanics of style guidelines in Chapter 6.

It is not necessary to cite the work being annotated in the annotation because the origin of the information is clear through context; however, do include in-text citations (see Chapter 8) if you refer to multiple works within an annotation to clarify the source.

Instructors generally set all other requirements (e.g., number of references, length and focus of each annotation). If there is something left out, format the annotated bibliography as follows:

  • Format and order references in an annotated bibliography in alphabetical order just like the order entries in a reference list (see Sections 9.43 - 9.44).
  • Each annotation should be a new paragraph below its reference entry. Indent the entire annotation 0.5 in. from the left margin, the same as you would a block quotation (see Section 8.27). Do not indent the first line of the annotation.
  • If the annotation spans multiple paragraphs, indent the first line of the second and any subsequent paragraphs an additional 0.5 in., the same as you would a block quotation with multiple paragraphs.

Annotated bibliographies can also be created with APA’s cloud-based writing and research software called Academic Writer.

For an example of an annotated bibliography, refer to the Handouts and Guide tab on the APA Home page.