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Citations: APA Style (7th ed.)

How to create a document and cite using the most recent edition of APA.

General Info

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is simply a References page in which each citation is followed by an annotation ("note") that describes or evaluates the source (or both). Like a regular References page, sources are listed in alphabetical order.

Annotations let your reader get a little extra insight into your sources and how they support your research.

What goes in your annotation?

Explain the main points of the work briefly.

Your summary should be original to you -- don't just copy/paste the publisher summary of a book or the abstract from a scholarly article.

  • Authority: is the author [or publisher] qualified and/or has expertise in the content area? what's their background (in relation to the topic)?
  • Relevance: how valuable, effective, or useful was this source in your research?
  • Context: who is the intended audience of this source? what is the purpose of it? does there seem to be any bias? are there gaps in coverage?

The exact details of what to include will depend on your assignment -- number of sources, what to discuss in the annotation, and length of your commentary.

How long should it be?

Generally, the annotation should be no more than a paragraph... unless your prof tells you otherwise.

If you must write multiple paragraphs, indent the first line of each additional paragraph an extra 0.5".

Writing Style

You don't need to cite the work as you comment on it, since it's clear from context what source you're discussing. If you compare sources in your commentary, though, you may need to include in-text citations for clarity.


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