How to Write an Annotated Bibliography Step by Step

An annotated bibliography, also known as an annotated bib, is a list of references that you include in your academic paper. It enables the reader to easily discover sources of information, while also offering them insight into how you used those sources to make decisions about what was important and what you included in your paper.

The annotated bibliography format is one way to organize your citations, but there are different ways to create annotated bibliography depending on your unique needs as a student writing an academic paper. In this article, we will look at each section of an annotated bib so that you can ensure that any bibliography-style entry will flow smoothly through the rest of your project with no issues!

What is an annotated bibliography?

As previously stated, an annotated bib is a list of sources cited in your research. It is necessary for readers who want to know how you came up with your ideas and how many other people also agree with them. The trick to writing a good annotated bibliography assignment is that it should be simple to follow, which means:

  • You need to mention only the sources that are important to each point in your research paper (in other words, do not include references for every sentence).
  • You should indicate what kind of source it is (i.e., newspaper article) so readers can easily identify which ones belong together on the same page or section of the document.
  • You should provide sufficient information about each source to enable readers to determine whether they would have been able to explore more about these topics by themselves without consulting other resources first.

Annotated bibliography for research paper

Writing an annotated bib is a good way to help you, your readers, and future researchers. A well-written annotated bib for research papers will give your reader the information they need to understand the source and its relationship with other texts. Annotating also makes it easier for you to find specific information when looking through related sources because you can see at a glance what topics are covered by each article that has been cited in the text where it appears.

A few annotated bibliography topics for the research paper include:

  • Contemporary learning methods Vs Traditional methods.
  • Importance of a teacher in child education
  • Benefits of self-education

Annotated bibliography vs works cited

The major variance between an annotated bib and works cited is the fact that the former contains not just a list of references, but a summary and evaluation.

Format for an annotated paper

An annotated paper assignment example follows one of three formats. Each of these formats would be highlighted below.

APA 7 annotated bibliography

The format for this sort of annotated bib includes:

  • The 1-inch margin on every angle
  • A font of either 2-pt Times New Roman, 11-pt Calibri, Arial, or Georgia; or 10-pt Lucida sans Unicode or Computer Modern
  • Double-spaced lines
  • Removal of spaces after each paragraph
  • Page numbers should be displayed on every page at the top right

Annotated bibliography MLA

The format includes:

  • 1-inch margins on every side
  • One-half indentation of all first words in all paragraph
  • Block quotations are set one-half inch from the left margin
  • Suggested font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12
  • Apply double spacing on the whole paper
  • Leave a space after punctuations.

Chicago style annotated bibliography

  • List authors in alphabetical order
  • Suggested margin: One inch all through your research paper
  • Page number: one and a half inches down and aligned to the right
  • Suggested font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12
  • Apply double spacing on the paper.

Organizing entries

Below are steps you can use to organize your entries:

  • Use headings to organize the information in your entry
  • Book title, author, date published, and page number ought to appear accordingly
  • Followed by the main points used by the author in the text. For instance: “The author examined how individuals use technology at home”. This can also be written as: “People use technology at home” Other ways to state it might be: “Some people use technology at home” or “Some people do not use technology at home”.


The use of annotated bibliography is an excellent way to add references to your research project. It is a great way to keep track of sources and cite them correctly in the right format. It gives you more credibility when talking about your findings. Furthermore, it creates opportunities for additional research and helps you keep track of all possible connections between texts.

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