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APA Citation Guide (7th Edition): Annotated Bibliography

Note: This guide reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7).

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources on a topic. The annotated bibliography looks like a References page but includes an annotation after each source cited. An annotation is a short summary and/or critical evaluation of a source. Annotated bibliographies can be part of a larger research project, or can be a stand-alone report in itself.

Basic Tips on Formatting

  • Start with the same format as a regular References list.
  • The first line of the citation starts at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches (hanging indent).
  • The annotation begins on a new line and is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin.
  • Entries are double-spaced with no extra lines between entries.
  • If the annotation consists of more than one paragraph, indent the first line of each successive paragraph an additional 0.5 inches.
  • Use the third person (e.g., he, she, the author) instead of the first person (e.g., I, my, me).

Sample Evaluative Annotation

Below is a sample of an Evaluative Annotation:

Maak, T. (2007). Responsible leadership, stakeholder engagement, and the emergence of social capital. Journal of Business Ethics74, 329-343.

This article focuses on the role of social capital in responsible leadership. It looks at both the social networks that a leader builds within an organization, and the links that a leader creates with external stakeholders. Maak’s main aim with this article seems to be to persuade people of the importance of continued research into the abilities that a leader requires and how they can be acquired. The focus on the world of multinational business means that for readers outside this world many of the conclusions seem rather obvious (be part of the solution not part of the problem). In spite of this, the article provides useful background information on the topic of responsible leadership and definitions of social capital which are relevant to an analysis of a public servant.

Useful Links for Annotated Bibliographies

The formatting of annotated bibliographies can vary. The University Libraries recommend the format exhibited in the examples below, but if you are still unsure what format to use, ask your professor.