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An online degree completion program that offers registered nurses an efficient way to enhance their ability to provide quality patient care while strengthening their value in the fast-growing nursing profession.

What is APA Style?

APA Style is a standardized writing format, established by the American Psychological Association, which you may need to follow when submitting projects or papers. If you have questions about APA formatting, look at our APA Style Guide.


RefWorks is a powerful online research management tool designed to help you easily gather, organize, store and share your research and to instantly generate citations and bibliographies. See our RefWorks research guide for information about using refworks. 


Formatting the Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliographies consist of two parts:

  1. The bibliographic citation: The citations (bibliographic information - title, date, author, publisher, etc.) are formatted using APA style.
    • Example: Smith, J. J. (2020). The title of the journal article: With a subtitle. Journal of Research, 10(3), 3-15.
  2. The annotation: The annotations for each source are written in paragraph form, usually 3-7 sentences or 80-200 words.

Depending on your assignment your annotations will generally include the following:

  1. Summary: What are the main arguments? What is the point of this source? What topics are covered? What is the source about?
  2. Evaluate/Assess: Is this source credible? Who wrote it? What are their credentials? Who is the publisher? Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  3. Reflect/React: State your reaction and any additional questions you have about the information in your source. How does this source fit into your research? Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic. Compare each source to other sources in terms of its usefulness and thoroughness in helping answer your research question.

The Process of Creating an Annotated Bibliography

When creating an annotated bibliography you will need to know how to summarize and analyze, and know how to do library research.

  1. Develop a research question and thesis, and come up with search words/phrases (keywords).
  2. Locate articles, books, etc. with useful information and ideas on your topic.
  3. Examine and read resources. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.
  4. Cite the book, article, etc. using APA citation style.
  5. Write a concise summary (annotation) on the central themes and scope of your source.
  6. Review your work; be sure that your annotations are based on on the citations you have selected.

Video: Annotated Bibliography

Resources for Creating Annotated Bibliographies

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