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CURR 5400: Reading and Writing in the Content Areas: Formatting an Annotated Bibliography

Library guide for CURR 5400.

Annotated Bibliography Description and Examples

While annotated bibliographies are not specifically addressed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 6th edition, the OWL at Purdue does provide a description and samples of annotated bibliographies in the APA format. The examples here should be helpful, but make sure to follow the directions as provided for your assignment.

The Overview

Start your annotated bibliography with an overview of your topic. Summarize your topic and introduce the three subsections.

For example:

This bibliography represents a sampling of literature discussing the various types and implementation techniques of physical science activities which can be used in K-12 educational settings. The resources below are separated into three subtopics: elementary school physical science activities, middle school physical science activities, and high school physical science activites.

The Citation

Follow APA, 6th edition citation style for your citations. Many article databases will have a tool that shows you the citation in APA style. You can copy and paste that into your document. However, be aware that these cite tools often contain errors in the citation! Use the section below, the OWL site, and the print copy of the APA citation guide to help you get the citation correct.

The Annotation

The annotation is to be located below each resource's citation and will represent a summary and evaluation of the resource. As described in your assignment, the annotation is to include the following pieces:

  • a brief summary of the central theme or scope of the article
  • an evaluation of the quality af research or scholarship, including the logic of the author's arguments, conclusions, and/or quality of their evidence
  • comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the findings and/or methods
  • how the article relates to your topic and other articles you have found.

The annotation should be 1-3 well-developed paragraphs.


How to Cite in APA

Basic Form for Articles:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.


Cambre, B. (2009). Tearing down the walls: Cyber charter schools and the public endorsement of religion. TechTrends: Linking

Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 53(4), 61-64.

Basic Form for Books:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.


Burns, M. K., & Parker, D. C. (2014). Curriculum-based assessment for instructional design: Using data to individualize instruction. New York: Guilford


APA Resources:

Online: OWL at Purdue http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01 This is an excellent online source for checking your sources are cited properly in the paper and in your reference section.

In Print: Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. We have this manual in our reference collection and on reserves. Reference: BF76.7 .P83 2010a

In EBSCOhost databases (like ERIC): look for the Cite button in the article record. Double check against the APA style manual as EBSCO will often incorrectly capitalize article titles.