APA Style Annotated Bibliography Example PDF : Everything There Is To Know

So, after weeks of struggling, you finally understood the concept of bibliographies and their importance to your scholarly work. But now, your instructor or supervisor wants you to take things to a new level – present your bibliography in APA annotation.

Chillingly terrifying, right? Adding more details to your bibliographies can send you into panic mode.

The good news is that while creating an annotated bibliography in APA formatting may not be as simple as riding a bicycle, it is certainly not as complicated as you might think.

An annotated bibliography is a special list of research resources with superpowers. On the other hand, APA formatting refers to a format used in academic writing, like a code everyone understands.

PDF document opened up on a screen

When combined, an APA annotated bibliography comes in handy when researching a specific topic and wanting to keep track of the exciting articles you discovered.

The best way to understand what an APA annotated bibliography is to review a real-life example, that too, in a PDF.  

Now, why is an APA style annotated bibliography example PDF so helpful?

For starters, a real-life example with proper formatting will help you learn how to structure your own. Secondly, these examples will explain every part of the annotation, breaking down the evaluation, summary, and connection to your research topic.

Interested in learning more?

This blog will guide you about everything there is to know about APA style annotated bibliographies through examples.

Part 1. APA Style Annotated Bibliography Example PDF

Reviewing the citations on a research document

An annotated bibliography apa example pdf offers evaluative, summative, or reflective comments to research papers rather than being appended to the conclusion.

This kind of bibliography can be written as a separate document. Finding a topic to investigate and looking for materials are the first steps in generating an annotated bibliography in the APA format.

In this section, we will share an APA style annotated bibliography example PDF so that you can understand the required structure and elements.

Try It Free

* Moblie version is coming soon

Part 2. Understanding An Annotated Bibliography

Consider a standard bibliography, a list of the sources you used. Imagine it now with superpowers!

A bibliography with annotations offers critical analyses and descriptions of every source. It facilitates and streamlines your research process by acting as mini-reviews next to your references.

How to Structure Your Research?

This is the layout for your hand-written masterpiece:

  1. Reference:Like a standard bibliography, list all your sources in flawless APA format. Titles, dates of release, and author names are all included!
  2. Annotation:Magic takes place here. Kindly provide a brief paragraph (or two) describing the source beneath the reference. Consider it as a drama in three acts:
  • Act 1:Give an overview. Summarise the key ideas and arguments presented in the source.
  • Act 2:Is the source reliable? Present? Is it relevant to your area of study? Apply critical thinking! Think back to
  • Act 3: What relevance does this source have to your research? Does it have any relevance to your paper?

Example: A Perfectly Annotated Entry

Let's see this structure in action! Here's an apa annotated bibliography example pdf:


Jones, M. A., & Smith, D. B. (2023). The impact of social media on mental health in adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 52(3), 425-438. [DOI: 10.1007/s10964-022-01523-8]


This study by Jones and Smith (2023) explores the relationship between social media use and mental health in teenagers. After analyzing data from a sizable survey, the authors conclude that higher social media use is associated with worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The study was done correctly and employed a reliable technique. However, its emphasis on teenagers may limit its applicability to other age groups. Overall, this paper offers insightful information about a developing issue, but it's critical to consider the specific sample when applying the conclusions.

Let’s Talk About Formatting:

The main formatting points are as follows:

  • Double-spacing:Use double spacing throughout your bibliography to keep it light and airy.
  • Hanging Indentation: For the annotation, leave the level of the following lines with the left margin but indent the initial line by a half-inch. Think of it as the small ledge where the opening queue is located!
  • Alphabetical Order:Sort your items, much like a traditional bibliography, according to the first author's last name. Recall that this is merely an example. The restrictions set by your instructor may affect the precise length and substance of your annotations.

Side Note: If formatting is the most critical concern, consider partnering your research efforts with a tool that could help elevate your structuring game.

The AfirstsoftPDF is a wonderful example. With this tool, you can effortlessly add more structure and segregation to your documents. Plus, it has a couple of annotation features that you could also use.

Try It Free

* Moblie version is coming soon

Part 3. APA 7th Edition Annotated Bibliography Example PDF

Researches reviewing research developments

In psychology and many other fields, the American Psychological Association (APA) guide is the standard for formatting academic articles.

When you add annotations into the spectrum, you get a brief description and assessment of a source you wrote down in your bibliography.

It gives more information on the source's applicability and importance for your research than just a list of sources, as with a standard bibliography.

Before we get into an apa 7th edition annotated bibliography example pdf, let us walk you through some significant changes and developments in this formatting.


New Developments in the APA 7th Edition

The well-known format saw a few modifications with the release of the 7th edition in 2020. Let's examine the main changes and adjustments you should know:

  • Formatting Adaptability:Font Selections: Farewell to the rule of Times New Roman! Arial 11, Calibiri 11, Georgia 11, and Lucida Sans Unicode 10 are appropriate for APA 7th, allowing for greater flexibility.
  • Professional vs. Student Papers:The distinction between professional and student writing is acknowledged in the seventh edition. Professional papers still need a running head on each page (but without the label "Running head:"). Student papers can omit the running head completely.
  • Publisher Location Is History:You may stop looking up publisher locations! This information is deleted from reference entries in the 7th edition.
  • Introducing the Novel (Improved Author List):Up to 20 authors can now be listed in your reference entries. Use an ellipsis (...) after the name of the nineteenth author and the last author's name for sources with more than 20 writers.
  • DOIs Redesign Their Websites:The reference list treats DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) as complete URLs, making accessing them more accessible.
Try It Free

* Moblie version is coming soon

Part 4. Leading by Example: Sample Bibliography (APA 7th Edition)

A student preparing his research paper

Here's an apa 7 annotated bibliography example pdf, along with some comparisons to the old format:

New format:

Smith, A. B., & Jones, C. D. (2023). The impact of technology on education. Journal of Educational Psychology, 115(2), 321-335. [invalid URL removed]

Old format (differences highlighted):

  • Smith, A. B., & Jones, C. D. (2023). The impact of technology on education. Journal of Educational Psychology, 115(2), 321-335. doi: 10.1037/edu0000421 (Previously: "doi:" instead of full URL)
  • In the old format, the publisher's location would have been included (e.g., American Psychological Association, Washington, DC).

Additional entries:

Book: Garcia, M. (2019). Education in a digital age. Oxford University Press.

  • Note the absence of "[Kindle]" or other format specifications for ebooks.

Website: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://apastyle.apa.org/

  • Websites now use a full URL as the retrieval source.
Try It Free

* Moblie version is coming soon

Part 5. Another APA Annotated Bibliography Example PDF

While we know that with the amount of information and samples shared above, it should be easy for you to explain and justify the mighty APA formatting.

While the example shared earlier made it easy for you to understand what APA formatting entails, there’s no harm in exploring another one. To that end, let’s explore another APA 7th edition annotated bibliography example.

Remember: While these are examples, specific requirements might vary by instructor. Always check their guidelines for details.

Example 1: Diving into a Book on Marine Biology


Nybakken, J. E., & Brusca, R. C. (2017). Marine biology: An introduction (10th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.


This comprehensive textbook by Nybakken and Brusca (2017) provides a solid foundation in marine biology. The writers cover oceanography, biodiversity, and protection challenges, concisely explaining intricate ecological ideas.

The text is well-organized, with thorough visuals and valuable learning tools like chapter recaps and review questions.

Although the book is primarily intended for undergraduate students, researchers looking for a comprehensive introduction to marine ecosystems may find value in the approachable writing style. However, some sections might lack in-depth detail for highly specialized research topics.

Critical Points for Books:

  • Focus on the book's overall scope and target audience.
  • Evaluate the clarity, organization, and helpfulness of learning aids.
  • Consider the book's age – is it current enough for your research topic?

Example 2: Unpacking a Website on Climate Change


National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2023, June 14). Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?. NASA (.gov). https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/


A summary of the scientific evidence supporting climate change is given straightforwardly and comprehensively in this educational webpage from NASA (.gov).

The website provides information about harsh weather, melting glaciers, and rising global temperatures. Additionally, it draws attention to how human activity has accelerated these changes.

The website features interactive visualizations, access to additional information, and a well-designed, user-friendly interface.

Although the website presents the scientific consensus in a reliable and current manner, it is crucial to recognize that it is a government body and to consult other nongovernmental sources for a more comprehensive view.

Critical Points for Websites:

  • Evaluate the website's credibility by considering its source (e.g., .gov, .edu) and author information.
  • Assess the website's objectivity and potential biases.
  • Check the website's update date to ensure it provides current information.

No matter the kind of source, you can quickly master the APA 7th edition annotated bibliography with the help of these samples. Recall that clear and consistent communication is crucial.

Try It Free

* Moblie version is coming soon

Part 6. Conclusion

This blog successfully navigated the often confusing and always fascinating world of APA style annotated bibliographies.

Remember that these are more than simply beautiful lists; they are practical instruments for planning your study, evaluating sources, and creating a solid framework for your scholarly writing.

In this post, we looked at the three main components of an APA 7th edition annotated bibliography: summarising sources, assessing their reliability, and considering their relevance to your research.

Additionally, we learned how to structure these items using hanging indentations, double spacing, and the correct reference information.

In simple words, APA style provides a clear and consistent framework for presenting your research journey. It allows you to communicate effectively with professors and fellow researchers, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding source evaluation.

The provided examples of a book and a website annotation demonstrate the versatility of APA style across different source types. Feel free to refer to these examples and the formatting guidelines as you research.

See the online resources available through your university library or go to the official APA Style website (https://apastyle.apa.org/) for comprehensive explanations and samples that can be downloaded.

Just remember the resources and advice you've learned here the next time you have to do the dreaded "annotated bibliography" task. You'll be well on your way to creating an understandable, educational, and visually striking study companion with a bit of preparation and adherence to these APA style rules. 

Try It Free

* Moblie version is coming soon

John Smith


With 10 years of experience in the office industry, John Smith is a tech enthusiast and seasoned copywriter. He likes sharing insightful product reviews, comparisons, and etc.

View all Articles >