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Annotated Bibliography Cover Sheet


This is the list of references usually written at the end of your research project. They comprise of the books, journals, websites and any other article that you have used for your research. They are also referred to as citations. They are important in informing the reader about your sources hence giving your research credibility, accuracy and quality assurance.

There are several different styles of writing an annotated bibliography cover page which include;

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Oxford
  • Harvard
  • Chicago
  • CBE

If you are not sure which style to use, always check with your teacher. The most commonly used styles though are APA and MLA. Wrongly writing your references or failure to include them in your research paper can be costly.

An annotated bibliography usually has three components;

  • The citation
  • A brief summary of the source
  • The writer’s personal view on the source


This style is used mostly in citing sources in social sciences.

In in-text citation, APA uses the author and the year of publication only. It can be used in two ways e.g.

According to Coche (2012), Budweiser’s direct competitors include the Coors, Heineken and Miller. This can also be cited as: Budweiser’s direct competitors include the Coors, Heineken and Miller (Coche, 2012).

In a reference list, the style may vary depending on the sources but generally follow the same pattern starting with the author, the date, title and then the source. Below is a table showing how to cite different sources.

websiteGroup Author. (Year). Title of page. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxx
bookAuthor, A., & Author, B. (year). Title of book. Publisher location: Publisher Name. DOI
Online journalAuthor, A. (Year it was Published). Article title. Journal NameVolume (Issue), pp. Page(s). Retrieved from URL
Print journalAuthor, A., & Author, B. (Year it was Published). Article title. Journal titleVolume (Issue), pp. Pages.

Double spacing is used with a 1 inch margin on all sides and ½ inch margin from the header. The header should be the title of the research paper on the left end and a page number on the right end.


It’s primarily used in citing sources for humanities papers. Generally, MLA follows tis format: Author, A., and Author, B. Title. Secondary Contributors. Publication Information. Medium.

Secondary contributors are others who added to the book such as translators and editors.

The table below shows how to cite from different sources

Author, A. “Page Title.” Website Title. Sponsoring Institution/Publisher. Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
BookAuthor, A. Title. City: Publisher, Year Published. Medium
JournalAuthor, A. “Article.” Title Series Volume. Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Medium
MagazineAuthor, A. “Article.” Title Date Month Year Published: Page(s). Medium.

Note that in both citation styles, you always start with the author’s last name then the first name. In case of a middle name, just use an initial. E.g. Last, First, M.


Reading the preface and the abstract can quickly give you an idea of what the book is all about. The table of contents can help you easily identify the chapters that are relevant to your research. Read only those topics that are relevant since your annotated bibliography needs to be brief. In this section, talk about the audience the book is intended for, the author’s style of writing and the coverage of the book.

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Ask a question

This is a hard question to answer via an email format, since there are several follow-up questions needed, such as "is this a stand-alone bibliography, or part of a paper" and "what citation style are you using?"

Let's start with the second follow-up question first. We use two major citations styles at CSS, the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). And yes, some professors require AMA or Chicago, but we will ignore that at the moment.

If your annotated bibliography is part of a paper, then no, it does not require a separate cover sheet. If you are submitting just an annotated bibliography, then it would seem that yes, you should include one, but there are no rules for how to do it. In this case, I would suggest you follow the rules for paper covers. For info on formatting both your cover sheet & bibliography, see this CSS Library Libguide page -

In regards to the annotated bibliography, it is addressed  on p. 130 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition.

"Titles used for other kinds of sources lists include Annotated Bibliography, Works Consulted, or Selected Bibliography. An annotated bibliography, also called an Annotated List of Works Cited, contains descriptive or evaluative comments on the sources ...

Harbord, Janet. The Evolution of Film: Rethinking Film Studies. Cambridge:
     Polity, 2007. Print. A synthesis of classic film theory and an
     examination of the contemporary situation of film studies that draws
     on recent scholarship in philosophy, anthropology, and media studies."

Spacing is address on p. 131.

"Begin each entry flush with the left margin; if an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines one half inch from the left margin. This format is sometimes called the hanging indent, and you can set you word processor to create it automatically for a group of paragraphs. Hanging indention makes alphabetical lists easier to use. Double-space the entire list, both between and within entries. Continue the list on a many pages as necessary."


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, does not mention annotated bibliographies, so I can give you no "official" advice on how to create one in APA style. I would follow the general rules for covers & bibliographies [reference lists] that you can find on the CSS Library LibGuide -

I did find an article from 2008 that is an annotated bibliography that appears to be in APA style. You can view it here -

APA has an "escape clause" that says it defers to "local custom," meaning your professor can decide how she/he thinks it should be done. You can always check with her/him as to how they may wish things done.

Good luck.