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.

website Group Author. (Year). Title of page. Retrieved from http://xxxxxxx
book Author, A., & Author, B. (year). Title of book. Publisher location: Publisher Name. DOI
Online journal Author, A. (Year it was Published). Article title. Journal NameVolume (Issue), pp. Page(s). Retrieved from URL
Print journal Author, 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.
Book Author, A. Title. City: Publisher, Year Published. Medium
Journal Author, A. “Article.” Title Series Volume. Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Medium
Magazine Author, 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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