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Citation & Style Guide

This guide will help you find information, tools and resources on citation and style.

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Extra resources

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography (from Olin Library Reference, Cornell University Library)

Cremmins, Edward T. The Art of Abstracting. 2nd ed. Arlington, Va: Information Resources Press, 1996

American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.

Modern Language Association of America. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009.

Turabian, Kate L., John Grossman, and Alice Bennett. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations : Chicago Style for Students and Researchers . 8th /rev. by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams et al. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

University of Chicago. The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Online

What is an annotated bibliography?

An annotated bibliography includes a citation and a written statement about each work to help potential readers decide if an item is relevant to their interests. Most often they are arranged alphabetically by author, but they can also be arranged chronologically, or by topic. Most style manuals provide few details on how to write annotations. This guide only provides brief guidance. For more details see How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography (created by Research & Learning Services, Olin Library, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA and used with permission).

Annotated bibliography: MLA

According to MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition): “An annotated bibliography, also called Annotated List of Works Cited, contains descriptive or evaluative comments on the sources” (section 5.3.2)

For guidance on how to write and format annotated bibliography entries, see the Ask the MLA Style Center Annotated Bibliography page.

Annotated bibliography: APA

APA does not mention annotated bibliographies but instead gives directions for writing abstracts. According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), an abstract is defined as "a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the article; it allows readers to survey the contents of an article quickly and, like a title, it enables persons interested in the document to retrieve it from abstracting and indexing databases." (p.25) The APA guidelines for authors writing their own abstracts may be helpful for students as well. The manual describes elements to include for specific types of reports and articles. See pages 26-27 for details.

Annotated Bibliography: Chicago/Turabian

According to Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition) section 16.2.1: "Some writers annotate each bibliography entry with a brief description of the work's contents or relevance to their research..."


The Turabian (section 16.2.1) and Chicago manuals (section 14.59) offers two ways of using annotations. "If your annotations are brief phrases, add them in brackets after the publication data..." Examples from Turabian 7th edition:

Toulmin citation.png

"You may also add full-sentence annotations on a new line with paragraph indentation" (example from Turabian):

Turabian annotatedbib.png

For Zotero users

Only 2 styles automatically format annotated bibliographies:

APA 6th edition (annotated bibliography with abstract)
Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition (note, annotated bibliography)


  • You may need to add these styles to Zotero (choose "get additional styles" under Settings – Preferences – Cite tab)
  • For APA style, put the annotation in the "abstract" field.
  • For Chicago style, put the annotation in “extra” field