As is sometimes the case for elements of American
Psychological Association (APA) style, even though there is no actual rule
found in the manual for a given element, readers can extrapolate a rule by
paying attention to how the manual is written. This is true for annotated
bibliographies. Although annotated bibliographies are often helpful to readers,
there is no section in the manual that specifies how to format them. However,
the Suggested Reading section of the manual (pages 368 through 377) does
present an annotated bibliography of works on topics of interest to readers of
the manual. Astute readers may safely model an annotated bibliography on this
example. An analysis of the example reveals that an entry for an annotated
bibliography consists of two elements: (a) a standard entry using the APA
format for citations and (b) a short abstract describing the work.
You may safely
observe the following rules when creating an annotated bibliography for your
Use double spacing throughout the bibliography.
Write a standard reference entry.
If the standard entry is more than one line, use a
hanging indentation: The first line should start at the left margin, and
subsequent lines should be indented four spaces.
The right margin is the right margin of your document.
Go down to the next line, indent two more spaces, and
write the annotation.
The annotation can consist of (a) a short summary of
the work referenced and (b) if you like, a short
description of how the work relates to your research.
Note that annotations need not be complete sentences,
but tend to be grammatically parallel.
In an extensive annotated bibliography, you may break
down the entries into different categories or topics.
As an example,
there follows a partial annotated bibliography for Slow Love: A Polynesian Pillow Book.
G. (1986). Possessing Tahiti.
Archaeology in Oceania, 21,
Explores early European textual and visual representations of
Suggs, R. C. (1966). Marquesan sexual behavior: An anthropological study of
Polynesian practices. New York: Harcourt,
Brace, & World.
anthropological and historical study of sexual practices in a remote and
area, detailing customs, beliefs, and reconstructions of past
Sturma, M. (2002). South Sea maidens: Western fantasy and
sexual politics in the
South Pacific. Westport,
racial, and postcolonial issues in Western representations of South
from the time of first European contact until the present.
About the Author
JAMES N. POWELL, with MA degrees in both English Literature and Religious Studies, is a former Professor of English Literature. He has been editing, coaching, and tutoring writers and students for years. He was inhouse APA proofreader of doctoral dissertations at the Fielding University. He excels at working with international / ESL students. Specializing in APA and MLA styles, he has proofread hundreds of doctoral dissertations and papers. He is an internationally published writer, with books issued by major houses: Prentice Hall, William Morrow, and Hosei University Press (Japan).
If you have a book, dissertation, or paper that needs to be in APA format, rather than attempting to master the 272-page Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, turn your manuscript over to an editor with years of APA experience. I have edited doctoral dissertations published at the following universities, to name just a few: Adelphi University, Adler Graduate School, Alliant University, Antioch University, Argosy University, California Institute of Integral Studies, California State University, Capella University, Century University, City University of New York, Concordia University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fielding Graduate University, Grand Canyon University, Harvard University, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, Hunter College, John F. Kennedy University, Kwangwoon University, Leiden University of Social Sciences, Liberty University, Longwood University, Medaille College, Morgan State University, Northcentral University, Nova Southeastern University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pepperdine University, Regent University School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Regis University of Professional Studies, Rider University, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, Saint Mary’s University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, University of California, University of Florida, University of Hartford, University of Kansas, University of Miami, University of Oslo, University of Phoenix, University of Texas, University of the West Indies, University of Wisconsin, Walden University, Warren National University, William Howard Taft University, Yeshiva University, and York University.
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