Sample Annotated Bibliography
Some of your courses at Ashford University will require you to write an annotated bibliography.
An annotated bibliography is a working list of references—books, journal articles, online
documents, etc.—that you will use for an essay, research paper, or project.
Although there are no strict formatting guidelines for the annotated bibliography itself, each
reference should be cited in APA format. After each citation, provide a summary of the source,
indicating how it will inform your essay, research paper, or project. Many pertinent ideas and
supporting details come from analyzing and summarizing your sources.
An annotated bibliography helps you get a head start on your assignment, and it encourages you
to focus your topic as you assess each source, choosing the key ideas and sources that are most
valuable for your assignment. Also, you can keep track of your sources as well as the correct
formatting for each reference.
Note: Many of the references listed here are older sources. Please be aware that some Ashford
classes may require that students use sources that were published within the last five years.
Provided below is a sample annotated bibliography.
Aslanian, C. B. (2001). Adult students today. New York, NY: The College Board.
Exceptional resource for statistics on adult learners and their motivation for returning to
school. The author presents a study spanning 20 years that illustrates extensive
demographics including average age, income, travel distance, cost, ethnicity, gender,
religion, and field of study.
Brookfield, S. (n.d.). Adult learning: An overview. Retrieved from
Excellent and thorough article covering four major research areas: self-directed learning,
critical reflection, experiential learning, and learning to learn. The author refutes current
definitions of adult learning and motivation and proposes instead that culture, ethnicity,
and personality have greater significance than are espoused in current descriptions of