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Psychology and Addiction Studies: Annotated Bibliography

A multi-page guide to materials, methods, and other resources for the academic study of psychology.


An annotated bibliography is a list of books, articles, and other documents, plus brief descriptive or evaluative sentences. The purpose of the annotations is to provide information to the reader about the accuracy, relevancy, and quality of the sources cited.    

The notations provided in an annotated bibliography vary in content but are brief and usually critical or descriptive.   

Unless specifically  told otherwise by your instructor or publisher, use the format or style guide required by your class or field. For more details, consult the manual or the website for the style guide you are using. APA st yle, based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, is the obvious standard for psychology.

Two types of Annotated Bibliography

Descriptive/Paraphrase – describes the content of the work without judging it

Critical/Commentary – evaluates the usefulness of the work for a particular audience or situation

Additional Resources

"Annotated Bibliographies." Purdue OWL.

Harner, James L. On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography. 2nd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 7th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2020.

Steps to Preparing an Annotated Bibliography

  1. Research –  find citations to likely books, journal articles, and other documents and locate the material.
  2. Read – examine and review the actual items and make final selections for inclusion.
  3. Cite – choose the appropriate citation format.
  4. Organize – decide how to present your bibliography (alphabetical, chronological, or by subject).
  5. Annotate –  write a concise annotation summarizing the central premise and scope of the material.  Other points may include evaluation of the author’s authority, comparison to other works included in your bibliography, or explanation of how this work illuminated your bibliographic topic.


In the annotations, include some or all of the following items:

  1. Credentials of the author
  2. Scope, purpose, and perspective of the work cited
  3. Intended audience or level of reading difficulty
  4. Relationship to other works in the area of study
  5. Very brief summary of content