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Zotero

Zotero is free, easy to use software that helps you save, manage, and cite research sources.

Creating an Annotated Bibliograpy

If you'd like to use Zotero to create an annotated bibliography in APA or Chicago style, you can use a custom citation style designed specifically to output annotations. To install one of the styles that supports annotations:

  • Go to the Zotero Preferences menu (Zotero > Preferences on Mac, Edit > Preferences on PC).
  • Click on the Cite menu. Here, you'll see a list of all of the styles already installed.
  • Below the list of pre-installed styles, click the link for Get additional styles...
  • Search for “annotated” in the provided search field. You should see two styles: one for APA and one for Chicago.
  • Select the style you want to install. 

Important: If using the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition (note, annotated bibliography), add annotations to the source's Extra field in Zotero. If using American Psychological Association 6th edition (annotated bibliography with abstract), insert annotations into the Abstract field.

When it's time to create your bibliography, it's easiest to collect all of your bibliography's sources into a new collection (see Adding Items to your Library), then right-click on the collection title and select Create Bibliography from Collection

right click menu in the collections pane

Then, select your annotated bibliography citation style from the list and ensure that Copy to Clipboard is selected. Click OK.

create bibliography from collection

Now you can paste in your annotated bibliography anywhere you can paste in text--a Word document, Google Doc, email, etc.

Zotero Guide

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Kyle Denlinger
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