Skip to Main Content



This tab includes an overview of creating annotated bibliographies from your references.

The instructions in this guide apply to version 5 of Zotero and Word 2016.

Annotated Bibliographies

Adapted from a LibGuide by Keith Stanger for Eastern Michigan University Library.

The Zotero Style Repository offers two styles for creating annotated bibliographies: one that follows the format of APA 6th Edition and another for Chicago Manual of Style's 16th edition. These formats use the information in each entry's "Abstract" field to create an annotation. For this reason, they are not the most useful scripts for Reed assignments. You will be using your own words for your annotations, and in many cases the Abstract field auto-populates with text from the article's abstract when importing citations into your library.

The following are links to Zotero styles for annotated bibliographies that use the "Extra" field to generate an annotation instead. When using these output styles, any text you add to the Extra field for your library items will appear as an annotation below the citation entry. Click on the links below and then download the CSL Citation Style file to your computer.

To add the styles to Zotero, open Zotero, then click on the downloaded file to open. This should cause Zotero to prompt you to confirm that you want to install the style. Then click Install.

To create annotated bibliographies using your new style scripts:

  1. Select multiple references in the Zotero center column using Ctrl+Click (Cmd+Click on a Mac)
  2. Right-click to select "Create Bibliography from Items..."
  3. Select your preferred annotated citation style for your bibliography format.
  4. Choose "Save as RTF" to save the bibliography as a rich text file.
  5. This file will open in any word processor.

In the newly-created bibliography file, you should see the text from your entries' Extra fields appear as annotations.

Use the "Save as RTF" function to create a stand-alone annotated bibliography. Using drag-and-drop or "Copy to Clipboard" options may result in an annotated bibliography with improper indentations.