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Sample APA Annotation

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  5. XI. Read the text to yourself and write the annotation.
  6. XII. Read the text to yourself and write the annotation.

Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York: Henry Holt and Company.


In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Wal-Mart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.


An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.

The Harvard citation format provides that all statements, views and inferences taken from the work of another author be cited. This stipulation applies whether the cited material is quoted verbatim, paraphrased or summarized. In- text citation refers to the authors name and the date of publication. In the event the exact date of publication is not known an approximate date preceded by ‘ca’ is provided or if it is not possible to give even an approximate date, then ‘n.d’ should be mentioned to indicate that no date is available. As well, in cases where the statement or idea is an anonymous source the same is indicated in the citation as ‘anon’.

There are nuances to in-text citation depending on the situation. For instance, if citations within the text involve authors with the same last name, then it becomes necessary to use the initials of the authors to distinguish one from the other. Also, when the essay contains text that has been quoted verbatim such text must be contained within quotation marks and the citation must include the page number from which the text has been taken. This makes reference checking easy for anyone who wishes to review the essay.

Other than the in-text citation, the end of the essay contains a complete list of references giving details of all the in-text citations. Referencing serves many purposes. Basically, referencing shows readers who subsequently review the essay that there is no plagiarism and, if need be, enables them to do further research using the materials cited in the essay.

This style furhter requires that the reference list gives complete bibliographic details, as well as the page numbers from which the cited text has been taken. The way in which the referencing is done slightly differs depending on the type of source. In the case of a book, bibliographic detail refers to the author/ editor, the year the book was published, the name of the book, edition, volume number if any, and place and name of publisher. As a rule, this information is normally found in proximity to the title page.

In the case of citations from journals, the reference will include the name of the author, the year the article was published, the title of the article, the name of the journal, its volume and issue numbers and the page numbers from which the material used was taken.

For Harvard citationof electronic sources the referencing is a little different. In these cases the reference will have all the details given in the case of books and journals and, in addition, will also contain the name of the database or the URL (web address), and the date on which the material was accessed.

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