A bibliography is a list of sources (books, journals, Web sites, periodicals, etc.) you used for researching your topic. Bibliographies are called "Works Cited" (in MLA Style) and "References" (in APA Style) Your bibliography will include the bibliographic information (i.e., the author, title, publisher, etc.) that your reader would need to identify and locate the original source you're citing.
An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation of a source.
Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes your citation followed by a summary and/or evaluation of each of your sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following.
Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others.
Be sure to always follow the specific instructions your instructor gives you.
Every good research paper is an argument. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. So, a very important part of research is developing a thesis that is debatable, interesting, and current. Writing an annotated bibliography can help you gain a good perspective on what is being said about your topic. By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic, you'll start to see what the issues are, what people are arguing about, and you'll then be able to develop your own point of view.
Writing an annotated bibliography is excellent preparation for a research project. Just collecting sources for a bibliography is useful, but when you have to write annotations for each source, you're forced to read each source more carefully. You begin to read more critically instead of just collecting information.
Because your teachers generally set all the other requirements for your annotated bibliography, ask your teacher for specific instructions. For example, ask if your annotated bibliography should include a title page.