Annotated Bibliographies are a valuable part of the research process. They provide you a place to collect information and to write about how you may use that information in your paper. They are, in a matter of speaking, a formal type of note card.
Simply put, an annotated bibliography is a collection of sources around a particular topic of interest with each source containing a summary (annotation) of its content. It is important to follow your instructor’s guidelines for such an assignment as there is a broad range of ways one can approach constructing such a collection. Some annotated bibliographies are a collection of many sources, sometimes hundreds of sources, with a one or two sentence annotation; others will have annotations that are several paragraphs or even several pages. Typically, an annotated bibliography provides the source citation as it would appear in a bibliography and then a paragraph or two summarizing the information in the source. Some bibliographies will analyze the source as well in terms of its value to the research. The Purdue OWL explains this approach in more detail here along with providing some examples here.
The University of North Carolina’s writing center also provides a comprehensive overview of annotated bibliographies.
Because of the multiple ways one can approach constructing an annotated bibliography, remember to follow the assignment guidelines provided by your instructor.
Carnegie Vincent Library. (2012, April 18). Annotated Bibliographies: An Illustrated Guide [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/-LpgXJvQnEc
Champlain College Library. (2012, February 2). What’s an Annotated Bibliography? [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/RZoIXuRyTgI