Simply put, an annotated bibliography is a bibliography (a list of citations for sources) with annotations (notes). When you’re working on a research project, writing an annotated bibliography can help you keep track of and better understand your research. Published works sometimes include annotated bibliographies to recommend additional sources on a topic.
When writing an annotated bibliography for a class, the bibliography—the citations—should be formatted according to the citation style required by your instructor. However, citation styles do not have rules for the annotations themselves. So, it’s important to follow the specific advice of your instructor, the assignment sheet, or the syllabus. You need to know what kinds of information to include in each annotation and how long it should be.
If you haven’t been assigned an annotated bibliography but want to write one to help you organize your research, that’s great! Include the information that will be most helpful to you as you continue your research project.
For more information and some examples of annotated bibliographies, see these resources:
Annotated Bibliographies | UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center
Writing an Annotated Bibliography | Skidmore
How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography | Cornell University