An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that includes a paragraph following each citation that summarizes or evaluates the source being cited. "Each annotation is generally three to seven sentences long. In some bibliographies, the annotation merely describes the content and scope of the source; in others, the annotation also evaluates the source’s reliability, currency, and relevance to a researcher’s purpose" (Glossary of Research Terms, n.d.).
The primary purpose of bibliographic citations is to assist the reader in finding the sources used in the writing of a work. Depending on the assignment, an annotated bibligraphy might have different purposes:
There are 2 common types of annotations - descriptive and critical or evaluative.
A Descriptive annotation may summarize:
A Critical annotation includes the same information as a descriptive annotation, but will also include value judgments or comments on the effectiveness of the work. [In this context, critical means evaluative and may include both positive and negative comments.] When writing a critical annotation, include some of the these features: