An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief description of the source in which you basically justify why you are using that source.
You will summarize the relevant information you're getting from that source (but remember, this isn't your paper -- you are summarizing, not presenting all the information itself) as well as how this well help you in your research (by providing background information, by exploring a certain angle, by presenting a contrary idea...).
Creating an annotated bibliography is not simply an academic exercise. An annotated bibliography is a tool to help you summarize your source content and evaluate its place within your research. If a source satisfies your "usefulness" criteria, that source belongs on your annotated bibliography. This process begins the transition from reading sources to incorporating content (ideas, quotes, paraphrasing) into your work. It is time to "make sense" of the knowledge you have gained from your research. This knowledge is the foundation on which to build your own voice, explain your methodology, discuss your conclusions, make and report on your new knowledge.
Of course, evaluation of sources goes beyond "usefulness" to the other elements of authority, credibility, currency, and purpose.
Your process to capture sources and citations will be very individual, but be consistent and choose a tool to help organize your research. Some suggested tools:
OneDrive - 1 TB free storage for Lone Star College students.
Evernote - The basic version is free. Works across all mobile devices. Create notebooks for each course or writing assignment. Be sure to download the Web Clipper as well.
ZoteroBib is a free citation tool that supports MLA, APA, CMOS, and thousands of others. Use this instead of the full Zotero if you just need some quick citations.
What should an annotated bibliography look like? How do you construct the paper? Good questions!
Feel free to use the template document linked below.