An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that summarizes and explains the relevance of each source to your research.
Use it at the beginning of the research process to:
- Record the sources you have found.
- Demonstrate your understanding of your sources.
- Analyze the quality and credibility of your sources.
- Identify patterns and themes among and across different sources.
- Reflect on the possible ways you will use your sources as you integrate them into your paper.
- Develop a thesis or argument.
An annotated bibliography is often assigned as a step in writing a research paper.
The University of Toronto provides a detailed explainer: