There are different types of research papers and it means that annotated bibliographies in them do not fit to one certain standard. For each type of paper, there is a specific type of annotated bibliographies to be used. The types of annotations differ depending on what you wanted the reader to learn about the source or sometimes specifically about the author of the source. Usually assignments on papers contain basic information about the format of your work, including the annotated bibliography. But most of the time the description does not include the type of annotated bibliography. If this is your case, then you basically have two choices: either to just guess the type or conduct an analysis of your assignment to a certain extent. For example, the assignment may tell you that your annotated bibliography should give evidence proving a critical understanding of the sources you have used.
The word critical hints you that you must evaluate the sources you’re working with and provide some kind of critique.
Ok, so there are some basic types of annotations that are, in turn, divided into smaller groups. Summary annotations have to give the summary of the source; furthermore, they are divided into 2 groups: informative and indicative. Summary or summarizing annotations in general have a couple of defining features. First of all, they sum up the content of the source, which is similar to a book report. Another thing is that they present an overview of the arguments, facts, proofs and evidences that are given in the work and state the resulting conclusion. You must not judge the work, you have to discuss it. The proper way of creating a summarizing bibliography would be adding some facts about the author’s methodology or approach to the material.
Another type of annotated bibliographies considered to be a summary annotation is an informative annotation. They usually appear to be basic summaries, but they often highlight relevant information about the author or the work itself.
The second type of AB is an indicative annotation. Instead of specifying any kind of information, it gives general information about the issue or questions addressed. It also may include some features of basic text formatting, like chapter title, etc.
Indicative annotation is the second type of summary annotation, but it does not attempt to include actual information from the argument itself. Instead, it gives general information about what kinds of questions or issues are addressed by the work. This sometimes includes the use of chapter titles.
And the last type of annotation is called critical or evaluative. It does not just summarize anything from the work. It faces the points addressed, criticizing them. It evaluates the source or author critically (biases, lack of evidence, etc.). It shows the whole point of this work and how it may be useful for a particular field of knowledge. An important feature of this type of annotation is that it explains how a specific source helped you with your own work.
But, of course, the most commonly used type of annotations is a combination of all types. The symbiosis of all of the types creates a perfect mixture, which helps you and the reader of your work