An annotated bibliography gives an account of the research you have done on a given topic. The purpose is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
An annotated bibliography is NOT the same as an abstract, which simply summarizes a work's main points.
(with thanks to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center Literature Review)
Find a focus
A literature review is often organized around ideas, not the sources themselves. This means that you will not just simply list your sources and go into detail about each one of them, one at a time. As you read widely but selectively in your topic area, consider instead what themes or issues connect your sources together. Do they present one or different solutions? Is there an aspect of the field that is missing? How well do they present the material and do they portray it according to an appropriate theory? Do they reveal a trend in the field? A raging debate? Pick one of these themes to focus the organization of your review.
Use quotes sparingly
Summarize and synthesize
Keep your own voice
Use caution when paraphrasing
Other useful guides:
Not all the sources you look at will end up in your annotated bibliography or literature review!