Annotated outlines are maps used to plan a paper, and they include additional information or explanations. Annotated outlines help organize argument points, research and additional information into a clear plan before one begins writing a paper. Depending on the purpose of the outline, the formatting and information needed can vary.
While many outlines give a general plan for a research paper, annotated outlines include more details and allow the writer to make sure topics and points connect and support the thesis before writing the entire paper. Annotated outlines often include comments or explanations, citations of sources used, information regarding these cited sources and topic sentences.