Annotated bibliographies are an amazing introduction to research (with or without an additional research essay). I use annotated bibs to encourage students to independently explore issues we are discussing in class: death penalty, gender issues, animal rights. Bibs are also effective for researching for presentations.
This straightforward download offers an easy-to-follow assignment sheet (with examples of how to go about writing both a summary paragraph and analysis paragraph for each entry). A rubric is included as well. I view this as an introductory level annotated bibliography appropriate for 10th-12th grades.