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How to Write an Appendix: Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

how to write an appendix
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While composing your work, you may stumble upon a question on how to write an appendix.

An appendix is a supplemental section of a research paper that provides additional information, data, or materials to support the main content. The appendix is usually placed at the end of the document and is numbered with letters or numbers, such as "Appendix A," "Appendix B," etc. The purpose of an appendix is to provide readers with supplementary details that are not included in the main text but are relevant to the topic.

Once you decide on writing appendices, you should collect additional information and format your text as required. Here, we will talk about how you can work with appendices. We will also show some nuances of their preparation process using a real example.

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What Is an Appendix: Definition

Experienced researchers know what an appendix in a paper is. But aspiring authors often have problems with this section of the work. First of all, you should understand that appendices are an additional section of a dissertation or any other scientific paper that includes additional information.

Main points are not placed in an appendix meanwhile at the end of your work it can expand on some context or clarify author’s position on a particular issue. Also, an appendix is ​​often placed after the citation page of a work. It is indicated with the help of references in a main text.

What Is the Purpose of an Appendix

Quite often, authors don’t understand the purpose of an appendix. This usually looks like a table and is not included in a main text. Remember that content of your dissertation should be concise and clear. It is also undesirable if you deviate from your theme so as not to confuse readers. Therefore, you can provide a reference, which will lead a reader to an appendix of a thesis.

Typically, the purpose of an appendix is to extra information that is usually not included in the text's body. It expresses author's point of view, and provides additional information. It may not address the immediate topic of your dissertation or expand on current research. As a reminder, your work should be clear even without studying an appendix. So make sure you don't put important details there.

What Can You Include in an Appendix

An appendix in a paper is a supplement to a main text, not a replacement. You can put different elements there. It is better if you separate appendices, highlighting one element in each of them. Don’t forget about separate references in your text. Otherwise it will be difficult for a reader to understand your information better. Thus, the following information can be added:

  • tables;
  • diagrams with illustrative figures;
  • abbreviations;
  • interviews;
  • statistics, and much more.

There are no restrictions on content added to your dissertation's appendices. Theoretically, you can attach absolutely any information that is relevant to your topic. Thus, possibilities for evidence base are almost unlimited. All you need to do is add tables or any other information.

How to Write an Appendix: Full Guide

If you already have experience working on dissertations and other scientific texts, you will not wonder how to make an appendix. However, it is still important that you get some advice on how to properly structure an appendices section. This will help add information that may be redundant in the main part of your paper.

We offer 4 simple steps to create an informative and readable appendix block.

Step 1. Make an Appendix: Include Your Data

When creating an appendix, include extra data in their raw form. That is, you might not have used some details in your main paper. But you want a reader to know more information. For example, it can be calculations, some results of which are mentioned in your main text. Or maybe, you can add some statistics that clearly demonstrate your research paper conclusion.

You can also include facts from other scientific sources that support your position. One thing is important — information should complement your text but not contradict it.

Step 2. Include Visual Supporting Documents in an Appendix 

When you are writing an appendix, you can’t avoid visual additions that clearly demonstrate an information and save an author from lengthy descriptions in the text. Should you need to support your conclusions drawn in the scientific text, these can be used:

  • graphs;
  • charts;
  • images;
  • tables;
  • drawings.

Don’t forget: you should quote and indicate the authorship of graphics used in your work. If you took it from any third-party sources, of course. Thus, a reader will be able to find additional data that explains the content of your text.

It is good if you personally put results of your research in a graphic form. To do this, you can use Office programs, graphic editors and other programs available to PC users.

Step 3. Describe the Instruments of Your Research in Your Appendices

It is good if your appendix in the research paper has a section for indicating tools that were used during the preparation of your dissertation writing. This way, your reader will understand how you collected information and do it themselves. For example, it could be a dictaphone or tape recorder on which an interview with your expert was recorded. Or you might have used a video camera for recording facts and interviews. In such case, it is advisable to indicate these instruments in your appendix. Specialized equipment for measuring, calculating and making graphics should also be added at the beginning of the appendix.

This way, you will demonstrate your skills and knowledge. Research units don’t require extra tools, so make sure they are listed. You can do it even in a short format.

Step 4. Include an Interview and Transcripts in an Appendix

When conducting interviews and surveys for collecting information, make an appendix with photocopies of handwritten materials or electronic copies of digital surveys. Their order is not important. The main thing is that your research text contains references. This will allow you to quickly study the sources.

You should not only show that the source contains important data but also explain it. So, even additional content, including questions and answers, needs to be listed. But if you originally had a readable format, you don’t need to do this.

In addition to interviews, also add screenshots or photos of correspondences used for surveys. For example, you can refer to a significant researcher with whom you exchanged letters. Or maybe you studied subject, together with this researcher, and they gave some comments on a particular issue.

Do not know how to write a discussion section of a research paper? Do not worry, we have the whole article dedicated to this topic.

Formatting an Appendix: Main Rules

Formatting of appendices is required in any case. First of all, provide correct citations. APA, MLA, and Chicago are the most commonly used standards. Although, you should clarify what formatting requirements your institution has.

Correct formatting includes:

  • Appendix title. Write it at the top of the content page, indicate its title, using letters or numbers for ordering.
  • Sorted by mention. Don’t add appendices randomly, it is better to do it in chronological order. That is, as information from it is given in main text.
  • Location after bibliography. This is a general requirement that cannot always be met. For example, if your professor wants the appendices to be put before the bibliography, this will have to be done.
  • Page numbers. All dissertation pages should be numbered, even if they are blank. This will make the appendix block the part of main text.

Also, review your appendix before approval. Make sure that its content is clear, error-free, and correctly quoted.

Appendix Example

To do the job successfully, it is recommended to have an example of an appendix at hand. Without it, there are usually problems with a choice of font and mentions that appear in main text. We will show you what the appendix itself looks like at the end of the dissertation using a short interview as an example.

Appendix example

We have one more blog in case you wonder what is an abstract in a paper or need some examples and writing tips.

How to Make an Appendix: Final Thoughts

Thus, we talked about how to write an appendix. It allows you to include additional details, while avoiding writing them in the body of your text. To do this, one can use graphics, transcriptions of conversations, tables and statistics — anything that complements your research.

Be sure to clarify formatting requirements of your university. Arrange appendices in an order in which they appear in your text. Try to use your own materials and not take other people's work. In case of unique findings, they can be used in your work.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Appendix Writing

1. How do you add an appendix to an essay?

The inclusion of appendix to an essay is the same as to any other paper. You need to provide references in your text of an essay itself, as well as submit attachments after a bibliography. Don't forget to specify name of an appendix for easy navigation.

2. Do I add references to the appendix?

Yes, this is not only recommended but must be done. In this case the appendix will allow your reader to check the reliability of sources you used. Moreover, if you took any information from third-party sources, this protect you from plagiarism charges.

4. How do you create an appendix in Word?

It is not difficult to prepare an appendix in Word, because this Office program contains all the necessary tools. To get started, choose the same font, font size and indentation that were used in the main text, so as not to visually break away from it. We also recommend that you apply title formatting with built-in Word tools. Place the appendix titles at the top in the center of a page. In this case it will be much easier to navigate the paper.

3. What is an appendix in a report example?

You can include a wide range of information into an appendix in a report. It is better to opt for descriptive formats, though. For example, it can be graphical or mathematical research results, statistics of a certain phenomenon, and questionnaires filled in by other people.

Article posted on:Sep 28, 2022
Article updated on:May 9, 2024


Leave your comment here:
9/11/2023 3:09 PM
can you help me to write an appendix on installing rainwater harvesting
9/11/2023 3:26 PM

You might describe the step-by-step process of system installation and provide diagrams or illustrations of system components. Additionally, you can include maintenance guidelines or local regulations.

However, if you need professional help with your appendix, do not hesitate to contact our academic experts.