How to Make an Appendix- A Guide
In your research paper or writing assignment or the presentation, you will probably have some paragraphs or topics which can’t explain the information entirely. This is where you will need to use an appendix. So how to make an appendix?
Before we go through the steps of making an appendix, it is essential that we understand its meaning.
What is an appendix?
An appendix is a raw data or extra information, generally provided at the end or after the citation page of the document with references in the main text. Sometimes, its placement is suggested by the teacher or professor when you are writing an assignment for your school. It is used to provide your readers the additional insights on the topic being discussed in that document.
Why is it included in the end and not within the main body of the paper?
Because it contains the extra information, it may not be useful to the entire audience or the time and space may not allow you to include in the main body. It supports the important points in your paper, but not everybody would be interested in reading that extra information. So including it in the main body would make it irrelevant when it is not useful for everybody.
It is also used in Powerpoint presentations and the same placement and referencing rules are applied in this type of work too. But you will have options to hide or show in particular. For example, if you want to provide your presentation in a PDF format or in a printed handout, you may hide the appendix if needed.
What can you include in an appendix?
You can include any or all of the types mentioned below as part of your appendix in a paper depending on the need.
- Texts or paragraph
- Graphs or Charts
- Examples with images, photographs, and illustrations
- Drawings, diagrams, and maps
- Links to websites
- List of suggested reading
Note that you should include only those details in the appendix that you are going link as references in the main body of your writing. Any information that is not relevant or not supporting the points of your main writing should not be included in the appendix.
The content of an appendix
An appendix for a research paper or presentation is a place where you can display the raw data that you have collected during the preparation and research. It can be any information that is relevant useful to understand the points in your paper and support the results or facts.
You can include the calculations and statistical information as raw data when they are useful in extending the points being discussed in your paper. You have to show them as references in the main content.
If you are using some external source of information or other people’s work as a reference to support your writings, you should properly cite them. You should use proper citation style depending on the nature of the research and the subject of the paper. The main citation styles are APA style, MLA style, and Chicago Style. If you want to use the styles like MLA or APA in word document, you can use the Style feature given under the References tab in MS Word.
You can use images, graphs, charts, diagrams, maps, drawings and tables for a report if required. It includes those visual contents that you have created during the research. It will help your readers understand the information quickly.
The main benefit of using visual content in the appendix is that it will not take the space in the main body. You will reference them in the main content which will provide an option for those who want to check them for more information.
You can also include the graphs, charts and other visuals created by other researchers if needed. But in this case, you should cite them properly so that the reader can know that it is not created by you.
Your readers will find it useful if you mention the information regarding the instruments used in your research. So you should note this in the appendix. You can mention whatever is used, i.e. Tape recorder, video recorder, the camera for pictures or any other device.
Your readers should know how did you use the device while conducting the research and taking the interviews or surveys. It will help your audience understand the method and techniques used in your research.
Transcripts of interviews and surveys
You should include the complete interview transcripts, survey question answers and any correspondence as part of the appendix. You can include the photocopies of handwritten notes and contents or online copies. It will depend on whether you have written your paper and appendix in word processor or on a physical medium.
The format of an appendix
Like most of the writing assignments, the appendix also has some formatting conventions to be followed. They are as below.
Title of the appendix
Title of the appendix can be in the same format as the title of the other sections of your research paper or presentation. You can write it in the same font style and size. It can also be written in all capital letters, i.e. APPENDIX or in title or sentence case, i.e. Appendix.
Use Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C and so on to give them a proper ordering if you have to create more than one appendix. If you want to use numbers, write them like Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3 and so on. Whichever ordering style you use, i.e. letters or number, make sure to use it consistently.
Also, when you have more than one appendix, you should begin each of them on a new page. This is to avoid confusion for the reader on where one ends and other begins.
Content should be ordered in the same order as they are referenced in the main text. For example, if you have mentioned a chart in the first paragraph, you should place that chart first in the appendix. Same way, if you have mentioned about a table in the last chapter or at the end of the paper, it should be displayed in the last in your appendix.
Ordering this way will be useful for the audience as it makes referencing easy and user-friendly.
Placement and page numbers
The appendix is generally placed after the reference list in the research paper. However, you can place it as per the instruction of your professor if you are writing an assignment for your school. You should also mention the appendix title in the table content if you have created.
If you include the appendix in the table of content, you should write the title in it.
When there are more than one appendix, you should write each of them on the new page. So you will also need to give numbers to them. The numbers can be displayed at the bottom of the page in the center or the right corner.
Make sure to use the same numbering style as used for the pages of the main body of your paper. Continue the numbering from the main body to the appendix so that it looks like a part of the paper. For example, if the last page of the main body of your paper is 20, you should continue numbering the pages of appendixes from 21.
Make your appendix perfect
Reviewing and editing is a must for any writing assignment. So once you are done with creating an appendix, you should carefully review and edit it. You have to consider many aspects to make your appendix a perfect one. It includes the length, quality, and easiness of use.
Review and revise
There is no limit to the length of the appendix, but you should not make it too long. However, you should also not worry about the length to ensure that the entire information is covered. You can take help of your mentors, teachers or classmates and ask them to have a look at the appendix once. Ask them to provide feedback if everything is relevant or need correction, addition or removal of any information.
You should remove any information that is not relevant or supporting any point in your paper. Same way, you should also look for the missing information and add if needed.
Check for quality
Like any other piece of content, you should make sure your appendix is perfect in terms of text quality. There should be no spelling or punctuation mistakes and should be free from grammatical errors. Proofread yourself and use spell check if your paper is on a computer.
You can also ask somebody to proofread the appendix and give feedback to make it error free. Having a perfectly and professionally written appendix is important to make your paper look complete.
Check if the appendix is cited in the text properly
You should check if the appendixes are cited properly in the text in your paper or presentation. This should be done by using the title used in the actual appendixes. For example, Appendix 1 in the text as (See Appendix A for the diagram). This way, you will ensure that the information in the appendix is relevant to the text where it is cited.