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how to write an appendix

How To Write An Appendix – A Basic Guide For Beginners

When it comes to including an appendix, most students do it to provide comprehensive details of a topic to the readers. Before we dive into learning how to write an appendix, let’s first understand what an appendix is.

What Is An Appendix In A Report?

So what is an appendix in a report? An appendix is the last section of a paper that contains supplementary information. Such details are not a significant part of the text but may help the reader to get a detailed understanding of the topic. Students can create a separate appendix for each topic/data and provide a title according to the content.

But where do I include an APA style appendix? Simple - at the last section of an APA style paper.

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Text of paper
  • References list
  • Tables 
  • Figures
  • Appendices
  • Footnotes (APA, 2019, p. 22-27)

How To Write An Appendix – Content

For learning how to create an appendix, it's essential to know what you should include in the appendix. You can have some of the following only if it's referred to in the main text.

  • Supporting data
  • Contributory facts
  • Sample calculations
  • Maps, charts, photographs, drawings
  • Questionnaire/survey instruments
  • Complete transcripts of interviews
  • Complete field notes
  • Datasheets
  • Technical figures, statistics, graphs, tables
  • Full details of research instruments

Pro Tip: Don't include any irrelevant information which can confuse your readers and distract them from the main study. Only have information that can enhance their understanding of your research study.

Formatting An Appendix In Essays

Guidelines on how to create an appendix are incomplete if you are not aware of the correct format for appendices. 

  • You can include more than one appendix dedicating to a specific topic.
  • An appendix follows a reference list.
  • Refer to each appendix by name like Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix Cand so on.
  • For referring to an appendix inyour essay text, write (see Appendix A) at the end of the sentence. Example:

Due to online learning limitations, Canny et al. (2020) reviewed studies that focused on remote education and students (see Appendix A for demographic data).

  • Label each appendix with a letter according to the appearance in the paper. Refer to the first one as A, the second one as B, and so on. In case you have 26+ appendices, label each appendix with AA, BB, and so on.
  • Add a title for each appendix.
  • Use a separate page with a page number for every appendix
  • Label and mention the title at the top of the page.
  • Center and bold the label and title with standard capitalisation.
  • For paragraphs, the first one is flush left while the second and the rest are indented. Double-space all paragraphs.
  • Treat the tables in your appendices as you did in the text.
  • If you have included details from outside sources in your appendices, make sure to cite them parenthetically within the appendices texts. You can include the reference in your main reference list without creating a new one.
  • The appendices must follow the order by which they are mentioned in the main paper.

5 Must-Know Tips On How To Write An Appendix

A perfect research paper consists of detailed information on a topic with tables, diagrams, and other essential data to address a specific research problem. If you are planning on including an appendix, make sure:

  • It is essential for a detailed understanding of the study.
  • Doesn’t break the narrative flow of your writing.

Also, keep in mind these additional five tips while writing an appendix.

  1. Include raw data in your appendix in a clear format, so it's easy for your readers to crosscheck. You can also place the raw data online and note it as the appendix.
  2. Number the tables and figures as a separate sequence. Even if you decide not to include it in the end, the numbering won't affect the paper's overall numbering.
  3. For more than three appendices, list out each of the appendices on separate pages to let your readers know what information they can expect in it. Don’t forget to list the appendices in the table of content.
  4. Include maps, diagrams, and other non-textual details to help your reader get an extensive idea of your research topic.
  5. Don’t overload your appendices with excessive information. Creating lengthy appendices breaks down information into separate appendices to make it easier for your readers to locate information.

Here’s a sample appendix for your understanding:

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