How to Write an Appendix in a Dissertation
June 29, 2021
Author : Jacob

The appendix in any dissertation is that part of your dissertation which is solely dedicated to the additional or supplementary information which could not be included within the chapter-wise record of the work. If you want to include an appendix in your paper, it is important that it is placed correctly. The appendix must be placed towards the end of your paper after the section dedicated to the references or the annotated bibliography. It is essentially used for all the supplementary information in your research paper that does not fit in the body of the research paper within the chapters.

Why should the appendix be towards the end of your paper?

The placement of the appendix is one of the most important aspects of a research report. The main rationale behind placing it at the end of a research report, just before or after the bibliography or references section is:

If the appendix was placed before the chapters, it may give out a little bit about the narrative. This can be especially problematic in the case of narrative essays or descriptions accounts and also in the case of book reviews. in a book review, reading the appendix can definitely spoil the story for the reader. 

What are the essential elements of an appendix?

For an appendix to be relevant, it must meet the requirements as listed below:

  1. It is important for the appendix to be placed at the end of your document. You can put it right after the reference list. If you are also including a bibliography, your appendix can also come after the bibliography.
  2. The appendix must also contain topic-wise sections. There must be separate sections for the results of the questionnaire as well as the interview transcripts. You must include separate dedicated sections for the results of the questionnaire. as well as the transcripts obtained from the interview.
  3. Every different section of the appendix must begin with a fresh page.

Here’s an example of what an appendix in a dissertation should look like:

dissertation appendix

What is the correct way to format your Appendices?

It is also important to be well versed with the correct way of formatting the appendix. Perhaps the most confusing aspect of an Appendix is the right way to format it. It is important to understand that there is no one right way to format your appendix. different researchers do it differently. Different universities have different requirements for formatting appendices. It is important to double-check the requirements of your university before you begin with formatting the appendix in your paper. 

Will the appendix be counted in the word count prescribed by your university?

The appendices generally do not count within the total word count for a research project. In fact, many researchers use the appendix to provide important details and particulars without having to worry about exceeding the world count in the main body of the research paper. 

Therefore, the best way to use an appendix is to use it for the extra information and data so that you do not exceed the word count in the chapters of the research paper. It is also equally important to check the style guidelines on formatting your appendix. 

What is the purpose of an Appendix?

The main purpose of an appendix is that it contains the material which is too detailed to be included within the main report. This can include mathematical calculations, logical derivatives, dates, diagrams, annotations, additional remarks. Even though an appendix is a place for additional or supplementary data, it is still important to ensure that the content is summarized properly as per the specific requirements of your university or professor. 

Should you include an appendix in your research paper? Or should you skip it?

If you are contemplating how to write an appendix in a dissertation, here’s what you need to know. The best thing about an appendix is that it bestows the reader a better understanding of the discipline in question. It is easier to understand the research problem or question which is otherwise quite a cumbersome process.

While putting together an appendix, you must also keep in mind that there must be a separate appendix for every topic. Every appendix must also have a brief description of the topic.

It is always suitable to include appendices in the following circumstances

It is ideal to include certain information in the appendix when including it within the main body of the chapter will make the chapter too long and sketchy. Certain instances and data can be included within the appendix when simpler precedents and instances have already been included within the main body of the chapters. In this case, including the relevant information in the body of the chapters can make the chapters redundant.

If you feel that certain information breaks the flow of your main research paper or hinders the smooth transition between paragraphs, it may be suitable to add the information in the appendix section.

Certain information may seem repetitive or redundant as similar information has already been provided in the research paper. It is suitable to add such information in the appendix. If you feel that certain information is causing the narrative to clutter, it is best included within the appendix.

In case you wish to include three appendices or more within the body of your research paper, it is advisable to contemplate placing the appendices as separate pages at the end or beginning of the paper depending upon the topic. 

This will assist the professor in understanding before they begin to study the document. They can gauge exactly what data is covered in the appendices. It is also equally important to list the different appendices according to their names in alphabetical order in the table of contents. 

The appendix is especially suited to placing supplementary materials such as:

  • Maps
  • Pictures
  • Diagrams
  • Names of books
  • Dates of mention in publications
  • Names of publications
  • Important dates 

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About the Author


Jacob is an erudite professional who has a strong command of the concepts involved in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Being a reputed economist in Australia for the last seven years, he provides online tutoring sessions to students worldwide. This is due to his love for teaching that he has always been available to cater to queries in different areas within the broad paradigm of economics. For the same reason, he has joined hands with My Assignment Services to provide expert consultation to students who find it challenging to deal with their university assignments.


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