What is an appendix? Appendices are sections in a document or a write-up that offer extra & supplementary information about the subject involved. Information in appendices is NOT ESSENTIAL but also NOT EXTRANEOUS to the content. They offer information that allows readers to conduct further research, learn about related subjects & concepts, and support the analyses & arguments presented in the document.
Appendices are part of a document’s references and come after the reference list right at the end of the paper. They often follow the exact referencing style as that of the whole document and can be written by the author themselves or copied from elsewhere, in which case they need to be referenced as required.
An appendix may not be of much interest to the casual reader, but they are vital to supporting & explaining the main points in the document. Appendices are a treasure trove of information that helps an inquisitive reader learn more and further explore and satisfy the dedicated reader who loves to explain things just a bit more.
Let’s get into some more details.
When To Use & How To Make An Appendix?
What is an appendix in a paper? This is quite a common question for many first-time writers.
Any raw data, calculations, statistical information, explanations, readings, illustrations, etc.- any information collected or obtained during research can be added as appendices to help the audience understand the points & support the results & the facts within the main content.
It is up to the author to decide if and when to add appendices. Given that appendices contain relevant but non-essential information for references, certain factors must be considered before adding a supplement to a document.
- Appendices can contain raw data that allows readers to explore further and understand the interconnected, related, and branch subjects & topics. They should deliver helpful, supporting, and essential material to help readers understand the write-up better and develop better ideas about the subject under study.
- Appendices should be used when adding or incorporating some material that would make it unnecessarily or extensively long, poorly structured, or excessively detailed.
- Appendices can be a collection of references, and the writer can refer to individual entries of the appendix for referencing purposes.
All in all, we can say that appendices help readers understand a topic or a subject better. It is important to remember that appendices are not a part of the word count of the primary document.
Appendices can contain:
- Paragraphs or an entire body of text
- Additional Supporting Evidence
- Graphs, Charts, Diagrams, Images, Photographs
- Other different kinds of illustrations like Maps, Drawings, Photocopies, etc.
- Links to websites and Online Copies
- FAQs, Mathematical Solutions, Detailed Explanations
- List of Suggested Readings
- Auxiliary information about experiments
- Transcripts of interviews, surveys, and questionnaires
- Field notes from observations
- Specifications and data sheets
- Letters, Emails, and other correspondence
The critical thing to remember is that appendices should not contain anything that does not help the reader’s overall understanding & interpretation of the content and distracts them from understanding the ideas within.
Appendices are detailed references for the primary content and nothing more, so one must be careful with the nature of the information they are adding.
Some General Points To Consider
Most appendices are written following the same referencing style as followed by the rest of the document. All format rules that apply to the rest of the document are to be followed in the appendix. And every appendix must be listed in the table of contents. Page number of the appendix should be given in sequence with that of the document’s last page.
There are specific formatting conventions to be followed while crafting an appendix, however.
The Title: The title of the appendix must be in the same format as that of the other sections’ titles in the main document. Follow the same font style and size. Write the title in capital or sentence case as applicable.
If there are multiple appendices, then number them accordingly and in a consistent order. Each appendix should begin on a new page to avoid confusion.
The Order of the Content: Content in appendices must be placed in the same order as the main document. References to appendices that appear in the first section of the document should become before the references are found later on in the document. The order of presentation should be dictated by the order in the main document or paper.
This makes things easier for the audience to follow and makes for a user-friendly write-up.
Content Placement: All raw data should be added in a clear format for the reader to understand. Tables and figures should be placed in a separate numbering sequence from the main paper.
Make sure to keep those appendices streamlined & compact. Do not overload them with information. If you need to add long and complex appendices, divide them or break them down into separate appendices to help readers find any information quickly.
The following section looks into formatting appendices in two of the most common citation styles, the APA and MLA formats.
How To Write An Appendix In MLA & APA Format
The MLA Appendix Format
- Appendices in the form of prose do not require any special formatting. They should be written in the form of paragraphs and divided into sub-sections.
- If appendices contain lists, then writers should decide whether to number them or not. Proper sequencing and consistent styling must be followed throughout.
- Appendices that double as bibliographies or a list of suggested readings should be formatted as a works-cited list. Alphabetize the items, follow consistent formatting and use a hanging indentation.
- Questionnaires, surveys, charts, and tables are added as is but in a more straightforward & concise way.
The APA Appendix Format
- The label and title of the appendix should be given at the top of the page. It should be centered and use normal capitalization. And the label must come before the title.
- Every appendix must begin on a separate page.
- The first paragraph of the text must begin on the left margin and indentations of the subsequent lines by 0.5 inches.
- Treat charts, tables, and figures in appendices like the way you do in the main text.
- Cite information from outside sources in parentheses within the appendices’ text and include those referencing data in the document’s primary citation list.
And that wraps up this write-up. Go through it well and use it as a reference guide to craft pitch-perfect & polished appendices instantly.
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