When writing a research paper, an appendix is a useful tool to include additional information that is not essential to the body of the paper but supports your argument. The appendix can include graphs, charts, statistics, and other data that back up your points. It can also include images or diagrams that illustrate your argument.
When deciding what to include in your appendix, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this information essential to understanding the main argument of my paper?
- Would this information be helpful to someone who is trying to learn more about the topic?
- Is this information relevant to the paper as a whole?
- Is this information appropriate for the audience?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you can be confident that the information belongs in your appendix.
Let us start by defining an appendix or appendices in a research paper, term paper, or thesis paper.
What is an appendix in a paper?
An appendix is a collection of supplementary materials, usually appearing at the end of a report, research paper, journal article, book, or another document. Appendices typically include data and information that are too detailed to be included in the main text but may be helpful for readers who want more details.
Materials in an appendix usually fall into one of two categories:
- Supplemental data: Supplemental data includes charts, graphs, and other visual aids that help illustrate the main points of the report.
- Supporting materials: Supporting materials includes transcripts of interviews, copies of surveys or questionnaires, and other documents that help support the argument presented in the main text.
When writing an appendix, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- The materials in an appendix should be relevant to the main text and should help readers understand the argument being presented.
- Appendices should be titled and numbered consecutively (e.g., Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.).
- The text of an appendix should be typed in double-spaced format.
- Appendices should be formatted similarly to the main text (e.g., font, margins, etc.).
Appendices can be an important part of a document, but they should not be used to pad out the main text. Be sure to only include materials that are relevant to the argument being presented and that will help readers understand the main points of the report.
What Is the Purpose of an Appendix?
You might be wondering – What is the purpose of an appendix in a research paper?
The purpose of an appendix in a research paper is to communicate information that isn’t central to the body or discussion of the paper.
For example, financial data and technical notes are normally included as part of an appendix in a research paper. Appendices are also sometimes used to house various tables and figures such as maps/graphs/charts that might otherwise clutter up the main body of the paper.
While an appendix isn’t required for every research paper, it’s a good idea to include one if you feel like your paper would benefit from it. If you’re unsure about whether or not an appendix is needed, ask your instructor or consult with a writing tutor for guidance.
How to Structure an Appendix
The structure of an Appendix depends on what sort of material is being included, but in general, most Appendices will be organised into sections. Sections and subsections can be used to break up the Appendix so that it is easier for the reader to find the information they need.
If you are including primary research data in your Appendix, it is important to organise this data in a way that is easy to follow. Tables and figures can be used to present the data, and each table or figure should be accompanied by a title and caption.
If you are including extracts from documents or other material in your Appendix, it might be helpful to organise these extracts into chronological order, or by topic.
Finally, if you are including a large amount of material in your Appendix, it might be helpful to create an index so that the reader can quickly find the information they need.
An Appendix can be a helpful way to provide additional information for the reader, but it is important to remember to keep the Appendix concise and organised.
General Appendix Format
The following general format can be used for an Appendix:
Appendix A: Title of Appendix
Section 1: Title of first section
- Subsection 1.1: Title of first subsection
- Subsection 1.2: Title of second subsection
Section 2: Title of second section
- Subsection 2.1: Title of first subsection
- Subsection 2.2: Title of second subsection
Section 3: Title of third section
- Subsection 3.1: Title of first subsection
- Subsection 3.2: Title of second subsection
Appendix A: Primary Research Data
Section 1: Survey Data
- Subsection 1.1: Participant Demographics
- Subsection 1.2: Survey Results
Section 2: Interview Data
- Subsection 2.1: Transcripts
- Subsection 2.2: Analysis of Interviews
Section 3: Focus Group Data
- Subsection 3.1: Transcripts
- Subsection 3.2: Analysis of Focus Groups
Appendix B: Extracts from Documents
Section 1: Newspaper Articles
- Subsection 1.1: “The Benefits of Exercise”
- Subsection 1.2: “The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle”
Section 2: Reports
- Subsection 2.1: “The Impact of Exercise on Health”
- Subsection 2.2: “The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Disease”
These are some research paper appendix examples.
How to Add an Appendix to a Word Document
Here is a video on how to add an appendix to a word document:
How to Write an Appendix in Different Styles
There are two major academic styles of writing, MLA and APA. These styles are different in many ways, but one difference is the way they format Appendices.
An Appendix in MLA style generally includes information that is useful to the reader but does not fit neatly into the main body of the paper. This might include raw data, charts or graphs that have been generated from data, or detailed descriptions of experimental procedures.
An Appendix in APA style generally includes information that is not essential to the main body of the paper, but which may be helpful for the reader. This might include raw data, charts or graphs that have been generated from data, detailed descriptions of experimental procedures, or copies of questionnaire items.
When writing in MLA style, the Appendix should be titled “Appendix” and placed at the end of the paper, before the Works Cited list.
When writing in APA style, the Appendix should be titled “Appendix” and placed after the References list.
It is important to note that MLA and APA style are only two of the many academic writing styles. If you are unsure which style to use, ask your professor or advisor.
When writing an Appendix, it is important to follow the specific guidelines for the style of writing you are using.
In APA, appendices are used to provide supplementary information that is too detailed or voluminous to include in the main body of your paper. They are numbered consecutively (e.g., Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.), and are listed at the end of your document.
These are the guidelines for writing an Appendix in APA format:
- The Appendix should be designated with a capital letter (e.g., “Appendix A”).
- Appendices are usually presented at the end of the main text, after the references.
- Each Appendix should begin on a new page.
- Label each Appendix with a title and number (e.g., “Appendix A: Descriptive Statistics”).
- Include a brief description of the content of each Appendix.
- All appendices should be referred to in the main body of your paper. For example, “For more information, see Appendix A.”
- If you have more than one Appendix, label them with letters (e.g., “Appendix A,” “Appendix B,” etc.). If you have only one Appendix, label it with the word “Appendix.”
- Appendices can include anything from a table of contents to detailed descriptions of research instruments.
- Include all appendices in your table of contents.
- Center the word “Appendix” at the top of the first page.
- Double space the entire appendix, just as you would the rest of your paper.
- Indent each paragraph five spaces (just as you would in the main body of your paper).
- Use hanging indents for all entries (just as you would in the main body of your paper).
- Include a header with the title of the Appendix and the page number.
Appendix Chicago Style
An Appendix in chicago format typically contains additional material that is not essential to the overall argument of the paper, but which may be helpful to the reader in understanding the thesis or in learning more about a particular topic. This additional material can include:
- Data sets
- Detailed explanations of methods or calculations
- Tables or figures that provide more information than can be included in the body of the paper
- Excerpts from interview transcripts or other documents
- A list of sources cited in the Appendix
Guidelines for creating an Appendices in Chicago format.
When creating an Appendix in Chicago format, be sure to:
- Label it clearly with a descriptive title
- Include a table of contents that lists each item in the Appendix and its page number
- Place the Appendix after the end of the main body of the paper
- Number the pages of the Appendix consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), starting with the first page of actual content
- Double-space all text in the Appendix, except for block quotations
- Indent block quotations five spaces from the left margin
- Use standard margins.
- Use a serif font (e.g. Times New Roman) for all text in the Appendix, including headings and table titles
- If you include tables or figures in your Appendix, be sure to title them and provide appropriate captions.
For more information on how to format Chicago style Appendices, please see the “Chicago Manual of Style” (16th edition)
Appendix MLA Format
In MLA format, a research paper appendix usually appears at the end of your paper, after the Works Cited page.
An appendix is a collection of supplementary materials that are not necessarily essential to the paper, but which provide useful background information or present detailed supporting evidence.
You might choose to include an appendix in your paper if you have a particularly compelling data set, diagram, or quotation that you want to share with your reader.
If you decide to include an appendix, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Appendix should be titled “Appendix” and numbered as “Appendix A,” “Appendix B,” etc.
- Each item in your appendix must be cited in your main text, and the appendix itself must be listed in your Works Cited page.
Generally, an MLA appendix will include the following types of materials:
- Tables or figures
- Questionnaires or surveys
- Transcripts of interviews
- Data sets
- Detailed descriptions of methodology or procedures
- Lists of terms and definitions
- Sample works or results
- Copies of relevant primary sources
When in doubt, ask your professor whether or not to include an appendix in your paper.
An appendix is a compilation of supplementary materials that are not essential to the main body of your paper, but which may be helpful to the reader in understanding your thesis or learning more about a particular topic. When creating an appendix, be sure to follow specific guidelines for formatting and cite all material within the appendix according to MLA or Chicago style. If you have any questions about appendix formatting, be sure to consult the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, APA, or the MLA Handbook. Properly formatted appendices can provide valuable supplemental information to your reader and make your argument more clear.
- Formatting – Essay, Reference List, Appendix, & Sample Paper
- How to Write an APA Format Appendix – Verywell Mind
- APA Style Guide: Appendix – LibGuides at Western Oregon
- Formatting: Appendices – APA Style Guide: 7th Edition