How To Create An Appendix For A Dissertation: 5 Basic Rules

Your dissertation is the crowning pinnacle of all the academics you’ve done thus far, and as such you must make sure every section of it is done to exactness, including the appendix. In order to do this, you should follow the 5 basic rules listed below.

  1. Check your course handbook or guidelines given by your supervisor. You need to know what’s expected for the appendix before you can begin to create it. You will likely be required to follow a particular style guide, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago style or one of the others. Regardless of which one you use, make sure you follow the rules for appendices.
  2. Keep in mind they are generally not graded. However, they still need to be done with accuracy. Don’t count on using it to add to the word count of your paper, find out at the beginning whether or not it’s counted. If it makes you go over your word count, and it could mean a penalty. Use data that has an important relation to your study but isn’t absolutely vital to it. Essential information must be included in the body of your paper.
  3. Examples of materials to include in the appendix may be transcriptions of interviews, examples of questionnaires, results of surveys, material that isn’t normally published such as a written or oral conversation between you and another author or researcher, or large tables of relevant data.
  4. You must make a clear note in the paper that additional material is available in the appendix. This is usually done by using a footnote.
  5. For multiple appendices, you must keep them in a logical format. Number them or use alphabetisation, and do them in order of appearance in the main text of the paper. The table of contents should also include a list of the appendices.

It may seem like a lot of rules to follow, but if you use these guidelines as a checklist you will be closer to creating a successful appendix for your dissertation. This is one of the final touches to your paper, and it’s worth taking the time to make it right. Even though it doesn’t seem as important as the body or the abstract or the table of contents, it’s still an essential part of your academic paper. Make the appendix something that’s a worthwhile addition to your paper, not just an afterthought.


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