Dissertation Appendix

The appendix (appendices = plural) contains any graphs or diagrams you have used when writing your dissertation.

The first question is – appendix or appendices? Appendix is singular and appendices is plural!

Appendices are used when the incorporation of material in the body of the work would make it poorly structured or too long and detailed. It may be desirable to include a particular appendix because it represents helpful, supporting or essential material that would otherwise clutter, break up or be distracting to the text. Where a source is referred to many times (such as statistics, a chart or graph) in your work, including that source as an appendix will allow people to refer to it as they are reading your work.

Other people’s work will be referred to, not quoted, in the appendix. However, don’t just include a copy of every journal or article you’ve used to help write your dissertation. If you’ve found relevant material, this should be discussed and analysed within your text. The appendix is just for essential bits of material that support your dissertation that the user might want to refer to as they go.

Appendices may therefore include some of the following:

  • supporting evidence
  • contributory facts
  • specialised data – raw data will appear in the appendix, summarised data will appear in the body of the text
  • technical figures, tables or descriptions
  • detailed description of research instruments
  • maps
  • questionnaires (although questionnaire results appear in the body of the text)

The body of the text must be complete without the appendices, and it must contain all information including tables, diagrams and results necessary to answer the question or support the thesis. Appendices are not included in the word count.

Appendices must be referred to in the body of the text, for example, ‘details of the questionnaire are given in Appendix A (Page 12)’.

“Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research” (Wilson Mizner)

Formatting your appendix/appendices

The heading should be:

APPENDIX or Appendix, followed by a letter or number

It should be centred and in bold.

Each appendix must begin on a new page.

Appendices must be listed in the table of contents (if used).

The page number(s) of the appendix/ appendices will follow on from the body of the text.

Appendices may precede or follow the reference list.

Every university has different guidance as to how they require appendices to be formatted, so you should check with your learning institution before deciding on the final format for the appendices to your dissertation.