How to Write an Appendix for a Research Paper

If you are in the process of writing a research paper and wondering how to write an appendix for a research paper, then this article is for you. Writing could come in different forms serving different purposes. Over the years, the term ‘writing’ has expanded into many horizons that sub categories of writing have emerged: academic writing, literary writing, business writing, technical writing, legal writing and so on. In each of these sub-categories of writing, there are many diverse forms of writing that fall under them, for example, in academic writing, there could be many subdivisions or types of academic writing as writing a research paper, writing reports, writing essays, etc., and all of these diverse pieces of writing have their own structure and style of writing. This article seeks to explore the arena of writing an appendix for a research paper.

What is an Appendix?

Appendix is defined as a supplement to a document, form a part of a main document, but not essential for its completeness. It contains supporting information, and usually, appears at the end of the document. Research papers are lengthy and precise (containing only what is strictly relevant) at the same time. Yet, apart from what is provided in the research, if a writer feels that some additional document could be of use to complement his facts or information, he/she can attach it at the end of the paper as an appendix. Appendices could, usually, contain maps, graphs, questionnaires used for the study, raw data, etc. Also, the reference section for the reader could also be a part of the appendix.

How to write an appendix for a Research Paper

Since an appendix is not a type of writing that has to follow a particular structure or form but additional documents, there is no acknowledged structure to write one. There are things that writer should consider when they are writing an appendix and each of those is described in separate paragraphs below.

First, you can review previous work, study what other writers have done when attaching an appendix to their research paper. This would always provide you with the benefit of having some prior background knowledge as to how to the task.

Next, it is best to review your own work. Go through it from cover to cover carefully thinking what should be included inside your research paper (usually, the most important things go inside) and what documents would be best to be attached at the end if further referral is required by the reader. Take notes. Also, just to be on the safe side, you can always get somebody else’s opinion to see if the documents and information you are going to place in your appendix would make sense.

Then, gather all the information you need to place in your appendix and assess their relevance to the research paper. Remember, your purpose should not be to attach each and every little detail you found in your research.

Next, organize your appendix; the order it should appear should be properly prearranged. Use sections, headings, subheading, numbering, etc. to arrange your appendix. If there are too many documents that you can even categorize them under multiple appendices. Give different subjects to make it easier for the reader to understand.

Finally, proofread your appendix before publishing your research paper.

How to write an appendix for a research paper

As such, when you are writing a research paper, you can always insert any documents that you think could be important if further referral is sought by the reader in such a way that you are not burdening the reader with heaps of facts and information written inside your research paper. An appendix is always additional, hence readers have a choice whether to read it or not. 

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