An appendix (one item) OR appendices (more than one item) is information that is not essential to explain your findings in the essay or report that you have written. However, this information may support your analysis and validate your conclusions. Some of the items may have been written by yourself or printed/photocopied from elsewhere, so there are special rules that you must follow. This fact sheet will assist you with:

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When to use appendices

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. Therefore, you will need to know that:

  • Appendices are used when the incorporation of material in the body of the work would make it poorly structured or too long and detailed.
  • Appendices may be used for helpful, supporting or essential material that would otherwise clutter, break up or be distracting to the text.
  • Other people’s work in the appendix will be referred to (e.g. see Appendix 3), not quoted (e.g. using short or long quotes) from the appendix.
  • Appendices must be referred to in the body of the text, for example, ‘details of the questionnaire are given in Appendix B (on page 23)’.
  • Appendices are not included in the word count.

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Examples of items in appendices

Appendices may include some of the following:

  • supporting evidence (e.g. raw data that is referred to in the text)
  • contributory facts, specialised data (raw data appear in the appendix, but summarised data appear in the body of the text.)
  • sample calculations (referred to in the text)
  • technical figures, graphs, tables, statistics (referred to in the text)
  • detailed description of research instruments (referred to in the text)
  • maps, charts, photographs, drawings (referred to in the text)
  • letters, copies of emails (referred to in the text)
  • questionnaires/surveys (questionnaire/survey results appear in the body of the text)
  • transcripts of interviews (summarised in the text)
  • specification or data sheets (summarised in the text)

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Examples of students’ understandings about using appendices

Student 1 (reflective writing)

This example is about a two-page questionnaire that I designed and placed in the appendices. My understanding is that an appendix can be information that you used to inform your writing that you don’t want to put directly into the essay; however, you MUST refer to this appendix in the body of the essay Therefore, in my Education essay, I included an appendix that was the actual questionnaire that I gave to my students when I was on teaching practice. In my essay, I wrote for the marker to ‘see Appendix 1’ when I had mentioned the results of the questionnaire I was required to write and use with my class.


Student 2 (reflective writing)

In my nursing assignment, my appendices were used to supplement the information in my essay. Firstly, we had to demonstrate our knowledge of the human skeletal system. The photocopied diagrams covered a number of pages, so Appendix 1 was a set of photocopied, labelled diagrams of the skeletal system discussed and referred to in the essay. Because the photocopied diagrams were copied from a book, I placed an in-text reference to this source in my writing. Secondly, we had to summarise the results of interviews with five patients at the local hospital about their recovery from bone breakages in car accidents, so Appendix 2 was a transcript of these interviews. Using appendices like this meant that I could show my lecturer that I had completed the set task and collected the data for the issues that were discussed in the essay.


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How to format appendices

The format and positioning of appendices in your essay must follow a number of procedures:

  1. Appendices may follow the reference list.
  2. Each appendix must begin on a new page.
  3. The order they are presented in is dictated by the order they are mentioned in the text of the report.
  4. The heading should be written as APPENDIX (upper case) or Appendix (sentence case), followed by a letter or a number. Centre the title of each appendix, and change to bold type e.g. APPENDIX A, Appendix 1. Be consistent in your choice of style.
  5. Appendices must be listed in the table of contents (if used).
  6. The page number(s) of the appendix/appendices will continue on with the numbering from the last page of the text.

    There is no limit to what can be placed in an appendix, but it must be relevant and referred to at the relevant point in a text (e.g. See Appendix 2). Do not attempt to overuse the appendix for vague or irrelevant information as this additional information will not contribute to your word count or affect essay marks unless it contributes directly to the essay answer.
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