Appendices or Appendixes are used to provide additional data related to your dissertation research project.
Appendices section in dissertation helps you to provide background data related to your topic; present tables, illustrations and figures that are not directly relevant to your research questions in order to avoid disrupting the flow of the text; and to make sure that your dissertation paper’s word count does not go beyond the allowable limit. This article explains what is an appendix in the dissertation.
The main body of the dissertation paper generally contains text that adds weight to your arguments. However, some information that is not directly relevant to the topic of research but might be useful to your audience could be provided under the appendices section.
An appendix which is also known as a postscript includes the following:
Research findings can be presented in a number of ways. Findings including tables, illustrations, and figures that are directly relevant to your research questions or research problem are included in the main body.
However, there are certain text, tables and figures such as supplemental analysis that really need to be shown and cannot be ignored, but (due to less significance) can’t be included in the main body as it can disturb the flow of the text.
Such tables and figures are then included in the appendix section. The appendix includes more of the illustrations and findings as a result of data analysis that doesn’t directly address the research question but are essential to be shown.
Also Read: How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements
Appendices are really helpful in mentioning extra information related to surveys, interviews or focus groups. You can clearly mention how respondents responded to underpin your findings.
If you have utilized a lot of abbreviations or jargon, it might be difficult for lay-person to understand those terms. You can include the abbreviations section or a glossary section in the appendix, which are sometimes positioned at the start of the dissertation.
Your dissertation may include a lot of tables, figures, and graphs due to the nature of research. The appendix is the appropriate platform to include all this information including illustrations.
You can carry on with just one long appendix (if you don’t want to break it into different components and want it to be the only appendix in your dissertation).
On the other hand, you might want to have separate sections in appendices such as questionnaire responses, findings, key phrases, and key terms, and so it would be easier to figure out the information provided in appendices.
Each appendix should start on a new page with a clearly assigned title and number, i.e., “Appendix 7. Survey questions”. It allows for each section of the appendix to be clearly visible to the reader and researcher.
It is also recommended to mention number and title against each element that is directly linked to the appendix so that the reader will be able to know what you are referring to in the main body.
While numbering tables and figures, make sure that you re-start the numbering for each appendix. This means that each table and figure in a new appendix would be titled as Table 1 or Figure 1.
Refer to Appendix in the Main Body of the Dissertation
It is recommended to indicate all appendices at least once in the main body of your dissertation. Make sure that you mention its appendix number (enclosed in bracket) or within text in the main body as highlights for the readers.
It is not mandatory to capitalize it as that typically depends on the researcher’s will. You can also refer to certain elements within the appendix (which can be a specific illustration or table).
The focus-group interview (see Appendix 1) shows that…
Appendix 2 describes how we gathered data from sample population….
These findings (see Appendix 1, Table 2) show that…
Table 2 in Appendix 1 describes the factors which result in the increase in sales.
It would be a good practice to mention “Appendix” in upper-case, especially when referring to a specific component. However, this is not compulsory and you can choose to use lower-case, i.e., “The appendices provided at the end of the documents contain relevant content about the questionnaire responses.
Both of these words (spellings) are true in their sense and can be used, but “appendices” is more appropriate according to APA style. However, again it is important to ensure consistency throughout the thesis document. Don’t use alternative words in different sections of the dissertation.
The general idea in this regard is to include appendices after the main body, i.e., the Reference section. If you opt for this option, you need to continue with the same page number format. You can also submit appendices as a separate document with your dissertation project.
You should write down appendices (including titles and page numbers) in the table of contents.