What Is an Appendix in a Research Paper? A Beginner's Guide

A lot of consideration goes into categorizing the data to include in your paper. Some items may seem too detailed for the results section and yet relevant to the understanding of tackled concepts.

This kind of information is included in the appendix of your paper. Since the appendix is unpopular in common essays, it is often a cause for confusion among many students. This article will answer popular questions regarding the appendix for the research paper to help you prepare an outstanding paper.

What is an appendix in a research paper?

An appendix is a section containing additional information that explains/ justifies data in your research. This chapter follows your references section and does not comprise the final tally of your word count.

However, the appendices do not include any visual aids and information that was already presented in the results section. Ideally, sort out relevant information and use the summary that highlights relationships between various variables within the results.

Any additional data that was used to reach your conclusion should be added to the appendix and cited within relevant sections to guide the reader to the necessary raw data. 

What goes in the appendix of a research paper

Simply put, the appendix comprises all relevant supplementary information. The items in the appendix range from but are not limited to:

  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Diagrams
  • Transcripts
  • Copies of surveys
  • Technical notes
  • Financial data

The appendices are determined by your field of study and your selected research approach. 

How long should an appendix be in a paper

There is no fixed length of the appendix section of your paper. However, keep the appendix below 5% of your work. If your research paper spans sixty pages, limit your appendix to five pages. An exaggerated appendix may carry information that’s irrelevant to your study and thus fail to offer any value to your reader. 

How to write an appendix for a research paper

Although it serves a supplementary role in your paper, there are multiple rules for writing the appendix in a paper. Some of the tips to bear in mind when writing the appendix are: 

  • Use a similar font with your paper and format your appendices with a double-line spacing
  • Organize your appendices into sections and subsections, helping the reader to easily trace information within the appendix. Each section of the appendix should be designated to a letter e.g., (Appendix A, section 1). Etc. 
  • Use a consecutive numbering system in the appendix to make it easy for a reader to trace various items in the appendix section. 
  • Accompany all visual aids with a title and a caption to guide your reader on the relevance of each item to your study.
  • As you write your paper, refer to the appendices and include the details of the appendix you are referring to in parentheses. This will allow a reader to trace the data easily and understand how you reached various conclusions.
  • Start your appendix on a fresh page after the references/ work cited section of your paper.
  • When writing your table of content, tackle all the appendices within the table of content to help a reader find various supplementary through the table of contents.
  • Highlight all the data and stages of collection in your appendix to allow scholars who are replicating your work to confirm various findings.
  • Revise your appendix section and ensure that its free of various errors that might result in ambiguity. 
  • The appendices should appear in the order by which your information is presented.
  • If any source is used within an appendix in research paper, duly acknowledge the sources with an in-text and works cited reference.

Example of an appendix in a research paper

What does an appendix look like in a research paper? Here is an outline of an appendix section to help you organize your paper.

Appendix A: preliminary research

Section 1: survey

  • Subsection 1.1: participant demographics
  • Subsection 1.2: survey

Section 2: interview

  • Subsection 2.1: transcription
  • Subsection 2.2: analysis

Section 3: Reports

  • Subsection 2.1: relevance of it in improving teaching-learning methods
  • Subsection 2.2: data on experiments on various learning approaches

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