An appendix is an index at the end of your dissertation to include additional information regarding your thesis, and include the components which cannot be fit into your main thesis. Appendix helps to give a clear and precise idea to the reader to avoid any misperception from the text.
An appendix includes figures, raw data, tables and other supplementary information which could not be added in the main chapters of your thesis, but was helpful in achieving the designed hypothesis of it.
Purpose of an Appendix in Dissertation
When writing the dissertation one is always compelled to write within a fixed range of words, to effectively present their argument in a brief manner and to avoid distraction of the reader from your point of view. But given the amount of data of research, you might have some additional data that you want to add in your dissertation. At this point, the appendix comes in. It allows you to add supplemental information which provides background information regarding your topic and might not be directly associated with your argument.
It is important to arrange the information you are going to add in the appendix, otherwise it can interrupt the attention of your reader and can go against your argument.
You should only add the information if it is important and weighs up the background of your argument. That is why try to avoid including the information which looks like that you have added to complete your permitted word count.
Where to Insert Appendix in Dissertation?
Where you insert your appendix solely depends on requirements of your university thesis board. So, if you are a university student, it is important that you talk to your supervisor regarding its format.
While in general or basic thesis, appendix usually comes after the reference list. So, talk to your supervisor which format is acceptable by your institution.
How you arrange the additional information in your thesis totally depends on you. You can add it under one heading of appendix, but to improve the quality of your thesis it is better to split it into smaller appendices, giving them titles such as Appendix A, appendix B.
Each appendix should have its own title or identification either with a letter or number, and it is essential for you to add numbering for any tables or figures at the start of each Appendix. And it always appears after references and bibliography.
Material to Included in Appendix
Questionnaire and Interview
The material you want to add in this section depends on the form of data collection you have preferred for your thesis. It can include interviews or questionnaires. The material you further add are:
Though you have discussed the results of your survey and interview in the main chapters, including this in your appendix gives credibility and supports your argument.
Tables and figures
The results of your survey are mainly illustrated through tables, pie charts or figures, all of which are not added in your main discussion text, due to their large number. In such a situation, you can add the least important figures or illustrations in the appendix.
Letters and forms
If you sought permission from someone to get their copyright material either audio or written, you can add such letters in the appendix. Furthermore, the interview letters of your participants can be included in the appendix too. Including such letters and permissions eliminate the suspicion of plagiarism from your thesis.
While writing the thesis, it is not possible to add or discuss all of the research results in discussion text. You can only use the results which are relevant to your dissertation and answer your research questions. So, these additional research results can be included in the appendix. They include raw data and other supplemental materials.
List of abbreviations
If you do not add a complete list of abbreviations at the start of your dissertation then it is likely that you add it in the appendix. At times, many readers do not have the same background knowledge regarding your topic so including a list of abbreviations and technical terms to give them an idea of what they are reading is favorable for your readers and your thesis too.
Format of an Appendix
You can either add all of the additional material in one appendix but it is favorable to break down the appendix into different sub sections giving them identification letters so that they are easily documented and found, if and when needed. It can also allow you to categorize your supplemental information. Keep a few points in your mind while forming an appendix in your dissertation.
Reference of Appendix
You can refer to the Appendix in the thesis text in different ways.
Or you can refer to the entire Appendix
Appendix provides an insight to your extensive research data and gives you a chance to add it into your research so only add materials which you think are going to enhance the impression of your study and not overstate it.