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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Formatting your thesis: Appendices & supplemental material
On this page
Introduction, materials included in appendices, supplemental material, order of appendices, appendix headings, formatting help.
Appendices provide supplementary information to the main thesis and should always appear after the references/bibliography. If you are unsure about whether content should be included in the thesis or in an appendix, consult with your supervisor. The thesis and appendices must be uploaded in a single file.
For more information about appendices, please see the Thesis Template Instructions .
Note: Signatures, personal phone numbers, or personal email addresses (ones that contains part of a person’s name) must be redacted from your thesis. This means that the text is fully removed, and cannot be copied & pasted out of the document.
If including copyrighted materials as appendices, see Copyright at SFU .
Examples of material included in appendices are as follows--also refer to Formatting Help .
- interview questions
- participant letters / forms
- surveys / questionnaires (if not your own work, these require copyright permission)
- supplemental tables / figures / graphs / image
If you have material that cannot be included within your document (data, audio, video, hi-resolution images, embedded media (ie. GIFs)), or any hyperlinks to data that has a destruction timeline as per Ethics, you can upload supplemental material files to your library submission record (in addition to your thesis document). The maximum file size for each file is 2GB . If you have a larger file size, please contact [email protected] .
If you are including supplemental material in your submission, you must also include an appendix within your thesis document, which contains an overall description of the subject matter, credits, and file name(s). This assists in “linking” your document to any additional supplementary material, as well as providing further information and context about the file(s).
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It is recommended to upload the best file formats to allow for data files to be preserved in the most straightforward way, so that they remain usable through software upgrades and changes in the computing environment. More information can be found at Research Data Management (RDM)'s website for more information about the handling and organization of data during your research.
Appendices appear in the order in which they are introduced in the text.
You may include one appendix or a number of appendices.
If you have more than one appendix, you would letter each accordingly (i.e., Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.). Write your appendix headings in the same manner as your chapter headings.
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- Research Paper Appendix | Example & Templates
Research Paper Appendix | Example & Templates
Published on August 4, 2022 by Tegan George and Kirsten Dingemanse. Revised on July 18, 2023.
An appendix is a supplementary document that facilitates your reader’s understanding of your research but is not essential to your core argument. Appendices are a useful tool for providing additional information or clarification in a research paper , dissertation , or thesis without making your final product too long.
Appendices help you provide more background information and nuance about your thesis or dissertation topic without disrupting your text with too many tables and figures or other distracting elements.
We’ve prepared some examples and templates for you, for inclusions such as research protocols, survey questions, and interview transcripts. All are worthy additions to an appendix. You can download these in the format of your choice below.
Download Word doc Download Google doc
Table of contents
What is an appendix in a research paper, what to include in an appendix, how to format an appendix, how to refer to an appendix, where to put your appendices, other components to consider, appendix checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about appendices.
In the main body of your research paper, it’s important to provide clear and concise information that supports your argument and conclusions . However, after doing all that research, you’ll often find that you have a lot of other interesting information that you want to share with your reader.
While including it all in the body would make your paper too long and unwieldy, this is exactly what an appendix is for.
As a rule of thumb, any detailed information that is not immediately needed to make your point can go in an appendix. This helps to keep your main text focused but still allows you to include the information you want to include somewhere in your paper.
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An appendix can be used for different types of information, such as:
- Supplementary results : Research findings are often presented in different ways, but they don’t all need to go in your paper. The results most relevant to your research question should always appear in the main text, while less significant results (such as detailed descriptions of your sample or supplemental analyses that do not help answer your main question), can be put in an appendix.
- Statistical analyses : If you conducted statistical tests using software like Stata or R, you may also want to include the outputs of your analysis in an appendix.
- Further information on surveys or interviews : Written materials or transcripts related to things such as surveys and interviews can also be placed in an appendix.
You can opt to have one long appendix, but separating components (like interview transcripts, supplementary results, or surveys ) into different appendices makes the information simpler to navigate.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always start each appendix on a new page.
- Assign it both a number (or letter) and a clear title, such as “Appendix A. Interview transcripts.” This makes it easier for your reader to find the appendix, as well as for you to refer back to it in your main text.
- Number and title the individual elements within each appendix (e.g., “Transcripts”) to make it clear what you are referring to. Restart the numbering in each appendix at 1.
It is important that you refer to each of your appendices at least once in the main body of your paper. This can be done by mentioning the appendix and its number or letter, either in parentheses or within the main part of a sentence. It’s also possible to refer to a particular component of an appendix.
Appendix B presents the correspondence exchanged with the fitness boutique. Example 2. Referring to an appendix component These results (see Appendix 2, Table 1) show that …
It is common to capitalize “Appendix” when referring to a specific appendix, but it is not mandatory. The key is just to make sure that you are consistent throughout your entire paper, similarly to consistency in capitalizing headings and titles in academic writing .
However, note that lowercase should always be used if you are referring to appendices in general. For instance, “The appendices to this paper include additional information about both the survey and the interviews .”
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The simplest option is to add your appendices after the main body of your text, after you finish citing your sources in the citation style of your choice. If this is what you choose to do, simply continue with the next page number. Another option is to put the appendices in a separate document that is delivered with your dissertation.
Remember that any appendices should be listed in your paper’s table of contents .
There are a few other supplementary components related to appendices that you may want to consider. These include:
- List of abbreviations : If you use a lot of abbreviations or field-specific symbols in your dissertation, it can be helpful to create a list of abbreviations .
- Glossary : If you utilize many specialized or technical terms, it can also be helpful to create a glossary .
- Tables, figures and other graphics : You may find you have too many tables, figures, and other graphics (such as charts and illustrations) to include in the main body of your dissertation. If this is the case, consider adding a figure and table list .
All appendices contain information that is relevant, but not essential, to the main text.
Each appendix starts on a new page.
I have given each appendix a number and clear title.
I have assigned any specific sub-components (e.g., tables and figures) their own numbers and titles.
My appendices are easy to follow and clearly formatted.
I have referred to each appendix at least once in the main text.
Your appendices look great! Use the other checklists to further improve your thesis.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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Yes, if relevant you can and should include APA in-text citations in your appendices . Use author-date citations as you do in the main text.
Any sources cited in your appendices should appear in your reference list . Do not create a separate reference list for your appendices.
An appendix contains information that supplements the reader’s understanding of your research but is not essential to it. For example:
- Interview transcripts
- Detailed descriptions of equipment
Something is only worth including as an appendix if you refer to information from it at some point in the text (e.g. quoting from an interview transcript). If you don’t, it should probably be removed.
When you include more than one appendix in an APA Style paper , they should be labeled “Appendix A,” “Appendix B,” and so on.
When you only include a single appendix, it is simply called “Appendix” and referred to as such in the main text.
Appendices in an APA Style paper appear right at the end, after the reference list and after your tables and figures if you’ve also included these at the end.
You may have seen both “appendices” or “appendixes” as pluralizations of “ appendix .” Either spelling can be used, but “appendices” is more common (including in APA Style ). Consistency is key here: make sure you use the same spelling throughout your paper.
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Refer to either the Sample (Straight Numbering) or Sample (Decimal Numbering) pages as you read through this section. Note: For the Appendices, you should use the same numbering style you chose for the Main Text.
The appendix is a section that is placed at the end of the thesis and may contain material such as tables, figures, maps, photographs, raw data, computer programs, musical examples, interview questions, sample questionnaires, CDs, and many other types of material.
- An appendix is considered a chapter equivalent and the appendix title should be formatted like a chapter title.
- Multiple appendices should be numbered A, B, C, and so on. Each appendix should be treated as a separate chapter equivalent and will therefore start on a new page.
- Page numbers used in the appendix must continue from the main text.
- As a best practice, include your IRB approval letter (if applicable) in an appendix.
- Do not include a curriculum vitae or author's biography in your thesis; the Graduate College no longer accepts these sections.
As part of the thesis, any appendix materials must be reviewed and approved by the director of research and committee.
The thesis or dissertation itself should be understandable without the supplemental appendix materials.
As part of the ETD submission, students may upload supplemental electronic files as part of their thesis or dissertation. These files are considered appendix items, and an appendix page must be included as part of the thesis and should be numbered accordingly. This page should include an appendix title, such as “Appendix A: Interview Transcriptions,” and a brief description of the material along with the name of the file in which the material is contained.
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Formatting Your Thesis with Microsoft Word
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Appendix, Appendices, List of Appendices
If you only have one appendix in your thesis, adding that is pretty straightforward. It is mostly treated like another chapter, except "Chapter" is changed to "Appendix". When you have more than one appendix, it gets more complicated and you have to add a List of Appendices in the front matter part of the thesis. The video tutorial demonstrates how to add a single appendix, how to format multiple appendices, and how to add the List of Appendices to the front of the thesis.
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An appendix** comes at the end (after the reference list) of a report, research project, or dissertation and contains any additional information such as raw data or interview transcripts. The information in the appendices is relevant but is too long or too detailed to include in the main body of your work.
**Note: Appendix is singular and appendices is plural. When you want to refer to one of your appendices, use appendix - for example, ‘See Appendix 1’.
Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources.
Ensure everything in your appendices has a purpose. This guide gives a useful overview of the structure, format, and effective use of appendices:
Appendices (University of Southern California)
Your appendices should have a clear labelling system (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3) and each item in an appendix should have a descriptive title saying what it is (‘Appendix 1: Flowchart of purchasing decision-making process).
You need to refer to your appendices in the body of your assignment or the reader will not know they are there. Use a short phrase such as ‘See Appendix 1’.
If you have taken data, diagrams, or information from other sources to put in your appendices, you need to reference them as normal; include an in-text citation next to the item in your appendices and a full reference in your reference list. If you have created your own graphs or tables using data from another source you can explain this in your in-text citation: (Table author’s own, data from Jones, 2017).
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Appendices, References, Acknowledgements and Other Final Things
Posted by Rene Tetzner | Oct 22, 2021 | PhD Success | 0 |
4.6 Appendices, References, Acknowledgements and Other Final Things
As I mentioned in Sections 1.4.1 and 3.5.3, appendices are not required in a thesis, but they are often included. If you are considering appendices for your thesis, check your university or department guidelines or discuss the idea with your supervisor to be certain that they will be received positively. It is also a good idea to revisit at this point any length or word count requirements or limitations set for doctoral theses by your university or department, because if you have already reached the upper limit, including appendices may require cutting other material, and in such situations appendices should only be considered if they are absolutely necessary. However, appendices are often preferable to extensive or overly long footnotes or endnotes or too much supplementary information in the main text of a thesis, both of which can distract readers from your main argument. For this reason, an effective strategy may be to move such material from the main text or notes into an appendix, since this sort of revision will not significantly alter the overall length or word count of your thesis. If, on the other hand, your thesis is a little shy of the minimum length requirement, you may want to add an appendix or two for supplementary information that you originally cut out of the thesis, but that could usefully be included: this can help you increase the word count to meet requirements. Your decision regarding the inclusion of appendices may also be simplified by the following information and advice.
As a general rule, appendices present subsidiary or supplementary material that is directly related to the material in the thesis itself and potentially helpful to readers, but which might prove distracting or inappropriate or simply too long were it included in the main body of the thesis or in notes (long footnotes in particular can make the layout of pages unattractive and should be avoided). An appendix is also a good format for material that is mentioned or discussed in more than one chapter, part or section of a thesis, because it helps the author avoid repetition while rendering the information readily available to readers. Appendices can contain a wide variety of material, such as texts discussed in the thesis, translations, chronologies, genealogies, examples of principles and procedures, descriptions of complex pieces of equipment, survey questionnaires, participant responses, detailed demographics for a population or sample, lists (particularly long ones), tables and figures, explanations or elaborations of any aspect of a study and any other supplementary information relevant to a thesis.
This material should not be included in an appendix simply because it is interesting and you happen to have it, however; instead, appendices should be included ‘only if they help readers to understand, evaluate, or replicate the study or theoretical argument being made’ ( Publication Manual of the APA , 2010, p.40). An appendix ‘should not be a repository for odds and ends that the author could not work into the text’ ( Chicago Manual of Style , 2003, p.27). Ideally, each appendix should have a specific theme, focus or function and gather materials of a particular type or relating to a particular topic, and it should bear a main heading that describes its content (e.g., ‘Appendix: Questionnaire 3 in Spanish and English’). If more than one theme or topic requires this sort of treatment, additional appendices should be preferred to subdividing a single long appendix, although appendices can certainly make use of internal headings and subheadings if necessary (on headings, see Section 6.1).
It is also best if appendices, like tables and figures, are able to stand on their own, so all abbreviations, symbols and specialised or technical terminology should be briefly defined or explained within each appendix, enabling the reader to understand the material without recourse to definitions and explanations in the rest of the thesis. All information in appendices that overlaps material in the main body of a thesis should match that material precisely in both content and format. Appendices can be set in the font size used in the main body of a thesis or a slightly smaller font to save space and they normally appear in the final matter before the endnotes (if there are any) or before the reference list or bibliography, although in some cases the appendices will be the last items in a thesis, so do check guidelines to determine if a specific position is required. The first appendix in a thesis usually begins on a new page, and subsequent appendices sometimes do the same, though they can run on instead with a little extra spacing between the end of one appendix and the beginning of the next. If there is only one appendix in a thesis, it will not need to be identified by a particular number or letter, but if you intend to include two or more appendices, they will need to be labelled with uppercase letters or with Arabic or Roman numerals according to the order in which the appendices are mentioned in the main text of the thesis, which should match the order of their appearance in the final matter (‘Appendix A,’ ‘Appendix B,’ ‘Appendix C’ etc., or ‘Appendix 1,’ ‘Appendix 2,’ ‘Appendix 3’ etc.). Appendices should always be referred to by these labels when they are discussed in the thesis, and each appendix should be referred to at least briefly in the main text of the thesis.
If a single table or figure makes up the whole of an appendix, the appendix label and heading are sufficient for the table or figure as well, but if an appendix contains more than a single table or figure, each table and figure will need to be numbered (and given a heading or caption), and this numbering should be separate from the tables and figures associated with the chapters of the thesis. If there is only one appendix, a capital A (for ‘Appendix’) should be used before each table or figure number – ‘Table A.1’ and ‘Figure A.2’ – but if more than one appendix is included, the specific letter or number of the appendix should be used as well as the table or figure number: ‘Table C.3,’ ‘Figure B.2,’ ‘Table II.4’ and ‘Figure IV.2.’ Please note that if you have more than one appendix in your thesis and any of those appendices contain more than one table or figure, the appendices should be labelled with letters or Roman numerals; if such appendices use Arabic numerals, it will be difficult to distinguish between tables and figures in chapters and those in the appendices (e.g., ‘Table 3.3’ could be the third table in Chapter 3 or the third table in Appendix 3, whereas ‘Table C.3’ is clearly the third table in Appendix C). Tables and figures may be embedded in appendices that also include text or they may appear at the end of each appendix, but if the university or department guidelines you are following indicate that tables and figures in general should be placed at the end of the thesis, those associated with appendices may need to appear there as well. For further information on tables and figures, see Sections 1.3 and 4.4.1.
4.6.2 Other Final Things
If you have not yet added (or revised and expanded since your proposal) any footnotes or endnotes that you intend to use for supplementary information in the thesis, now is the time to add them (see Section 3.4 above). It can be helpful to construct (or review) the supplementary notes and any appendices you plan to include at the same time so that you can decide which format is most appropriate for different kinds of material. If any ancillary lists are required – a list of abbreviations, for instance, or lists of tables and figures – these should be added at this point as well, either in the preliminary or final matter depending on university or department guidelines and/or personal preferences (see Sections 1.1.7–1.1.9). A list of abbreviations is usually arranged alphabetically by the abbreviations (rather than the full versions) with a colon between each abbreviation and its definition (see also Section 6.3):
ANOVA: Analysis of variance
CI: Confidence interval
ES: Effect size
Lists of tables and figures (on which, see also Sections 1.1.8 and 1.1.9), on the other hand, are arranged numerically according to the table or figure numbers and usually include the page number each table or figure appears on:
Table 1: Items in Questionnaire 1 . . . . . . . . 67
Table 2: Items in Questionnaire 2 . . . . . . . . 71
Table 3: Items in Questionnaire 3 . . . . . . . . 74
Tables are usually listed separately from figures, and shortened forms of table headings and figure captions are often used in these lists, especially if the headings and captions are long (consisting of more than a single sentence, for instance), but the table and figure numbers must match exactly the labels that appear on the tables and figures themselves and the order in which the tables and figures appear in the thesis. When tables and figures are reproduced or adapted from other sources, acknowledgements of those sources are sometimes included in such lists. For general advice on constructing lists, see Section 5.5.2.
Acknowledgements of any assistance you received in writing the thesis and in some cases of any materials you used from previous publications should be added to the thesis as well (see Section 1.1.6). Acknowledgements generally appear in the front matter of a thesis, but they can instead be added to the final matter, so you will need to determine which location is most appropriate for your thesis. Credits and permissions (if necessary) for material such as images, tables and long quotations borrowed from sources sometimes appear along with the borrowed material itself instead of (or in addition to) appearing in the acknowledgements (see Section 4.4.1, for instance). Acknowledgements in theses tend to be rather informal and sometimes intensely personal when compared with the formal scholarly text used in the rest of a thesis. As a general rule, this is fine – you have, after all, had a great deal of help in achieving the monumental goal of writing your thesis and it is only natural to want to thank with enthusiasm those who assisted you. Do beware, however, of letting your prose style slip beneath the required standard.
The acknowledgements may not be part of the scholarship in your thesis, but they are there for all to read, and a thesis is a professional document, so it is wise to maintain a professional perspective. Try to avoid arbitrary shifts between the first-, second- and third-person voices (e.g., ‘I would like to thank my friend and colleague Vicky for reading each and every chapter with such painstaking care – I wouldn’t have survived this thesis without you!’) and informal usage (contractions, for instance, such as ‘wouldn’t’ in my example, the second part of which would be better as ‘– I would not have survived this thesis without her!’). Keep in mind as well that some supervisors and committee members will feel embarrassed and uncomfortable when reading overly effusive expressions of gratitude aimed at themselves – yes, they have been wonderful, but supervising your work is their job, after all – so maintaining the dignity and comfort of everyone involved, including yourself, while expressing sincere and even enthusiastic gratitude is the best approach. Focussing precisely on exactly what each individual has done that specifically assisted you in completing your thesis will help you keep your acknowledgements relevant and professional.
Any dedication you wish to include in the thesis should be added to the front matter at this point as well. More importantly, if you have not yet written your abstract and chosen your keywords, they will need to be tackled, and if you have already worked on these earlier, revising them right after you have finished drafting the entire thesis is a good strategy (see Sections 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and 4.2). Finally, you will need to add or complete all the necessary citations, quotations and references in your thesis and compile the list of references, list of works cited or bibliography that should appear at the end of the thesis (or expand the one you submitted with your proposal: see Sections 1.2.6, 1.4.3, 2.1.2 and 3.5.4). It is very late in the game indeed to be deciding upon referencing methods and styles at this point, but if that is not yet a settled matter, a consistent and effective system must be adopted and applied throughout the thesis before it is considered a complete draft, and it is always wise to check your references carefully to be sure you have met the requirements set by your university, department and thesis committee. In Chapter 7 below I discuss in detail the main methods and styles of in-text referencing as well as reference lists and bibliographies, so please refer to that chapter for specific advice on bringing your references into line with scholarly standards, especially if you do not have specific guidelines to follow. If you use direct quotations in your thesis, see also Chapter 8, where I outline the ways in which direct quotations should be presented and integrated in academic and scientific prose.
Finally, once you have the entire thesis drafted, your table of contents will need to be completed by adding page numbers for the parts, chapters and sections of the thesis (and perhaps removing the summaries you used for your thesis outline if you have not already done so: see Section 4.1), or updated and checked if you are making use of a tool such as Word’s automatic table of contents function (see Section 6.1.1 for advice on creating an active table of contents). Make sure that all page numbers in the table of contents accurately indicate the pages on which those parts, chapters and sections actually appear in the thesis, and check the table of contents carefully to ensure that all titles and headings that appear in it match the corresponding headings in the thesis exactly in terms of order, wording, numbering (if used), punctuation and usually capitalisation as well (see Section 6.1 for further information on headings). Even something as simple as line spacing is important in this final stage. Although you may have single spaced your writing while sharing it with your supervisor and the other members of your committee without earning any complaints, double spacing is usual in the main body or running text of a thesis and it also tends to make your work more legible and easier on the eyes of your readers than single spacing does. Many universities will require double spacing, so do check for that in the guidelines and perhaps pay your readers (who are also your examiners) the courtesy of using it even if it is not required.
Why PhD Success?
To Graduate Successfully
This article is part of a book called "PhD Success" which focuses on the writing process of a phd thesis, with its aim being to provide sound practices and principles for reporting and formatting in text the methods, results and discussion of even the most innovative and unique research in ways that are clear, correct, professional and persuasive.
The assumption of the book is that the doctoral candidate reading it is both eager to write and more than capable of doing so, but nonetheless requires information and guidance on exactly what he or she should be writing and how best to approach the task. The basic components of a doctoral thesis are outlined and described, as are the elements of complete and accurate scholarly references, and detailed descriptions of writing practices are clarified through the use of numerous examples.
The basic components of a doctoral thesis are outlined and described, as are the elements of complete and accurate scholarly references, and detailed descriptions of writing practices are clarified through the use of numerous examples. PhD Success provides guidance for students familiar with English and the procedures of English universities, but it also acknowledges that many theses in the English language are now written by candidates whose first language is not English, so it carefully explains the scholarly styles, conventions and standards expected of a successful doctoral thesis in the English language.
Individual chapters of this book address reflective and critical writing early in the thesis process; working successfully with thesis supervisors and benefiting from commentary and criticism; drafting and revising effective thesis chapters and developing an academic or scientific argument; writing and formatting a thesis in clear and correct scholarly English; citing, quoting and documenting sources thoroughly and accurately; and preparing for and excelling in thesis meetings and examinations.
Completing a doctoral thesis successfully requires long and penetrating thought, intellectual rigour and creativity, original research and sound methods (whether established or innovative), precision in recording detail and a wide-ranging thoroughness, as much perseverance and mental toughness as insight and brilliance, and, no matter how many helpful writing guides are consulted, a great deal of hard work over a significant period of time. Writing a thesis can be an enjoyable as well as a challenging experience, however, and even if it is not always so, the personal and professional rewards of achieving such an enormous goal are considerable, as all doctoral candidates no doubt realise, and will last a great deal longer than any problems that may be encountered during the process.
Interested in Proofreading your PhD Thesis? Get in Touch with us
If you are interested in proofreading your PhD thesis or dissertation, please explore our expert dissertation proofreading services.
Rene Tetzner's blog posts dedicated to academic writing. Although the focus is on How To Write a Doctoral Thesis, many other important aspects of research-based writing, editing and publishing are addressed in helpful detail.
PhD Success – How To Write a Doctoral Thesis
October 1, 2021
Table of Contents – PhD Success
October 2, 2021
The Essential – Preliminary Matter
October 3, 2021
The Main Body of the Thesis
October 4, 2021
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How to Write a Dissertation Appendix
Follow quick and easy steps to writing a quality dissertation appendix..
Before commencing with putting together an appendix for dissertation, it is good to know what actually an appendix is and what role does it play. When you conduct a long and elaborative academic research comprising of a vast array of information, you need a location in your research paper to place certain items which can otherwise clutter your dissertation. This is when you use appendix. Additional or supplementary information is placed here.
What is an appendix?
It is a place where all the additional materials, which do not seem to be appropriate in the text body are kept. This piece is added at the end of dissertation after the reference section.
This section is meant for supplementary information which helps the readers in understanding the over and all research work. Experts are of the view that this information is not so essential and even it is omitted from the paper the overall paper would still make sense.
Role of Appendix:
However, do not think appendix is a dumpster of your thesis. The information given here needs to be relevant and hence you should be aware of how to write appendix of your dissertation. You put a good amount of hard work in the main body of your dissertation. But, when you end it you began to wonder where to place a lot of other useful information which can be useful to the readers.
A good and detailed amount of information that is not required immediately but can prove to be useful goes in appendix. This keeps the entire research work more focused. A wide variety of data like diagrams, charts, maps, tables, figures, pictures, questionnaires, content forms, pictures or formulas can be found here. This supplementary data can hamper the flow of thesis and distract the readers.
Before you begin to write it you should know the possible items to be included here.
Items to be Included in Appendix:
Information on interviews, surveys etc.:
There can be a wide variety of written materials like interviews, surveys and other things that can be put in an appendix. These are to be included in the research work so that readers are able to see what your research is based on. However, these items do not belong to the main body of text and hence they are to be placed in appendix.
These are presented in a number ways which can be figures or tables or charts etc. But, how would you decide that which results would you put in the main body of your work and which one would go in appendix. So, find out the materials that are directly related to your research work and that would go in the main text. Lesser significant results or analyses can be places in appendix.
If any statistics software has been used, it should also be included here.
Tables, graphics and other figures:
When you think that you have too many figures, tables, graphics and illustrations etc, you can choose to include anything that is not critical for appendix.
Abbreviations, symbols etc.:
If you have used a lot of symbols and abbreviations in the work or technical terms, you can choose to put them in a glossary and can place it in the document. So, your appendix is a sort of glossary also.
How long it should be?
There is no specific length or word count so you can include all that which you think unnecessary for your thesis without worrying about the word-count. Though it is good to keep its content to a reasonable length and include only those items that you think will be valuable for the readers.
You need to remember that even though supplementary but appendix is an important part of your research work as it will strengthen your argument or case. It is a critical tool that works as an argument and can be a good point of reference.
It should be arranged in a Coherent Manner:
If you are preparing your research work, it is good to follow a methodology in the format. Organize your supplementary information and organize the same coherently in exact chronological order that they have appeared in the thesis.
If you have different types of information do not mess up the section. Catalogue that information into a separate appendix. You can have images, audio clips, links and a wide variety of different types of stuff, just have a look and arrange them in a coherent way.
Each appendix of your work should have a different page with the name of appendix capitalized and placed in the center right at the top margin. All the appendices have a name so that they can be easily distinguished. If you have just one all you need to do is to put a title with “Appendix” and this is enough. When there are multiple, they can be named as “Appendix 1”, “Appendix 2” and so on…
Appendices in-text is to be cited according to the letter assigned this makes it easy for the readers to locate the materials that you are referring to.
How to Format Appendices?
Appendices are where presentation and organizations skills can be applied. This portion is to be presented tidily with logic. It is a colorful and sometimes proves to be an engaging addition to any academic writing.
Exactly how you format your appendices varies so it is good to check your style guide before formatting it. It appears at the end after the reference list.
- It is to be divided into sections depending on the topic and there should be separate sections for transcription of interview and questionnaire results etc.
- Each of the appendix section should begin on a new page.
- Labeling should begin either with a number or a letter along with a title clarifying the content For instance, you can write Appendix A: for charts and graphs, Appendix B: for questionnaires and so on.
- It is to be mentioned in the table of contents written in the beginning of the document.
- There are some who go in for writing just one long and elaborative appendix. But, this is a wrong approach as there are a number of separating components like interviews, abbreviations, results and transcriptions so the information gets simpler to navigate.
- Each appendix should begin on a new page and a clear title is to be assigned to each of them for the purpose of easy understanding. For instance, you can write “Appendix A for “Interview transcriptions.” This will put you at ease in referring the same in the main text.
Number and titles are used for labeling the individual items in the appendix like transcriptions, figures and tables etc. There are rules for tables and figures. If you have tables in more than one appendix each appendix should start with Table 1.
Referring to Appendix:
Each appendix done by you has to appear once in the main body of thesis at least. Appendix and its number are to be mentioned in parentheses or in the main part of the sentence. Make appendix such that its particular component can also be referred if needed.
The graph (see Appendix A) is the clear manifestation….
And for referring a particular part or portion in appendix
The interview (see Appendix B, Table 1) shows that…..
Normally, you need to capitalize “Appendix” when you are referring to any specific appendix. However, this is not mandatory. You can write the same in lower case as well. Whatever case you should use, you should be consistent in using the same throughout. You need to remember that a lower case will be used if you are referring to appendices and not any particular appendix. But, most of the people including those who write their work in APA style use appendices.
Where to Place Appendices?
Most of the people place appendices just after the main body of thesis and after the list of reference. Appendices can also be placed in a separate document also to be submitted along with the paper.
A Quick Checklist to Follow:
Though glossary can be a part of appendix but it is not appendix. You need to determine what all should be placed in an appendix.
- There can be a lot of supplementary or indirectly related material about your research topic. You need to decide which matter should be there in appendix.
- Start it on a new page.
- Make different sections for different types of materials like graphs, charts, interviews and a whatever supplementary content you have used. After that, make appendices and number them appropriately with titles.
- Each appendix should contain a title and a sub-title if needed.
- The section is referred at least once in the main body and hence you need to make sure that it is clearly formatted and easy to trace.
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- Introduction & Help
- General Formatting
- Table of Contents
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- You may or may not have appendices depending on your content.
- Always start an appendix on a new page. Use the page break function to insert a blank page; do not use the Enter key multiple times.
- Type Appendix A: Title of Appendix on the top line; your appendices will be labeled sequentially starting at A and continuing with B, C, etc. If you only have one appendix, still label it Appendix A. Be sure to label this title as a page title heading to format it properly; see Content/Chapters for more information about headings.
- Leave the next line blank.
- Start your appendix.
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