Where and how should I include an Appendix in my thesis


Many students include an Appendix section in their thesis where they post additional information about their study. A common question I get asked about including an Appendix is: “Where and how should I include it in my thesis?”. In this post, I’ll give you the answer:

Appendix: what is it?
Appendix always comes last
Numbering your Appendix
Cite your Appendix in the main text
I cited new material in my Appendix. What should I do?

Appendix: What is it?

In a dissertation or research paper, the Appendix-section usually contains additional materials that support the arguments made in the main text, but that are not necessary to understand them. Examples are additional tables and figures, an interview transcript or various statistical robustness checks.

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Appendix always comes last

Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter: A common mistake is to place the Appendix before the Bibliography, which is not correct! Appendix is a Latin word, which (roughly) translates to “added last”. It therefore is the very last part of a document, and should be placed after the Bibliography (References-section). If your Appendix is not the very last part of your thesis at the moment, it’s currently at the wrong position and you should move it to the end of your document.

Numbering your Appendix

Because the Appendix is the last part, the numbering of the headings is slightly different from the numbering of the rest of your document. Appendices start with letters instead of numbers. In other words: your first Appendix is A, the next B, and so forth:

  • Appendix A
  • Appendix B
  • Appendix C

Note that you do not have to change anything to your page-numbering: you can still assign the next ‘logical’ page-number to your Appendix. For example, if your References-section stops at page 35, then Appendix A would simply be page 36.

Cite your Appendix in the main text

Also, do not forget to explicitly refer to the Appendix somewhere in your main text. In other words, don’t simply include an Appendix, but explicitly state that you have included an Appendix. Also mention what the reader can find in this Appendix. For instance: “A short overview of the questions asked during the interview that I conducted with the company’s CEO is provided in Appendix A.”

I cited new material in my Appendix. What should I do?

Did you include new references in your Appendix? For example, did you cite an article in an Appendix, which you had not cited before in your ‘main’ text? These references should go to the same Bibliography as the rest of your references. You do not need to add a new Bibliography after your Appendix.

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