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How To Write an Appendix

Sometimes what you’re writing needs to have an appendix. Knowing how to write it can make sure you include the extra content which matters or is related to your information, but isn’t necessarily needed within the actual body text. Your summary may be structured in one of three ways.

  • As a section of references for the reader to see what your sources happen to be.
  • As a section with extra information that is related to your materials in some way that may be helpful to the reader if they wish to do extra research.
  • As a summary of the data you’ve offered or an overview of your methods that helped to develop your work.

Since an appendix is pretty much a consolidation of the information you’ve gathered to create your work, it’s fairly easy to write one. Just make sure you have the headings you need to take the reader from information to information and insert any data tables which may be required to support your conclusions.

There are some general rules which you may wish to follow as well. Here’s how to write an appendix in any style, including APA style.

#1. Each new appendix should be on a separate page. Think of this creation process as if you were creating slides on PowerPoint for a presentation. You want to have each data table, summary, or set of references on a separate page. Don’t try to cram everything into 2-3 pages because that will make this portion of your work virtually unreadable.

#2. Each new heading should be BOLD and centered in standard style. This will help the reader be able to reference the specific appendix needed for further information. Each appendix is generally assigned a different number. If you have 5 different pages for the appendix, then it would be appendix #1-#5.

#3. In APA style, the heading is centered, but not bold. You must also have a title for your appendix in APA style and this will appear underneath the centered heading and also be centered. When in APA style, you’ll want to assign each new page a letter instead of a number. This means 5 different pages would be appendix A-E.

#4. Your paragraph structure is going to be a little different. When writing an appendix that has a block of body text, the first paragraph should be formatted so that it is flush left. There should not be an indentation on that first paragraph. If you have a second and/or a third paragraph of body text, then these would be indented as you normally would for the rest of the document.

#5. In APA style, the appendix should always be double-spaced. Whenever you write a paragraph for an appendix in APA style, it should always be double-spaced. This is not necessary when writing a standard appendix for other work.

#6. Any tables, data figures, charts, or other information should be treated as they would in the main body text. This means you need to add a reference to the information when including it in the appendix based on the style of writing that you have. This would means outside sources must be cited like this: (Source Author, 2016). The exception to this rule in APA style would be that you could cite the specific appendix in the body text where you have the outside reference cited.

#7. Use Times New Roman 12 pt font as much as possible. An appendix is generally considered to be a formal addition to the body text you’ve written. When writing in APA style, use this font and size for your appendix. In a standard appendix, the rules are more lenient about the size of your heading, having your title in bold text, and using different types of fonts. In general, you should always use the same font that you used to write the rest of your document.

#8. Read your appendix out loud to make sure it reads well. This final step may seem unnecessary, but it is important to remember that readers will access the appendix whenever they wish to verify the information in your work. If it reads awkwardly or is hastily added, then it will detract from the quality of the main body text it supports.

Knowing how to write an appendix can help you shore up the final details of your essay, non-fiction book, or other writing that is based on facts, research, and outside resources. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to compose an appendix that will add value to what you’ve already written.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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