What is an Appendix in a Paper: Structure, Format, and Examples

What is an Appendix in a Paper: Structure, Format, and Examples

Straight-A students should know how to cope with any assignment to the full extent. In other words, if you want to hand in a quality essay, you should know how to work with all its parts and components. Whether it is about a thesis statement or appendix. Today we'll focus on the latter since a rare paper can do without it, but many students don't know the peculiarities of making a well-arranged appendix. Also, bear in mind that you can be asked to do more than one for a single paper. Therefore, it is important to answer the question, "What is an appendix?" and determine all the related aspects you should pay special attention to. When you know the fundamentals of appendix structure and its effective usage, it is much easier to complete the task. 

What Is an Appendix in a Paper?

To deliver a well-tailored paper with a good appendix, you should understand its meaning and main functions. Thus, it seems reasonable to start with its definition. An appendix represents a summary of the references involved in your paper. You can come across it in scientific journals, books, and of course, academic papers. Usually, this section is located at the end of an essay and can include some information that is too complex and long to mention in the body paragraphs. However, all these references can improve the target audience's reading experience and help go deep down the question. You should pay attention to the fact that the MLA format appendix will differ from other ones in detail, so you should make it in accordance with the citation style you adhere to. 

The Role of Appendix in an Essay

Many young people would gladly skip this part of a paper, believing that writing an appendix is nothing more but a waste of time. So, they get annoyed at the very thought they will have to make it. Nonetheless, it is sometimes hard and even impossible to completely explain some information, so your paper may leave an unpleasant fleur of unspoken words. It is when an appendix comes to the rescue and helps provide additional information that will sort things out. Thus, you will not bombard your readers with details but provide them with an opportunity to learn about them later when they have got the essence of your paper but require additional info. 

Does Your Paper Need an Appendix?

Even though most papers involve an appendix, you may turn out to be a lucky one who doesn't need it. Any appendix presents information that strengthens the target audience's understanding of your research, but it is not crucial to your arguments. Thus, if your professor doesn't ask you to make an appendix, you should do it only in one of the following cases:

  1. You need to provide complete transcripts of the interviews conducted.
  2. You should provide records used in the research, for example, tests, guidelines, questionnaires.
  3. You should include statistical data.
  4. You should provide a detailed description of the equipment applied.
  5. You need to provide information that can interrupt the flow of the essay. 

Bear in mind that you should refer to each appendix at least once in the body paragraphs. Otherwise, there is no sense in including this information. If you refer to the same data again, you don't need to mention the appendix again. In other words, when you mention it for the first time, you should write something like 'see Appendix A,' but when you do it again, you don't need to specify it repeatedly. The appendix should clarify certain moments to your reader, not to confuse them.

What Do Appendices Look Like?

It doesn't matter what format you choose, but they all will contain certain fundamentals, so you should learn the key aspects of the structure. We'll consider how examples of the appendix may vary depending on the style, but bear in mind that APA and MLA formats will follow the same structure:

  • heading 'Appendix #' involves a number or letter;
  • reference list;
  • index table;
  • page numbers for multiple appendices;
  • endnotes.

Pay attention that there should be a correlation between the appendix and body text. You should make each paragraph double-spaced, and if you involve references from third-party sources, you should cite them as usual in the appendix and body paragraphs.

How to Make an Appendix

When you understand the basic principles, it is not a big deal to create an appendix. You should know how to do an appendix in MLA and APA in the first place since they are the most common ones. It is not a big deal to find a ready-made appendices example on the web so that you can have a better understanding of the steps required. If you have no time for investigation, you can do the following:

  1. When it comes to an example of an appendix in a research paper, you should make the appendix label on a new page, indicating page number. It is necessary to center the label, representing itself as 'Appendix A,' for example. 
  2. The next step is to come up with a title for your appendix. It goes below the label. Just don't forget to center it.
  3. The first paragraph shouldn't involve any indent or be flushed left.
  4. All other paragraphs should be indented and formatted as usual.

When you proceed to make an appendix, make sure you have a label and a title. If you create multiple appendices, they should have separate pages. When it is one of a kind, you label it neither with numbers nor letters. Pay attention that each appendix should be devoted to a particular theme, so you shouldn't make two appendices if they are about the same topic. 

Appendix APA

Since it is one of the most common formats, many teachers ask their learners to create an appendix according to it. You should follow guidelines and rules of APA formatting to deliver a well-tailored paper. Otherwise, your professor can lower your grade significantly. Pay attention to the next things:

  • if you write multiple appendices, mark them with ABC;
  • each appendix should involve a separate point;
  • each appendix should have a title;
  • write 'see appendix B' when referencing the appendix within the text;
  • center the title;
  • make each appendix on a separate page;
  • an appendix should follow the reference list; 
  • involve double spacing;
  • involve endnotes.

If you want to take a closer look at the APA appendix, you can open the following link to see how you should write your paper: 

It will not be superfluous to search for some other examples on the web to go deep down the question and improve your understanding. All other formats will have the same foundation, but you should consider the minor differences mentioned below.

Chicago Appendix

It is close to the APA style, but it involves a range of differences you should consider when working on your paper. You should pay special attention to the next moments to deliver a well-crafted paper:

  • use Times New Roman font and 12 pt. size for Chicago appendix;
  • put page numbers on the top right of each page;
  • mark the page number like 'Page 2';
  • don't put a page number on the front cover;
  • make the bibliography the final page. It shouldn't contain any other content except for endnotes.

Appendix MLA

It is easy to confuse MLA and APA appendix styles since they are quite similar in many cases. However, there are a few differences you should consider when creating your paper in MLA format. If you have no idea how to write an appendix MLA, pay attention to the following aspects:

  • include the appendix before the reference list;
  • if you make multiple appendices, indicate them with ABC;
  • each appendix should follow the order of information stated on the paper;
  • involve page numbers for each appendix;
  • make each appendix on a separate sheet of paper;
  • center the title;
  • double-space the list;
  • make the reference list in alphabetical order;
  • involve italic fonts for the titles of books, websites, recordings;
  • if you refer to a part of a source, for example, poetry, don't use an italic font.