A Guide to Using Appendices in Your PhD Thesis

When you research your chosen topic, you will become an expert in the field and probably be left with a lot of information to say about your specialism. With Appendices you can still include it, but without making your sentences confusing and difficult to read, thus affecting your result. Appendices are a key tool to help make your dissertation writing coherent and flow well, all the while keeping it detailed enough, to get the best grade.


What to put in your appendices?


If you carried out research such as a survey and/or interview you are likely to have tables, transcripts or graphs as a result of the analysis. These can either be information heavy or need inserting as an image which can majorly disrupt the flow of your assignment. Important key results which support the main body of your dissertation can and should be kept within the body of the writing but additional research which is less significant can be added as an appendix.

surveys for dissertation data collection

Tables or info-graphics

Relevant research found in the form of info-graphics, charts etc. can go into your appendices. As above, if it is supporting a key argument, you may want to include it within the main section of the thesis. However, if it just supported your general research then avoid distracting from the important message you are trying to convey and leave it for the appendices.


Key terms or definitions

If you are writing about something very niche, with many long names or associated words you may have to define or abbreviate certain words in order to make your assignment easier to read. This can be stated at the start of the essay or you could add it in your appendices for the readers to study as necessary.

Have a look at our guide on the essential terms and vocabulary recommended to reach the best grades.


How to add appendices to your coursework

You have a few options if you decide to add appendices to your work. You can either add it at the end of your thesis, after your references. The appendices should go after your references because it is less important than your main body of text. Your references are vital for avoiding plagiarism and passing the plagiarism checks. The other option is to submit the appendices as a second document to help with your dissertation. It is your decision, but sometimes it can be easier to refer to when it is in the same document and listed in your table of contents. Make sure to list them in your contents in order of appearance so the index is easy to use.


How to label and refer to your appendices

To make your appendices fit with university guidelines each appendix must be labelled consistently with a letter or number. For example, Appendix A, B, C or Appendix 1, 2, 3. Again, label these in order of appearance.

Once labelled, you can refer to them when discussing the content of said appendix.

For example:

The full analysis on the effect of non-monetary rewards on productivity is shown in Appendix F.


Just in case the word sounds odd after reading it many times, to clarify, appendix is singular referring to one sample, graph, chart. Appendices refers to all these extracts together. This guide should give you an overview of how to utilise appendices in a PhD thesis but if you are in any doubt it is always a good idea to consult your tutor. Another justified option is to get professional help by using our academic writing service.

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