An appendix contains supplemental material that is not an essential part of the text itself, but that may be useful in providing a more complete understanding of the research problem or is information that is too cumbersome to be included in the body of the work. Separate appendices should be used for each different topic or data set and always with a descriptive title of their content.
Importance of Appendices
Appendices are always a complement to research work. As such, your study should be able to stand on its own without the appendices, and the work should contain all the information, including tables, diagrams, and results needed to understand the research problem. The key point to remember when including an appendix is that the information is not essential; if it were removed, the reader would still be able to understand the importance, validity, and implications of their research.
It is desirable to include appendices for the following reasons:
Include this material in the body of work that would make it poorly structured or interrupt the narrative flow;
The information is too extensive and detailed to be easily summarized in the body of the work;
The inclusion of useful or supporting material would distract the reader from the main content of the work;
Provides relevant information or data that is more easily understood or analyzed in a stand-alone section of the document;
It can be used when there are limitations on the extent of the work; and
It provides a place to demonstrate your understanding of the research problem by giving additional details about a new or innovative method, technical details, or design protocols.
Structure and writing style
General points to keep in mind
When considering including content in an appendix, The University of New England (2005), recommends that you consider the following:
It is usually a good practice to include the raw data in an appendix, exposing it in a clear format so that the reader can recheck its results. Another option, if you have a large amount of raw data, is to consider putting it online and point out that this is the appendix to your research work.
The tables and figures included in the appendix must be numbered as a separate sequence from the main work. Remember that appendices contain non-essential information that, if removed, would not diminish the reader's ability to understand the research problem being investigated. Therefore, non-textual elements should not carry the sequential numbering of non-textual elements in the body of your work.
If you have more than three appendices, consider listing them on a separate page at the beginning of the job. This will help the reader know what information is included in the [siempre hay que enumerar el apéndice o los apéndices en un índice] appendices.
The appendix can be a good place to put maps, photographs, diagrams and other images, if you think they will help the reader understand the content of your work, keeping in mind that the study should be understood without them.
An appendix should be agile and not loaded with much information. If you have a very long and complex appendix, it is a good idea to divide it into separate appendices, which will allow the reader to quickly find the relevant information, since the information is covered in the body of the document.
Never include an appendix that is not referenced in the text. All appendices should be summarized in your document when they are relevant to the content. Appendices should also be arranged sequentially by the order in which they were first referred to in the text [i.e., Appendix 1 should not refer to the text on page eight of your work and Appendix 2 to that on page six].
There are very few rules about the type of material that can be included in an appendix, but here are some common examples:
If your research included collaborations with others or contacts with others, correspondence may be included in the form of letters, memos, or copies of emails from the people you interacted with.
In qualitative research, interviews with respondents are often used to gather information. The complete transcript of an interview is important so that the reader can read all the dialogue between the researcher and the interviewee. The interview protocol should also be [lista de preguntas] included.
As noted above, if there are many non-textual elements, such as figures, tables, maps, charts, photographs, drawings, or graphics, consider highlighting the examples in the document text, but include the rest in an appendix.
Questionnaires or surveys
This is a common form of data collection. Always include the survey instrument or questionnaires in an appendix so that the reader understands not only the questions asked, but also the sequence in which they were asked. Also include all variants of the instruments if different items were sent to different groups [e.g. those given to teachers and those given to administrators].
Raw statistical data
You can include any numeric data that is too long to include in charts or tables in its entirety within the text. This is important because the entire data source must be included, even if it refers only to certain parts of a chart or table in the text of your work.
Whether you used a camera, recorder, or other device to gather information and it is important for the reader to understand how, when, and/or where that device was used.
Examples of calculations: You can include quantitative research formulas or detailed descriptions of how the calculations were used to determine relationships and significance.
NOTE: Appendices should not be a dumping ground for information. Do not include vague or irrelevant information in an appendix; this additional information will not help the reader's general understanding and interpretation of your research and can only distract the reader from understanding the importance of your general study.
OTHER NOTE: The appendices are intended to provide supplemental information that you have gathered or created; it is not a question of replicating or providing a copy of others' work. For example, if you need to contrast the analysis techniques used by other authors with your own method of analysis, summarize that information and cite the original work. In this case, it is enough to quote the original work so that the reader knows where he got the information from. You do not need to provide a copy of it in an appendix.
The following are some general guidelines on the format of appendices. If necessary, see the writing style guide [e.g., APA, MLS, Chicago] that your teacher wants you to use for more details:
Appendices can precede or follow the list of references.
Each appendix begins on a new page.
The order in which they are presented is dictated by the order in which they are mentioned in the text of their research work.
The title should be "Appendix", followed by a letter or number [e.g. "Appendix A" or "Appendix 1"], centered and written in bold.
If there is an index of contents, the appendices must be listed.
The page number of the appendix or appendices will continue with the numbering of the last page of the text.
Annex vs. Appendix: Do you know the difference?
Many researchers are more familiar with the appendix than with the annex. Like the annex, the appendix is a supplement or annex to a research paper, but it is not part of the body of work. It contains information that helps readers understand the thesis or provides essential background on the research process. However, this information is too long or detailed to fit in the main text. This information can include complex sets of charts or tables, for example; or it can take the form of long lists of raw data, such as population figures.
Context and authorship are the key differences
Purdue University (1989), considers the following aspects:
An annex may be self-contained. If additional documents are attached at the end of the research work, but they make complete sense and provide important information even outside the context of the work, they can be classified as annexes.
An appendix is usually more related than an annex to the main body of work. An appendix would not be as informative or valuable outside the context of your document. Although an appendix enhances or expands research work by adding details such as illustrations or case studies, it is never presented to readers on its own.
Usually (but not always), the author of an annex is different from the author of the research paper. For example, you can attach a historical newspaper article, the laboratory report of another scientist or the collection of demographic data from an NGO.
An annex, on the other hand, is almost always created by the author of the research paper.
You may be wondering if you really need to understand the distinction between annex and appendix, as long as you attach all the supplemental material that your research work requires. Indeed, it is necessary. Depending on the academic or editorial style guide you're working with, you may need to style an attachment differently from an appendix. Its indexing, the numbering of the pages, the link to a research work, etc., are some of the aspects that may be different for an annex and an appendix.
The most delicate points
Let us now look at some concrete examples of appendices and annexes.
If your bibliography takes the form of a list of recommended general readings related to your thesis but does not provide information about the specific works you have cited within the main text, it is an annex. The topic and scope of the work determine the content of the bibliographic annex, but not the specific research you actually wrote about and referenced.
If your bibliography provides detailed citations of the sources you reference in the work itself, it is an annex. The content of the bibliographic annex is determined by exactly what you researched and what you wrote in the paper.
If you attach copies of letters that the subject of your research work sent to members of their personal circle, that's an annex. You are not the author of that correspondence and the original exchange of letters has nothing to do with your research work.
If you attach emails that you exchanged with collaborators or research subjects, that's an addendum. You are the author of that correspondence, and the correspondence occurred in the specific context of your research and writing of the work.
If you attach an interview that a periodical made to the subject of your research work, that's an addendum. It wasn't you who organized the interview and it was originally published outside the context of your own research.
If you attach the complete transcripts of the interviews that you refer to in your research paper and that you conducted yourself, that's an annex. You conducted the interviews as part of your personal research for the job.
Consider putting your appendices online
Appendices are useful because they provide the reader with information that supports their study without breaking the narrative or distracting from the main purpose of their work. If you have a lot of raw data or hard-to-present information in text form, consider uploading it to a website. This prevents your article from having a large and unwieldy set of appendices and supports a growing movement within academia to make data more freely available for reanalysis. If you create an online portal for your data, prominently indicate it in your article with the correct URL and access procedures if it is a secure site.
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Appendices. Academic Skills Office, University of New England; Appendices. Writing Center, Walden University; Chapter 12, "Use of Appendices." In Guide to Effective Grant Writing: How to Write a Successful NIH Grant. Otto O. Yang. (New York: Kluwer Academic, 2005), pp. 55-57.
Appendices, Footnotes and Endnotes. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Lunsford, Andrea A. and Robert Connors. The St. Martin's Handbook. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989; What To Know About The Purpose And Format Of A Research Paper Appendix. LoyolaCollegeCulion.com.
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