How to write a paper with an appendix

Written by julia barrus
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How to write a paper with an appendix
Paper writers often include graphs in an appendix to support the content of the paper. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Paper writing skills are essential for students of all ages. However, academic research sometimes requires more information than simply text-based material to support the full scope of a paper. Adding an appendix to your paper can be helpful and is often essential. Enhance your academic paper content with the inclusion of graphs, charts or pictures that are typically included in the appendix. Conduct research to narrow the selection of appendix material to the items that best support your topic, and include footnotes throughout the paper that provide easy reference to the items in the appendix.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Research materials (books, articles, etc.)
  • Word processing software
  • PC
  • Essay or research paper
  • Supplementary materials (graphs, charts, pictures, etc.)

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  1. 1

    Research your topic carefully to decide which subtopics within your paper could benefit from additional support. An appendix adds support to paper content, so it should not stand alone as a work at the end of the paper. It is a supporting document, like a bibliography, that aids the reader in understanding the source topic or material. During your research, you may have encountered graphs, charts or pictures that helped you understand your topic. Select the materials from your research that will assist the reader in understanding your paper.

  2. 2

    Use the word processing software to add footnotes within the body of your paper. Footnotes provide additional information for the reader and often reference supporting documents like a works cited list or appendix. Format your appendix citation within the footnote in APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Library Association) format, as appropriate.

  3. 3

    Collect all supporting items, such as tables, graphs or pictures, and place them as separate items at the end of your paper. For example, a painting referenced in the footnote on the second page of your paper might refer to "Appendix A." Appendix A should therefore be a copy of that same painting. Appendix B would then logically be the next item referenced within the paper.

Tips and warnings

  • If your appendix is very large, consider including several items on the same page in the appendix. Then you would reference, for example, "Item 1 in Appendix A" and so on.

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