For those of you that may not know, the dissertation appendix generally includes material that you have come across in research but doesn’t quite fit within the scope of your work. These materials can include interview transcripts, surveys, supplemental data, etc. These are all items that may be of interest to your audience and might encourage further review in one’s work on a closely related topic. Here are a few things to know about the basic structure of a dissertation appendix:
Your dissertation appendix should always appear at the end of your work. Check out a few sample copies to learn more about its positioning. You might also be able to gain access to a template directly from your department’s website or from your graduate advisor. Just make sure that the template your research methodology before plugging in all your information.
Appendices have a different numbering system separate from the rest of your dissertation. One example system is a-1, a-2, and so forth but you might choose another if you get the format approved your advisor beforehand or can verify that it’s an acceptable format within your discipline. Be sure your content within your appendix is also numbered consistently. Regardless of the type of data or information you introduce it should be easy for a researcher to navigate through the information.
Similarly to you your conclusion paragraph, a dissertation appendix should not include any new or important information towards your argument. The information here should be something that may not have fit within the scope of your project but may be important for an academic who may be interested in furthering your topic or a related one through more research. A sign of an inferior dissertation is that you use an appendix to bring up new content in an attempt to strengthen your argument: be sure not to do this.
Far too many students mistakenly try to include an appendix as a way to get around word count requirements. Generally, a dissertation will not have a minimum word count, but if it does have a requirement or is encouraged by your advisor don’t think that you can pad your assignment with this section.
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