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9.6 Tips on Compiling Appendices in a PhD Thesis

The previous section of this guide dealt in some detail with how you can make use of appendices within a Ph.D. – what follows here is a brief reference to some of the main points which you can use as a means of quick reference:

  1. Do not use appendices as a depository for the general ‘overflow’ of any and all documents that for one reason or another did not fit directly into your thesis.
  2. Ensure that your documents are organised with attention to clarity in the overall connection between the appendices and the thesis.
  3. Remember that your appendices should not be seen as entirely disconnected from your thesis - they need to be referenced as you would any evidentiary support.
  4. Always reference an appendix as close to the comment to which it relates as you can, these references would not usually be given in a footnote.
  5. Be careful when you are organising your appendices because you need to make the principle governing your organisation as logically applicable to your thesis as possible.
  6. Choose the organisational principle which works best for your thesis.
  7. The determiner of organising appendices should be the topic of your thesis.
  8. Ensure that you always make clarity your watchword.
  9. Do not feel obliged to use appendices – if they are not essential then do not feel that you have to include them in your thesis.
  10. Remember that the main reason for including appendices is to supply your examiner with access to additional evidentiary support to assess your work, with this in mind you need to prepare them as carefully as you have the rest of your thesis.
  11. Try to think about your appendices as you progress in your research, just as you have been advised to do with your bibliography.
  12. Do not leave the assembling and/or categorisation of your appendices until the rest of the thesis is complete as it will be more difficult to sort them out then than earlier. Also, if you compile your appendices in a ‘working fashion’ as you write, you will find them easier to refer to yourself as you write.

"Above all, remember that your appendices are intended to be an aid to your thesis, not an obstacle. So compile and use them as such!"

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