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Dissertation appendix

Dissertation Appendix

Appendices, Glossaries, Tables of Content and Lists of Abbreviations

Whether or not you need to include any or all of these will depend upon the nature of your subject matter and the conventions that your university applies. It is important therefore that you check your course handbook.

Appendices

There are three important things to note about appendices:

Thus, for example, if you have included a questionnaire as part of your methodology and primary data collection, you should analyse the results from the questionnaire within the main body of your work but could include a blank copy of the questionnaire within an appendix. Similarly, if your work has been on the US Constitution and the extent to which 'free speech' is absolute, you will discuss the issues in the main body of your text but could include a copy of the Constitution in an appendix.

'Appendix' is the singular form, and 'appendices' the plural. Accordingly, you should title different documents within the appendices as Appendix One, Appendix Two, and so on, and the collection thereof as the section titled Appendices. If you have only one document, simply title it Appendix.

Glossary

A glossary is usually unnecessary in an undergraduate or Master's dissertation but would include brief definitions of peculiarly technical words or phrases.

List of Abbreviations

There is a fine line between too many abbreviations within a dissertation and too few. Abbreviations or acronyms should be used only for terms which will be repeatedly used within your dissertation. If you only mention an organisation once there is no need to abbreviate it. Conversely, if you mention it several times on every page an abbreviation is useful (as it aids flow and also assists your word count).

Be aware however of the following points.

Lists of abbreviations are more commonly found in scientific dissertations (for example, biology or engineering), and rarely within subject areas such as history, English, or politics. Check with your supervisor if you are unsure.

Table of Contents

This component of your dissertation is most easily written with the tool available within MSWord (or similar). If you have not used the tool previously, take five minutes to do an online tutorial on the Microsoft website so that you save time in the long run by avoiding common mistakes.

If you do not decide to use such a tool, remember that you will need to format the table in a clear and consistent manner, and that page numbers may need to be updated frequently as you edit, proof read and polish the dissertation.

Try to avoid excessively long tables of contents; a 15,000 word dissertation does not need a four page table of contents. Do not create a plethora of sub-sections that may contain as little as one sentence. Most dissertations will not need sub-sections of more than two degrees (for example, sections 3, 3.1, and 3.1.2) and use of more than one degree should be very carefully considered.

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