The visual nature of art and design-based extended essays means students often want to include additional and important information, but do not want to interrupt the text with large visuals, tables of possibly boring figures generated from questionnaires, photographs of a sequence, diagrams, scripts and transcripts etc.

You need to make sensible design decisions at the outset as to where your reader can access essential additional information. Discuss this with your supervisor: meanwhile here are some commonsense tips.

  1. You will be graded on the quality of your discussion. Relegating primary research information - questionnaire results, tables, sequences of documentary photographs - to a clearly numbered appendix gives you the option of referring your reader to it without interrupting text flow e.g. "see Appendix 1".

    Appendices should be titled and appear in your table of contents. Do not include copies of academic sources as appendices unless these are exceptionally difficult to find and necessary for your reader to access.

  1. Comparative information, especially if facts or numbers, is often better off in a space-saving table. If the table threatens to consume more than half a page, put it in as an appendix at the back.
  1. If you have taken a photographic record that will increase your page count by more than 20%, or if the images are larger than half a page, it is far better to put them into a numbered appendix. Dealing with a text that is frequently interrupted by graphics can also be difficult. Remember to put a list of illustrations before the appendix.
  1. In the 21st century it is entirely acceptable to include a CD ROM envelope at the back of your essay and refer your reader to it as a visual source. CDs can accommodate thousands of photographs, short videos and sound files. Make sure you refer to the reader to clearly labelled files on the CD.

    You could also offer the reader the option of reading an electronic version of your essay, also on the CD, with hyperlinks to appropriate files. Any material taken from external sources must be referenced in your bibliography.

  1. If there are more than three or four items of subject-specific jargon that are essential for your reader to know, it is useful to include a short glossary.
  1. Ask yourself if additional information is really necessary to understand your extended essay.

    Do not include items just because they look interesting or in aid of pushing up your Word -limit (most students over rather than under write).

Questions regarding : Do I need an appendix? Controlling information monsters
1. Which best describes the purpose of an appendix?
2. Which one of these items would be better off in an appendix?