Conducting Educational Research
Step 20: Create Supplementary Materials

Once the body of the paper is completely written, it is important to Revise, Revise, Revise, Revise. A paper is never completely finished. When I reread papers that I wrote a few months or more ago, I always find mistakes that I wish I could correct, sentences that could have been better written, or ways that I could improve the organization and presentation of the paper. While working on the supplementary materials of the paper, continue to revise, revise, and revise the rest of the work.

All papers require an Abstract and References, and some papers will need Appendices. A thesis also requires a Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, and List of Appendices.


The purpose of the Abstract is to give the reader a general overview of the entire study. When writing the abstract, include a sentence or two on each of the following (Reeve, n.d.).

  • The overall purpose of the study.
  • Who the participants were and what they did during the study.
  • The major results of the study.
  • The overall conclusion and/or implication of the study.

For journal articles, the Abstract typically ranges from 100-150 words. For theses, refer to the specific guidelines of the Department or University. If no specific guidelines are given, try to keep the abstract on one page.


It is very important that a researcher carefully prepares the References section. Every work cited in the body of the paper should be included in the References section. This is important for two major reasons: to aid the reader in finding additional resources about the topic of work, and also to demonstrate that you did your research carefully and honestly. (If a number of works are not listed in the references section, then the reader becomes suspicious that you either did not do your research project carefully or that you plagiarized your work.)

To ensure that every reference is listed in the references section, make a clean copy of your References section. Then, starting at the beginning of your work, find every single citation in your work. When you come across a citation, tick it off in the clean copy of the References. Note any references that are cited in the body of the work but are not present in the References section. These references must be added at the end of the exercise. Any references in the References section that are not ticked at the end of the exercise should be canceled.

For more details on developing a References section and examples of APA format for referencing, visit two helpful resources include Purdue's OWL and APA Referencing.


The purpose of an appendix is to allow the author to give more detailed information that would be distracting in the body of the paper. Typically, the two major items included in an appendix are the actual instruments that were given to the participants, exactly as the participants saw them with the exception of the appendix number and title at the top, and detailed information about the treatment and control groups.

Different items to be included in the Appendices should have their own section, distinguished by Appendix number. For example, the instrument might be Appendix A, the treatment package might be Appendix B, and the control program might be Appendix C. Each appendix should be numbered and should also have a title. The Appendices come after the References section at the end of the work

Table of Contents and List of Figures, Tables, and Appendices

Prepare the Table of Contents carefully. The headers in the Table of Contents should reflect section headers in the body of the paper exactly. For example, if a header reads "Procedure of Data Collection" in the body of the paper, it should read the same in the Table of Contents, not Method of Data Collection. Every header should be listed in the Table of Contents, along with the accurate page numberr.

After the Table of Contents, start a new page entitled "List of Tables." Here, list the table number, the exact name of each table as listed in the body of the paper, and its page number. Do the same for the List of Figures and List of Appendices.

The exact format of the Table of Contents and List of Figures, Tables, and Appendices differs by school and by department. Find a copy of the guidelines for preparing manuscripts, and also follow other approved projects for examples of the format.


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