If the appendix is "formal," it should contain a beginning, middle, and ending. For example, if the appendix contains tables of test data, the appendix should not only contain the tabular data, but also formally introduce those tables, discuss why they have been included, and explain the unusual aspects that might confuse the reader. Because of time constraints, your instructor might allow you to include "informal" appendices with calculations and supplemental information. For such "informal" situations, having a clear beginning, middle, and ending is not necessary. However, you should still title the appendix, place a heading on each table, place a caption beneath each figure, and insert comments necessary for reader understanding. (See a sample appendix .)
Reports use features such as tables, graphics, images, voice, or specialized vocabulary in order to persuade a specific audience to undertake an action or inform the reader of the subject at hand. Some common elements of written reports include headings to indicate topics and help the reader locate relevant information quickly, and visual elements such as charts, tables and figures, which are useful for breaking up large sections of text and making complex issues more accessible. Lengthy written reports will almost always contain a table of contents, appendices, footnotes, and references. A bibliography or list of references will appear at the end of any credible report and citations are often included within the text itself. Complex terms are explained within the body of the report or listed as footnotes in order to make the report easier to follow. A short summary of the report's contents, called an abstract , may appear in the beginning so that the audience knows what the report will cover. Online reports often contain hyperlinks to internal or external sources as well.