Back Matter

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe various sections that may be used in the back matter of a report

It may sound like a catch-all to say that all that is left goes in the back matter (also called appendices). To do so appears to devalue the significant importance of material found in this section; however, the back matter can provide critical details that could not easily fit in the body of the report. This section can be used in both informational and analytical reports.

In the back matter, there is little prose provided to explain or connect the different items, as the purpose of each item was explained in the body of the report when each item was first referenced. Thus, the back matter is simply the location of these more detailed items that are critical to support the report. 

There is no “standard” list of items that should be included in the back matter of a report. If the report is a response to an RFI or RFP, there may be extensive costs listed. In other cases, this section may include sample contracts, which can become finalized should the bid be accepted. There may also be extensive data sets provided, which cover far more detail than the body of the report allows. As mentioned in our discussion of the body of the report, you may also find individuals’ resumes.

Simply put, this section can contain anything needed to further support your report; however, resist the temptation to overdo it and include only items that are truly relevant.

Practice Question