Is it really necessary to place the appendices in a book in the order in which they are referred to, or is it possible to have a "logical" order, i.e. place them in an order which would be chosen when the Appendix would stand alone? For example, Appendix G referres to another appendix, which logically would be placed as Appendix H, but because the reference appears so late, that appendix would end up as Appendix Q when placing the appendices in the order of references.

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    What kind of work is this? Also, are you using a style guide? (Such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Mar 13 '12 at 16:37
  • @NeilFein: There is no style guide (therefore the question). Otherwise it would just be: "do as the guide tells you", of course. It is a kind of report (which became way too long). – Stephen Mar 13 '12 at 20:03

I would have no problem putting appendices in "logical" order. An appendix is referred to out-of-context or out of order anyway, so what difference does it make if your footnote sends the reader to Appendix A, Q, or IV?

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    Makes sense. Better have thematically connected appendices next to each other, thus after reading one appendix a related one can be "discovered" by the reader because it follows immediately. And it should not be important whether the link goes to page 1000 or 1200, because in either case it is "somewhere at the rear of the book". Just wanted to make sure it is not "nobody ever would do that ridiculous order". – Stephen Mar 13 '12 at 20:12
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    Unless you put them in the front of the book, or scattered them randomly throughout, I don't think there's really a "ridiculous order" for appendices. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Mar 13 '12 at 23:32

I work at a small company doing R&D work on electrochemical process development (electropolishing, electroplating, etc.), and do a lot of writing as part of the job. A lot of projects require regular submission of reports, usually either monthly or quarterly. These reports are usually relatively short, running 6-20 pages or so. In some cases, we have a large body of data or other ancillary material we want to include that is well suited for one or more appendices. In short documents like this, I usually sequence the appendices by their position of first reference in the text, as the small scope of these documents lends a more "figure-like" feel to their appendices.

I would probably be inclined to keep the order-by-first-reference sequence up to about 40-50 pages or so of length. Above that, I'd feel more free to use a topical sort order like you indicate. In fact, now that I think about it, I used exactly this topical sort order in my Ph.D. thesis, which had seven (*gulp*) appendices, all of which are absolutely ordered by topic, and not by first reference.

Really, once the appendices section becomes substantial enough, it almost becomes its own mini-chapter. When considered from that angle, structuring it so that it has a natural topic flow is quite sensible.

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