User:Whiteknight/New Book Guide/Appendices

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What differentiates a wikibook from a wikipedia article, besides relative length, is the fact that a book generally has a flow from subject to subject, an organization structure of related ideas, and a general progression. Books frequently go forward in a linear manner, with basic subjects being taught in the beginning, progressing to the advanced subjects that appear towards the end. However, in a book, there are frequently subjects that don't fit into this nice linear progression, or reference material that is best utilized by reading it in parallel with other topics in your book. This information can be included best in appendices, at the end of your table of contents.

I find it is frequently helpful to create a template for your book that will post automatic links to the relevant appendix page(s). I generally implement such a template as a floating box on the right-hand side of the page that states something to the effect of "There is more information about this subject in the appendix" or "There are related reference materials in the appendix".

Since appendix materials are located outside of the main book progression, you really dont need to agonize over them when creating your outline. Frequently, appendix materials are already created in stub books that your new book will gobble up.

Peripheral Topics

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Frequently you will find material that sort-of fits into your book, but it certainly doesn't belong anywhere else, but at the same time isn't worthy of deletion. Such things like historical notes, tangent subjects, etc can be included in additional appendix and "further reading" pages. Since these aren't references that are useful for following the main progression of your book, they aren't called appendices. Peripheral pages consists of materials that maybe don't strictly "belong" in your book, but are interesting enough not to be deleted outright. Also, such tangents can enhance the learning experience of some readers.

For example, in the Communication Systems book that I created, there are some tables (lists of frequencies, lists of Fourier transforms, etc) that are useful resources for the main progression and therefore are appendices. There is other information that I found in a stub book that I merged on the life and history of Claude Shannon. This material wasn't necessarily part of the main progression of the book, but it was well-enough written and informative enough that it didn't deserve deletion. I posted it in an extra page, and made a link to it from the appropriate places.