I hope you’ve enjoyed working on your memoir’s Acknowledgments and Author Bio. (If you missed last week’s post, click on How to compose your memoir’s Back Matter

This week we’ll look at two additional components (usually optional) of your memoir’s Back Matter (End Matter)—an Appendix and a Glossary


On this page, include additional information and resources for the benefit of your readers.

“The book appendix is the perfect place for more details on a subject in the book that perhaps the author didn’t have time to include fully or didn’t have room for,”writes Kevin Osworth

He continues, “The appendix may provide additional resources (books, articles, research) for the reader to explore on their own time.”

For examples of appendices, look through books on your shelves and at the public library.

At the following links you’ll find more information, including examples: What is an Appendix Page? and The Lowdown on Appendixes/Appendices


A Glossary is a list of words that might be unfamiliar to your readers, along with their definitions. If in your memoir you use technical terms, specialized information, lingo of an era or culture, or foreign words, include them in your Glossary.

In my most recent memoir, Please, God, Don’t Make Me Go: A Foot-Dragger’s Memoir, I included a Glossary for the Spanish words I used in my story. Here’s an excerpt:


ajiaco   a popular soup made of chicken, potatoes, corn, and spices
alto   stop
arecife   red lava gravel
adiós   goodbye
bif   beef
bodega   storage room
buenos días   hello
campesino   peasant farmer
cédula identification card
chicha   a fermented drink made from chewed kernels of corn

“Keep the definitions simple and reader-friendlywrites Alexander Peterman. “Make sure the definitions are clear and tailored to the average reader. You do not want to sound like a dictionary or use language that is overly academic or technical. The definition should explain what the term means in the simplest terms possible

You’ll find additional helpful information in Peterman’s, How to Write A Glossary

If you haven’t already started rough drafts 

of your memoir’s Appendix and Glossary

this would be a good time to do so. 

Also, continue working on 

your Acknowledgments and Author Bio

Most of all, have fun!

Did you miss our previous article…