What Is a Back Matter

Glossary > Back Matter

💬 Definition of Back Matter:

The back matter of a book refers to the sections or elements that appear at the end of the book after the main content (or the body of the book). It usually includes the index, bibliography, glossary, appendices, endnotes, and any other supplementary information or materials relevant to the book that provides readers with additional context, information, or resources.

Related questions about a back matter:

What are the elements of a back matter?

Here’s what you usually find and the end of a book after the main text:

  • Acknowledgments: section where the author expresses gratitude or gives recognition to the people who have contributed in various ways to the creation of the book
  • Author bio: a summary of the author’s previous work, education, and personal life
  • Copyright permissions: a list of sources of inspiration for extended fragments of books, lyrics, or other materials the author used in the present work. It can appear either in the front matter or back matter. 
  • Appendix / Addendum (nonfiction): additional information, data, or supplementary material that is relevant to the main content of the book but is not essential to the main narrative or argument. You can find an appendix in academic textbooks or research papers and may include items such as charts, graphs, tables, images, maps, or extended lists.
  • Chronology (nonfiction): a list of events in a consecutive order, which can be useful for readers, especially when the narrative happens non-chronologically. 
  • Endnotes (nonfiction): additional notes associated with specific text sections, indicated within the main body by superscript characters. 
  • Glossary: list of definitions and explanations of key terms or specialized vocabulary used within the text to help the reader understand unfamiliar or technical terms.
  • Index: list of specific topics, concepts, or terms that are discussed within the main content of the book, along with the page numbers where those topics can be found.
  • Bibliography: a list of citations compiled following a manual of style.

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