How to Write an APA Appendix

Student writing an appendix

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If you are writing a psychology paper for a class or for publication, you may be required to include an appendix in APA format. An APA appendix is found at the end of a paper and contains information that supplements the text but that is too unwieldy or distracting to include in the main body of the paper. 

APA format is the official writing style used by the American Psychological Association. This format dictates how academic and professional papers should be structured and formatted. 

Does Your Paper Need an APA Appendix?

Some questions to ask about whether you should put information in the body of the paper or in an appendix:

  • Is the material necessary for the reader to understand the research? If the answer is yes, it should be in your paper and not in an appendix.
  • Would including the information interrupt the flow of the paper? If the answer is yes, then it should likely appear in the appendix.
  • Would the information supplement what already appears in your paper? If yes, then it is a good candidate for including in an appendix.

Your appendix is not meant to become an information dump. While the information in your appendices is supplementary to your paper and research, it should still be useful and relevant. Only include what will help readers gain insight and understanding, not clutter or unnecessary confusion.

What to Include in an APA Appendix

The APA official stylebook suggests that the appendix should include information that would be distracting or inappropriate in the text of the paper.

Some examples of information you might include in an appendix include:

  • Correspondence (if it pertains directly to your research)
  • Demographic details about participants or groups
  • Examples of participant responses
  • Extended or detailed descriptions
  • Lists that are too lengthy to include in the main text
  • Large amounts of raw data
  • Lists of supporting research and articles that are not directly referenced in-text
  • Materials and instruments (if your research relied on special materials or instruments, you might want to include images and further information about how these items work or were used)
  • Questionnaires that were used as part of your research
  • Raw data (presented in an organized, readable format)
  • Research surveys

While the content found in the appendix is too cumbersome to include in the main text of your paper, it should still be easily presented in print format.

The appendices should always act as a supplement to your paper. The body of your paper should be able to stand alone and fully describe your research or your arguments.

The body of your paper should not be dependent upon what is in the appendices. Instead, each appendix should act to supplement what is in the primary text, adding additional (but not essential) information that provides extra insight or information for the reader. 

Basic Rules for an APA Appendix

Here are some basic APA appendix rules to keep in mind when working on your paper:

  • Your paper may have more than one appendix.
  • Each item usually gets its own appendix section.
  • Begin each appendix on a separate page.
  • Each appendix must have a title.
  • Use title case for your title and labels (the first letter of each word should be capitalized, while remaining letters should be lowercase).
  • If your paper only has one appendix, simply title it Appendix. 
  • If you have more than one appendix, each one should be labeled Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C, and so on.
  • Put the appendix label centered at the top of the page.
  • On the next line under the appendix label, place the centered title of the appendix. 
  • If you refer to a source in your appendix, include an in-text citation just as you would in the main body of your paper and then include the source in your main reference section.
  • Each appendix may contain headings, subheadings, figures, and tables. 
  • Each figure or table in your appendix should include a brief but explanatory title, which should be italicized. 
  • If you want to reference your appendix within the text of your paper, include a parenthetical note in the text. For example, you would write (See Appendix A).

Formatting an APA Appendix

How do you format an appendix in APA? An APA appendix should follow the overall rules on how to format text. Such rules specify what font and font size you should use, the size of your margins, and the spacing of the text.

Some of the APA format guidelines you need to observe:

  • Use a consistent font, such as 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Calibri
  • Double-space your text
  • All paragraphs should be indented on the first line
  • Page numbering should be continuous with the rest of your paper

The appendix label should appear centered and bolded at the top of the page. A descriptive title should follow and should also be bolded and centered. As with other pages in your paper, your APA format appendix should be left-aligned and double-spaced. Each page should include a page number in the top right corner. You can also have more than one appendix, but each one should begin on a new page.

Data Displays in an APA Appendix

When presenting information in an appendix, use a logical layout for any data displays such as tables or figures. All tables and figures should be labeled with the words “Table” or “Figure” (sans quotation marks) and the letter of the appendix and then numbered.

For example, Table A1 would be the first table in an Appendix A. Data displays should be presented in the appendix following the same order that they first appear in the text of your paper.

In addition to following basic APA formatting rules, you should also check to see if there are additional guidelines you need to follow. Individual instructors or publications may have their own specific requirements.

Where to Include an APA Appendix

If your paper does require an appendix, it should be the very last pages of your finished paper. An APA format paper is usually structured in the following way:

Your paper may not necessarily include all of these sections. At a minimum, however, your paper may consist of a title page, abstract, main text, and reference section. Also, if your paper does not contain tables, figures, or footnotes, then the appendix would follow the references.

Never include an appendix containing information that is not referred to in your text. 

A Word From Verywell

Writing a paper for class or publication requires a great deal of research, but you should pay special attention to your APA formatting. Each section of your paper, including the appendix section, needs to follow the rules and guidelines provided in the American Psychological Association’s stylebook.

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2020.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."