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How to Write an Appendix Section in APA With Explanations

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Written by
Dr. Isabel Larsen
  • Icon Calendar 18 May 2024
  • Icon Page 2187 words
  • Icon Clock 10 min read

Writing an appendix section in APA plays a vital role in academic texts, including theses, dissertations, and research essays. Typically, writers use critical information to support their opinions and arguments, but this is sometimes too detailed. Therefore, in choosing not to burden readers with such details, authors know how to write an appendix section in APA for such data. However, they ensure to refer readers to the information in the main text to avoid the appendix section becoming irrelevant. Then, some of the information that goes into appendix sections includes raw data, tables, graphs, maps, images, illustrations, descriptions of research instruments, and images of legal documents, among others. When it comes to formatting, students must ensure to capture every item in the appendix section on a new page with a centered and bold heading.

General Guidelines for Writing an Appendix Section in APA

When writing academic texts, such as theses, dissertations, and research essays, students use different strategies to create a robust paper. Basically, such paper’s parameters include having analyzed data and raw data, such as statistics, to strengthen critical arguments. While writers incorporate the former within the paper’s body paragraphs, they capture the latter in the last part of a paper as writing an appendix section in APA. By definition, an appendix is a section at the end of an academic paper bearing information that authors consider as too detailed to include within body paragraphs. In other words, writers believe that including the information within body paragraphs would burden readers with too much unnecessary information, which could be distracting.

How to write an appendix section in APA

Why Should Students Write an Appendix Section in APA?

Writers decide to write an appendix section in APA when they realize the necessity of raw data in making papers as robust academic texts. For example, in the course of the research, students come across essential information that is not only relevant to their papers but also strengthens their claims and arguments. However, such information is too detailed or lengthy to use within the body of papers. Therefore, to ensure the information supports defined claims and arguments, students create an appendix section for the information. Within the paper, authors refer to the information in the appendix by indicating “see Appendix A,” meaning the information supplements what writers state in body paragraphs.

When Is an Appendix Needed?

Authors must ask themselves several questions before writing an appendix section in APA. Basically, one of these questions is whether the information is necessary for readers to comprehend the paper’s content. For example, if the answer is no, then there would be no need for an appendix format as the information should be in body paragraphs. Moreover, another question is whether including the essential information in body paragraphs would interrupt the paper’s flow. In this case, if writers consider it would, they create an appendix to capture that information. Lastly, students should consider whether the information supplements what they have written in body paragraphs. Hence, if the answer is yes, they create an appendix to capture the information.

Where to Put?

An appendix section comes after the reference section in the APA paper or at the end of the academic paper. Like the reference part in APA, students should write an appendix on a new page, where each type of information gets an appendix. Basically, the appendix section can have one appendix or more than one, thus appendices. Then, writers should label each appendix clearly with a number or letter and include a title to inform readers of the appendix’s essence. Although the appendix section comes after the reference section, citations in the former should be captured appropriately in the latter. Hence, a reference page should not come after an appendix section in APA.

What to Write in an APA Appendix Section?

As stated, the information that goes into the appendix format is supplemental and entails raw data. Basically, such information is considered too detailed to include in body paragraphs, as it may burden and distract readers. Nonetheless, students must consider the information relevant to their papers and essential in influencing the readers’ perspective. By referring to the information in the main text as “see Appendix A or B,” authors ensure that readers understand that if they seek more information about the point made in the sentence, they can get it. In this case, a research paper remains focused on the main points while using appendices as a basis for claims and arguments.

Elements of APA Appendices

The information that goes into the appendix section includes:

  • Raw data as supporting evidence. Besides the evidence that writers use to strengthen their claims in the main text, they also use other data as supporting evidence. For example, when writing a research paper on management, a writer can use financial figures to make a point. In turn, these figures include sales volume, losses, or profits.
  • Contributory facts, including raw data that a writer captures in the appendix section and summarizes in the main text. As such, writing an appendix section in APA gives readers a fuller picture of the information in the body of papers.
  • Sample calculation, such as balance sheets.
  • Figures, graphs, and statistics. These types of information are essential in a paper, but they are too detailed to use in the main text. Basically, examples include two-column tables, showing the pros and cons of an issue like abortion. In this case, students should refer readers to the table in the appendix – as “see Appendix D”- rather than give them details that might distract their logical understanding of papers.
  • Financial projections in the form of spreadsheets and other forms of documentation.
  • A detailed description of research instruments, like questionnaires and scales.
  • Tables and charts. This information is essential in research papers, particularly where authors intend to provide actual figures and statistics.
  • Maps, images, and illustrations. This type of information is essential if researchers intend to provide readers with visual evidence.
  • Correspondence, such as letters and emails.
  • Raw test data, such as responses to research questionnaires.
  • Interview transcripts.
  • Field observation notes.
  • Datasheets.
  • Lengthy data, such as interviews. This type of information has one or several paragraphs and would burden the reader if the writer uses it in the main text.
  • Press clippings that support the writer’s point of view.
  • Legal documents, such as shareholder certificates, contracts, and memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Rules for Writing an Appendix Section in APA

One of the crucial details that writers of academic texts should master is the observance of formatting standards, which are different for all paper styles—APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian. In particular, when writing an appendix section and capturing the information above, a writer should observe APA formatting standards. Basically, these standards are specific to each format, and authors are obligated to ensure that their text satisfies all requirements and formatting standards before submitting their papers.

1. Title

Like all the sections of any paper with headings as titles, an appendix section in APA should have a title. In this case, writing a title of an appendix in APA depends on the depth of information that students have used as supplementary information. As indicated in the preceding section, this information can include tables, graphs, drawings, illustrations, and/or raw test data. When writers have only one type of information, they use only one appendix. In turn, the section’s title is “Appendix.” However, where they use several appendices, the title becomes “Appendices.”

2. Headings

As indicated, writers can use more in-depth supplemental information, which comes in different types, as indicated in the previous section. In such a case, they should give each appendix a separate heading, which introduces readers to the appendix’s essence. For example, when it comes to a graph, authors can indicate “Appendix A: Population Growth in the Last 10 Years.” In this case, the label “Appendix A” should be first, and the title, such as “Population Growth in the Last 10 Years,” is the second element. Moreover, such a heading makes readers know what the graph is all about. In turn, each appendix’s heading should appear at the top of the page, centered and bold, including a standard capitalization. To make an appendix relevant, students must refer to it in the main text by using words like “see Appendix I” in parentheses at the end of a sentence.

3. Writing Fonts and Alignment for an Appendix Section in APA

Students should use 12-point Times New Roman or 11-point Calibri font. In this case, whichever font authors decide to use, they should use it consistently throughout their essays and papers. For example, the heading of each appendix in APA should be in bold font — Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C, etc. Then, writers should align APA appendices in body paragraphs and the data in the appendix section. In this case, the appendix that comes first in the section should appear as the first item in the main text as a reference. Basically, the first appendix that students cover in the main text should be Appendix A in the appendix section. If authors decide to use alphabets to number appendices, they should start the alphabet over with Appendix AA, Appendix BB, Appendix CC, and so on in case they use over 26 appendices.

4. Page Numbers

If authors use several appendices, they should capture each appendix on a separate page with a page number. Basically, they should ensure the numbering aligns with the rest of the paper, meaning that the first appendix should be on a page immediately after the last page of the reference section. In turn, if the last page of the reference section is 20, Appendix A should be on page 21, and Appendix B should be on page 22, and so on.

5. Paragraphs

Sometimes, writers have to use detailed, lengthy information as an appendix to avoid such information burdening and distracting readers in body paragraphs. When such information is long enough to entail a paragraph or paragraphs, students should flush left the first paragraph and indent every paragraph that comes next. moreover, authors should double-space paragraphs and use the font that they have used in the rest of the paper.

6. Tables, Graphs, Illustrations, and Figures

If students use raw data presented in tables and graphs as appendices, they should format it as they would in the main text. Unlike other information, these appendices should appear under the relevant headings. For example, when writers use a table, they should add the letter of the appendix, such as Appendix A or B, to the table number. In turn, if the table is the second in Appendix A, the table heading should be “Table A2.”

7. Writing an APA Citation for an Appendix Section

Where authors use appendices with information taken from an outside source, they should cite it in APA appropriately. Basically, the APA citation should appear in parenthesis at the end of the information describing the appendix. Also, writers should enter the reference citation in the references section. In short, there is no separate reference page for sources used to gather information used in the appendix section. Besides, students should capture all the appendices in the paper’s Table of Contents that come after the title page and before abstract or introduction parts of academic papers.

Summing Up on How to Write an Appendix Section in APA

The rules and standards that guide academic writing call on students and researchers to write texts with a great sense of professionalism. Basically, they have to ensure every aspect of their text conforms to the conventions guiding different paper formats. When it comes to writing an appendix section in an APA paper, scholars must observe several rules. For example, it includes ensuring each distinct item has its appendix. Also, the appendix should have a label and a heading, such as “Appendix A: Population Growth in the Last 10 Years” for a graph. In the case of appendices labeled with letters, authors should label them alphabetically, and, when they surpass Z, they should start again from Appendix AA, Appendix BB, and so on. For relevance, writers should refer to appendices by their labels in body paragraphs.


A student should master the following tips when writing an appendix section in APA:

  • Create an appendix section after the last page of a reference section.
  • Center the section’s title “Appendix” or “Appendices” in bold and with standard capitalization.
  • The heading of an appendix should start with a label and then the title with a letter (A, B, C) or number (I, II, II).
  • Capture each appendix on a new page and give each a heading. Ensure the page numbering of appendices aligns with the rest of the paper.
  • Refer to each appendix in the main text with the phrase “see Appendix A.” In this case, the phrase should be in parenthesis at the end of the sentence.
  • Center the title of each appendix.
  • Flush left the first paragraph and ensure all subsequent paragraphs are indented. Ensure to double space paragraphs.

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