How to Write an Appendix

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Originally published Jul 04, 2017, updated Apr 20, 2021
How to Write an Appendix

An appendix is a collection or list of the supporting material you present to your teacher. Besides, it is not included in the main sections of the document. To put it simply, it is the raw data that you collected during your research process. Your teacher would like to have a look at your appendix section before grading your paper. If you have never written an appendix and are worried about its development, this simple guide will help you. But before that, let us understand fully what an appendix entails. It is created when:

  1. You have to stay to the point, concise, and explain the research work with supplementary information;
  2. You need to represent data with pictorial representations and infographics to increase its appeal;
  3. You have the photocopies of your hand-written notes that reflect your deep understanding of the topic at hand that needs to be conveyed to the evaluator.

Where is an Appendix Placed?

An appendix is placed at the end of your academic paper, after the reference list. However, it is mandatory to mention it in the table of contents if required in paper guidelines. It is placed at the end of a research paper because it contains information that may not be of interest to all your readers. Since it contains additional information that supports the paper's main text, it will be of great interest to your professor.

What to Mention in an Appendix?

You include any extra information in an appendix. But make sure it must be relevant to the main body of the paper. If you are using any external facts and figures, remember to give them credit with citations and mention the links from where you have extracted the data. You can also attach hand-written notes and analysis you made while doing the research work. Here is the list of items to include in an Appendix:

Graphs, Tables, and Charts

These serve as the visual documentation that you have developed during your research study. These will assist in a better understanding of the main research findings.


If you use images by other researchers or links, it is utterly important that you properly cite the reference. Since it is best not to include images in the main body, the appendix serves as the perfect placement.

Hand-written Notes

Your hand-written notes give a great insight into the kind of work you have produced in the process of your research study. These notes may just be an analysis of a survey question or a quick note about an interview session with a participant.


Suppose your research method includes questionnaires as one of the forms of data collection. In that case, it is necessary to attach all filled-out questionnaires either as photocopies or as a printed version.

Interview Transcripts

If interviews are an integral part of the research paper, you must add the transcriptions. It is important that you also mention how the interviews were carried out and recorded. For example, through an audio/video recorder and whether the interview was personally carried out or through a telephone.


Maps are a visual representation of the information regarding data of the specific area where the research was carried out. Just be sure to include proper referencing in the main text of the research document.

It is important to keep in mind that all information included in the Appendix justifies the main body of your paper and that you may mention it as a reference in the main text. Be sure to avoid any extra and irrelevant information to refrain from decreasing the attention of the grader.

How to Properly Format an Appendix?

There are certain formatting rules that we need to follow when writing the appendix section. Although appendix writing may differ for the varying academic writing styles, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, they are primarily the same. Therefore, it'll only be appropriate to elaborate upon the general rules first and then move on to specific conventions for the different writing styles.

General Format

The general format includes the following:

  1. Title of the Appendices
    • If you have more than one appendix (also called appendices), make sure to begin each appendix on a separate page. This is to make it clear for the reader as to where one appendix finishes and the other begins;
    • Your appendices need to be properly labeled, either in all uppercase letters and bold, or a mix of upper and lower case letters and bold. For example, APPENDIX A, APPENDIX B or Appendix A, Appendix B. You may use alphabets or numbers to put them in order. Just remember to be in tune with whatever style you are using. Whether it is Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C or Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3, be consistent;
    • Put the appendix title at the top of the page, in the middle with a bold font. Make sure to phrase the title clearly.
  2. Order in which each appendix is placed
    • The next most important thing to be careful about is the ordering of the content. Place each appendix in the same order in which it is mentioned in the main body of the research document. In this way, the first reference in the main text is added as Appendix A, whereas the next reference as Appendix B.
  3. Placement and Addition of Page Numbers
    • As mentioned earlier, the appendix is placed at the end of the document after the References page. However, if your immediate supervisor asks you to place it differently, you must fulfill this specific requirement. After all, it is a matter of your grades;
    • The table of contents in your document, if asked in paper details, must have the separate appendices section with a page number;
    • If you have more than one appendix, each appendix should be numbered as well. Make sure that the same number style is followed as in the main body of the text. Besides, the page number must appear at the bottom right or bottom center of the page;
    • Remember, there should be no gap in the numbering as you move from the main section to the appendices. For example, if the text's main body finishes on page twenty-five, the appendix section must begin from page twenty-six. This way, it seems as if the section continues from the main text.

Specific Formatting Based on the Writing Style

APA Style

In an APA style paper, the appendix section always comes at the end after the References. To organize your appendices perfectly, follow the given guidelines:

  • If you have to refer to an appendix in the main text, you will mention it in the parentheses. For example, "In addition to the recent studies, a new wave of the virus seemed to infiltrate through the whole of America (see Appendix C)";
  • In APA, if you have only one appendix, you will label it as Appendix;
  • All appendices will be marked with letters such as Appendix A, Appendix B. If you have more than twenty-six appendices, you will start over with the letters again. For example, Appendix AA;
  • Place the appendix label and title at the top center of the page in bold format. Make sure that you put the label before the title.
  • If your appendix has paragraphs, don't put an indent in the first paragraph only. However, don't forget to indent the second and the consequent paragraphs as usual. Use double - spacing in your paragraphs.
  • If your appendix has tables and charts, add the appendix label to the table's number. Like Table A1, which will suggest that it is the first table from Appendix A;
  • If you have used and referenced an external source in your appendix, give proper citation in the main reference list. There is no need to create a separate reference list for the appendices.

MLA Style

MLA and APA style appendices are quite similar to each other with only one difference. In MLA, the appendices appear before the Works Cited page whereas, in APA, it comes after the References section. Therefore, in MLA it is not the last section of the research paper.

Chicago Style

The general format for Chicago Style is the same as MLA and APA. However, follow the below mentioned specific conventions when compiling the appendix in this style:

  • Page numbers must appear at the top right corner of the page, unlike APA and MLA styles;
  • Like MLA style, place the appendices before the Bibliography.

Finalizing the Appendix

Once you have finished compiling the appendices, it is now time for the final review. There are three steps to revise your content effectively:

  • Review

Make sure your appendices are not too long. Just include relevant information. However, it is necessary to understand that any important information must not be left out. The best way to review your content is to seek help from your mentors or fellows.

  • Quality Assessment

Ensure that there are no grammatical errors, punctuation, or spelling mistakes in the text. Try to proofread it thoroughly. Spell check is a great help when working on the computer.

  • Recheck the references

Finally, revisit your text to see if the appendices are properly referred to in the main text of the paper.

You may now find yourself well-equipped to develop an impressive appendix section all by yourself. These simple and easy to follow guidelines will surely benefit your research writing skills. Just keep in mind the relevance with the main content, and you are good to go.

Max Malak
Academic and Business Consultant

You can find me reading Hemingway in the far south of Spain. Fueled by caffeine.