Appendices provide authors an opportunity to present detailed data or other information that would be distracting to the reader if kept in the main text. There are not many guidelines in what to include in an appendix as this varies greatly from one field to another. In addition, because the content varies greatly, there are few guidelines for formatting.

For more information, consult Section 2.14 of the APA Manual (7th ed.) and pages 6​7 of the Saybrook Handbook of Format and Style (2020).


What Kind of Inform​ation Goes in an Appendix?

Many authors struggle with choosing where to place certain pieces of information. As this varies greatly from one document to the next, there is no “one size fits all" answer. As mentioned above, material that should be placed ​in appendices, in general, would be a distraction to the reader when placed in the main text. For some documents, appendices are a good way to inform the reader about specific details without disrupting the flow of the writing​. When deciding where to place information, use these guiding questions:

  1. If the reader does not read the appendix, will they still understand the main idea of what I am communicating?
  2. Does the material in question include important information such as definitions of key terms or important information about the study?
  3. Does the appendix help readers “understand, evaluate, or replicate the study or theoretical argument being made" (APA Manual, 2020, Section 2.14)?

​Some recommended materials to include in an appendix presented in the APA Manual (2020) include “(a) lists of stimulus materials … ; (b) instructions to participants; (c) tests, scales, or inventories developed for the study being reported; (d) detailed descriptions of complex equipment; (e) detailed demographic descriptions of subpopulations in the study; and (f) other detailed or complex reporting items" (Section 2.14). Note this is not a restrictive list and other materials may be included in an appendix. If necessary, consult with your instructor and/or editor about your document if it is unclear whether you should use an appendix or not​.