Table of contents is an essential part of any article, book, proceedings, essay and any paper with plenty of information. It requires to provide the reader's guidance about the position of the content.
When preparing a dissertation, you may cram as much information into it as appropriate. The dissertation may be an extremely well written one with a lot of valuable information to offer. Still, all that information could become perplexing if the reader cannot easily find the information.
The length of dissertations usually varies from a few pages to a few hundred pages, making it very difficult to find information that you may be after.
Instead of skimming through every page of the dissertation, there is a need for a guideline that directs the reader to the correct section of the dissertation and more importantly, the correct page in the section.
Here is all you need to know about creating a table of contents for the dissertation.
Table of contents is the section of a dissertation that guides each section of the dissertation paper's contents.
Depending on the detail level in a table of contents, the most useful headings are listed to provide the reader concerning which page the said information may be found.
The table of contents is essentially a list found at the beginning of a dissertation, which contains names of the chapters, section titles and/or very brief descriptions, and page numbers indicated for each.
This allows the reader to look at the table of contents to locate the information needed from the dissertation. Having an effective table of contents is key to providing a seamless reading experience to the reader.
Here in this article, we will uncover every piece of information you need to know to write the dissertation's abstract.
Making of an effective table of contents starts with identifying headings and designating styles to those headings.
Using heading styles to format your headings can save a lot of time by automatically converting their formatting to the defined style and serves as a tool to identify the heading and its level, to be used later when creating a thesis table of contents.
Each heading style already has predefined sizes, fonts, colours, spacing, etc. but can be changed as per the user’s requirements. This also helps once all headings have been created and you intend to change the style of a certain type of heading.
All that is needed to change the style of a type of a heading, and it is automatically reflected on all headings that use the style.
Below is how the styles menu looks like;
To allocate a style to a heading, first select a heading, and then click on one of the styles in the ‘Styles’ menu. Doing so converts the selected heading to the style that is selected in the Styles menu.
You can style a similar heading level in the same style by selecting each heading and then clicking on the style in the Style menu.
It is important to note that it greatly helps and saves time if you allocate styles to systematically, i.e. you allocate the style as you write.
The styles are not limited to headings only but can be used for paragraphs and by selecting the whole paragraph and applying a style to it.
To change the appearance of a style to one that suits you,
There are further changes that can be made to headings but using styles is an important step for creating the table of contents for thesis. Once this step is completed, you can continue to create a thesis table of contents.
Also Read: What is Appendix in Dissertation?
Things to Consider When Making APA Style Table of Contents
First, to generate the Table of Contents, start by entering a blank page after the pages that you need the table of contents to follow.
By the time you reach this section, you would have given each heading or sub-heading a dedicated style, distinguishing between different types of headings.
Microsoft Word can automatically generate Table of Contents, but the document, particularly the headings, needs to be formatted according to styles for this feature to work. You can assign different headings levels, different styles for Microsoft Word to recognize the level of heading.
As you proceed with editing your dissertation, the changes cause the page numbers and headings to vary. Often, people fail to incorporate those changes into the Table of Contents, which then effectively serves as an incorrect table and causes confusion.
It is thus important to update the changes into the table of contents as the final step, once you have made all the necessary changes in the dissertation and are ready to print it.
These changes may alter the length of the thesis table of contents, which may also cause the dissertation's formatting to be altered a little, so it is best to reformat it after updating the table of contents.
To update the table of contents,
Using this guide, you should understand how to create the best table of contents for the dissertation. The use of Table of Contents while being important for most written work, is even more critical for dissertations, especially when the proper methodology of creating the table of contents is followed.
This includes the guidelines that must be considered to correctly format the table of contents so that it may be shaped so that it follows the norms and is effective at helping the reader navigate through the content of the dissertation.
The use of Microsoft Word’s Table of Contents generation feature has greatly helped people worldwide create, edit and update the table of contents of their dissertations with ease.
Here in this article, we will uncover every piece of information you need to know how to write the dissertation's abstract.