Table of contents are an essential part of any article, book, proceedings, essay and any paper that has plenty of information and requires to provide the readers guidance about the position of content.
When preparing a dissertation, you may cram as much information into it as appropriate and the dissertation may be an extremely well written one with a lot of valuable information to offer, but 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, which makes it very difficult to find information that you may be after.
Instead of skimming through each and every page of the dissertation, there is 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 to need to know about how to create table of contents for dissertation.
Table of contents is the section of a dissertation that provides guidance about the contents of each section of the dissertation paper.
Depending on the level of detail in a table of contents, the most useful headings are listed in order to provide the reader with a reference of which page the said information may be found at.
The table of contents is essentially a list that is found at the beginning of a dissertation, which contains names of the chapters, section titles and/or very brief descriptions along with page numbers indicated for each.
This allows the reader to look at the table of contents to be able to locate the information that is needed from the dissertation. Having an effective table of contents is key to providing a seamless reading experience to the reader.
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 not only save a lot of time by automatically converting their formatting to the defined style, but also 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, colors, 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;
In order 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 similar level of headings 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 heading in a systematic manner, i.e. you allocate the style as you write.
The styles are not limited to headings only, but can be used for paragraphs as well, by selecting the whole paragraph and applying a style to it.
In order 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 table of contents for thesis. Once this step is completed, you can continue to creating a thesis table of contents.
Also Read: What is Appendix in Dissertation?
Things to Consider When Making APA Style Table of Contents
To generate the Table of Contents, first 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, which would distinguish between different types of headings.
Microsoft Word can generate Table of Contents automatically, but the document, particularly the headings would need to be formatted according to styles for this feature to work. You can assign different levels of headings, different styles in order 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 times, 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 final step, once you have made all the necessary changes in the dissertation and you are ready to print it.
These changes may alter the length of the thesis table of contents, which may in turn also cause the formatting of the dissertation to be altered a little, so it is best to reformat it after updating the table of contents.
In order to update the table of contents,
Using this guide, you should be able to understand how to create the best table of contents for 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 in a way 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 from all over the world to 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 to learn how to write the abstract for dissertation.