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Example for Table of Contents
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- 1 Definition
- 3 Examples for Your Thesis
- 4 Master’s Thesis Examples
- 5 Microsoft Word Tutorial
- 6 In a Nutshell
A table of contents example will help structure a long academic manuscript and a table of contents page is necessary for academic submission. The table of contents contains an organised listing of your manuscript’s chapters and sections with clearly marked (and accurate) page numbers. The aim of the table of contents is to allow the reader to flip easily to the section they require and to get a feel of your argument’s structure.
What comes first, table of contents or abstract?
If you are writing an academic paper, you have to take the order of your paper into account. Usually, the first sections of your thesis are the title page, cover page, acknowledgements and the abstract . After these pages, you place the table of contents. Be sure to check that all of the page numbers in your table of contents are correct.
What variations of table of content examples exist?
The table of contents can be displayed in the following formats:
- Single level table of contents
- Subdivided table of contents
- Multi-level table of contents
- Academic table of contents
You will find further details about what needs to be included inside of the table of contents on our blog.
Are references included in table of contents?
Yes. The references are included in the table of contents. You add them in as you would any other section of your thesis. Simply write the section in the table of contents with the corresponding page number. However, the acknowledgement for thesis and the abstract are usually not included in the table of contents. However, check with your institution as this could be dependent upon the formatting that you’re required to follow.
How can I make a table of contents in Microsoft Word?
On Microsoft Word, you will find the function to create a table of contents under the ‘references’ tab. Click on the tab and select ‘table of contents’. You can use one that has been designed by Microsoft Word, or you can create a custom one by yourself. Scroll down for a full tutorial on Microsoft Word and creating a table of contents.
Examples for Your Thesis
Below, you will find different examples for table of contents, including a
- Single level table of contents example
- Subdivided table of contents example
- Multi-level table of contents example
We will also show you with an example how the table of contents for a bachelor’s thesis could look like, as well as for a master’s thesis.
Advice for creating a good table of contents: A good table of contents must be easy to read and formatted accurately, containing quick reference pages for all figures and illustrations. A table of contents example will help you structure your own thesis, but remember to make it relevant to your discipline. Table of contents example structures can be created for different disciplines, such as social sciences, humanities and engineering.
The type and length of a table of contents example will depend on the manuscript. Some thesis’ are short, containing just several chapters, whilst others (like a PhD thesis) are as lengthy as a book. This length will dictate the amount of detail that goes into forming a table of contents example page and the amount of “levels” (or subdivisions) in each chapter.
Single Level Table of Contents Example
For shorter documents, a single level table of contents example can be used. This is a short and succinct table of contents example which utilises only single-level entries on sections or chapters. Remember, you’ll need to include properly formatted dots to lead the reader’s eye to the page number on the far right. The following table of contents example explores this basic structure:
Subdivided Table of Contents E xample
A subdivided table of contents example is required for more lengthy papers, offering a subdivision of chapters and sections within chapters. These are more detailed and are recommended for higher-level dissertations like masters or PhD thesis’ (as well as some more detailed bachelor’s dissertations).
When formating subdivided table of contents example, ensure that chapters are listed in bold font and that subsections are not. It’s common (though not necessary) to denote each subsection by a number (1.1, etc.). You’ll also want to indent the subsections so that they can be read easily. The following table of contents example explores this structure:
Multi-level Table of Contents E xample
Adding additional levels to your table of contents is known as a multi-level table of contents example. These would be numbered onwards at 1.1.1, etc. Be aware that although you want to guide your reader through your manuscript, you should only highlight important areas of your manuscript, like sections and sub-sections, rather than random areas or thoughts in your manuscript. Creating too many levels will make your table of contents unnecessarily busy and too complex.
Academic Table of Contents
All of the above can be used as an academic table of contents example. Often, each separate heading in an academic work needs to be both numbered and labelled in accordance with your preferred reference style (consult your department). The following table of contents example sections will illustrate a table of contents example for a bachelor thesis and a table of contents example for a master thesis.
Table of Contents Example: Bachelor’s Thesis
A bachelor’s degree thesis has no set word or page limit nationwide and will depend entirely on your university or department’s guidelines. However, you can expect a thesis under 60 pages of length at between 10,000 – 15,000 words. As such, you won’t be expected to produce a long and detailed table of contents example with multiple levels and subsections. This is because your main body is more limited in terms of word count. At most, you may find yourself using a subdivided table of contents similar to the table of contents example above.
A bachelor’s thesis table of contents example may be structured like so:
This table of contents example may change depending on your discipline and thesis structure, but note that a single-level structure will often suffice. Subdivided structures like the table of contents example listed earlier will only be necessary when writing several chapters, like in a Master’s thesis.
Master’s Thesis Examples
A master’s table of contents example is more complex than a bachelor’s thesis. This is because they average at about 80 pages with up to 40,000 words. Because this work is produced at a higher academic level, it normally includes a subdivision of chapters and subheadings, with a separate introduction and conclusion, as well as an abstract.
A table of contents example for a master’s thesis may then look something like this:
Microsoft Word Tutorial
Creating a table of contents page with Microsoft Word is simple.
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In a Nutshell
- All theses are different. Various departments and disciplines follow different structures and rules. The table of contents example pages here will help you in general to format your document, but remember to consult your university guidelines
- Consistency and accuracy are the most important things to remember. You need the correct page number and the same layout for each chapter. It’s no good combining single-level table of contents with a multi-level table of contents
- Simply put, bachelor’s thesis’ generally follow a single-level table of contents example unless otherwise specified
- Postgraduate thesis’ like master and PhD-level work generally require a more detailed subdivision table of contents example. This is because they deal with both more complex arguments and more words
- Remember to include all aspects of your thesis within the table of contents. Pre-thesis material needs to be listed in Roman numerals and you need to include all back-matter as well, such as References and Bibliography
Discover more useful articles:
This article includes information about the title page with examples:
What is apa citation? We will give you some information:
In this article we show you referencing & citation styles:
How to find a research topic for your bachelor's thesis:
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Table of Contents Examples
- DESCRIPTION A table of contents
- SOURCE Photo taken by Michael Kwan (michaelkwan.com)
- PERMISSION Used with permission
The table of contents (TOC) is the roadmap to each portion of your writing. Whether you're writing a large essay or a potential bestseller , the table of contents will allow readers to locate specific information or revisit their favorite parts within the text. Depending on the nature of your writing, there are a few different formatting options for you to explore. Let's examine various table of contents examples.
When might you be required to formulate a table of contents? The first is a formal essay for school, depending on the length of the work. For example, if you're writing an in-depth, multi-page essay or a master's thesis, a table of contents will add an air of professionalism to your writing. On the other hand, if this is a short, five-paragraph essay on the history of the Galapagos Islands, a table of contents will not be necessary.
Perhaps, when you graduate, you'll move on to write textbooks or novels. There, too, you'll want to include a table of contents at the start of your work. Think about it. How many times have we flipped open our textbooks and searched the table of contents for pertinent material? Likewise, when reading a fiction or non-fiction work, a table of contents allows readers to jump around to the sections that interest them the most.
Single Level TOC
If you're wondering how to write a table of contents, the first decision you have to make is a matter of depth. How detailed do you want (or need) to be? Will a broad chapter summation work? Or, will you want to offer various subsections, too?
Let's begin in the broadest sense. Here, we have a single level table of contents for individual sections of the work, or individual chapters. You'll want to include a series of dots to make it easier for the reader's eye to note the corresponding page number.
Table contents 1
Given that the contents above covers an expansive array of information, you might want to break some of those sections into subsections. The formatting for that would be as follows:
Table contents 2
Of course, you can continue to include as many subheadings as you need. If you go in-depth into the various types of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, then you can include each type as its own subheading.
Just note that, while the table of contents is meant to direct the readers, you only want to highlight the most important sections. Too many levels can make things unnecessarily complex, voiding the purpose of the table of contents. A multi-level table of contents would look something like:
Let's look at a table of contents specific to academic writing . The above contents can work for academic writing or novel writing. Often, in academic writing, each heading is numbered and labeled. Of course, you'll want to check for samples based upon your instructor's preferred style of writing, like AP Style , MLA , or Chicago Manual of Style .
If you're submitting your paper electronically, you can even link each section to the appropriate page number, allowing readers to jump right to that section with a click of the mouse. As a rough estimation, a table of contents for an essay might look something like this:
Table contents 4
A great table of contents comes in many shapes and sizes. While it depends on the length of the work (and the style guide you're bound to), there are a few common denominators to keep in mind. Here's a little checklist for you to run through when all is said and done.
- Use title case for each heading. That is, capitalize every word, excluding articles, preposition, or conjunctions.
- Include dots to allow the readers eye to scan from the section to the page number with ease.
- If this is an academic paper, number each section and subsection.
- Indent each subsection under its parent section.
- If this is an electronic submission, link the title of each section to the corresponding page within the work.
- Note that each section and subsection should align with the body of the essay. For example, in the body of the paper, if section 6.0 on "paragraphs" uses "Heading 2" in Microsoft Word and section 6.1 on "descriptive paragraphs" uses "Heading 3," you'll know to include subheadings in your table of contents.
- If this is a book or novel, you'll have to decide on clever titles for each of your chapters (or simply go by Chapter One, Chapter Two, and so forth). However, if this is an academic paper, your table of contents should only include actual sections and subsections from the work itself.
The table of contents is the roadmap to each portion of your writing. Whether you're writing a large essay or a potential bestseller , the table of contents will allow readers to locate specific information or revisit their favorite parts within the text. Depending on the nature of your writing, there are a few different formatting options for you to explore. Let's examine various table of contents examples.
Total Table Dominance
Creating a table of contents is a matter of organization and precision. Remember, you worked hard to create an in-depth study on a certain topic. Allow readers to pinpoint certain components of your information with a flip of the page or a click of the mouse. For more on the mastery of academic writing, enjoy this in-depth study on the topic. If you're writing a book, move on and explore the other parts of a book .
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- Knowledge Base
- Dissertation Table of Contents in Word | Instructions & Examples
Dissertation Table of Contents in Word | Instructions & Examples
Published on May 15, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on January 4, 2023.
The table of contents is where you list the chapters and major sections of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper, alongside their page numbers. A clear and well-formatted table of contents is essential, as it demonstrates to your reader that a quality paper will follow.
The table of contents (TOC) should be placed between the abstract and the introduction . The maximum length should be two pages. Depending on the nature of your thesis , paper, or dissertation topic , there are a few formatting options you can choose from.
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Table of contents
What to include in your table of contents, what not to include in your table of contents, creating a table of contents in microsoft word, table of contents examples, updating a table of contents in microsoft word, other lists in your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, frequently asked questions about the table of contents.
Depending on the length of your document, you can choose between a single-level, subdivided, or multi-level table of contents.
- A single-level table of contents only includes “level 1” headings , or chapters. This is the simplest option, but it may be too broad for a long document like a dissertation.
- A subdivided table of contents includes chapters as well as “level 2” headings, or sections. These show your reader what each chapter contains.
- A multi-level table of contents also further divides sections into “level 3” headings. This option can get messy quickly, so proceed with caution. Remember your table of contents should not be longer than 2 pages. A multi-level table is often a good choice for a shorter document like a research paper .
Examples of level 1 headings are Introduction, Literature Review , Methodology , and Bibliography. Subsections of each of these would be level 2 headings, further describing the contents of each chapter or large section. Any further subsections would be level 3.
In these introductory sections, less is often more. As you decide which sections to include, narrow it down to only the most essential.
Including appendices and tables
You should include all appendices in your table of contents. Whether or not you include tables and figures depends largely on how many there are in your document.
If there are more than three figures and tables, you might consider listing them on a separate page. Otherwise, you can include each one in the table of contents.
- Theses and dissertations often have a separate list of figures and tables.
- Research papers generally don’t have a separate list of figures and tables.
All level 1 and level 2 headings should be included in your table of contents, with level 3 headings used very sparingly.
The following things should never be included in a table of contents:
- Your acknowledgements page
- Your abstract
- The table of contents itself
The acknowledgements and abstract always precede the table of contents, so there’s no need to include them. This goes for any sections that precede the table of contents.
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To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, be sure to first apply the correct heading styles throughout the document, as shown below.
- Choose which headings are heading 1 and which are heading 2 (or 3)!
- For example, if all level 1 headings should be Times New Roman, 12-point font, and bold, add this formatting to the first level 1 heading.
- Highlight the level 1 heading.
- Right-click the style that says “Heading 1.”
- Select “Update Heading 1 to Match Selection.”
- Allocate the formatting for each heading throughout your document by highlighting the heading in question and clicking the style you wish to apply.
Once that’s all set, follow these steps:
- Add a title to your table of contents. Be sure to check if your citation style or university has guidelines for this.
- Place your cursor where you would like your table of contents to go.
- In the “References” section at the top, locate the Table of Contents group.
- Here, you can select which levels of headings you would like to include. You can also make manual adjustments to each level by clicking the Modify button.
- When you are ready to insert the table of contents, click “OK” and it will be automatically generated, as shown below.
The key features of a table of contents are:
- Clear headings and subheadings
- Corresponding page numbers
Check with your educational institution to see if they have any specific formatting or design requirements.
Write yourself a reminder to update your table of contents as one of your final tasks before submitting your dissertation or paper. It’s normal for your text to shift a bit as you input your final edits, and it’s crucial that your page numbers correspond correctly.
It’s easy to update your page numbers automatically in Microsoft Word. Simply right-click the table of contents and select “Update Field.” You can choose either to update page numbers only or to update all information in your table of contents.
In addition to a table of contents, you might also want to include a list of figures and tables, a list of abbreviations, and a glossary in your thesis or dissertation. You can use the following guides to do so:
- List of figures and tables
- List of abbreviations
All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.
The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .
Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract in the table of contents.
To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:
- Apply heading styles throughout the document.
- In the references section in the ribbon, locate the Table of Contents group.
- Click the arrow next to the Table of Contents icon and select Custom Table of Contents.
- Select which levels of headings you would like to include in the table of contents.
Make sure to update your table of contents if you move text or change headings. To update, simply right click and select Update Field.
The table of contents in a thesis or dissertation always goes between your abstract and your introduction .
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- Formatting Guides
APA Table of Contents Writing Guide (+ example)
Table of contents
Today we are going to learn how to make a proper APA table of contents. However, let’s start with some backstory to understand the formatting standards according to the latest issue of the APA manual. The 2019 version of manual, APA 7th edition , features no specific requirement for table of contents format. Actually, it is not an obligatory element of the APA style paper . The writer has the right to either include or ignore it at his own discretion. Still, it is indisputable that such structural elements may increase readability and navigation greatly. Even though it is not officially required by the APA guide, you may be asked by the instructor to include one. That’s why we kindly offer you to follow our easy formatting guide. Or you can always ask StudyCrumb to " write my paper for me " and get comprehensive help with your work, including assistance with citations.
Table of Contents APA: Basics
In the present APA table of contents guide, we will show the most convenient and recommendable format for an APA paper. The first thing that you need to remember — it can not exceed two pages in size. So if the table is a must according to the instructor, you may have to exclude some section headings to fit in. It is good to optimize your paper with subheadings, but don’t get obsessed with it. Here are some of the major formatting rules according to APA Style:
- Include at least 2 levels of headings — level 1 and level 2.
- Use up to 5 levels of headings if it fits the structure.
- Apply indents to highlight different levels of headings.
- Locate it right after the abstract, before the intro part. (Read more information if you still wonder on how to write an abstract APA .)
- Use a 12 pt Times New Roman font.
- Keep the headings in the table left-aligned.
- Capitalize all the headlines.
- Make sure that margins from all sides are 1 inch long.
In all other regards, your formatting sticks to the plain text format. Don’t include any unnecessary formatting or highlighting. And don't be afraid to ask your instructor about it if you have any doubts or questions. At any time, you can buy essay quickly, remember about it.
APA Table of Contents Example
Nevertheless, there is nothing more representative than a proper APA table of contents sample. Pay attention to the length of indents for different heading levels. Check out our sample right below.
Note, there is no fixed standard for the length of indents that you make to highlight every level of headlines. Make sure that your headlines look readable and easy to distinguish.
Looking for annotated bibliography example APA ? We have got you covered! Open one more of our blogs.
How to Make APA Table of Contents in Word
Microsoft Word is the most likely software for formatting APA style tables of content. That’s why right now, we will learn how to generate automated ones. It is a very simple operation, and you only have to remember easy 3 steps:
- Format the headings first
- Apply an APA style format
- Keep your table updated.
And now, look closer at each individual step, so it will be much easier to remember. So, let’s go! Buy APA format paper entirely from scratch if you have troubles at this point.
Format Your Headings
Before starting working with headings, make sure that all of them are in line with the general formatting style. Normally, the table of contents is generated after the text is finished and proofread. So don’t be in a hurry, even though the contents are located in the very beginning of the text. Make sure that your piece is flawless and doesn’t contain misspellings. Try an online typing test to hone your typing skills quickly. Formatting headings is easy — just highlight the heading first. Then, find a top panel featuring heading styles and make a right click on the one you want to choose. After it, select Please update Heading X to match selection. Do it with every heading that you have. Assign each one with Heading 1 — Heading 5 roles.
Create Table of Contents in APA Formats
One more step and our APA paper with table of contents is as good as ready. From the very beginning, type the page name, keep it centered and aligned to the top. Remember about 1-inch long indents. Make the heading bold to increase readability and navigation. Then choose the “ Table of Contents ” option from the “References” menu that is located on the top panel. In the new window, choose the number of heading levels that will be displayed. As you remember, you need at least 2 and not more than 5 levels of headings.
Keep Table of Contents Consistent
From this point, all the highlighted headings will be automatically synchronized with your table of contents. In case if you make changes to the actual heading, you may also change it in your list in one click. Just make a right click on it and choose the “Update Field” option. In Microsoft Word, you can choose to update either one element or all elements at a time. We recommend updating all the elements to keep your paper consistent and good-looking. Hiring a bibliography writer to work on your table of contents might be helpful as well.
We hope our blog explained all those formatting tricks in a most understandable way. Check out other articles if you have any other questions about academic writing. Good luck with your writing!
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. is there a size limit for a table of contents in apa style.
Yes, your table of contents should not be bigger than two pages long. If it is larger, consider deleting it entirely or some of the headlines to fit in.
2. Where in the text is the table of contents located in APA style paper?
The table of contents is located after the Acknowledgment but before the Introduction paragraph.
3. How many heading levels is it required to have in a table of contents?
You need to include at least 2 levels and not more than 5 levels of headings. Just analyze the text and come up with the right format for your paper.
Emma Flores knows all about formatting standards. She shares with StudyCrumb readers tips on creating academic papers that will meet high-quality standards.
At the top of the page, write Contents, centered and in bold. In APA Style, you can use up to five levels of heading, each with its own formatting style. In the table of contents, you should include all level 1 and 2 headings, left-aligned and formatted as plain text. Level 2 headings are indented.
Table of Contents Example: Bachelor’s Thesis A bachelor’s degree thesis has no set word or page limit nationwide and will depend entirely on your university or department’s guidelines. However, you can expect a thesis under 60 pages of length at between 10,000 – 15,000 words.
For example, if you're writing an in-depth, multi-page essay or a master's thesis, a table of contents will add an air of professionalism to your writing. On the other hand, if this is a short, five-paragraph essay on the history of the Galapagos Islands, a table of contents will not be necessary.
APA Table of Contents Example Nevertheless, there is nothing more representative than a proper APA table of contents sample. Pay attention to the length of indents for different heading levels. Check out our sample right below. Note, there is no fixed standard for the length of indents that you make to highlight every level of headlines.