Dissertation Contents Page

July 13, 2023 | George Orwell | 2027 views

While writing a dissertation you’ll have to keep in mind to include a table of content to present your dissertation in a better and easy way.

In this article, we have answered your question ” how to make a content table?”

What is a table of content in a dissertation?

The table of content is the page where you mention the headings, topics, and sections of your dissertation. It is important to state them in a clear way so that the reader can have a clear idea of how the dissertation has been written with steps.

How to write a table of content?

A table of content can be created in a simple way of just mentioning the headings, subheadings, and various sections of the dissertation along with their page number written in front. The following are the major element to keep in mind while writing a table of content.

  1. Write page title
  2. headings and subheading
  3. Mention the page number while writing the headings and subheadings

What to include in a table of content?

Headings of level one and level two are suggested to be included in your table of content. Examples of level one headings are Introduction, Literature review, methodology. Subheading of each one of them will be level two headings

Keep in mind that readers are going to read the table of content before your dissertation. So, it should be clear and precise to be understood..


Level one →Section 3. Results
Level two →3.1 study population and participation rate
Level three →3.1.1 limitations and challenges

Appendices and table

Appendices of all types must be included in the table of content. The inclusion of the table depends upon the number of the same. If the no. of the table exceed three it should be included on the separate page

Where to write a table of content?

The TOC page is written after the abstract page and before the introduction page of a dissertation or a research paper.

abstract page →table of the content →introduction page 

How long a table of content should be?

The length of the dissertation content page depends upon the size of your dissertation and the amount of content you have written. The maximum size is allowed up to two pages. You’ll need to follow your university guidelines for the length of the table of content.

What not to include in the table of content?

It might seem like including everything in the table of the content but logically you must not include the Title page, Acknowledgement page, and Abstract as the reader has already seen and read these pages so including them again with page number does not make any sense.

Writing table of content in MS word

  1. On your content page add a title. Make sure you are following the citation guidelines issued by your university.
  2. Place the cursor where the content table should go.
  3. Click references section →table of contents
  4. Click the arrow next to the table of contents →select the custom table of content. In this, you can choose the level of headings you want to include and can be customized later in the modify button.
  5. Click OK when you are ready to include the table of contents..

Heading style for a table of content

  1. The different heading level has to be allocated the type of formatting.
  2. To assign this formatting as automatic for headings of level one, look for the style section on the home tab.
  3. Highlight the headings of level one → right-click the styles which say heading
  4. Choose update heading one to match selected part

Other sections to be included in the table of content?

In addition, you should also mention the list of abbreviations, figures, and tables, and also the glossary section.


Q1.How should a table of contents look?
The table of content must be neat and simplified and it must clearly state the Headings, subheadings, and various sections along with the page number.

Q2.What is a table of contents used for?
A table of content is used to give an idea to the reader about all the included topics covered in the dissertation or research paper. So that the reader can easily navigate through the dissertation.

Q3.Is the table of content and index the same ?
A table of content is placed at the beginning of a dissertation, research paper, or journal while the index is placed at the next of a journal or a book mentioning the important terms with the page number.

Q4.Does the introduction come before the table of contents?
No, the introduction page always comes after the table of content page

Q5.Should page numbers start after the table of contents?
Yes, the page number starts after the table of content. The title page, Abstract is not numbered and the table of content consists of the content after it’s section.

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