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How To Compose A Table Of Contents For A Research Paper

A table of content is essential to have although it does not get used frequently. Indeed, it is deemed as a valuable tool in a long academic paper, particularly theoretical papers in order to aid readers search for what they need. There are some readers who refer to this before they read while others use it to obtain an overview of the topic.

More than that, it matters to consider that the TOC is often not included in short academic papers because most practical papers come with identical format. Irrespective of how it is used, it clearly provides a guide for what the reader reads since it frames precisely where the paper is going, what ideas will be covered as well as where to go to look for specific data. Hence, it is essential that it is made accurate, to the point and quite useful.

In the past, creating a TOC is deemed as a very tough and long process; however, with the aid of word-processing programs like Open Office and Microsoft WordTM, the process of creating one is no longer a big burden to deal with.To boot, if you’ve been using a format as a basis for your work, then, this can be a head start and the task on TOC structuring is already almost completed.

Here is a very simple guide on how to create a good one:

  • First, compose the document. If you prefer to use it as a framework to guide your writing, create it as a format for now and do not put numbers yet.
  • Afterwards, arrange the document. Make sure to decide upon your outline. Form the sections you will have. In addition, refine your document and finalize it as best as you can. The contents which you list must not be changing.
  • Carefully decide how elaborated it will be. Consider if you will just list only the top headings, or you will just list the subheadings, or you will just list some level in between?
  • If you prefer, assign numbers to the sub-headings or headings or you may assign the page numbers all through the document.
  • See to it to start a new page at the start of your document. Take into account that the words "Table of Contents" must be placed at the top.
  • Form 2 columns on the page.
  • Make sure to precisely list the titles of the headings down the left column.
  • Lastly, it is high time to list the matching section or page numbers in the right column.
 

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