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Sample Tables of Content Creating the Table of Contents on a Word Processor Using a Word Processing Tool Polishing the Table of Contents Show 1 more... Article Summary Questions & Answers Related Articles References This article was co-authored by Stephanie Wong Ken.Stephanie Wong Ken holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University.
It can be as simple as one word, such as "Introduction." This is the phrase that will appear in your table of contents.
Remember, you don't have to format the paper as you write it. If you need to add headings and generate a table of contents after your paper is already written, you simply place your cursor in the desired spot and place your heading.
It is up to you to decide how to present this information in a logical order to guide the reader to an understanding of: the problem or motivation any relevant theory the method followed (if applicable) how the outcome fulfills or fails to fulfill the project aim the wider significance of the outcome.
To do this, you need to give careful thought to the report structure and ensure that your headings accurately reflect the content of each section.
Lecturer's comment: Pages preceding the Introduction, such as List of figures and tables, Abbreviations or Glossary of terms, are numbered in lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, ...). Just count it and put ii on the second page of your report.
Lists such as these are only needed in long or complex reports.They would rarely be used in undergraduate reports.The Summary and acknowledgements (if included) appear before the Contents page, so are not listed.That said, there are a few easy tips that you can adopt to make the whole process a little easier.In the word processing programs, there is the option of automatically creating headings and subheadings, using heading 1, heading 2, heading 3 etc on the formatting bar.The rest of the report pages are numbered in Arabic numberals (1, 2, 3...).The substance of the report appears between the Introduction and Conclusions.If you have been using an outline as a basis for the paper, then you have a head start and the work on the table of contents formatting is already half done.Whilst going into the exact details of how to make a table of contents in the program lies outside the scope of this article, the Help section included with the word-processing programs gives a useful series of tutorials and trouble-shooting guides.It should clearly show the structural relationship between the sections and subsections.A reader looking for specific information should be able to locate the appropriate section easily from the table of contents.