In all books there is a table of contents, it should be in the thesis. Table of contents as a structural element of the thesis is required by standard: it is allowed to do without it only in very small works, up to 10 pages.
Why do you need the table of contents of the thesis
An example of using a table of contents: the head asked you a question in a thesis. You just remember that you wrote about it in the second chapter, you start to search, scroll through the first chapter, lose time, go to the second chapter and start looking for the necessary paragraph. At the same time, you at least know the text. Members of the commission do not know what and in what order they should; they would take even more time to find the right place to work. Not finding any aspect of interest to them, they may decide that there is none at all, that the topic is not sufficiently disclosed.
The table of contents allows to avoid such incidents, facilitating the search for the desired page.
Additional benefits from the table of contents – it gives the opportunity to measure parts of the work. If the first chapter begins on page 5 and ends on the 50th, and the second begins on the 51st and ends on the 58th, this is the reason for the revision, redistribution of the material.
How to write content in the thesis
Before you begin to write a thesis, the student makes a plan. The design of the content is based on this plan; the plan is the first version of the table of contents. The difference of the plan is that it contains only the names of sections, without page numbers.
The plan must be coordinated with the supervisor so that a situation does not arise when the thesis is ready, and the supervisor says that it must contain completely different items.
The table of contents of the thesis can be compiled according to the following model:
- 1.Title of the first chapter.
- 1.1 Name of the first paragraph.
- 1.2 Name of the second paragraph.
- 1.3 Name of the third paragraph.
- 2. Title of the second chapter.
- 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 The names of the paragraphs included in the second chapter.
- List of sources used.
If there are more than 2 chapters in the work, each chapter is described in the same way as the first two.
Usually, elements up to the second level are included in the content (if paragraphs are divided into smaller parts – 1.1.1, 1.1.2 – they may not be indicated in the table of contents). Introduction, conclusion and list of references are not numbered.
How to make out the content in the thesis
The important question is how to properly arrange the content in the thesis. Basic requirements for registration:
- The content is located on the second page (after the title page).
- Before you write the content of the thesis, you need to make a title – “Table of Contents” or “Content.” A specific variant of the title is chosen by the department, but the use of the word “Table of contents” for complete work is more typical, and the “Content” is for a collection of individual parts.
- The design of the content of the thesis should be consistent with the design of the main text (font used, line spacing, paragraph indents).
- The content of the thesis is best done on the model taken at the department.
In some universities, they require the use of a placeholder in the form of dots between the name of the item and the page number; in others, the line should be left blank.
- If in the text of the thesis the headings are written in capital letters, they are also taken out in the content. Selection in italic or bold is not saved in the table of contents.
- Headings of the second level are most often placed with indention in comparison with the headings of the first level, which facilitates human perception of the text.
Automatic registration of the table of contents in the thesis
Text editors make it easier to compile a table of contents. When using automatically collected table of contents two problems are solved at once:
- Page numbers are carefully aligned (it’s not necessary to adjust their position in the line using spaces).
- In case of any changes (both in the name of the item and in the number of the page on which it begins), the table of contents will be updated automatically.
Consider how to write the content of the thesis, using the technical capabilities of MS Word.
As the main text is written, it is necessary to specify the heading style – headings of the first and second level. You can change styles and when the text is ready – the main thing is not to miss anything. When this is done, on the “Links” tab, click the “Table of contents” button and select the most appropriate table of contents from the list of examples.
If none of the standard design examples is appropriate for the content of your thesis, you can create your own template by specifying levels of detail, font and indent settings, line filler, and other parameters. You can also change the font and indents by highlighting the table of contents as plain text.
To update the table of contents after changes, you must click on it with the right mouse button and select the item “Update field”. Two update modes are possible:
- Complete update.
- Update page numbers only.
If only the page numbers are updated, there may be a mismatch in the title of the paragraph in the content and in the text.