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How To Make A Table Of Contents For An Undergraduate Dissertation

After spending months researching and writing a dissertation, the table of contents is the last thing on any student's mind. Unfortunately, nit-picky things like this are expected parts of the dissertation. To get a high score on this paper, students must make sure that they have formatted their table of contents correctly.

Building the Table of Contents

For basic word programs, students can easily create a table of contents. They should makes sure that any page numbers start after the table of contents. If the student forgets to make this adjustment, they will end up starting the paper on page three or four instead of on page one. The header should still be left in place that includes the title of the paper and the author's name. This will allow the teacher to put the paper back together if they happen to drop several documents at once. It might sound unlikely, but teacher's drop papers far more often than most student's think.

Structuring the Contents

After setting aside a page for the table of contents, students should go through their paper and see which sections they have listed. Although some students may not include every section, most of the common dissertation pieces will be listed. Students may need to include the page number for their introduction, methodology, acknowledgments, conclusion, literature review and other parts of the paper. Each of these sections should be listed in order in the table of contents.

To make the paper appear professional, students should make sure to align the section on the left side of the page. The page number should be aligned on the right. Within each heading, students should use title case to capitalize the words in the section.

Get Help

Creating a table of contents does not have to be a daunting task. If students are unable to do this on their own, they can always ask a professor, fellow student or a tutor for extra help. At the very least, students can bring their finished document to their professor. Each academic adviser has a set time period for office hours, and they are normally willing to answer any questions that the student may have.

For additional help with the table of contents, students can always look up a sample paper. Sample dissertations can be found online, in the library or through a teacher. Students can use these samples as a guide for formatting their table of contents and structuring their paper.


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