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Writing a dissertation

What is the table of contents?

❶Moving from doing the research to writing a comprehensive account of it is not necessarily easy.

How to create your table of contents

Getting on with the writing
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Introduction

Once this step is completed, you can continue to creating a thesis table of contents. To generate the Table of Contents, first start by entering a blank page after the pages that you need the table of contents to follow.

By the time you reach this section, you would have given each heading or sub-heading a dedicated style, which would distinguish between different types of headings. Microsoft Word can generate Table of Contents automatically, but the document, particularly the headings would need to be formatted according to styles for this feature to work. You can assign different levels of headings, different styles in order for Microsoft Word to recognize the level of heading. As you proceed with editing your dissertation, the changes cause the page numbers and headings to vary.

Often times, people fail to incorporate those changes into the Table of Contents, which then effectively serves as an incorrect table and causes confusion. It is thus important to update the changes into the table of contents as final step, once you have made all the necessary changes in the dissertation and you are ready to print it. These changes may alter the length of the thesis table of contents , which may in turn also cause the formatting of the dissertation to be altered a little, so it is best to reformat it after updating the table of contents.

Using this article, you should be able to understand how to create the best table of contents for dissertation. The use of Table of Contents while being important for most written work, is very important for dissertations, especially, when the proper methodology of creating the table of contents is followed. This includes the considerations that must be especially followed to correctly format the table of contents so that it may be shaped in a way that it follows the norms and is effective at helping the reader navigate through the content of the dissertation.

Your email address will not be published. How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion. How to Write the Findings of a Dissertation. Introduction Table of contents are an essential part of any article, book, proceedings, report and for any paper that has plenty of information and requires to provide the reader with guidance about the availability of the content.

Using Styles Making of an effective table of contents starts by identifying headings and designating styles to those headings.

Changing Appearance of Pre-Defined Styles In order to change the appearance of a style to one that suits you, You would need to right click on one of the styles to open a drop down menu. This would display a window with various formatting and appearance options. The change that you made to the style reflects on all headings or paragraphs that use this style. This Study Guide addresses the task of writing a dissertation. It aims to help you to feel confident in the construction of this extended piece of writing, and to support you in its successful completion.

The process of having to describe your study in detail, in a logical sequence of written words, will inevitably highlight where more thought is needed, and it may lead to new insight into connections, implications, rationale, relevance, and may lead to new ideas for further research.

The good news is that you have already started writing if you have written any of the following in relation to this study:. In each case the object of the writing was to communicate to yourself, your supervisors, or to others, something about your work.

In writing your dissertation you will draw on some of this earlier writing to produce a longer and more comprehensive account. Before embarking on any substantial writing for your dissertation you will need to check the exact requirements regarding:. There are some conventions that guide the structuring of dissertations in different disciplines.

You should check departmental and course regulations. The title itself is an important opportunity to tell the potential reader what your research is about. You will need it to be succinct, specific, descriptive, and representative of the research you have done. There is likely to be a required format for the title page in your discipline, so you need to check what that is.

This may be one of the shortest sections of your thesis or dissertation, but it is worthwhile taking great care to write it well. Essentially, the Abstract is a succinct summary of the research. It should be able to stand alone in representing why and how you did what you did, and what the results and implications are. It is often only one page long, and there may be a word limit to adhere to. The Abstract is an important element of the thesis, and will become a document in its own right if the thesis is registered within any database.

The examiners will therefore assess your Abstract both as part of your thesis, and as a potentially independent document. It can be best to write the Abstract last, once you are sure what exactly you are summarising. Alternatively it can be useful to write the abstract earlier on, as an aid to identifying the crucial main thread of your research, its purpose, and its findings, which could then guide the structure of the dissertation. It might be useful to look at how others have managed.

It is certainly an academic exercise, but perhaps not too different from the concise explanations of your research you may have had to give to relatives and neighbours over the last few years, in terms of its brevity, accessibility, and comprehensiveness. This is your opportunity to mention individuals who have been particularly helpful. Reading the acknowledgements in other dissertations in your field will give you an idea of the ways in which different kinds of help have been appreciated and mentioned.

The contents pages will show up the structure of the dissertation. This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of further sections or sub-sections is needed. Although this is the first piece of writing the reader comes to, it is often best to leave its preparation to last as, until then, you will not be absolutely sure what you are introducing. The introduction has two main roles:. The purpose of this chapter is to show that you are aware of where your own piece of research fits into the overall context of research in your field.

To do this you need to:. This can lead logically into a clear statement of the research question s or problem s you will be addressing. In addition to the research context, there may be other relevant contexts to present for example:. It can be difficult to identify the best order for sections in this chapter because the rationale for your choice of specific research question can be complicated, and there may be several inter-linked reasons why the research is needed.

It is worth taking time to develop a logical structure as this will help to convince examiners of the relevance of your research, and that you understand its relevance. If you wish to enter the chapter titles, headings and sub-headings yourself you can choose the Manual Table option which will pop up this box:.

This is a little more laborious, but it gives you complete control over what goes in to the TOC and where. In some cases you may find a fourth Headings option and so on. These options increase the more titles and sub-headings you highlight as being Headings. As already mentioned you can input the information directly in to the TOC in manual method , however, you can also highlight headings and other titles and add them to the table of contents in much the same way as the automatic method.

These options correspond to the level in the TOC as seen in the table of contents image above. Once written, highlight that new text and click on the Insert tab and go to Quick Parts button and choose Field:. You must then scroll down the list and choose TC. Once highlighted you then enter your chosen text in the Text entry; box in the middle column of the window.

You have to choose this option, not Automatic or Manual tables. You will then have a TOC that holds the title you had given it. The manual method will give you some control over how the TOC will look. Once you click on the option to insert a TOC you will be presented with the Table of Contents window:.

This window gives you a plethora of information and allows you to tweak your table of contents in almost any way you wish. You can see that there are both Print and Web previews shown.


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The title of the thesis or dissertation in all capital letters and centered 2″ below the top of the page. Your name, centered 1″ below the title. .

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SAMPLE TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii LIST OF TABLES vi LIST OF FIGURES vii CHAPTER I RESEARCH OBJECTIVE 1 entire dissertation (beginning with the title page and continuing through the last page of the last appendix). Maintain a 1½ inch right margin for the.

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Table of contents is the section of a dissertation that provides guidance about the contents of each section of the dissertation paper. Depending on the level of detail in a table of contents, the most useful headings are listed in order to provide the reader with a reference of which page the said information may be found at. The table of contents is an index of everything in the dissertation - it should not include the title and contents page! A table of contents, TOC for short, lists in order the varying chapters of your dissertation all the way through to the bibliography and appendices.

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Do acknowledgements follow or precede the table of contents? What comes first – the appendix or the bibliography? And what is the difference between a bibliography and a list of references? In this article, you can read about the main components of a doctoral dissertation and their order. The contents pages will show up the structure of the dissertation. Any imbalance in space devoted to different sections of content will become apparent. This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of .