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Making a table of contents used to be a very long and complicated process, but the vast majority of word-processing programs, such as Microsoft Word TM and Open Office, do all of the hard work for you.
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.
Sections are numbered using the decimal point system.
Section numbers appear on the left margin, page numbers on the right.
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.
Many students try to create a table of contents manually, without using the built-in process.
Students will quickly give up on creating a manual table of contents out of frustration because the spacing never comes out quite right, and the table is potentially incorrect as soon as you make any edits to your documents.
They would rarely be used in undergraduate reports.
The Summary and acknowledgements (if included) appear before the Contents page, so are not listed.