What is a PhD dissertation table of contents? A table of contents of a dissertation is an outline of the major chapters and sections of your graduate dissertation. It points readers to the exact page numbers they must reference to find information that is important to their research. While it may seem like an APA dissertation table of contents is easy to put together, there are many things that students must consider.
If you are writing a contents section for a discipline within the American Psychology Association, you should include all level one and two headings. Some people include level three headings, but this is optional and should be avoided if the section goes over two pages in length.
The section helps your readers easily sort through your document which may run hundreds of pages. It helps them save time by being able to turn precisely to the part of your dissertation that relates to the information they are gathering for research or their interests.
How To Make a Table of Contents PhD Dissertation?
We have mentioned MS Word as a tool for creating a dissertation table of contents APA. It is certainly a fast and efficient way of getting your table of contents put in order accurately. But there are occasions when you may need to put the table of contents by yourself.
APA Style Dissertation Table of Contents Formatting Rules
You can easily create a table of contents for an APA document using a technical tool. A dissertation table of contents word is a reliable tool for doing this. Some general formatting rules you should be aware of are as follow:
- The table of contents in a dissertation document should come between the abstract and the introduction sections.
- The table of contents should always be written in the same size and font as the rest of the dissertation document.
- Depending on the length and structure, you can use up to five heading levels. But as stated above it is best to remove lower levels when the table of contents goes beyond two pages.
- Each heading level should be formatted different and be consistent throughout the dissertation document. For example:
You can find a good dissertation table of contents template on the web by visiting an academic writing and editing site or by visiting your department’s home page. Both places have a lot of templates to fit various types of assignments.
Dissertation Contents Page Writing Tips
Graduate students must recognize that they need to shift some of their energies away from other projects and responsibilities to focus on their respective dissertation projects. They are someplace in the middle of being undergraduate and professionals. Their work as graduate students often defines the kind of work they will be doing in the following decades. A contents page may not seem that important on the surface, but it is an essential component to a well-written dissertation that will be noticed by your peers. Here are eight great tips to follow to put a great table of contents dissertation together:
- It is Easy to Write the Contents at the End, But Wait Don’t Too Long
- If You Are Going to Hire a Proofreader, the Contents Cannot Be Ignored
- Be Precise When You Make Changes in Your Dissertation Document
- Make Sure You Include All Sections, Chapters, and Sub-Sections
- Even If You Use a Tech Tool, You Should Always Verify the Info
- Ask Someone to Review the Accuracy of Your Table of Contents
- Check that Your Document (Page Numbers) Prints Out Correctly
- If You Use Tabs in Your Document Make Sure They Are Placed Correctly
Most students find it easier to wait until after they complete their dissertation before creating the table of contents. This is because students will write several drafts and make several changes throughout the dissertation process. Just make sure you don’t wait until the last minute. Creating a table of contents requires the same attention to detail you apply when doing the rest of the dissertation. You need to take your time and leave room to thoroughly review and proofread.
If you hire a professional proofreader, you need to make sure that he or she reviews the entire document. This can be addressed beforehand so that it is clear what it is you’re expecting and paying for. Don’t send individual sections because you can easily overlook the need to send the table of contents.
When you make changes to your dissertation as you write your second and third drafts, you need to be precise about pagination changes that come along with adding, rearranging, or deleting content. You might consider a separate document of notes to remind yourself of checking each section to ensure you are aware of pagination changes.
Your Table of Contents should include all sections, chapters, and sub-sections to start, then you can begin to remove them in reverse order if your table of contents goes over the recommended two pages. For example, if the table of contents reaches three pages, remove all of the sub-sections starting with the lower levels (5th level, 4th level, etc.) until you bring the table of contents to two pages.
We’ve stated several times throughout the article that there are several technical tools you can use to automatically number your pages and then create a table of contents. This can save you a lot of time when writing the first and second drafts. But before you submit a final copy of your dissertation, you need to ensure the table of contents was created accurately by doing a visual check.
It’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes to check your work from start to finish. Ask them to double-check the accuracy and consistency between the table of contents and the pages that appear throughout your document. If you have stayed on schedule, the person reviewing can be careful and point out what you need to fix.
Your dissertation should have Arabic page numbers (1, 2, 3…) from the start to finish except in your introductory and closing sections (e.g., abstract, table of contents, appendix, and bibliography) which should use lower case roman numerals (i, ii, iii,…). When you review a printed copy, go page by page to ensure everything is in order and appears in the right place (e.g., top or bottom of the page).
Some students like making a great presentation of their dissertation by adding things like professional covers and tabs to mark each section or chapter. These things are done by office supplies and printing companies for a small fee. If you decide to pay for a professional print job, make sure all tabs are placed correctly. Get this done early so that you can ask the printers to correct the mistakes on time.
Further Dissertation Contents Assistance
For more help with a dissertation table of contents, you can contact our customer support team 24/7 by chat, email, or phone. They can direct you to more free resources on our site or put you in contact with one of our academic experts. Each expert holds a higher education degree and specializes in a specific discipline. So no matter what field you are working in, we are sure to have someone that has the knowledge and experience to put together a great table of contents for dissertation to suit your exact needs.