Dissertation Table of Contents in Words

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Dissertation Table of Contents in Words

Writing an academic paper can be difficult for many students, especially if they have to write a final-year research task. Some students cannot even write a simple essay and ask someone else to write my essay, which can temporarily work. Yet, we suggest that every student should deal with their academic work themselves to learn. In the same way, even if a dissertation task feels daunting, you should always try to complete it yourself. Luckily, proper guidelines can ease this task, such as a guide about the dissertation table of contents in word.

If you are here to learn to write a proper table of contents of your research in word, we can help you. This article will offer everything you need to know about the tablet of contents and how to write it in MS word. So sit comfortably and focus on reading the blog below.

Dissertation Table of Contents

We believe you already know what a table of contents is and its role. However, to ease things, a table of contents refers to a list of the chapters and chief sections of your dissertation or research paper. It also shows the page numbers of each chapter and section of your research for excellent navigation. Thus, for better work quality and readability, a clear and well-structured table of contents is crucial. You can also call it a roadmap of your research work for the readers.

Moreover, if you wonder where to place your table of contents list, know that it lies between the abstract and the introduction. Many students make the mistake of placing it on the very first page of their dissertation before the abstract. Thus, do not be one of those students and place it where it belongs. Besides, your table of contents should not exceed two pages, no matter how long your research is.

Types of Table of Contents

Luckily, MS word offers a few formatting options for the table of contents that can help you list everything within two pages, depending on your research. If you are unaware of the types of table of contents you can choose for your dissertation, do not worry. There are three formal types of table of contents in MS word, single-level, multi-level, and subdivided. Below are brief definitions of each of them to make things convenient for you.


A single-level table of contents is the most common, basic type. It only contains a single thing, like headings or chapters. Though it is the simplest option, it can be lengthy because of no subheadings. A long document, like a dissertation, contains many headings, making a single-level table of contents list exceed two pages.


A subdivided table of contents comes after a single level and is ideal for a dissertation. It contains two things, such as chapters alongside headings or sections. This way, you can show your readers what each chapter contains inside.


A multi-level table of contents contains three things and may seem messy. It divides the chapter into headings and further divides headings into sections. People whose research is really long use this type of table of contents. Although, this option is not ideal because it can mess things up. We suggest using the subdivided type of table of contents list for your dissertation.

Creating a Table of Contents in MS Word

You do not need to sit and create each row or cell of a table of contents in MS Word, you can automatically insert a table of contents with just a click. However, to insert the automated table, you have to first apply the correct heading styles all over the document (if you did not before). In simple words, you have to indicate which headings are heading 1 or 2/3. You can select a heading in your document and apply a specific style to it through the features ribbon in MS Word. For example, if your work contains chapters and sections, and you want to insert sections under chapters in the table of contents list, make chapters, heading 1, and section headings 2.  

When you are over with applying styles to specific headings, now is the time to insert a table of contents list. To do this, you need to place the cursor where you want the table of contents. Afterward, at the top of MS Word, you need to go to the “References” tab, where you can locate the Table of Contents group. You can simply click on the “Table of Contents” feature and choose a style to insert it into your document. Plus, as you have already set the heading styles, the table of contents will automatically detect all headings 1 and 2 and put them into the list accordingly.

Updating a Table of Contents in MS Word

Though you should add a table of contents in your dissertation after finalizing everything. However, if you choose to insert it before finalization, ensure to update it later after making changes in the document. For example, if you inserted a table of contents list and later make changes in the document, the list will not change itself until you update it. So whether you change the page numbers or heading styles, ensure to update your table of contents.

Besides, it is easy to update a table of contents list in MS Word. If you wonder how to, you only have to right-click the table of contents and select the “Update Field” option. After selecting it, you will have the option to either update page numbers or the whole content info (headings, styles, etc.) in your table of contents list. It is just a matter of some clicks to update the table of contents in MS Word, yet many people forget to update it.


We believe this article helped you understand the dissertation table of contents in MS Word. Although, inserting a table of contents in MS Word is not rocket science or anything. Hopefully, you will not ask anyone to create a table of content in your research, like those students who ask someone else to write my assignment. Besides, creating a table of contents in MS Word is an ideal and time-saving way. However, we suggest reading your school’s guidelines about research projects before doing anything. Good luck with your dissertation, and we hope you will succeed.

By | 2023-01-11T17:18:28+00:00 January 11th, 2023|Dissertation Proposal|0 Comments

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