A table of contents indicates the structure of the paper, specifying its chapters, sub-chapters and the pages where they can be found. An , on the other hand, represents another form of summary, organized upon the main ideas of the paper, which describe a hierarchical or logical structuring of the information. It is recommended to write the outline before the actual paper, so that you follow the main ideas accordingly. While the table of contents points to the page numbers of chapters and sub-chapters, as they can be found in the paper, the outline does not provide such information.
Viewing and comparing several thesis tables of contents is a good way to master writing a thesis table of contents. For instance, you may study some of the dissertations in the article of The papers you will find there are the best examples in their genre, written by the professional staff of , who are selected on the basis of their academic achievement and writing skills.
o These should not show up in the table of contents.
The tables of contents are used in books, , reports, or any academic or non-academic documents that need a precise organization in order to easily identify the headings and sub-headings within the given paper. The table of contents is usually inserted after the and it indicates all the elements of the paper, except the “Abstract” and “Acknowledgement” pages.