It is recommended to organize the table of contents before you finish writing the main body of your paper, because you will have a wider view upon the entire content of the paper. Therefore, it will be much easier to structure the paper and to identify the chapters and sub-chapters. You may start to create the table of contents before you write the actual paper, but it should be a flexible table of contents, that can be changed, according to how the paper will evolve.
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The Table of Contents is a minor yet essential part of your paper. It gives one a brief idea about the main contents of your thesis. One can look through the key points of your research work effortlessly, without any chaos. Thus, it should be written and composed with utmost care and precision. The following recommendations will help in presenting a good table of contents for your thesis paper.
Creating a table of contents (TOC) for your thesis you should keep in mind the difference between the table of contents and the outline. Though these two are alike the outline will never become a table of contents only because of the title. Another tricky item one should pay attention to while creating a thesis table of contents is which parts of the thesis should be reflected in it. As a rule all the parts which go before the Introduction don’t appear in the table of contents. Since the thesis table of contents is the first section of your work it should expose a clear outline of the logical sequence of steps you followed to arrive at the conclusions of your thesis. Therefore, the headings of all your chapters and sub-chapters should be reflected in the table of contents, and the logic suggests that if you have sub-chapter 2.1. there should be 2.2 also. you should pay a particular attention to this item, since a reader will detect from the beginning how you organized your paper. Table of contents is designed to make your paper easier accessible for the readers, so check twice before submitting your thesis that your chapters do start on the pages indicated in outline.It is mandatory that you include the chapters and the sub-chapters within your paper so that they can be easily identified after the page number provided in the table of contents.