Writing a research paper has its own format which should be followed strictly. Likewise, its table of contents also has an organized composing format. Basically, table of contents is meant to help the readers for finding a particular part of the paper as that of a book, without searching the whole content. Therefore, it should be written in an organized and simple way. Here are few hints on how to organize a paper table of contents.
Before writing a research paper, an outline should be made which basically identify the complete contents of the paper. It also helps avoid any possible mistakes in the composition of a dissertation. In another way, we can say that an outline of the paper is an image of its table of contents. Therefore, this will help in making the table of contents later on. For making a proper outline, one should better know the main contents of the paper with its hierarchy as follows;
The above composition format of contents is generally followed in applied sciences.
After the whole paper is written and piled up, and the pages are given numbers, this is the time to arrange its table of contents. For arranging the contents properly, the above-mentioned hierarchy should be followed. Making a table of contents is more detailed work which includes both; main heading titles and subtitles of each component of a paper
Currently, all of the research papers are written on MS-Word. Its content should be written and compiled using different editing tools of this program rather than doing it manually. The different editing tools are numbers & bullets, line alignment, and font sizes, etc. For giving a more concise look at the table of contents, two columns are better created. Contents of the paper are written in the column on the left side of the page, and the page number of all contents is written in the write column.
In the end, the more simple and organized a table of contents is, the more comfortable the readers will be and able to find the information they are looking for. Students should avoid including unnecessary things and stay focused on the main constituents of the table.