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A table of contents is best used in a paper than can be divided into logical parts or chapters.You will find it necessary to create sections of your paper--either as you write or after you have completed the paper. If you are required to include a table of contents in your research paper, you should know that there is a certain way to generate this feature in Microsoft Word.
Lecturer's comment: The Introduction is usually section 1.
It forms the beginning of the report proper and is therefore on page 1.
It can be as simple as one word, such as "Introduction." This is the phrase that will appear in your table of contents.
Remember, you don't have to format the paper as you write it. If you need to add headings and generate a table of contents after your paper is already written, you simply place your cursor in the desired spot and place your heading.
Sections are numbered using the decimal point system.
Section numbers appear on the left margin, page numbers on the right.
It is up to you to decide how to present this information in a logical order to guide the reader to an understanding of: the problem or motivation any relevant theory the method followed (if applicable) how the outcome fulfills or fails to fulfill the project aim the wider significance of the outcome.
To do this, you need to give careful thought to the report structure and ensure that your headings accurately reflect the content of each section.
It is usually not present in shorter research articles, since most empirical papers have similar structure.
A well laid out table of contents allows readers to easily navigate your paper and find the information that they need.