Content | Navigation |

Graduate School


Table of Contents

The Table of Contents lists the major headings that appear in the disquisition, and outlines the hierarchy of subheadings that appear in the text.

All major headings that appear in the disquisition must be included in the Table of Contents, except for the Title page, the Disquisition Approval page, and the Table of Contents. You are not required to list all subheadings in the Table of Contents; however, once you include one subheading of a particular level, then you must include all subheadings of that same level that appear in the disquisition.

  • Alignment and Indentation – All main headings must be aligned flush against the left margin. Subsequent levels of headings must be indented beneath the major heading that precedes them. Alignment and indentation must be consistent for all headings of the same level.
  • To avoid awkward gaps between words, do not justify the alignment.
  • Dot leaders – Use dot leaders to connect the last word of each heading with the page number where that heading appears.
  • Entries – The headings that are included in the Table of Contents must be identical to the headings that appear in the text. This includes wording, punctuation, and capitalization. If you use numbered headings in the text, the headings must also be numbered in the Table of Contents.
  • Do not allow headings to extend into the page number column. You might need to force a line break.

    The Table of Contents should not have an entry for itself.

  • Font and Margins – The font must be the same size and type as the rest of your disquisition. The margins must also be the same size as the rest of your disquisition.
  • Page numbers – The Table of Contents appears after the Abstract (and additional prefatory material, if used), and must be consistent with the rest of the disquisition. This is considered part of the prefatory material, and must use lower-case Roman numerals.
  • Spacing – Use double-spacing between headings in the Table of Contents. If the title of a heading is longer than one line, use single-spacing between the lines of that heading.
  • Automated Table of Contents – Microsoft Word can create an automated Table of Contents. If you do use an automated Table of Contents, make sure that you follow the guidelines that are listed here. For more information about how to create an automated Table of Contents, contact the Technology Learning & Media Center (TLMC) or visit their website (
  • Example – For an example of a Table of Contents in the correct format, download this file.

back to Format Guidelines

To top

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM
Privacy Statement