Table of Contents Template

Table of Contents Template

If you have been looking for a template to guide you in formatting a table of contents, then your search ends here. Read on for a generic template for a table of contents and a sample for the same.
To most people the table of contents is probably the most conspicuous part of any book and therefore, generally the most ignored part. Many of us tend to just pass over the contents page to what we believe is the actual content of the book. But that does not change the fact that the table of contents is probably what makes or breaks the first impression of a book, research paper, or project report, especially one for academic purposes. Therefore, it is important to understand what the proper format of a table of contents is. This article helps you do the same by giving you a template that you can follow.


The most basic of writing tips for any table of contents is that it will start with a header and will give the page numbers for the entire content of the book, research paper, project, or any other document. There are several templates that are available online and even without these templates, it is possible for you to create a table of contents with the help of the desktop applications and office suites that most computers come with.

Every table of contents will differ depending on the purpose it serves and the contents of the text that it is being used for.

Header: The header should be centrally aligned and the font size of the same should be slightly bigger than the font of the other contents of the table.

Introduction: Most books, reports, and research papers start with an introduction to the same, therefore, the introduction should be the first content that will be listed out in the table of contents.

Chapter Wise Division of Contents: After the introduction, you can include the list of all the chapters of the book or the research paper. Give the page numbers that each chapter begins and ends at. If each of your chapter has sub chapters, then it is important that you list out the page numbers of the sub chapters as well.

Appendix: After you are done listing out the chapter wise contents, if you have an appendix, then you will have to give the page wise distribution of the appendix.


One of the best ways to take a look at different types of examples of table of contents is to go through different types of books and magazines that you may find around you. The example given below is a very generic sample for a research paper on crime reporting, in the leading newspapers in a city.


Crime Record in the City
3.1 Crime over the Years3-1
3.2 Area wise Crime Rate3-2
3.3 History of Convictions 3-4
Representation of Crime in TA Gazette
4.1 Overall Coverage of Crime4-1
4.2 Quantitative Analysis4-2
4.3 Qualitative Analysis4-5
Representation of Crime in Morning News
5.1 Overall Coverage of Crime5-1
5.2 Quantitative Analysis5-2
5.3 Qualitative Analysis5-3
Comparative Analysis between TA Gazette and Morning News
6.1 Quantitative Analysis6-1
6.2 Qualitative Analysis6-6

Hope that this article on drafting a table of contents will help you format a proper contents table the next time you need to draft one for your purposes.