How to do the thesis index in 3 steps

Nick Blog

The degree thesis index represents the skeleton of your work. In the index it is necessary to indicate all the chapters and the paragraphs that make up your three-year or master degree dissertation and the respective page numbers.

This section allows the reader to have an overview of the thesis, to easily orientate himself among the various sections and to find the chapters of his interest.

How to create an index with Word

Word allows you to quickly create the index of your degree thesis. This is a very useful tool, since it updates automatically: if you add a new chapter or delete another one, just click on the index and it will update itself!

Step 1

To mark the beginning of a chapter in Word, select its title and set it as Title 1 by clicking on the button on the Home tab, top right. Same procedure also for the sub-chapters, select them with the mouse and click on Title 2 or Title 3 of Word.

Step 2

Go to the page where you want to insert the summary (usually the first page of the thesis), click on Insert and on Page break, top left.

Step 3

Select the Word References tab, click Summary and choose one of the available automatic tables.

Structure of the thesis index

The thesis index consists of the title of the chapter (in bold), followed by the respective paragraphs which it includes, indicating the title and page for each of them.

Clear titles

The thesis index shows the structure of your three-year or master thesis. It is important to use clear headings for both the chapters and the various sections. The reader will thus have a clear overview of the information contained.

Maximum two pages

This section offers an overview of how the work is composed, so the ideal length of the degree thesis index is a maximum of two pages.

Does your index exceed two pages? Try, for example, to omit the subsections (the titles from level 3 onwards) to shorten their length.

What not to include in the index

The preface, summary and index itself should not be mentioned in this section. The first two sections appear in the previous pages to the index. The reader of the three-year or master thesis has therefore already read these pages before arriving at the summary.

And obviously it is not necessary to mention the index, since to look for it you should already consult the table itself, making this information redundant.

If there are many appendices in the document, which could unnecessarily lengthen the table of contents, you can safely exclude them from the section.

On the contrary, it is always necessary to insert bibliographic references as a chapter.

  • Thesis index checklist
  • The index is automatic.
  • He has clear headlines.
  • There are different headings for chapters and sections.
  • Maximum two pages.
  • Includes sections from the Introduction to Bibliographic References.
  • The page numbers indicated match the contents of the index.

Additional lists in the thesis

In addition to the general index, you can also indicate an index of the figures and tables, an index of abbreviations and a glossary. In this case, be sure to follow this order.

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