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Table of contents

The contents page sets out the sections and subsections of the report and their corresponding page numbers. It should clearly show the structural relationship between the sections and subsections. A reader looking for specific information should be able to locate the appropriate section easily from the table of contents. The conventions for section and page numbering are as follows:

  • Number the sections by the decimal point numbering system:
    1.0 Title of first main section (usually Introduction)
    1.1 First subheading
    1.2 Second subheading
    2.0 Title of second main section
    2.1 First subheading
    2.2 Second subheading
    2.2.1 First division in the second subheading
    2.2.2 Second division in the second subheading
    3.0 Title of third main section
  • Number all the preliminary pages in lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, ...). You don't have to place the number i on the title page. Just count it and put ii on the second page of your report. Preliminary pages are any which come before the introduction, including the summary and, where applicable, acknowledgements.
  • Number all the remaining pages of your report with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, ...). Thus the report proper begins on page 1 with your introduction, which is usually Section 1.
  • Provide a title in your table of contents to describe the contents of each appendix (Note: one appendix, two or more appendices). Don't just call them Appendix 1 or Appendix 2.

Example:

Appendix 1: Sample Calculations


Example contents page

This contents page is from a report entitled Preliminary Design of a Bridge.

Contents
Summary ii
1.0 Introduction 1
2.0 Design 1: 33m Steel I-girder bridge 2
2.1 Superstructure 2
2.2 Abutments 3
2.3 Construction method 3
3.0 Design 2: 25m Super T-girder bridge 4
3.1 Superstructure 4
3.2 Abutments 5
3.3 Construction method 6
4.0 Comparison of designs 7
4.1 Economics 7
4.1.2 Construction costs 7
4.1.1 Long-term maintenance 8
4.2 Safety 8
4.3 Aesthetics 9
5.0 Conclusions and recommendations 9
6.0 References 10
Appendices:
Appendix 1 Design 1 scale drawings
Appendix 2 Design 2 scale drawings
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