The contents page provides two functions: It provides users with an overview of the contents and arrangement of the document. It enables users to go to a specific area of an online document.
The table of contents' objective is to provide an overview of the subject matter and structure of the report so that readers can readily move to a specific section of the text holding the information they want. The table of contents structure must be logical and accessible. That is, readers should be able to find what they are looking for easily.
By indicating the major sections of the document with headings, we help the reader to navigate the document faster. This saves time for both the reader and the writer. The writer does not have to worry about going back to re-write certain parts or delete unnecessary material. The reader can quickly scan the page without reading each word by jumping to the relevant section of the document.
Table of Contentses are useful for reports as well as articles. They provide a quick reference tool for the reader. Sometimes there may be several pages without a break in the flow of content. Using a table of contents, readers can go directly to the part of the document that deals with issues related to their interest, instead of scrolling down through the whole article or report.
Table of contents also aid writers in determining how much space to give to different aspects of their work. For example, if one section of the document is longer than expected, it can be cut while still maintaining coherence. This cannot be done if the writer does not know where other sections fall in the document.
A table of contents links to different sections of the same publication. These sections might be on the same page or scattered across several pages. However, when combined, they form a full concept. Consider a hard copy book with sections to better grasp this. The table of contents links each section together so that you can see what will come after it.
The table of contents is usually found at the beginning of a book or article and lists its chapters and sections. This helps readers navigate through the content more easily. Without going into too much detail, the table of contents is also used by editors to find specific words or phrases within the text itself. This allows them to adjust the writing style or structure without changing any actual information. For example, an editor may decide that some parts of the text could do with being rewritten in plainer language. They can do this by searching for these words/phrases within the document itself. When found, these areas are marked up with special symbols which the editor can click to automatically generate a new version of the text.
There are many tools available to help writers create strong tables of contents.