The index of figures and tables is a list that indicates the figures and tables used in your three-year or master degree thesis with the corresponding page number.
Its main function is to provide the reader with a detailed picture of the use of these elements within the elaborate, helping him to find specific figures and tables of his interest more easily.
Often these indexes are not required, but strongly advised when recurring figures and tables are used and, consequently, it could be difficult to identify these elements within the thesis.
Thesis Index: Use clear numbers and titles in the text
Figures and tables must always be numbered and have a clear title. If they are taken (or are based) from another source, it is appropriate to also indicate the source of reference. Do you use the APA style in your thesis? If the answer is yes, add the source after the title of each figure or table. And be sure to include the complete source in the bibliography.
To add the number and title to Microsoft Word, highlight the figure that interests you, right-click and select “Insert caption”.
For images (or illustrations), choose the “Under the selected item” position. For the tables choose “Above the selected item”.
Thesis Index: Generates indexes automatically
Once the caption is added, let Word automatically generate the list of figures and tables. But be careful – the list will contain only items marked with the “Insert caption” function.
Place the cursor where you want to insert the list, usually after the thesis index.
In the Word menu bar, click on “References” and in the dialog box click on “Insert figure index”. In the “Caption Label” section below, you can choose between “Figure” or “Table”. You can also select the layout you prefer.
Thesis Index: Consider creating additional indexes
In addition to using the index of figures and tables, it can also be useful to include a list of abbreviations and a glossary for your three-year or master’s thesis.