The table of contents is an optional component of a report. It is not necessary for short reports i.e. most student academic reports of less than six (6) pages.
How to insert a Table of Contents
MS Word has an excellent feature that inserts an automatic Table of Contents into your document, provided that you use heading styles in your document. Go to Insert on the menu, then click on Index and Tables, then the Table of Contents tab.
When your Table of Contents does not work as you want it
It is suggested that your Table of Contents should only show the major headings (not sub-headings). You should look for and change the setting "Show Levels" from "3" to "1". You will see this setting in the Dialogue Box for Table of Contents.
A Table of Contents that has been automatically generated by Microsoft Word.
You should never have to type out a Table of Contents!