Contents - the structure contained in the book materials.
Well-written, it helps the reader navigate the text.
First, and most importantly - not to be confused with a table of contentscontent. Note the roots of these words. The content must describe, in addition to themselves titles and chapters, namely the contents of the text, give a brief description of the kind of announcement, while the table of contents - this chapter, only the headers, structure.
In connection with such brevity it, by definition,to contents must be taken seriously, that it really works and helps the reader navigate. If we are talking about a work of art, then there is not so important: reading often is consistently (unless it is a collection of separate stories), and look in the table of contents is almost not needed. But if we are talking about scientific publication like the textbook or, especially, Encyclopaedia, then there is a table of contents structure plays a much more significant role.
Yes, of course, in addition to the table of contents in books and usually have an index, but it laid still a somewhat different meaning, it is not as well off in terms of subject disclosure.
So, we can see how the table of contents is important and why it is necessary. Now let us turn to his writing.
Firstly, it should not be too shortor small: its component headings should clearly define the respective threads them, so if you have the opportunity to influence on themselves headers, then recommend to the authors and editors who will work with the material, to the choice of titles more closely: beautiful and original title - is good, but we do not need the confusion, we need primarily practical benefit.
Secondly, the phrase "brevity - the sister of talent" here often do not work. It requires only comprehensive, but still general background information.
Thirdly, it is necessary to allocate a larger andsmall sections of different font sizes and, if possible, color, increase the indentation to denote subsections: in this case, the visual perception will improve significantly. Contents should be easy to read, otherwise it will be lost meaning.