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How to Format an Appellate Brief: START HERE

This guide was developed by Cynthia Condit for the University of Montana School of Law William J. Jameson Law Library. Used with permission.


Our guide has been put together to assist you in creating a Table of Contents (TOC) and a Table of Authorities (TOA) for an Appellate Brief using Microsoft Word 2010 with a PC or Microsoft Word 2011 with a MAC.

Please Note:  Specific formatting selections, such as font type and size, underlining etc. that are mentioned throughout are for demonstration purposes.  Select formatting per your professor's instructions.


There are different versions of Microsoft Word: 2003, 2007, and 2010 for PCs and 2004, 2008, and 2011 for MACs.  The basic process, however, is the same for all.  What may vary is the interface.  For instance, Word 2010 for PCs and Word 2011 for MACs now have a re-designed ribbon interface. 

Note:  For a recap of changes in formatting details that occur if you have the new Windows 2013, see Help & More


There are 3 basic things that you will do when creating a TOC and TOA:

  1. Prepare your document
  2. Create your Table of Contents (TOC)
  3. Create your Table of Authorities (TOA)


  • It will be easier to create your TOC & TOA if you do NOT do any formatting prior to beginning this process.
  • Use the ¶ format markup during the process; it will help you to see the spacing and formatting markup in your document.
  • Save a clean copy of your brief (just in case).