How do you move the beginning of the table of contents, list of figures, and list of tables further up the page? The default is to start those sections above a third of the way down the page.

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Using the tocloft package (of course, instead of -2cm you can use the length that best suits your needs):

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage{tocloft}

\renewcommand\cftbeforetoctitleskip{-2cm}
\renewcommand\cftbeforeloftitleskip{-2cm}
\renewcommand\cftbeforelottitleskip{-2cm}

\begin{document}

\tableofcontents
\clearpage
\listoffigures
\clearpage
\listoftables

\end{document}

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What about the distance between the word "Contents" and the first entry of the TOC? –  richtera Mar 6 '12 at 22:13
@AlexRichter: then redefine \cftaftertoctitleskip. –  Gonzalo Medina Mar 6 '12 at 22:16
Thanks for all your help today! –  richtera Mar 7 '12 at 0:29