Introduction to Singly Linked List

Each node stores a reference to an object that is an element of the sequence, as well as a reference to the next node of the list.

Singly Linked List

Singly Linked List is a linear and connected data structure made of Nodes. Each node is composed of a variable data where its content (actual value) is stored and a pointer to the next Node (next node location) on the list. The Linked List has a pointer to the first element of this Node sequence and may also have another pointer to the last Node to make operations at the far end less time-consuming. You can also store a length variable to store the total length.

Advantages over Arrays

  • Size of a linked list is not fixed (dynamic size)
  • Deleting and adding an element is not expensive compared to an array


  • Elements can be accessed sequentially not randomly compared to an array
  • Extra memory allocation needs to be done for pointers which connects elements in a linked list

Time Complexity


Example in C++

class LinkedList {
    Node head;      // Pointer to the first element
    Node tail;      // Optional. Points to the last element

    int length;     // Optional

    class Node {
        int data;   // Node data. Can be int, string, float, templates, etc
        Node next;  // Pointer to the next node on the list

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