# What Is Node in Linked List Data Structure?

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Larry Thompson

What Is Node in Linked List Data Structure?

A linked list is a linear data structure that consists of a sequence of nodes. Each node in a linked list contains two components: data and a reference to the next node. The node is a fundamental building block of a linked list.

## Node Structure

In most programming languages, a node in a linked list is defined as a structure or an object. It typically includes two fields:

• Data: This field holds the actual value or information stored in the node.
• Next: This field contains a reference (or pointer) to the next node in the linked list.

The ‘Next’ field helps to establish the link between adjacent nodes, allowing traversal from one node to another.

## Visual Representation of Nodes

To visualize how nodes are connected in a linked list, consider the following example:

``````
Node 1        Node 2        Node 3
+-------+     +-------+     +-------+
| Data  |     | Data  |     | Data  |
| Next -|---> | Next -|---> | Next -|---> NULL
+-------+     +-------+     +-------+
``````

In this example, there are three nodes (Node 1, Node 2, and Node 3) forming a linked list. Each node contains some data and points to the next node using the ‘Next’ field. The last node has its ‘Next’ field set to NULL to indicate the end of the linked list.

## Operations on Nodes

The primary operations performed on nodes include:

• Creation: Nodes are created dynamically using dynamic memory allocation.
• Insertion: Nodes can be inserted at the beginning, middle, or end of the linked list.
• Deletion: Nodes can be deleted from a linked list based on specific criteria.
• Traversal: Nodes are traversed sequentially to access or process the data stored in them.

The ‘Next’ field allows efficient traversal through the linked list, as each node holds a reference to the next node.