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Your thesis like any other document, book or magazine will contain a number of recurring elements such as headings, footnotes, pagelayouts, the main text, quotations, bibliography, etc. (see illustration 1). All these elements need to be formatted uniformly.

Illustration 1. Page out of a book with examples of recurring elements

Wfs001 recurring elements.png

Additionally many of these elements, such as pages, headings, footnotes, lists, illustrations, the lines of an interview etc. require numbering.

You define these various settings once only and they will henceforth apply to the whole document independently of its length.

Primary paragraph styles Secondary paragraph styles
Text Body Table of contents of various levels
Headings of various levels Footnotes
Page numbering
etc. etc.

'Table 1: There are only two primary paragraph styles, and all other paragraph styles group around these two.
Why this distinction is so important will become apparent in the course of the following chapters.'

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