Latex files for a book or thesis
I strongly suggest to split up every chapter into an individual file and load them in the main tex-file. Most universities require to use a predefined title page so as my one did. Some even have their own templates -- if yours does, probably best to use that. Check with your college or university.
Latex book class
I prefer doing it manually this saves me the time of importing and exporting all the time. You do not have to understand that, you only need to know, that if you add anything that is reference at any other position in the document, you have to translate twice. Great, we just started creating our document structure. However, it will help you getting started and focussing on the content of your thesis rather than the formatting of the document. Personally, I use draft a lot. You can edit the bib files using software or insert entries manually to the bib file. Fortunately, using LaTeX, you can focus on the content rather than the formatting of your thesis. Not only that you have real trouble in navigating through your document, but also Texmaker is getting slow if the files are getting too big. Lists with generally recommended packages have already been linked by others, so I'll avoid repeating those here. As long as you stick to default packages from your distribution, you should be fine. This can be done by placing the following commands before and after the contents commands respectively. Lets create a new file and save it as Introduction.
The complete Thesis. Title page Again, follow the instructions of your institution if there are any. The title page Next step is to add a title page. I was lucky in this regard; our college gave us a lot of freedom.
It might make sense to check out some beginner-friendly resources though -- this question might have something of interest on that front.
Writing a thesis in LaTeX 8. Happy TeXing! Is it bad to use MikTex? Lastly: Don't panic about reading documentation too much.
Bibliography The most convenient way is to use a bib-tex file that contains all your references. But I know that the requirements in other institutions can be rather more exact.
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