How to prevent template defaults from being overridden? Or, how to restore them if they are?

Once having gone through the long learning curve and established a set of defaults in the default template, I nonetheless find that the defaults are continually overridden when pasting in text and images.

Typical version of this difficulty: A teacher needs/ wants to use a news or journal article found on the web for a class. Often printing to PDF from the internet produces a flawed document. Banners cover portions of the text; text is cut off at the page breaks, etc. When these sorts of problems are encountered, an alternative is to copy the text and paste it into a word processing document. Use plain text and you get the text only. Paste all (Ctrl V) and you get a messy document that has image sizes all out of whack, odd font choices as LO attempts to detect the text styles itself (headings and text body in particular), and often the template’s text style is overridden and an odd version of serif text is “inherited”.
I’ve attempted to fix such document problems using the paragraph style selection box with no luck. I thought it would be possible to modify the style and once it is “applied”, it could then be applied throughout the document. By selecting text areas and attempting to get the “body text” style restored (basically nothing more than font and font size), but this fails. The document is now full of “body text” that is not in the designated “body text” font, size, spacing, etc.
I ask because much as I like to write my own documents, a great deal of the work involves culling journalism and academic texts and having students read, discuss, and write about them. Creating the documents often eats an entire day, messing with LO settings. Sometimes failing altogether.
Suggestions would be appreciated.
Windows 10; latest LO.

First of all: There is no super solution for inserting articles from the Internet.

Your principle of working with style sheets is absolutely correct. When you have created your styles for all concerns (paragraphs, characters and images, etc.), you should save them as a document template (blank sheet).

Don’t change these styles again unless you made a mistake when creating them.

Case 1: You have pasted the entire title and it looks messy.

In LO, select the entire content (Ctrl+A) and choose Format>Delete Formatting Directly (Ctrl+M) from the menu.
Then assign the desired style(s) to the paragraphs and for images, etc.

Case 2: You insert text and images separately.

Select each of the text paragraphs and paste them into LO as unformatted text.

Select Edit - Paste content - Unformatted text.
Right-click to open the context menu and select Paste Content > Unformatted Text.
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + V.

Then insert the images.
Assign styles as in Case 1 where necessary.

I myself prefer Case 2.

See also:
Professional text composition with Writer

I hope that can help.

It is nice that there are teachers like you who put so much effort into your students.

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