|This page includes a listing of policies and guidelines for English Wikipedia. Policy and guideline pages describe Wikipedia's principles and best-agreed practices. Policies are standards that all users should normally follow, while guidelines are meant to be best practices for following those standards in specific contexts.|
The following is a comprehensive list of policies and guidelines. For a quick overview, see Wikipedia:Simplified ruleset; for descriptive directories see Wikipedia:List of policies, Wikipedia:List of guidelines and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Contents.
Wikipedia's rules and best practices are specified in these documents:
A policy documents a rule or standard with wide acceptance among Wikipedia editors that all users should normally follow.
A guideline is a set of best practices that are supported by the consensus of Wikipedia editors. Editors should attempt to follow guidelines, though they are best treated with common sense. Occasional exceptions may apply. Naming conventions are considered guidelines.
An information page describes a process on Wikipedia and reflects community consensus.
The Five Pillars
The Five Pillars are the five fundamental principles of Wikipedia:
|Wikipedia is an encyclopedia|
|Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view|
|Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute|
|Editors should treat each other with respect and civility|
|Wikipedia has no firm rules|
Large-print links are broad, fundamental policies and guidelines that apply throughout Wikipedia.
Normal-print links are policies and guidelines that are general in scope but may apply to more specific situations.
Small-print links are policies and guidelines that are specific to a subject area or process on Wikipedia.
Project content guidelines
Reference Desk guidelines
- Community standards and advice – a quick directory of community norms and related guidance essays.
- Advice pages – about advice pages written by WikiProjects.
- Introduction to policies and guidelines – a quick introduction to the major policies and guidelines for very new users.
- Related essays
- Simplified rule-set – some basic aspect of Wikipedia norms and practices.
- Eight rules for editing – if you start out by following these simple rules, the rest should come naturally.
- Ten rules for editing – Wikipedia can be daunting, but here we provide tips to make editing smoother.
- Trifecta – ultra-fast overview of foundational principles related to policies and guidelines.
- The rules are principles – policies and guidelines exist as rough approximations of their underlying principles.