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Wikipedia:List of guidelines

Diyila Dagbani Wikipedia

Because there are a large number of guideline pages (over 200), they are subcategorized (using the {{subcat guideline}} template) according to their purpose.

  • Behavioral guidelines outline ways for editors to behave and interact with each other on talk pages and elsewhere at Wikipedia.
  • Content guidelines apply only to the article namespace (unless otherwise specified in the guideline), and offer advice on identifying and including encyclopedic information in articles.
  • Deletion guidelines explain criteria and procedures for deleting unwanted pages.
  • Editing guidelines usually provide non-content advice about categorization, navigation or other how-to-edit advice.
  • Naming conventions detail the correct ways to name articles on particular topics.
  • Notability guidelines outline the criteria that a subject must meet to merit a Wikipedia article.
  • Style guidelines contain extensive advice on writing style, formatting, grammar, and more.

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Behavioral guidelines expand on the twelve conduct policies. Please read these first.

Assume good faith
Unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it.
Conflict of interest
Do not use Wikipedia to promote yourself, your website, your mixtape, or your organization.
Disruptive editing
Participants with a pattern of edits that has the effect of disrupting progress toward improving an article or the fundamental project of building an encyclopedia may be blocked or banned indefinitely.
Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point
State your point. However, do not spam Wikipedia, disingenuously nominate articles for deletion, push rules to their limits, or otherwise create work for other people just to prove your point.
Editors have different views, perspectives, and backgrounds, sometimes varying widely. Treating others with respect is key to collaborating effectively in building an encyclopedia.
Please do not bite the newcomers
Many new contributors lack knowledge about Wikipedia policies. Nevertheless, always understand that new contributors are prospective "members" and are therefore our most valuable resource.
Sign all of your posts on Wikipedia talk pages by typing ~~~~ to be accountable and to help others understand the conversation, but do not sign in articles.
Talk page guidelines
Talk pages are for polite discussion serving to improve the encyclopedia, and should not be used to express personal opinions on a subject.
User pages
You can use your user page to add a little information about yourself or to help you to use Wikipedia more effectively. However, remember that Wikipedia is not a blog, webspace provider, or social networking site.

Other behavioural guidelines

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Appealing a block
A block is not a punishment but a way to prevent disruption. Blocked users should understand the reasons for the block and convince administrators that they won't disrupt the project if they are unblocked.
When notifying other editors of discussions, keep the number of notifications small, keep the message text neutral, and don't preselect recipients according to their established opinions. Be open!
Changing username
How global renamers and stewards approach rename requests.
Courtesy vanishing
Courtesy vanishing means any user in good standing—upon leaving Wikipedia forever—may request renaming of their account; deletion or blanking of user pages; and possibly the deletion or blanking of discussions related to their conduct.
Deceased Wikipedians guidelines
An organized procedure for dealing with the accounts, userpages, and user rights of deceased Wikipedians as established by community consensus.
Gaming the system
Playing games with policies and guidelines in order to avoid the spirit of consensus, or thwart the intent and spirit of policy, is strictly forbidden.
Linking to external harassment
Links that contain privacy violations or malicious harassment should be avoided. Links in articles are a matter for sound editorial judgement.
Responding to threats of harm
Threats of harm (including self-harm) should be treated seriously and reported to the Wikimedia Foundation and to administrators.
Reviewing pending changes
Reviewing consists of determining whether a new revision is broadly acceptable for public view, and if not, editing the article to obtain an acceptable revision.
Rollback is available to all administrators, and can be given to other users upon request, subject to the approval. It allows the last user's consecutive edits on a given page to be undone with a single mouse click.
Spam blacklist
The Spam blacklist is a control mechanism that prevents an external link from being added to an English Wikipedia page when the URL matches one listed at MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist.

Content guidelines expand on the eight content policies. Please read those first.

Avoid writing or editing an article about yourself, other than to correct unambiguous errors of fact.
Citing sources and Scientific citation guidelines
For writing and formatting references using different citation styles.
Content forking
Articles should not be split into multiple articles just so each can advocate a different stance on the subject.
External links
External links should be kept minimal, meritable, and directly relevant to the article. Wikipedia is not an advertising opportunity.
Fringe theories
Care must be taken when writing content about fringe theories. Fringe theories should be covered only where their influence has been recognized by independent reliable sources; otherwise, they should be removed.
Images must be relevant to the article that they appear in, properly referenced, and large enough to reveal relevant details without overwhelming the text.
No disclaimers in articles
Wikipedia contains spoilers, potentially objectionable material, and more. There is generally no need to warn readers of this.
Non-free content and Non-free use rationale guideline
Non-free content—including all copyrighted content—can only be used in specific cases, and must be employed judiciously. Its usage must be considered fair use under US copyright law, and comply with the non-free content criteria policy.
Duplicating the work of others without proper attribution is unethical and can bring the project into disrepute. Give credit where it's due.
Reliable sources and Reliable sources for medicine
Information about identifying and using appropriate sources to comply with Wikipedia's Verifiability policy.
It is not acceptable to delete information on the basis that it might "spoil" a reader's experience of a narrative work.
Wikipedia is not for things made up one day
Resist the temptation to write about the new, great thing you or your friends just thought up.

Other content guidelines

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Accuracy dispute
Articles for which much of the factual accuracy is actively disputed, should have a {{Disputed}} warning place at the top, and are listed at Category:Accuracy disputes.
Do not create hoaxes
Do not deliberately add hoaxes, incorrect information, or unverifiable content to articles. Articles about notable hoaxes are acceptable.
Do not include the full text of lengthy primary sources
Quotes of any original texts being discussed should be relevant to the discussion (or illustrative of style), and should be kept to an appropriate length.
When using images of logos, care must be taken about copyright, trademark and editorial concerns.
No 3D illustrations
Don't use pictures which can only be correctly viewed with special 3D equipment.
Non-US copyrights
A work that is in the public domain in its home country can sometimes be under copyright in the United States, and so can not be used on Wikipedia, which is subject to US law.
Offensive material
Wikipedia articles may contain offensive words and images, but only for a good reason. Do not use disclaimers.
Patent nonsense
Guideline for dealing with nonsense text.
Portal guidelines
General guidelines and best practices for portals.
Spam is the inappropriate addition of links or information to Wikipedia, with the purpose of promoting an outside organization, individual or idea.
Miscellaneous content guidelines
Record charts. WikiProject Days of the year articles. Video games articles.

Deletion guidelines expand on the eight deletion policies. Please read these first.

Deletion process
An overview of the processes by which articles get deleted.
Speedy keep
Closing debates at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, and related pages, with a result of "speedy keep".
Deletion guidelines for administrators
Administrators should mostly use the Wikipedia:Proposed deletion, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, and Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion pages when they think a page should be deleted. There are a few limited exceptions, which are given at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion.

Tɛmplet:Main category

Article size
discusses the optimal size for articles.
Be bold
Wikis develop faster when people fix problems, correct grammar, add facts, make sure the language is precise, and so on. We expect everyone to be bold. It is okay.
Resolving the conflicts that arise when a single term is ambiguous—when it refers to more than one topic covered by Wikipedia.
Technical articles
Strive to make each part of every article as understandable as possible to the widest audience of readers.
Categories, lists, and navigation templates
This guideline helps editors choose appropriate grouping techniques.
Categorization guidelines
Categorization. Categorization of people including by year or by ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality. Redirect categories. User categories.
Overcategorization makes categories more crowded and less useful.
Reviewing good articles
Provides advice on how to fairly review good articles.
Creation of subpages in main namespace is not allowed. Subpages may be created in other namespaces using the slash (/) character.

Other editing guidelines

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Copying within Wikipedia and Wikimedia
When copying content from one article to another, at a minimum provide attribution and a link back to the source page in the edit summary at the destination page.
Hatnote use
Hatnotes are short notes placed at the top of an article or section, and provide links to a possibly sought article, or to a disambiguation page.
High-risk templates protection
High-risk templates and Lua modules may be fully protected or template protected. Edits to such pages should be infrequent.
Page blanking
Don't blank articles; instead, request deletion.
Preparing images for upload
When uploading image files to Wikipedia or, preferably, to the Wikimedia Commons, it is important to use the right file format for the content.
Recent years
This guideline is intended for recent year articles.
Red links
Red links for subjects that should have articles, but do not, are not only acceptable, but needed.
Reference desk guidelines and Reference desk guidelines: medical advice
Keep the Five pillars in mind when responding on the reference desk, and try to make it useful for our readers, and a benefit to Wikipedia.
Substitution use
Certain templates should be substituted, while others should be transcluded.
Summary style
Sections of long articles should be spun off into their own articles, leaving summaries in their place.
Updating articles and "as of" technique
Guidelines on updating time-sensitive articles.
Version 1.0 Editorial Team assessment
Assessment of articles by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Miscellaneous editing guidelines
Broad concept articles. Recent year articles. Stubs. Set index articles. Redirects and Soft redirects.

Naming conventions

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Article titles
The main page for naming conventions for article titles. Also has links to topic-specific conventions on article titles.
Category names
Category names should be specific, neutral, inclusive, and follow certain conventions.
File names
Image files, and other files, should have readable file names.

Other naming conventions

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Naming conventions (acronyms)
Acronyms should be used in a page name if the subject is known primarily by its abbreviation, and that abbreviation is primarily associated with the subject.
Naming conventions (capitalization)
Always lowercase any words following the first in an article title, unless they are part of a proper noun.
Naming conventions (country-specific topics)
In general, country-specific articles should be named using the form: "(Item) of (Country)".
Naming conventions (definite or indefinite article at beginning of name)
There are some situations where they are warranted, but many where they are not.
Naming conventions (events)
These apply to events and incidents, such as military conflicts, terrorist attacks, transportation accidents, natural disasters, and the like.
Naming conventions (geographic names)
Conventions for determining the titles of Wikipedia articles on places, and for the use of place names in Wikipedia articles.
Naming conventions (numbers and dates)
How numbers and dates are represented in article titles.
Naming conventions (long lists)
Long stand-alone list articles are split into subsequent pages (alphabetically, numerically, or subtopically), to adhere to the Wikipedia guidelines on article size.
Naming conventions (people)
Contains conventions on how to name Wikipedia articles about individual people.
Naming conventions (plurals)
In general, Wikipedia articles have singular titles; for example, the article on everyone's favorite canine is located at dog, not dogs.
Naming conventions (technical restrictions)
Technical restrictions with article titles, category names, file names, and other page names.
Naming conventions (use English)
The title of an article should generally use the version of the name of the subject that is most common in the English language, as found in reliable sources. This makes it easy to find, and easy to compare information with other sources.
Miscellaneous naming conventions
Aircraft. Ancient Romans. Armenian. Astronomical objects. Australian roads. Baseball players. Belgium: castle, country house, château and kasteel. Belgium: alternate language names. Books. Broadcasting. Brussels. Burmese. Chemistry. Chinese. Clergy. College football. Comics. Companies. Ethnicities and tribes. Fauna. Films. Flora. Geographic names. Government and legislation. Greek. Hebrew. Ice hockey. Indic. Irish categories. Korean. Languages. Law enforcement agency categories. Latter Day Saints. Macedonia. Manuscripts. Mining. Mongolian. Music. New Zealand. Norse mythology. Operas. Political parties. Royalty and nobility. Ships. Sports teams. Sportspeople. Stations in Poland. Swiss municipalities. Television. Tibetan. UK Parliament constituencies. UK stations. US state and territory highways. Video games. West Bank. Writing systems.
Only subjects that have received significant outside attention warrant being included on Wikipedia.
Other notability guidelines
Academics. Astronomical objects. Books. Events. Films. Geographic features. Music. Numbers. Organizations and companies. People. Sports. Video games. Web.
Manual of Style
This is the most important style guideline, and the "parent" of all the other style guidelines. It provides guidance on matters such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and formatting.
Dates and numbers
Consistent standards in the use and formatting of dates and numbers make articles easier to read, write, and edit.
Common principles guide formatting of large-scale article components in most cases. Complicated articles may be best modeled on the layout of an existing article of appropriate structure.
Lead section
The lead should define the topic and summarize the body of the article with appropriate weight.
Provide links that aid navigation and understanding, but avoid cluttering the page with obvious, redundant and useless links.
Words to watch
Be cautious with expressions that may introduce bias or can be interpreted in more than one way. Use clear, direct language.
Make Wikipedia pages easy to navigate and read for those with accessibility limitations.

Other style guidelines

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Other formatting and layout style guides
Abbreviations. Capital letters. Pronunciation. Proper names. Spelling. Text formatting. Titles. Tables. Trivia sections.
Style guidelines for images
Images. Captions. Icons.
List style guidelines
Lists. Embedded lists. Lists of works. Road junction lists. Stand-alone lists.
Other content style guidelines
Biographies. Article message boxes. Disambiguation pages. Infoboxes. Self-references to avoid.
Anime- and manga-related articles. Comics. Film. Lyrics and poetry. Novels. Philosophy. Television. Visual arts. Writing about fiction.
Music. Music samples. Record charts. Stringed instrument tunings.
Legal. Trademarks.
Canada. China. France. Hawaii. India. Ireland. Japan. Korea. Philippines. Poland. Singapore. Trinidad and Tobago.
Islam-related articles. Latter Day Saints.
WikiProject Computer science. Computing. Chemistry. Mathematics. Medicine-related articles. Taxobox template.
Cue sports. Snooker.

Other guideline categories

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Related essays

Tɛmplet:Wikipedia principles

Tɛmplet:Wikipedia directories