Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines

Wikipedia's policies and guidelines are developed by the community to describe best practices, clarify principles, resolve conflicts, and otherwise further our goal of creating a free, reliable encyclopedia. There is no need to read any policy or guideline pages to start editing. The five pillars are a popular summary of the most pertinent principles.

Although Wikipedia generally does not have hard-and-fast rules, policies and guidelines are standards all users should normally follow, with guidelines providing guidance in specific contexts. Policies and guidelines should be applied using reason and common sense. Technically, the policy and guideline pages are not the policy and guidelines in it of themselves. The actual policies and guidelines are behaviors practiced by most editors.

This policy page specifies the community standards related to the organization, life cycle, maintenance of, and adherence to policies, guidelines, and related pages of the English Wikipedia. It does not cover other editions of Wikipedia.

(See Wikipedia:List of policies and Wikipedia:List of guidelines for a comprehensive listing of individual English Wikipedia policies and guidelines.)

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