|Manual of Style (MoS)|
This Simplified Manual of Style is an overview of commonly used style guidelines taken from the Wikipedia:Manual of Style and its subpages (together called the MoS). When a MoS guideline offers a choice of style, use only one alternative consistently throughout an article, and do not unreasonably alter a choice that has already been made. The MoS has too many suggestions to memorize, or even to consult regularly, but because they are based on consensual discussion, they often settle time-wasting arguments. Wikipedia has no firm rules, but these suggestions help create consistent articles. For a descriptive directory of the pages which make up the Manual of Style, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Contents.
Capitalize names of scriptures like Bible and Qur'an, but not biblical. Always capitalize God when it refers to a primary or only deity, but not pronouns that refer to deities: he not He.
Avoid capitalizing names of plants and animals. Among the exceptions are scientific names (Felis catus) and
The seasons (summer, winter, spring, and fall/autumn) and the compass points (north, southwest) are not to be capitalized.
To indicate approximately, the non-italicized abbreviation c. (followed by a space) is preferred over circa, ca., or approx.
Write US or U.S., but not USA. Use US, not U.S., in an article using UK, PRC, etc.
Use "and" instead of the "&" sign, except in tables, infoboxes, and official names like AT&T.
Apostrophes and quotation marks
Use straight quote marks " and apostrophes ' as available from the keyboard, and not alternatives such as “ ” and ‘ ’.
Italicize names of books, films, TV series, music albums, paintings, and ships—but not short works like songs or poems, which should be in quotation marks.
Write James's house, not James' house.
Periods and commas
Picture captions should not end in a full stop (a period) unless they are complete sentences.
Dashes and hyphens
Avoid using a hyphen after a standard -ly adverb (a newly available home).
A hyphen is not a
Use an en dash, not a hyphen, between numbers: pp. 14–21; 1953–2008. An en dash is also to connect parallel terms: red–green colorblind; a New York–London flight. Use spaces around the en dash only if the connected terms are multi-unit dates: January 1999 – December 2000.
Dates and numbers
Write number 1 or No. 1, but not #1. Comic books are an exception. Do not use the symbol №.
Write 12,000 for twelve thousand, not 12.000.
Both 10 June 1921 and June 10, 1921, are correct, but should be consistent within an article. A comma is not used if only the month is given, such as June 1921.
AD 400 and 400 BC are correct; but so are 400 CE and 400 BCE. As always, use one style consistently in an article.
Use one, two, three, ..., eight, nine in normal article text, not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (although there are many exceptional circumstances; and some other numbers may be written as words also).
Instead of an ordinary space, use
(a hard space or non-breaking space) to prevent a line from ending in the middle of expressions like 17 kg, AD 565, 2:50 pm, £11 billion, 129 million, September 2023, 5° 24′ 21.12″ N, or Boeing 747; also after the number in 123 Fake Street, and before
It does not matter how many spaces come after a period because extra spaces will not show, although blank lines will create one extra line.
There are multiple
English Wikipedia prefers no major national variety of the language over any other. These varieties (e.g.
Avoid words like I, we, and you, except in quotations and names of works.
Avoid phrases like note that and remember that (which assume "you" for the reader); and avoid such expressions as of course and obviously.
- Help:Introduction to the Manual of Style– a quick introduction to the style guide for articles
- Manual of Style quiz – test your Manual of Style knowledge
- Wikipedia:Styletips – a list of advice for editors on writing style and formatting in a bullet-point format
- Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Reading schedule – a reading schedule designed to assist editors in becoming familiar with Manual of Style
- Wikipedia:Tips – overview page where you can digest how to use Wikipedia in bite-sized morsels
- Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia – a page that provides information on the basics needed to edit Wikipedia
- Wikipedia:Writing better articles – guidance on how to improve articles
- Wikipedia:Dos and don'ts#Dos and don'ts pages – summaries of Wikipedia's policies, guidelines, and formatting standards in a bullet-point format
- Help:Cheatsheet – a page that provides the most commonly used wiki markup