- Wikipedia is an encyclopedia incorporating elements of general encyclopedias, specialized encyclopedias, and almanacs. Wikipedia is not a collection of primary source documents, a soapbox, a newspaper, a free host, a webspace provider, a series of vanity articles, a memorial collection, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, or a grouping of links (whether internal or external). It is also not the place to insert your own opinions, experiences, or arguments. All editors must follow our no original research policy.
- Wikipedia uses the "neutral point-of-view", which means we must write from a neutral, accurate standpoint. Citing verifiable, authoritative sources greatly aids in this, especially on controversial topics, and makes an article much more credible. When a conflict arises as to which version is the most neutral, declare a cool-down period and tag the article as disputed; hammer out details on the talk page and follow dispute resolution.
- Wikipedia is free-content: Wikipedia is free-content, licensed under the GFDL, and may be freely distributed and linked. Recognize that articles are owned by the community at large and not by a single person or group so that any writing you contribute can be mercilessly edited and redistributed at will by the community. Do not submit copyrighted work without permission.
- Wikipedia follows the writers' rules of engagement: Respect your fellow Wikipedians even when you may not agree with them. Be civil. Avoid making personal attacks or sweeping generalizations. Stay cool when the editing gets hot; avoid lame edit wars by following the three-revert rule; remember that there are 1,074,089 articles on the English Wikipedia to work on and discuss. Act in good faith by never disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate a point, and assume the same of others in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary. Don't use sockpuppets to do wrong or circumvent policy. Be open, welcoming, and inclusive.
- Wikipedia doesn't have firm rules besides the four general principles elucidated above. Be bold in editing, moving, and modifying articles, because the joy of editing is that perfection isn't required.