Wikipedia:Simplified Manual of Style

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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.

Capital letters[edit]

Use sentence case for article titles and section headings – Tips and pointers, not Tips and Pointers. read more ...
Picture captions should also be in sentence case. read more ...

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. read more ...

Avoid capitalizing names of plants and animals. Among the exceptions are scientific names (Felis catus), birds, and proper nouns occurring as part of a name. read more ...

The seasons (summer, winter, spring, and fall/autumn) are not to be capitalized. read more ...

Abbreviations[edit]

To indicate approximately, the non-italicized abbreviation c. (followed by a space) is preferred over circa, ca., or approx. read more ...

Write US or U.S., but not USA. read more ...

Use "and" instead of the "&" sign, except in official names like AT&T. read more ...

Punctuation[edit]

Apostrophes and quotation marks[edit]

Use straight quote marks " and apostrophes ' as available from the keyboard, and not alternatives such as “ ” and ‘ ’. read more ...

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. read more ...

Both James' house and James's house are correct. read more ...

Periods and commas[edit]

Place a period or a comma before a closing quotation mark if it belongs as part of the quoted material; otherwise put it after: The word carefree means "happy". But She said, "I'm feeling carefree." (Please do so irrespective of any rules associated with the variety of English in use.) read more ...

An ellipsis should be written as three separate dots (...): not spaced (. . .), and not using the single-character option (). read more ...

The serial comma (for example the comma before and in "ham, chips, and eggs") is optional; but be sensitive to possible ambiguity from thoughtless use or thoughtless avoidance. read more ...

Avoid comma splices. read more ...

Picture captions should not end in a period unless they are complete sentences. read more ...

Dashes and hyphens[edit]

Avoid using a hyphen after a standard -ly adverb (a newly available home). read more ...

A hyphen is not a dash. Hyphens are used within words or to join words, but not in punctuating the parts of a sentence. Use an en dash (–) with   before and a space after; or use an em dash (—) without spaces. See Wikipedia:How to make dashes. Avoid using two hyphens (--) to make a dash; and avoid using a hyphen for a minus sign. read more ...

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. read more ...

Dates and numbers[edit]

Write number 1 or No. 1, but not #1. Comic books are an exception. read more ...

Write 12,000 for twelve thousand, not 12.000. read more ...

Both 10 June 1921 and June 10, 1921 are correct, but be consistent within an article. A comma is not used if only the month is given, such as June 1921. read more ...

400 AD and 400 BC are correct; but so are 400 CE and 400 BCE. As always, use one style consistently in an article. read more ...

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). read more ...

Markup[edit]

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, 565 AD, 2:50 pm, £11 billion, 129 million, July 2014, 5° 24′ 21.12″ N, or Boeing 747; also after the number in 123 Fake Street, and before Roman numerals in World War II and Pope Benedict XVI. Use   in the same way inside a wikilink. (An alternative: enclose the whole expression using the template {{nowrap}}.) read more ...

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. read more ...

Use wikilinks, but only for words and phrases that are most likely to be helpful if clicked. Make sure each link goes to an article on the intended subject, and not to a disambiguation page or incorrect destination. read more ...

References[edit]

There are multiple citation styles. The most common uses <ref>...</ref> (ref tags) to create footnotes (sometimes called endnotes or notes), which will appear in the reference or endnote section. This citation should immediately follow the text to which it applies, including any punctuation (with some exceptions). read more ...

Usage[edit]

English Wikipedia prefers no major national variety of the language over any other. These varieties (e.g. U.S. English, British English) differ in vocabulary (soccer vs. football), spelling (center vs. centre), and occasionally grammar. read more ...

Avoid words like I, we, and you, except in quotations and names of works. read more ... – read more ...

Avoid phrases like note that and remember that (which assume "you" for the reader); and avoid such expressions as of course and obviously. read more ...

See also[edit]