|This page documents an English Wikipedia behavioral guideline.|
It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
|This page in a nutshell: Don’t be hostile toward fellow editors; newcomers in particular. Remember to assume good faith and respond to problematic edits in a clear and polite manner.|
Wikipedia articles are improved through the hard work of both regular editors and newcomers. Remember: all of us were new editors at Wikipedia once, and in some ways (such as when editing an article on a topic outside our usual scope) even the most experienced among us are still newcomers.
New members are prospective contributors and are therefore Wikipedia's most valuable resource. We must treat newcomers with kindness and patience—nothing scares potentially valuable contributors away faster than hostility. It is very unlikely for a newcomer to be completely familiar with Wikipedia's markup language and its myriad of policies, guidelines, and community standards when they start editing. Even the most experienced editors may need a gentle reminder from time to time.
The first edits of many now-experienced editors were test edits, or unsourced and unencyclopedic additions to articles. Communicating with newcomers patiently and thoroughly is integral to ensure they stay on Wikipedia and ultimately contribute in a constructive manner.