Sample request letter to quote a material


  1. If you intend to use other people's published or unpublished works in writing another paper, you must ask permission from the copyright holder. To make it easier for the person to reply to your inquiry, you must take into consideration the following: 1. You may opt to add a form for the person to sign and send back, or either send a duplicate letter with an approval space provided) so the reader can hold one copy and send back the other. 2. Also, add a self-address stamped envelope.
  2. Concisely explain the details of your project and tell the copyright owner why you need to use some parts of his or her material.
  3. Provide the exact particulars of the materials you will use, especially the page numbers, lines or paragraphs, title, labels or first and last sentences of the content.
  4. Describe how you see your work to be published or used.
  5. Exactly discuss what the credit or permission line will be written, so he or she can approve or make other instructions.
  6. Express your gratitude, and if possible, give him or her a copy of your finished material.


[Senders Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

I'm the editor-in-chief of an architectural magazine named Buildings Today. I am presently reviewing articles for next month's publication. One article I am reviewing has a quotation from one of your books. If you give us permission to include your reference, it will start from the second paragraph on page 16 with the words: "Some architectural..." up to the third paragraph on page 18 that ends with the words "... for people-friendly designs."

Attached is a photocopy of the article above, which we will be publishing once we receive your permission to print your quotation. We are hoping to have your response by March 15. I will be more than willing to mail one copy of the magazine where your reference appears.

I am hoping to hear from you very soon.


[Senders Name]
[Senders Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] - Optional -
cc: [Name of copy recipient] - Optional -