GUIDELINES

  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 If you intend to use other people's published or unpublished works in writing another paper, you must ask permission from the copyright holder.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.

SAMPLE LETTER

[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.

Sincerely,

[Senders Name]
[Senders Title] -Optional-

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

Sample request letter to quote a material.

Further things to consider when writing request letters to authors

Request Letters

Request letters are letters written to ask formally or politely for something. Any matter that requires a humble and polite appeal can be put forward using a request letter. It could be a job interview, a promotion, or a favor; a request letter will get the job done. A request letter can be formal or informal depending on the recipient. If you are requesting a friend to do a task for you, for instance, you can choose to go informal. But if you are requesting your manager for a promotion, the letter has to be formal. Either way, a request letter must be sent early enough to give the recipient ample time to process and respond to the request.

When writing request letters, you need to be brief and direct, avoiding any auxiliary information that might weaken the message you are conveying. State exactly and clearly what you are requesting for giving reasons for it. If you are requesting for a raise, for example, explain in details why you think you deserve one. Maintain a polite tone throughout the letter. Close the letter by thanking the recipient in advance and expressing your anticipation for his/her consideration.

Letters to Authors

Letters to authors are letters written to writers of books, reports, or articles. Such letters are used to express appreciation of the authors' work and to motivate them to produce even better pieces. In rare cases, letters to authors may be used to point out mistakes in their work. A letter to the author can be of great help to the recipient in that it could help him/her know whether his/her piece is reaching the intended audience. It could also be a great opportunity for the author to learn and understand what he/she needs to do to produce a masterpiece.

Letters to authors can be formal or informal depending on the relationship you share with the recipient. If the recipient is a person you have never met, for example, use a professional and formal tone. On the other hand, if you know your recipient on a personal level, you may choose to go casual. Regardless, your letter should be brief and should only carry the intended message. Keep it classy and avoid making mean comments. Be specific and know exactly what you are talking about. If you feel that the recipient needs to improve, offer improvement suggestions. Close positively.

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