Request Permission to Use Another's Materials — Letter-Writing Tutorial


If you plan to use another's published or unpublished materials to produce another document, you must request permission from the copyright holder.<br>To make it easy for the person to respond to your request, consider the following: 1) Either include a form for the person to sign and return, or send the letter in duplicate (with an approval space provided) so the person can keep one copy and return the other; 2) Include a self-addressed stamped envelope.


1. Briefly describe your project and explain why you are requesting permission to use some of the reader's material in it.


  • I am writing a textbook on acoustic phonetics to be published by<br />Doe Publishers next year. This letter is to request permission to include three of the illustrative spectrograms that you showed in your Paris conference presentation in my second chapter.
  • I am writing to request permission to use the sales projection graph shown in your July report in my company's newsletter.
  • We are preparing a text on dairy manufacturing in the nineties. Because your article in the December dairy magazine addresses a specific aspect of mastitis, we would like permission to include it in the text.
  • I am preparing a motivational video for our sales people and request permission to include the personal story you told about your grandfather in your speech last Friday.
  • I am preparing a brochure for prospective parents who visit my office. May I have permission to use a portion of the article you published on page A-3 of the Sentinel on Friday, June 3?
  • We are publishing a directory of "Speeches of the Year," and would like to use a quotation from you on the cover. May we use the final statement in your commencement address: "Strive to do well the work of the world"?
  • As a scout preparing a leadership course, I request permission to use the following sections from your book in my manual:


  • am preparing a presentation on
  • am writing a
  • am requesting permission to
  • am preparing materials for
  • am compiling a
  • am seeking your permission to
  • are publishing a
  • are preparing a text on
  • are planning a broadcast of
  • are planning to present
  • ask your permission to
  • for distribution to
  • may we use
  • permission to use a portion of
  • permission to include
  • plan to perform your
  • request permission to
  • to be published by
  • would like to use
  • would like to have your permission to

2. Give exact descriptions of the materials to be used, including page numbers, lines or paragraphs, titles, labels, or first and last phrases of excerpted material.


  • The spectrograms that I have in mind are labeled examples four, five, and six, and are found on pages 20 and 24 of the conference proceedings.
  • I am enclosing a copy of that graph as it appears on page three of your report.
  • The part I would like to use begins at the third paragraph with the words "Although many husbands are..." and ends with the fifth paragraph and the words"...receive full satisfaction."
  • I have enclosed my version of the story as it would be told in the video.
  • I would use section one of Chapter five, with the exclusion of the last paragraph.


  • a three-minute clip of
  • adapted for children
  • am enclosing a copy of
  • are found on pages
  • are labeled as follows
  • begins on page
  • exactly as it stands
  • from the notes I took
  • have simplified the text for
  • have marked the portions that
  • my recollection of what you said
  • need to adapt the language for
  • play the entire first movement
  • so you can check it for accuracy
  • starting on line
  • the part I would like to use
  • the enclosed paraphrase of
  • the second edition
  • the entire chapter on
  • the part I have in mind is
  • the entire chapter, except
  • the work in its entirety
  • will include the section on
  • will purchase the scripts from
  • with the exclusion of
  • with the following modifications
  • would like to quote from

3. Explain how you envision your work being published or used.


  • Doe Press will publish the text sometime next spring, and it will be available for use in advanced college and university courses nationwide.
  • The newsletter will appear in September and will be distributed to over 500 managers and salespeople in the Kansas area.
  • We will give a copy of the brochure to every patient who visits my office.
  • Our trainers will use the video to orient new graduates joining our sales force.
  • The University will send the directory to all alumni and other subscribers to our alumni magazine.
  • We also plan to translate the magazine into Spanish for use in our California offices.


  • as a resource for
  • as an introduction to
  • at a community concert
  • by our church's youth group
  • by the school drama club
  • edition for nonnative students
  • educational materials for
  • in our magazine
  • in a training video for
  • in a textbook on
  • is a nonprofit organization
  • no admission charge
  • our local community theater
  • quoted in a speech at
  • the circulation is anticipated to be
  • used in classroom teaching
  • will give it to
  • will be performed on
  • will be translated into
  • will send it to
  • will present it as an example of
  • will use the material to
  • will distribute it to
  • will appear in
  • will be available for use in
  • will be open to the public
  • will cite it in
  • will publish it by

4. State exactly what the credit or permission line will say, so the person can approve it or make suggestions.


  • Your name and the title of your speech will appear under the quotation as shown below:<br />Quoted from Professor John Doe's "Trends in Advertising."
  • Both your name and the name of your magazine will appear on the credit page as follows:<br />Used by permission of Jane Doe. "Pharmaceutical Magazine."
  • With your approval, we will include the following credit line: Courtesy of John Doe.
  • Under the title we will add "Reprinted by permission.."
  • Unless you prefer otherwise, I will use the following credit line: Reprint courtesy of John Doe.
  • With your approval we will include the following credit: Reprinted by permission. From Agriculture Today, by H. Doe, September, 2001.


  • a copy of your byline
  • as it appeared in the original
  • for all work cited
  • in the bibliography
  • in standard citation format
  • in the footnotes
  • on the credits page
  • reprinted by permission
  • reprinted courtesy of
  • the following acknowledgment
  • title of your
  • unless you prefer otherwise
  • used with permission
  • will naturally be acknowledged
  • will include the
  • will give credit for
  • will appear as follows
  • with your approval

5. Express appreciation and, if appropriate, offer to share a copy of your finished work.


  • I will sincerely appreciate your permission to use the illustrations, and will be happy to send you a copy of the published book. For your convenience I have included two copies of this letter. Please sign one and return it in the self-addressed envelope.
  • For your convenience, I have enclosed a permission form and a copy of this letter. Please fill out the form and return it in the self-addressed envelope, and keep the copy of the letter for your records. I will send you a copy of the complete work as soon as it is published.
  • Thank you for your kindness in allowing us to use this material.<br />Such statistics will be very useful for our trainers. You will receive a copy of the newsletter that contains your analysis.
  • If you grant permission for this use, please sign the bottom of one copy of the letter in the space provided and return it in the self-addressed envelope. We will include a permission line that reads, "Reprinted by courtesy of John Doe." Thank you for this consideration.
  • I am anxious to receive your permission. Please indicate on the space provided at the end this letter whether I can use your material. A self-addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience.


  • am eager to receive
  • am eager to proceed with
  • appreciate your
  • as soon as it is published
  • believe the finished work will be
  • for your convenience
  • have enclosed a copy of
  • if you grant permission for
  • in the enclosed envelope
  • please indicate in the space provided
  • please sign the permission form
  • please sign one copy of
  • return it in the self-addressed, stamped envelope
  • will be happy to send you
  • will sincerely appreciate
  • will be very useful to our
  • will receive a copy of
  • will be a great asset to
  • work is extremely relevant to

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