1. John Smith
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    John Smith New Member

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    Does this require permission to use in a writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by John Smith, Nov 1, 2013.

    I'm hoping to reference this chart...

    [​IMG]

    ...from the Office of National Statistics in a book I'm trying to write, I'm unsure of whether I need to do this for this particular source, whether I even had permission to do so, or how it would be referenced? I don't suppose anyone knows where this could be explained to me? I'm clueless about referencing in general, so I'm a bit out of my element. :oops:

    At the moment I'm trying to make as much of what I'm talking about my own opinion, since I've never been taught how to properly go about writing non-fiction, I've just leaped into it and started writing, I'm having visions of completing it and finding out I'm accused of not backing up my statements, that sort of thing.
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If it's from a public sector resource, you can use it but cite the source.

    A good basic rule of thumb is to reference everything that is not your own. Check the Chicago Manual of Style for some specifics.

    As far as making as much as possible about your own opinion, it's hard to comment without knowing what you are working on - a white paper, an advocacy piece, a news article, an op-ed piece - but I would generally argue that such is not the best approach. For one thing, who are you that your opinion would matter to anyone else? Why should they bother to read it? Why should they be swayed by it?

    The very best opinion pieces are those that present the facts and lead the reader in the direction you want them to go (but be careful to also acknowledge what the lawyers call "bad facts" - the ones that don't support your opinion - and show why the supporting facts are more compelling.

    You say you've never been taught how to properly write nonfiction? How much quality nonfiction have you read? The New York Times? The Wall Street Journal? The Economist? Le Monde? These are the publications where serious opinion-makers ply their craft. If your exposure had been limited to USA Today (aka Useless Today), you have some catching up to do.

    Good luck.
     
  3. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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