Author Topic: Can some one please help me out with some advice?  (Read 2159 times)

Zoe

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Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« on: January 13, 2007, 05:04:33 AM »
Hi,

 yestarday i posted 2 mails one with some questions about the research rules, another requesting some critique on an artikel on setting goals, at the risk of feeling discouraged if no one responds to this, may i ask again for advice, when using quoted quotes, do i have to name the source?

thanks,
Zoe
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 03:50:30 PM by Zoe »

Lin

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007, 05:53:13 AM »
To be quite honest I dont think it matters too much - you are the author and you can write whatever you like.    You must do as much research as possible for non-fiction and use your own words as a means of expressing what you wish to say.

Provided that the information is absolutely correct and you can check this from many other sources then put it all together, using your own words without too much in the way of plagiarsm and away you go.   I mean fact is fact and fiction is a means of literary licence to say what you want provided it isnt directly copied from another author and I cant say that this doesnt happen either!  If you do use a quote you really must acknowledge the writer.

I suggest if it was me doing a spot of nature writing for example.   I would be writing about birds and their habitat.  First of all I would research the bird and its habits and check with many different sources to ensure I got the balance and facts correct, and then I would, in my own words, write as much as I could about what I had learned from the research.   I would go and meet the guys from the RSPB and spend a day with them finding out as much as I could - making notes and getting a feel for this particular species, how its sings, its plumage and its habitat and put into the text any conflict which came about as a result of my research.  Its quite exciting doing this and  makes you feel important.   Its often best to get out there in the field and find out for yourself then you have got the right words coming from you and not from somewhere else - this is your book!!  Using words from another source can be a bit stale depending on what you are writing about - make it refreshing and fun to read - part of your personality and style.

I mean I want to make this book my own and so I could be proud of myself for using my words, my feelings and my own research.

I hope this answers your question - I wasnt too sure if this is what you meant but I hope it helps

All the best

Lin
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« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 06:01:02 AM by Lin Treadgold »

Zoe

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2007, 05:57:13 AM »
Thanks alot Lin.
That helped ALOT :)

Lin

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2007, 06:03:17 AM »
That's fine but I think you ought to read it again as I modified it a little after you read it.

Lin
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Offline Nick

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2007, 06:05:04 AM »
I agree with Lin, basically. But I would add that you are only committing a breach of copyright if you copy another author word for word. There is no copyright on ideas.

And yes, if you want to quote another writer, it is generally OK to do so as long as you credit them appropriately and the quote is not too long. This is a bit of a grey area in copyright law, but the "fair use" exemption which is included in most countries' copyright laws normally allows you to quote short extracts from another author's work if it is for the purpose of "scholarship or review" (or possibly other purposes too). The following Wikipedia article explains this in a bit more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

Hope that helps!

Nick

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N.Mott

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007, 06:15:13 AM »
Quote
Can one research different sources to get more content for a non-fiction book? What is allowed? rephrasing sentences from different sources but with my own original train of thought? When using quoted quotes, do i have to name the source?

I remember researching for my thesis and quoting every sourse under the sun to bump up my bibliogroahy at the back, so in answer to your first question, 'Yes, it is almost obligitory. The wider the range of sourses you can qwuote, the more seriously your target audience will take the work. So long as you can find a suitable quote to squeeze into the text, you can quote the referrence in your biblio.

Rephrasing is fine - again, students are expected to learn how to present conflicting research in their own words. Usually you would preface it by mentioning the original author(s) in the text.
And finally, 'Yes, you must always name the source'.
Once you have laid the groundwork in the body of your text, with quotes and referenced sources, you can come to your own conclusions at the end.

I know Nick qualified the following statement in the rest of his reply, but I would just add my own qualification:
Quote
But I would add that you are only committing a breach of copyright if you copy another author word for word.
 
And fail to include the attribution/reference to the original author and his work.

Check the library for text books on 'thesis structure' for tips on referencing non-fiction texts.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 06:22:12 AM by NaomiM »

Zoe

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007, 07:06:48 AM »
 Thanks everyone!

the balls really rolling - i can carry on with writing my book on setting and achieving goals with no excuse or hurdle.

P/S i am still soliciting honest reviews for the skeleton of the book in the review forum, all feedback highly appreciated.
Zoe

Offline Jillanne Nehls

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Re: Can some one please help me out with some advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007, 11:41:32 AM »
Hi Zoe,

When writing non-fiction, not knowing what your subject matter is, do you consider yourself an expert in that field? If so, what makes you an expert? Non fiction is harder to place than fiction is.

You can do all the research you want; just never use word for word from your sources. If you do, you must have a bibliography of what those sources were, which by the way, would lend more credibility to your book. Publishers don't take kindly to nonfiction that is written by writers who just write about the subject off the top of their heads with no sources or expertise.

Now, I'm going to find your subs on here somewhere to give advice on those. Please let me know if I can help further.

Smiles,
Jillanne - Moderator
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