Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Quotations

A non-fiction writer often need to find experts to quote in their articles. So how does a new writer get quotes? If I'm writing an article for instance on ear infections, do I call my own doctor and get his\her quote so I have a professional? Do I call the University and talk to the medical staff?

When approaching experts you want to make them as comfortable as possible.
  • Tell them who you are
  • Where you got their name
  • What you are doing

Outline the questions you want answered. Ask them if they have any other comments, and be sure to thank them for their time. You should also ask for their titles and association \ organization name so you'll be able to credit them properly.
Megasources for finding experts to quote

Websites where you can get in touch with experts to quote:
Ryerson University:

Typing Find experts in the search box brought a page full of resource links. The Faculty Experts link brings you here,

Finding Answers, by Ryerson University Emeritus Professor, Dean Tudor,, provides online resources to an enormous variety of pertinent topics, as well as links to publications.

American Society of Association Executives ("ASAE"), may bring a "Oh, no sorry ..." message, but don't be dismayed. Click on the provided search to be whisked to,

Click Publications and Resources (top tab.) It will take you to directories of associations, including those that are online. Very useful for contacting sources for articles.

The Yearbook of Experts is available at, Want to find a topic to write about? Click Find Experts (provides experts by topic) then select your topic. You can also search by Participant, and Geography. Ideas are limitless! Read About Us, Site Map brings opportunities to choose your preference to Join.

ProfNet, which you're bound to read about, is a source -- for professionals only. It enables journalists to ask a group of academic, business contacts and other experts for comments on virtually any subject. ProfNet does not welcome queries from amatuers or students,
A Journalist's Guide at Robert site is a great place that will help writers and non-writers alike to find information and data (such as US Census),
Statistics can sometimes tell you as much as your human sources. Start at, Be sure to scroll down to Finding Data on the Internet.
Use this resource to search out published works, Online Books Page, Tip: When you're searching for an author remember that spaces don't count in two-name surnames, like "Van [xx]. Example: Vanek will appear AFTER all those two-word names.
Xpress Press News Service hosts a e-mail free service, Press Query, for reporters looking for public relations professionals, information officers, authors and expert sources, Click For Journalists and Subscribe (it's free.) Queries are sent within a few hours of receipt during business hours (9 - 6 EST). Follow the directions at the site to send your request.
Ask An Expert Sources offers useful, catergorized links,
One of the newer resources is HARO (Help A Reporter Out), Read about it at, And scroll to the bottom for useful, current links.
Rebeca, a member of Internet Writing Workshop,, explained, 
"It's a tool for publicists to get in touch with reporters who have specific story queries. But if you're a freelance writer who needs sources for a story, you can post your query and be flooded by publicists' emails. HARO operates in the same way as PROFNET, but it's more user-friendly."
Now, get started ~~ develop your topic and get expert quotes!

Excerpted from Chapter 5 - Copyrights, Previously Published Works,and Using Quotations:

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