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Distance Education Resources: Cite Your Sources

This guide serves as a resource for distance education students.

Cite your Sources

A summary for Citing Sources contains brief, general examples without referencing specific styles.
A recommended online source to various style guides is The Purdue OWL.
A print copy of Cite Right; A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions and More" is available in the Library in the Reference collection: Ref PN 171 .F56 L55 2011.

RefWorks, an online research management tool, is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store, and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Material found in our electronic databases, online catalog, even internet resources can be imported into RefWorks to create correctly formatted bibliographies in more than 1500 citation styles. To create your RefWorks account, access RefWorks here

To learn how to use RefWorks, watch these video tutorials: Create your RefWorks Account and Add Sources to your RefWorks Account.


From the numerous style guides, the following selections are recommended to assist you with citing sources when you have a research paper or project that requires source documentation.

APA (American Psychological Association)

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 7th ed.  REF BF 76.7 .P83 2020

The APA offers free tutorials for “Introducing the Basics of Seventh Edition APA Style tutorial” and “What’s new in the seventh edition Publication Manual”.  

MLA (Modern Language Association)

MLA Handbook 8th ed.  REF LB 2369 .M52 2016

Chicago/ Turabian

The Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed.   Z 253 .U69 2017

A useful online guide to the 17th ed. of the Chicago Style is available from the University of Chicago Press, provides guidelines for general studies.

Turabian is based upon the Chicago Style, and it provides guidelines for specific research, dissertations, and theses.

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertation: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers,  9th ed.  by Kate Turabian  REF LB 2369 .T8 2018

Public Domain

Some materials are in the public domain, which means the intellectual property is not owned or controlled by any person or entity. Materials in the public domain can be used freely, although they may need to be properly cited. Determining copyright terms and what is in the public domain can be difficult; this site is an informational starting point.

Copyright Term and Public Domain This chart, developed by Peter B. Hirtle and maintained at the Cornell Copyright Information Center at Cornell University, lists copyright terms of various types of published and unpublished works, with dates those works fall into the public domain.

The Copyright Genie This tool can help users determine if a work is protected by copyright and by what terms.

Fair Use

Fair use allows users of copyrighted works the right to exercise without permission some of the rights normally reserved for copyright owners. This concept is used as a defense in a court of law. Determining what might be considered a fair use in court can be an uncertain process, but these tools can assist you in assessing your use of a copyrighted work.

Fair Use Evaluator Developed by Michael Brewer in cooperation with the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, this interactive tool can help assist in evaluating whether or not use of a copyrighted work could be considered a fair use under U.S. Copyright Law.

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