Answered By: Elyse Wolf
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2019     Views: 386

The proper way to cite content like this can vary by department, course, or instructor, so always be sure to check with your professor about how they would like you to cite resources from your course. The three official handbooks for the documentation styles used most frequently here at SNHU—MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style—do not clearly cover citing this type of source.

APA Style

NOTE: The American Psychological Association recently released a 7th edition to APA Style. The information below is still following the 6th edition.

There is not an official way to cite an online course in APA style because a course is not retrievable. When you reference a source, the expectation is that your reader can go back to that source at any time to verify it exists. You cannot do that with online course materials.  Please provide basic information (as you would a Website) and check with your professor if he or she would like you to include additional information such as module or course number information.

Last, F. (Year, Month Day). Title of the page. Southern New Hampshire University.  Accessed from (insert hyperlink here).

Whitford, D. (2006). A brief history of painting. Southern New Hampshire University. Accessed from

Southern New Hampshire University. (n.d.). Overview: History and Heritage. Southern New Hampshire University.  Accessed from

If you do not see an author, you can use Southern New Hampshire University as the group author.  If you do not see a date, you can use (n.d.).  The title of the page/lecture will be in italics.  Since only those with access to the SNHU learning management system have access to the link, you will use Accessed from rather than Retrieved from to indicate that the source is not available to everyone. 

MLA style

MLA provides some guidelines on how to handle this in this post at the MLA Style Center:  How do I cite a book chapter or handout that my professor uploaded to a Web site?

Lastname, Firstname. Title of the handout or “book chapter.” Title of the Website (container), URL. 

Levine, Caroline. “Hierarchy.” Brightspace,

Southern New Hampshire University. French verb conjugations. Brightspace,

Chicago Style

Course materials should generally not be used as a source for assignments. Try and find another source which makes a similar point to your course materials instead of using it as a source.


First name Surname, “Title of source,” Course Code Brightspace at University name, Access Month Day Year, URL

Southern New Hampshire University, “Overview: History and Heritage,” HIS-100 Brightspace at Southern New Hampshire University, Accessed March 27, 2019,


Surname, First name. “Title of source.” Course Code Brightspace at University name. Access Month Day Year. URL

Southern New Hampshire University. “Overview: History and Heritage.” HIS-100 Brightspace at Southern New Hampshire University. Accessed March 27, 2019.

More Help

For more personalized help with crafting citations, contact the Wolak Learning Center at 603.645.9606 (Campus Students) or the Online Writing Center at 866.721.1662 (Online Students). You can schedule a 1:1 appointment with a writing coach at the SNHU Academic Support scheduling page.

Content authored by: GS

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