Fair use is a legal principle that allows for limited uses of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder. Recognizing that educators, scholars, and students may have special needs to use these materials for educational purposes, fair use tries to balance out the these needs with the rights of the copyright holder in such a way as to provide for some use as long as it falls within certain guidelines. Fair use is not designed to be cut and dried; it is not a matter of copying less than 10% of a work, checking a certain number of boxes on a checklist, saying that since material is being used in the classroom it automatically falls under fair use, etc. Instead, it asks the individual contemplating use of copyrighted materials to examine and weigh four factors.
While determining whether a use fits under fair use guidelines is not a matter of simply ticking off X number of boxes on a list, working and thinking through the checklist process can be helpful in determining whether you should use an item or not. The DMU Fair Use Checklist, based on a checklist created by and made freely available by D. Buttler and K. Crews of the University of Louisville and IUPUI, helps you match the particulars of your situation to examples that would meet or oppose fair use.
So, you've weighed your situation against the four fair use factors, and realize that you'll need to get permission from the copyright holder. How should you proceed?