How to Cite ChatGPT and Other AI

June 28th, 2023

Image of bulldog in the style of Van Gogh made using Bing Image Creator
Image created using Bing Creator (AI)

Depending on your class, you may need to use and cite tools like ChatGPT and other AI. One thing you'll notice if you have to use more than one style for different subjects is that just like there are different uses for AI, there are different citations depending on the use and different times when it is acceptable or unacceptable. 

APA 7th Edition

Here's how to approach it when working with APA style according to this post on the APA Style blog:

  • Unfortunately, the results of a ChatGPT “chat” are not retrievable by other readers, and although nonretrievable data or quotations in APA Style papers are usually cited as personal communications, with ChatGPT-generated text there is no person communicating.
  • Quoting ChatGPT’s text from a chat session is therefore more like sharing an algorithm’s output; thus, credit the author of the algorithm with a reference list entry and the corresponding in-text citation.
  • See the full APA explanation here 

Chicago 17th Edition

According to Chicago, you can cite ChatGPT in a footnote with the prompt either in the body of the text or included in the footnote itself. You do not need to include it in your bibliography or reference list. See the full Chicago explanation here.

MLA 9th Edition

According to this post by the MLA, 

  • cite a generative AI tool whenever you paraphrase, quote, or incorporate into your own work any content (whether text, image, data, or other) that was created by it 
  • acknowledge all functional uses of the tool (like editing your prose or translating words) in a note, your text, or another suitable location 
  • take care to vet the secondary sources it cites


There's a lot to these citations, and your professors may ask you to do something different. Always be sure to check with them before using ChatGPT or something similar for an assignment. Like everything else with ChatGPT and generative AI things are changing all the time. We'll do our best to keep you informed of the latest updates. 


As always, if you have any questions, ask the library!



Call: 401-232-6299

Text: 401-595-7306


Information current as of 6/28/23




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