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Citing Sources

How to cite sources in different formats

Citing AI

You will find guidelines below for citing AI sources (such as ChatGPT). Always defer to your professor's instructions on the use of AI in your research.


From How to Cite ChatGPT from 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.


OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].

  • Parenthetical citation: (OpenAI, 2023)
  • Narrative citation: OpenAI (2023)

Breaking it down:

Author: The author of the model is OpenAI.

Date: The date is the year of the version you used. You need to include only the year, not the exact date. The version number provides the specific date information a reader might need.

Title: The name of the model is “ChatGPT,” so that serves as the title and is italicized in your reference, as shown in the template. Although OpenAI labels unique iterations (i.e., ChatGPT-3, ChatGPT-4), they are using “ChatGPT” as the general name of the model, with updates identified with version numbers.

The version number is included after the title in parentheses. The format for the version number in ChatGPT references includes the date because that is how OpenAI is labeling the versions. Different large language models or software might use different version numbering; use the version number in the format the author or publisher provides, which may be a numbering system (e.g., Version 2.0) or other methods.

Bracketed text is used in references for additional descriptions when they are needed to help a reader understand what’s being cited. References for a number of common sources, such as journal articles and books, do not include bracketed descriptions, but things outside of the typical peer-reviewed system often do. In the case of a reference for ChatGPT, provide the descriptor “Large language model” in square brackets. OpenAI describes ChatGPT-4 as a “large multimodal model,” so that description may be provided instead if you are using ChatGPT-4. Later versions and software or models from other companies may need different descriptions, based on how the publishers describe the model. The goal of the bracketed text is to briefly describe the kind of model to your reader.

Source: When the publisher name and the author name are the same, do not repeat the publisher name in the source element of the reference, and move directly to the URL. This is the case for ChatGPT. The URL for ChatGPT is For other models or products for which you may create a reference, use the URL that links as directly as possible to the source (i.e., the page where you can access the model, not the publisher’s homepage).


From The Chicago Manual of Style Online's Q&A:

Author, Publisher or Sponsor, Date the text was generated, URL to the AI tool used.


1. Text generated by ChatGPT, OpenAI, March 7, 2023,

ChatGPT stands in as “author” of the content, and OpenAI (the company that developed ChatGPT) is the publisher or sponsor, followed by the date the text was generated. After that, the URL tells us where the ChatGPT tool may be found, but because readers can’t necessarily get to the cited content (see below), that URL isn’t an essential element of the citation.

In text parenthetical references should be cited like:

(ChatGPT, March 7, 2023)

(Author, Date Accessed)


From How do I cite generative AI in MLA style?:

You should

  • 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 

Format of a Works-Cited-List Entry:

"Summary description of the prompt." Title of Container, Version, Publisher, Date, Location.


“In 200 words, describe the symbolism of the green light in The Great Gatsby” prompt. ChatGPT, 13 Feb. version, OpenAI, 8 Mar. 2023,

In-Text Citation:

("Brief reference to the summary description")

For Example:

("In 200 words")



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