How do I cite or reference information from generative AI tools like ChatGPT?


Please refer to the 3 formats listed below.

APA 7th Format

Based on the APA (American Psychological Association) guide:

In-text Citation

Author of the generative AI model, Year of the version used


When prompted with “Is the left brain right brain divide real or a metaphor?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that although the two brain hemispheres are somewhat specialized, “the notation that people can be characterized as ‘left-brained’ or ‘right-brained’ is considered to be an oversimplification and a popular myth” (OpenAI, 2023).

When given a follow-up prompt of “What is a more accurate representation?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that “different brain regions work together to support various cognitive processes” and “the functional specialization of different regions can change in response to experience and environmental factors” (OpenAI, 2023; see Appendix A for the full transcript).

Parenthetical citation: (OpenAI, 2023)

Narrative citation: OpenAI (2023)

Reference list

Author of AI Model. (Year of version used). Name of tool (Version of tool) [Large language model]. URL


OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Jul 20 version) [Large language model].

The complete response can be placed in an appendix or other supplementary materials for reference. For more information, visit How to Cite ChatGPT or APA Citation Guide.

MLA Format

Based on the MLA (Modern Language Association) guide:

In-text Citation

(Short form description of chat) 

(“Describe the symbolism”)


While the green light in The Great Gatsby might be said to chiefly symbolize four main things: optimism, the unattainability of the American dream, greed, and covetousness (“Describe the symbolism”), arguably the most important—the one that ties all four themes together—is greed.

Work Cited

"Description of chat" prompt. Name of AI tool, version of AI tool, Company, Date of chat, URL.


“Describe the symbolism of the green light in the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald” prompt. ChatGPT, 13 Feb. version, OpenAI, 8 Mar. 2023, 

For more information, visit How do I cite generative AI in MLA style? or MLA Citation Guide.

Chicago Style 17th

Based on the Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) 17th Edition:


If you’re using author-date instead of notes, any information not in the text would be placed in a parenthetical text reference.

For example, “(ChatGPT, March 7, 2023).”

Please do not list it in your bibliography or reference list. Treat generative AI tools’ conversations akin to personal conversations, given that their content is inaccessible to others.

Notes and Bibliography 


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

If the prompt hasn’t been included in the text, it can be included in the notes:

1. ChatGPT, response to "Explain how to make pizza dough from common household ingredients," March 7, 2023, OpenAI,

If you have modified the text produced by ChatGPT, mention it in the text or at the end of the note (e.g., “edited for style and content”).

1. Text generated by ChatGPT, March 31, 2023, OpenAI, edited for style and content.

For more information, visit The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Citation, Documentation of Sources or CMoS Citation Guide.



  • Last Updated Nov 30, 2023
  • Views 131
  • Answered By Suhasini Rajendran

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