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MLA 9th ed.: How to Cite Generative AI

How to Cite Generative AI - MLA Style


Step 1: Determine if AI content is permissible in your project

Talk to your instructor to find out whether or not AI generated content is acceptable to use for your project. West Valley instructors have specific guidelines around the use of AI. Not all instructors accept the use of AI and some only for certain assignments. 

Here are some examples of when you should cite ChatGPT or another generative AI tool as a source:

  • When you directly quote or paraphrase any text that is generated by AI
  • When you incorporate any work created by AI into your assignment, including images, data aggregation, etc. 
  • When you use a functional tool provided by AI, such as translating, editing, paraphrasing, etc. (You can either mention this in your assignment or cite it in a note.)

Step 2: Acknowledge that you used generative AI in your project

Generic language:

The author(s) acknowledge the utilization of [Generative AI Tool Name], a language model developed by [Generative AI Tool Provider], in the preparation of this assignment. The [Generative AI Tool Name] was employed in the following manner(s) within this assignment [e.g., brainstorming, grammatical correction, paraphrasing, citation, specific section of the assignment].


The author acknowledges the utilization of ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI, in the preparation of this assignment. ChatGPT was employed to create an outline on the challenges faced by women workers during World War II. Grammarly was also employed to spellcheck any mistakes made in this paper.

Step 3: Example prompt and how to cite

Here is a example of a prompt (question) given to ChatGPT. The prompt is an important element of the citation as you'll see below.





Here is ChatGPT's answer to the prompt:

















Paraphrasing with credit given to ChatGPT:

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.

Quoted Text with credit given to ChatGPT:

The green light symbolized "the illusory nature of the American Dream" and Gatsby's "belief that he can attain it by acquiring wealth and social status" ("Describe the symbolism").

MLA Citation:

    “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,

NoodleTools Citation Option:

 NoodleTools now has a "New Source" option for AI. Click on New Source > Web > AI Response / Output. Complete the NoodleTools form.






For more information, check out the MLA Handbook on How to Cite Generative AI in MLA Style where the example above resides.


*** Not all assignments permit the use of generative AI (GenAI) content. Please confirm with your instructor if GenAI  is permitted. If using GenAI, you must cite the content to avoid plagiarism. See Student Rights & Responsibilities.***