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MLA, APA and Chicago/Turabian: How to Cite AI content

Quick assistance with citing your sources for a research paper

How to Cite Generative AI

How to Cite Generative AI - APA 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, 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: How to cite

APA Parenthetical Citation Example:

When prompted with "What was the backlash against women after WWII was over?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that "one backlash was the expected return of women to traditional gender roles referred to as the 'cult of domesticity' or the 'feminine mystique.'"  (OpenAI, 2023).

APA Reference Format:

Author of AI. (Year of the version). Title of AI (Version number or date) [Description of AI model]. URL of AI tool

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"APA Citation Style: References" by Abigail Colucci, et al., Univ. of Waterloo is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0


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 APA blog on "How To Cite ChatGPT" .

*** 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.***