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ChatGPT guides: ChatGPT Citations

How to cite ChatGPT in APA style

Quoting or reproducing the text created by ChatGPT in your paper

If you’ve used ChatGPT or other AI tools in your research, describe how you used the tool in your Method section or in a comparable section of your paper. For literature reviews or other types of essays or response or reaction papers, you might describe how you used the tool in your introduction. In your text, provide the prompt you used and then any portion of the relevant text that was generated in response.
Quoting ChatGPT’s text from a chat session is 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.


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).


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

Creating a reference to ChatGPT or other AI models and software

The in-text citations and references above are adapted from the reference template for software in Section 10.10 of the Publication Manual (American Psychological Association, 2020, Chapter 10).

The reference and in-text citations for ChatGPT are formatted as follows:

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

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

Let’s break that reference down and look at the four elements (author, date, title, and source):

Author: The author of the model is OpenAI.

Date: The date is the year of the version you used. Following the template in Section 10.10, 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.

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).

Source: How to cite ChatGPT (

How to cite ChatGPT in MLA style

MLA suggests creating a Works Cited entry for any responses you quote or paraphrase from ChatGPT, as well as an in-text citation at the point where you include it in your text.

The Works Cited entry starts with the title (the specific prompt you used, in quotation marks). Then write “ChatGPT” and the date of the version you used, “OpenAI,” the date when you received the response, and the general URL of the tool.

The in-text citation consists of a shortened version of the title (shortened to three words) in quotation marks.

Example: MLA ChatGPT citation
MLA format “Text of prompt” prompt. ChatGPT, Day Month version, OpenAI, Day Month Year,
MLA Works Cited entry “Tell me about confirmation bias” prompt. ChatGPT, 13 Feb. version, OpenAI, 16 Feb. 2023,
MLA in-text citation (“Tell me about”)

MLA advises that if you use an AI tool like ChatGPT or Bing AI to locate sources and then use those sources in your work (rather than using the AI-generated text itself), you only need to cite the sources you actually used, not the AI tool used to find them.

MLA also states that if you used an AI tool to edit your writing or translating words, you should acknowledge this at an appropriate point in your text or in a note.

Source: ChatGPT Citations | Formats & Examples (

How to cite ChatGPT in Chicago style

Chicago style recommends citing ChatGPT in a Chicago footnote, treating it as a personal communication similar to an unpublished interview. Personal communications are non-retrievable sources and therefore shouldn’t be included in your Chicago bibliography.

If the prompt you used on ChatGPT is already mentioned in your text, the footnote consists of the phrase “Text generated by ChatGPT,” the date you prompted it, “OpenAI,” and the URL. Use the general URL of the tool, not one that links you to the specific response—this won’t work for other users.

If you cite the same ChatGPT text again, you can shorten the note to just “ChatGPT.”

Example: Chicago ChatGPT citation

1 Text generated by ChatGPT, March 31, 2023, OpenAI,

2 ChatGPT.

If the prompt you used doesn’t already appear in your text, add it to the footnote.

Example: Chicago ChatGPT citation including prompt
1 ChatGPT, response to “Tell me about confirmation bias,” February 16, 2023,

If you’ve edited the text generated by ChatGPT, mention this in your note.

Example: Chicago citation of edited ChatGPT text

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


Source:ChatGPT Citations | Formats & Examples ( 

FAQ about ChatGPT Citations

1- Do I need to cite ChatGPT?

Yes, if you use information or ideas generated by ChatGPT in your work, you should cite it just as you would do with any other sources.

2- Can ChatGPT cite sources?

No, ChatGPT is an AI language model that can generate text, but it does not have the ability to search for and cite external sources.