Skip to Main Content
mccbanner Middlesex Community College Home Page Current Students Future Students Programs & Courses Paying for College Workforce & Training” title= Alumni Library My MCC Apply Registration Directory Give to MCC About Contact Us
Library Homepage Course Guides English Course Guides Subject Guides Faculty Guides MCC Homepage

Academic Integrity: Citing Generative AI

What does Academic Integrity have to do with Generative AI? 

All ideas belonging to others or developed by an external source must be cited. This includes ideas and information produced through generative artificial intelligence (AI). The information produced through generative AI such as ChatCPT, Bard, or DALL-E2 comes from algorithms and existing sources. In the case of generative AI programs by Google and Microsoft, the information generated is fed by live Internet, while ChatGPT is curated by algorithms and information fed by the parent company, Open AI. Therefore, the rules of academic integrity apply to scholarly works. Academic works include (but are not limited to) student assignments or projects.


When do I Cite Generative AI?

You must give credit whenever you use text or sources from generative AI. You must cite whenever you paraphrase, cite directly, or use an image. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, generative AI us created by people, and it is an external source. Therefore, all ideas that do not pertain to us, just be given credit using a citation/publishing style. 

The reference citation for a ChatGPT or Generative AI tool is the following:


Author. (Date). Title of the software (version of the software) [Description]. URL.

  • The author is the name of the software that creates Generative AI. In the example below, the author is OpenAI.
  • The date is the year the software tool was published or updated. This goes in parenthesis. In the example provided, it is (2023).
  • The title of the software goes in italics. For this example, the title of the software is ChatGPT.
  • Immediately followed by the title of the software, in parenthesis does the version of the software. This is the equivalent of an edition in a printed source. The software version is (Mar 14 version) in the example provided.
  • In the bracketed text, you will describe the type of software you are citing. For Generative AI, you will use [Large language model].
  • Lastly, you will share the URL of the tool.


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

The in-text citation follows:

  • Parenthetical citation: 
    • Ex (Author, date)
    • Ex. (OpenAI, 2023)
  • Narrative citation: 
    • Ex. Author (date)
    • Ex. OpenAI (2023)

MLA Style suggests the following template for citing generative AI. In the case of Cited Works page citation, the components are the following: 

  • Author (if available)
  • Title of the source (in quotation  marks)
  • Title of the container (in italics)
  • Version
  • Publisher
  • Date
  • URL

The order of the citation should follow the following example:

 Author. "Title of the course." Title of the Container, version, Publisher, Date. URL

However, there are instances that the source does not have an author (see the example below). In these instances, you start the citation with the title of the source in quotation marks, which is “Describe the symbolism of the green light in the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

“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,

In-text citation

Notice that the citation is highlighted in yellow. In the case of the paraphrased text, the citation is offered in parenthesis. In the direct quote example, the author has provided a direct quote using quotation marks and encapsulating the source in parenthesis. 


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.

Direct quote

When asked to describe the symbolism of the green light in The Great GatsbyChatGPT provided a summary about optimism, the unattainability of the American dream, greed, and covetousness. However, when further prompted to cite the source on which that summary was based, it noted that it lacked “the ability to conduct research or cite sources independently” but that it could “provide a list of scholarly sources related to the symbolism of the green light in The Great Gatsby” (“In 200 words”).

Examples taken from: MLA. "How do I cite generative AI in MLA style?" MLA Style Center, 17 Mar. 2023,

Chicago 17th ed. uses endnotes and footnotes for citations. The format for these is the following:


1. Text generated by the Name of the Software, date, Author, URL.

  • Write "Text generated by," followed by the name of the software. In this case, it will be ChatCPT.
  • Date the text was generated. In the example below, you will notice that it reads "Match 7, 2023."
  • Followed by the date, write the name of the author. In the example below, it is "OpenAI.
  • Incorporate the URL.

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


In the following example, you can refer to the generative AI's response. 

2. Software name, response to "Response," date, Author.

  • The software name is ChatGPT, as seen in the example below.
  • Followed by the name of the software, you will include "response to [include the question]. In the example below, you will notice that it reads, "response to "Explain how to make pizza dough from common household ingredients," The response will be in quotation marks.
  • Followed by the response, include the dateand author. The example below shows that the date is "March 7, 2023," and the author is "Open AI."

2. ChatGPT, response to “Explain how to make pizza dough from common household ingredients,” March 7, 2023, OpenAI.

Bedford Campus Lowell Campus Accessibility Policy Statement Affirmative Action Statement Privacy Policy Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Instagram Linkedin Get ADOBE Reader