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How To Cite References Using APA Style

Examples of APA Citation Style for use in Reference Lists.

APA's Position on Citing AI Tools

APA's Position: The results of a “chat” with a generative AI, like ChatGPT, are not retrievable by other readers. Although other types nonretrievable data or quotations are usually cited as personal communications in APA Style papers, with generative AI produced text there is no person communicating. Quoting an AI's text from a chat session is therefore more similar to sharing an algorithm’s output. APA, therefore recommends that citations should credit the author of the algorithm with a reference list entry and the corresponding in-text citation.

Citation Example--APA

Example from a paper showing how to use in-text citation and then the full verson of the citation used on the References page:

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].

Explanation of the Individual Parts of the Citation

Breaking the reference down and looking at each of the four elements (author, date, title, and source) in more detail can assist in applying this form in your own writing.:

Author: The author of ChatGPT is OpenAI. If you are using text from a different AI tool, you will need to identify the author or creator of that tool.  See the table below to determine the Author of the most common AI Tools.

Date: The date is the year of the version of the tool used. You only need to include the year, not the exact date. 

Title: The name of this AI tool is “ChatGPT,” so that serves as the title and is italicized in your reference, Again, if you are using a different tool then that tool's name should for the title. The version number is included after the title in parentheses. The format for the version number in ChatGPT references includes the date because that is how OpenAI is labeling its versions. Different AI tools might use different version numbering; use the version number in the format the author or publisher provides, which may be a numbering system (e.g., Version 2.0) or other methods.

Bracketed text is used for additional description when needed to help a reader understand what is being cited. Books and journal articles do not need bracketed descriptions but more unusual formats often do. In the case of a reference for a generative AI tool, such as ChatGPT, provide the descriptor “Large language model” in square brackets. 

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. Use the URL that links as directly as possible to the page where you can access the model

Authors of AI Tools

Information Coming From:

Author Cited As:





Gemini (formerly Google Bard)

Google AI

Lumina Chat


Microsoft Copilot

OpenAI’s LLM (Microsoft Copilot)


Perplexity AI

Using an Appendix for Providing the Complete AI-Generated Text

Because generative AI's, like Chat GPT will generate a unique response in each chat session, even if given the same prompt, APA also suggests that the full text of long responses from such sea session should be placed in an appendix of your paper if readers would greatly benefit from having access to the exact text generated. It is then particularly important to document the exact text created and the presence of such an appendix should be called out at least once in the body of your paper.


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).


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

Link to APA's Page on How to Cite AI Tools