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Research Help: Citing Sources


There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • MLA style is typically used by the Humanities
  • APA style is often used by Education and Psychology
  • Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by History, Business, and some of the Fine Arts

Check with your professor to make sure you use the required style. And whatever style you choose, BE CONSISTENT!

Citing content generated by an AI

Citing AI as of 2023

Image of ChatGPT drawn by craiyon
A portrait of ChatGPT drawn by Craiyon.

Artificial intelligence tools are becoming more commonly available to the public, and users want to know how to cite materials created by these machines. Firstly, it's important to be aware that you must cite content you created using an AI, even though not every citation style has yet published overt guidelines on how to do so in their officially published style guides because these tools only recently became popular.

If your citation style of choice has not specified how to cite an AI, we recommend using the style's entries for citing program source code, or if that is not available, its guidelines for web/online resources.

Some citation styles do have information on how to cite Artificial intelligence tools. The Modern Language Association (of MLA Style fame) has published guidelines on how to cite AI, and they recommend using a citation similar to what MLA Style dictates for source code.

Ethics and Plagiarism

Not all situations are appropriate for using AI. Artificial intelligence programs can still make mistakes. Be sure to check with your professor about whether AI generated content is permitted on coursework. Also, be mindful that the legality of AI writing, art, etc. is still being debated and there is pending litigation over whether AI generated works truly are "original" or whether an AI's training materials were acquired legally. Remembering to cite these machines can help prevent some embarrassment or culpability later on in case an AI gets into trouble!

An Example

Above and to the right of this paragraph is an image that was generated by the AI image generator Craiyon when it was asked to draw a picture of what "ChatGPT" looks like. How should this be cited? Most citation style manuals won't have a specific entry for AI generated content, so until they publish new guidelines for such works, we must adapt existing guidelines to them. Here are some unofficial recommendations on how to do this: 

APA Style Recommendation:
For APA style, we recommend using the guidelines for "Electronic Sources" to cite AI generated content, using brackets to specify what kind of content the AI generated. For more information on citing electronic sources in APA Style, visit this page on The OWL at Purdue. If you know the name of a person (or people) who created the AI tool, you may credit them by name, of if authors are not available, use the name of the AI itself.

Generate template:
Lastname, F. M. (Year, Month Date). Title work [Generated Content type]. Publisher. URL

Example Result:
Craiyon. (2023, February 20). ChatGPT [Generated image]. Craiyon LLC. 

MLA Style Recommendation:
Using the Modern Language Association's reccomendations for citing AI, we can make a citation similar to what would be used for computer source code. If you know the name of a person (or people) who created the AI tool, you may credit them by name, of if authors are not available, use the name of the team that created the AI.

Generate template:
Lastname, Firstname. Name of AI and what it does. The website where the AI has been published, URL.

Example Result:
Craiyon LLC
. “Craiyon, AI Image Generator.” Craiyon,

Style manuals at the library

Citation Style Guides

Creating a Citation Page


Zotero is free, easy-to-use software to help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources. 

User Guide

Citation Generator

Automatic citation generators are quick and easy ways to create a works cited page. Most of our library database have these features built-in! Unfortunately, these tools might not always be correct. If you choose to use an automatic citation generator, like the ones provided below, ensure the generated citations are correct by checking them against a style manual or guidelines provided by a professor.