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Citation Style Guide

This guide provides citation and bibliography assistance. Includes APA, MLA, and Chicago style examples.

Citing AI-Generated Text

In most cases, AI writing tools should not be used as an academic source of information. If used, it is always best to cite the original sources the tool lists as its citations, especially because AI tools often generate false citations (also known as "hallucinations"). 

However, if Generative AI is permitted for use in an assignment, instructors may want it cited when appropriate.

The main three citation styles, APA, MLA, and CMS all consider AI-generated text as "personal communication." This means the text generated by AI tools often cannot be verified, replicated, retrieved, nor recovered by anyone other the original author at the time of its generation. Even persistent URLs generated by AI tools can often only be accessed by the author. It is suggested that authors copy or save their entire prompt history and full generated responses for reference, formal acknowledgement (e.g., an appendix).

Scribbr, a proofreading/citation checking site, offers some guidance for each style.

For additional citation assistance, please see the Libraries' Citation Guide

For more information regarding Generative AI tools, visit the following library guides:

Evaluating AI-Generated Text

It is unclear exactly how Generative AI tools work. This uncertainty raises some questions that may help evaluate the accuracy, reliability, relevance, and authority of the text that AI tools produce. 

  • Where does the AI tool get its information from?
  • Can you identify the authors of the works the AI tool is citing or pulling paragraphs from? 
  • Who or what materials are not cited?
  • Do the citations listed exist? Are they accurate?
  • Is the AI tool's output paraphrasing or using entire sections of text that belong to someone else?
  • Can the information provided by the AI tool be verified? 
  • Has the information the AI tool used been peer-reviewed?

Finally, students may want to consider whether there is more value to using information from its original source versus what Generative AI tools generate.