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APA Style Guide: Artificial Intelligence

This guide is designed to help students learn about APA style and cite sources for their research.


The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provides detailed guidelines for using APA style.

The most recent edition of the manual is currently available on Reserve at the Library Help Desk.

For lists of changes found in the 7th edition of the APA manual, visit

Cites & Sources is a guide to essay writing, formatting, and documenting references using APA style.

This guide can also be found on Reserve at the Library Help Desk.

Generative Artificial Intelligence

Generative AI (GenAI) is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that automatically generates content in response to prompts written in natural language conversational interfaces. Rather than simply curating existing webpages by drawing on existing content, GenAI actually produces new content.

GenAI is trained using data collected from webpages, social media conversations and other online media. It generates its content by statistically analysing the distributions of words, pixels or other elements in the data that it has ingested and identifying and repeating common patterns (for example, which words typically follow which other words). (cited from UNESCO - Guidance for generative AI in education and research - UNESCO Digital Library-opens in a new window)

Unauthorized Content Generation (UCG) is he production of academic work, in whole or part, for academic credit, progression or award, whether or not a payment or other favour is involved, using unapproved or undeclared human or technological assistance. An example is a response generation from artificial intelligence including, but not limited to, text, image, code, or video-generating artificial intelligence tools.

Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) can be used for unauthorised content generation; however, the use of AIED is not automatically unethical. There can be differences between academic disciplines, education institutions, courses, types of assessment, etc. as to what is considered acceptable use of AI and what is not. Consult with your instructor for guidelines on appropriate AIED usage for your course.


If you're using ChatGPT and other AI tools for coursework, include a description of how you used AI within your work. For example, you can describe in your introduction how you used ChatGPT to generate an outline for your presentation. When citing AI-generated text, remember to include both in-text and references list citations.

Source: The Learning Portal

Use of AI: Case Study

Boba was just assigned a challenging research paper assignment for their sociology course. They recall that their instructor mentioned that they don’t allow the use of any artificial intelligence tools in the course. Struggling to grasp certain concepts, Boba turned to ChatGPT for assistance despite their instructor’s policy. ChatGPT provided valuable insights, which Boba decided to add throughout the paper.

Sam has a presentation due tomorrow for their sociology class that they haven't started. In a rush, they enter their topic on ChatGPT to get ideas for an outline and content for their presentation. They recall that their instructor mentioned that they don’t allow the use of any artificial intelligence tools in the course. However, they don't have a lot of time. They decide to reword some of the content generated by ChatGPT and add it to their presentation slides.

Both these students utilized Artificial Intelligence to complete their work, when specifically prohibited by their instructor, and they have committed an academic offence.

Always confirm with your instructor and your college guidelines that you are permitted to use AI tools such as ChatGPT, Copilot, Dall-E2 in your coursework. Unauthorized use of AI tools may be considered an academic integrity offence.

AI-generated content may not be considered as an acceptable source for your course work. Be sure to evaluate the content carefully and check with your instructor if you are permitted to use it as a source.

Artificial Intelligence - ChatGPT

Interactive generative artificial intelligence software, more commonly known as AI and chatbots, include natural language processing (NLP), large language models (ie. ChatGPT chat generative pretrained transformer) and its newer version large multimodal model (ie. ChatGPT-4), Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa, and many other forms. Your instructor(s) may not deem any of these platforms legitimate. Be cautious if you use it and always cite its use in your references. AI has been known to "hallucinate" answers with gibberish, bias, disinformation, wrong answers, and 'guess' at what it thinks the user wants to hear.

AI generated text cannot be relocated the way that books (ISBN) and articles (DOI) can. Consider including a copy of ChatGPT text as an appendix.

Source: Seneca College

Citing AI

ChatGPT is a "large language model"; ChatGPT-4 is a "large multimodal model". Either of these wordings must be used as part of the reference in square brackets.

In-text Example:

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).

Reference Page Example:


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


Source: APA: How to Cite ChatGPT

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