Referencing ChatGPT in assignments

2nd March, 2023

If you’re using ChatGPT in your assignments and wondering how to correctly reference it, the Library has some practical tips to get your referencing under control, save time and avoid losing marks. 

Using ChatGPT in your assignments 

Experts from the American Psychological Association (APA) and Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) referencing styles are currently developing an official format for referencing ChatGPT.  

In the meantime, here’s some suggestions and examples for referencing ChatGPT: 

  • Check with your tutor to ensure using ChatGPT content in assignments is acceptable. 
  • OpenAI is the company responsible for the ChatGPT program and its output, so use this as the author/creator, rather than “ChatGPT” itself when referencing. 
  • The formats outlined below are appropriate templates to use to reference ChatGPT as the outputs ChatGPT gives to queries are unique, and not reproducible.  

Referencing in APA style 

When referencing ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence (AI) applications in APA style:  

  • Use the Personal communication format which can be found in the APA guide.  
  • Personal communication is referenced in-text only and not included in the reference list.  


ChatGPT (OpenAI, personal communication, February 24, 2023) generated some ideas on how mycelium can be used to lower CO2 emissions. 

Referencing in AGLC 4th style 

When referencing ChatGPT in AGLC style: 

  • Use the Written correspondence format that can be found in section 7.12 of the AGLC4 guide
  • Discursive text may also be used in the footnote to provide information about the prompts used to generate the output. 
  • An appendix may be used in order to provide comprehensive information about the series of prompts and outputs used to generate the output (as in the second example below).  

Footnote examples 

¹Output from ChatGPT, OpenAI to John Smith, 23 February 2023. 

²Output from ChatGPT, OpenAI to John Smith, 23 February 2023. The output was generated in response to the prompt, ‘Provide an overview of the creation of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation’: see below Appendix A.  

Bibliography example

Place under the Other category in your bibliography.

OpenAI, ChatGPT to John Smith, Output, 23 February 2023 

Additional assignment support 

Last updated 9th March, 2023 15:15 pm