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ChatGPT & OpenAI

When is Using ChatGPT Cheating?

Since there are many ways to use ChatGPT -- the answer on whether using it is cheating is it DEPENDS. 

Plagiarism is defined as Plagiarism, "representing the words, creative work, or ideas of another person as one’s own without providing proper documentation of source.

Before using ChatGPT or other generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools,

  • make sure to check with your instructor if you can do so, and if so what exactly is permitted for a specific assignment

  • If you are permitted to use ChatGPT or similar AI, evaluate the content carefully and critically. Content produced may contain incorrect or biased and therefore unreliable information. These tools may also infringe on your privacy (e.g. collecting data about you and sharing it), so use them with caution. Consider using more authoritative, reliable, secure sources instead
  • If you are permitted to use AI-generated content, make sure to cite the information you use in the text and in the reference list. We also recommend adding an acknowledgement. 

When should I "cite" ChatGPT as a source? 

  • If you are doing research ABOUT ChatGPT or other tools and using it is the topic and want to include example -- then yes you should cite it like any other source or evidence (e.g. in APA or MLA style). Or if you are using it to help analyze texts or using it as a tool -- include information on how you are using it in your assignment. 
  • If you are using ChatGPT to help with background research, to create outlines, select keywords, etc. -- you should likely check with your instructor about their class policies.
  • In general -- don't use Chat GPT as a "source" of information because it is often wrong or mixes correct and incorrect information. It isn't (yet) considered a credible source for academic research and writing.

Also keep in mind:

  • AI tools use content from the internet to generate their output. This content may be copyrighted.  
    • For example: if you prompt ChatGPT to create a song similar to Leonard Cohen's "Anthem", or ask an image-generating AI to create an image based on the style of a specific artist, you may be infringing copyright because they are drawing from existing works. 

How to Cite ChatGPT

If you do not quote or paraphrase:  Example: 

You may make a general statement in the text in which you provide details about the date, AI tool, the URL and the prompt(s) you used to generate the output.

Include the output as an appendix.

For example, if you wanted to critically review the quality of the output (such as how well the AI tool summarized the plot of a story), but don't quote or paraphrase from the output.

I generated text on February 13, 2023, using ChatGPT software ( and the prompt "Summarize the plot of A Christmas Carol in the style of H. P. Lovecraft" (see Appendix A for the full transcript). 
If you quote, paraphrase or use the full output that was generated:  Example:

You must include a reference (following the general format of a software reference, as seen in Section 10.10 of the Publication Manual).


We also recommend that you include the following:

  • Written acknowledgment of the generative AI tool used and for what purpose
  • The prompt(s) used to generate the content 
  • A note about your modifications
  • Include the original output with your submission
  • In-text citation and bibliographic citation 

Reference list entry: 

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Feb 13 version) [Large language model].

In-text citation:

According to a ChatGPT-generated response, effective intercultural communication requires ...... (OpenAI, 2023; see Appendix A for the full transcript).

According to a ChatGPT-generated response by Open AI (2023), effective intercultural communication requires ...... (see Appendix A for the full transcript). 



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