Skip to Main Content

Writing and Citing: MLA 9th Edition: *NEW* Chatbots & AI

MLA 9th Edition

What is generative AI?

Generative AI & MLA

What is considered AI and how to cite it.

MLA has produced a set of rules on how to cite Generative AI. Generative AI refers to computer programs and tools that use prompts to produce "original" text, audio, or visual materials.

These rules describe the use of Generative AI as a research tool and source, not as a tool to compose entire research assignments.

Additional discussion about the practical and ethical questions surrounding using AI as a student can be found here.

Guidance for Faculty, including library services is also available.

Best practices for AI use

- Cite ANY use of generative AI including but not limited to using AI to create summaries, paraphrasing AI generated text, quoting AI text, or otherwise incorporating any type or quantity of AI generated content into your own work.

- Acknowledge any other uses of AI such as for translation, editing, proofreading etc. in a note, in your text, or another suitable location.

- Verify the existence of any sources cited by the AI and the accuracy of any summaries of sources produced by the AI.

AI & The MLA Template

Advice by element:

Author: at this time, MLA's stance is that the AI should not be listed as the author, nor should the human user submitting the prompt. The author field will generally not be used when citing AI produced materials.

Title of Source: A brief description of what was generated by the AI in quotation marks. The prompt or the instructions given to the AI can serve as the title.

Title of Container: This will be the name of the AI tool. (e.g. ChatGPT)

Version: Provide the version of the AI tool if that information is available. Be as specific as possible. Ex.: ChatGPT 3.5

Publisher: The name of the company that created the AI.

Date: The date the content was generated.

Location: Provide a direct link to the conversation if possible. If not, then provide a link to the AI tool used.

AI References

Text Based AI


"Brief summary of the prompt or question" prompt. Name of AI Tool, Version of AI Tool, Creator of AI Tool, Date of text generation, URL of conversation or website used.


"Describe some of the religious themes in Frank Herbert's Dune." Claude, 2, Anthropic, 2 Oct. 2023,


Note: A hanging indent is also required, it is not demonstrated here due to technical limitations.

AI Generated Art


Fig. # "Instructions given to the AI generator" prompt, Name of AI used, Version of AI, AI Developer/Operator, Date of Image Generation, link


Fig. 1 "an astronaut riding a shark in outerspace, art style - grafitti" prompt, Stable Diffusion, Stable Diffusion XL, Stability.AI, 6 October 2023,


You may also elect to use a brief caption and then provide the full reference in your works cited page. The brief caption should still include the prompt description and Figure number:

Fig. 1 "an astronaut riding a shark in outerspace, art style - graffiti"

For more information on citing figures and images, see the appropriate tab in this guide or consult the MLA Handbook: available in print from the library.



Paraphrasing AI

As with any other type of source, a citation in parenthesis follows a section of paraphrased text.


("short description of prompt in quotation marks & parenthesis")


Frank Herbert borrowed extensively from European conflicts in the Middle East and numerous global religions to create the cultures in Dune. ("Religious themes in Dune")

Quoting AI

As with any other direct quote, the entire quotation is presented in quotation marks and a citation in parenthesis is placed at the end of the quoted passage.


"The Zensunni wanderers that originally settled Arrakis suggest a combination of Zen Buddhism and Sunni Islam, but also have roots in Judaism. Their diaspora and desire for a promised land are reminiscent of Jewish history." ("Religious themes in Dune")