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ChatGPT and Generative AI: Plagiarism and academic integrity

Find resources for using ChatGPT responsibly in academia.
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Academic integrity concerns

The proliferation of ChatGPT and other AI tools have caused concern among educators about students using them to plagiarize or otherwise cheat on assignments. See below for tools and resources to help your students understand the importance of academic integrity when using AI tools.

Find Park's updated Academic Honesty Policy here.

Setting expectations

Create a classroom policy

Be clear with your students upfront about the extent to which they can (or cannot) use tools like ChatGPT in your class. Make sure your policy is spelled out in writing, and give students ample opportunity to ask questions at the beginning of the semester so that they fully understand. Clearly outline the consequences of not adhering to your classroom policies.

Example syllabus statement

Here is an example statement about ChatGPT to include in syllabi, from Mollick & Mollick (2023).

I expect you to use AI (e.g., ChatGPT and image generation tools) in this class. In fact, some assignments will require it. Learning to use AI is an emerging skill and I provide tutorials on how to use them. I am happy to meet and help you with these tools during office hours or after class.

Be aware of the limits of ChatGPT, such as the following:

  • If you provide minimum-effort prompts, you will get low-quality results. You will need to refine your prompts in order to get good outcomes. This will take work.
  • Don’t trust anything it says. If it gives you a number or fact, assume it is wrong unless you either know the answer or can check with another source. You will be responsible for any errors or omissions provided by the tool. It works best for topics you understand.
  • AI is a tool, but one that you need to acknowledge using. Please include a paragraph at the end of any assignment that uses AI explaining what you used the AI for and what prompts you used to get the results. Failure to do so is in violation of academic honesty policies.
  • Be thoughtful about when this tool is useful. Don’t use it if it isn’t appropriate for the case or circumstance.

Policies from other colleges and universities

How to cite ChatGPT and other AI

The major citation styles are still working on their official guidelines for citing ChatGPT. However, students should understand that they must cite any information they get from AI tools, just as they would cite other sources. See below for helpful articles and tips for citing ChatGPT.


In March 2023, MLA provided guidance for citing responses from ChatGPT or output from another generative AI tool.


"Description of chat" prompt. Name of AI tool, version of AI tool, Company, Date of chat, URL.


"Examples of harm reduction initiatives" prompt. ChatGPT, 23 Mar. version, OpenAI, 4 Mar. 2023,

In-text citation example:

("Examples of harm reduction")

MLA also recommends acknowledging when you used the tool in a note or your text as well as verifying any sources or citations the tool supplies.

Read more:


In April 2023, APA provided guidance for citing responses from ChatGPT or output from another generative AI tool.

Include a description of the prompt when quoting output from a generative AI tool in your paper. Use the author of the AI algorithm - or the company who produced the tool - in both the in-text citation and full reference. It may be worthwhile to include the chat's transcript as an appendix to your project.


Author. (Date). Name of tool (Version of tool) [Large language model]. URL


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

In-text citation example:

(OpenAI, 2023)

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Chicago Manual of Style has released some citation guidelines on their FAQs page: You do need to credit ChatGPT and similar tools whenever you use the text that they generate in your own work. But for most types of writing, you can simply acknowledge the AI tool in your text (e.g., “The following recipe for pizza dough was generated by ChatGPT”).

Cite ChatGPT in a footnote similarly to how you would an unpublished interview. Personal communications are non-retrievable sources and therefore shouldn't be included in your Chicago bibliography.

Example footnote:

1 Text generated by ChatGPT, March 31, 2023, OpenAI,

If the prompt you used doesn’t already appear in your text, add it to the footnote.

Example footnote including prompt: 

1 ChatGPT, response to “Tell me about confirmation bias,” February 16, 2023,

If you’ve edited the text generated by ChatGPT, mention this in your note.

Example footnote for edited text:

1 Text generated by ChatGPT, March 31, 2023, OpenAI, Edited for style and content.

Read more:

Tools for detecting AI-generated content

Concerned about students using ChatGPT or other AI tools to plagiarize or cheat? Several tools have been developed that can help you detect when submitted work was generated by an AI.

Red flags to watch out for

  • Repetitive answers: ChatGPT can answer the same question in different ways, but often not very different; similar answers from several different students may mean they are using AI generated content.
  • Fluffy verbosity: It has a tendency to use filler language.
  • Overly biased toward neutrality: It provides factual (or at least factual sounding) answers but refrains from offering opinions or judgments.
  • Incorrect information: It can write plausible sounding answers that are in fact counter to fact.
  • Fake citations: For an example of false facts, it can fabricate citations, such as using a real author's name and a real journal title but make up a title of an article the author plausibly could have written but never actually wrote.
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