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APA Citation Style 7th ed.: How to Cite AI/ChatGPT

APA's Perspective on AI/ChatGPT

AI tools are changing constantly as are suggestions by style guides for use of and citations for them. You may wish to access the information in the APA blog post about AI tools.

Writers produce material from ChatGPT by creating an account that is password protected. This means that the reader of the article you write cannot access the original Information/writing that ChatGPT produced. Normally APA would consider this "ephemeral material;" and therefore, personal communication. You would cite it in the paper (in-text citation), but not in the reference section of your paper.

However, APA suggests that since there is no person writing the material, it cannot be considered authored, and is more like an algorithm. So you should cite it both in-text and in the reference section.

The prompt supplied to ChatGPT should be included in the text of your article. The actual material ChatGPT produced may be included in the appendix.

Further, the references cited by ChatGPT should be included. To retrieve the references from ChatGPT, open the Chat there and then type the word, References, in the text box at the bottom of the page.

Be careful and thoughtful! When we used the prompt "Are signed languages appropriate for deaf babies?", we were given different references each time.

The first set of references included 4 of 5 that were to associations with no citations to source of the information they used. The links were broken. Searching within the associations found one article. The fifth article was a seminal article, but written in 1960.

In the second set of references all were scholarly articles but without links.

After the third request we received the following: 

I apologize, but as an AI language model, I don't have direct access to external references or the ability to browse the internet. However, I can provide you with some general information about signed languages and their appropriateness for deaf babies. If you have specific questions or need further information, I'll do my best to assist you based on my training data.

If you're looking for references and scholarly articles on this topic, I recommend searching through academic databases such as Google Scholar, JSTOR, or PubMed. Some relevant keywords to use in your search could be "signed languages," "deaf babies," "language acquisition," and "early language exposure." These resources should provide you with research studies, articles, and expert opinions on the appropriateness and benefits of signed languages for deaf infants.

Additionally, you may find it helpful to consult organizations and institutions that specialize in deaf education and research, such as the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), or local deaf education centers. They often provide resources, publications, and access to research in the field of signed languages and early language acquisition for deaf children.

Remember to critically evaluate the sources you find and prioritize peer-reviewed publications or reputable organizations for accurate and reliable information.

So we suggest that ChatGPT might be helpful for finding references for your papers, more than for the articles they write themselves.


The moral of the story: As with all sources, be careful and thoughtful with how you use ChatGPT.

In-text citation for ChatGPT

General format

(Company, date; see Appendix A for the full transcript).


When prompted with "Are signed languages appropriate for deaf babies?” the ChatGPT-generated text indicated that research had show that deaf babies can learn signed languages comparable to hearing babies learning spoken language. (OpenAI, 2023; see Appendix A for the full transcript).

AI/ChatGPT in the Reference List

General format:

Company. (Year downloaded). Algorithm used (version date). [Large language model]. https://URL

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (May 3 version) [Large language model].

Author: The company producing AI

Year: The year the material was created

Title: The algorithm used ChatGPT and version date in parenthesis

Type of Material: Large language model in brackets

Location: Link to the website


Yes, signed languages can be very appropriate for deaf babies. In fact, research suggests that exposing deaf infants to a signed language from a very early age can be extremely beneficial for their cognitive and linguistic development.

Just as hearing infants acquire spoken language naturally through exposure and interaction with their caregivers, deaf infants can acquire a signed language in the same way. In fact, signed languages are often the natural first language of deaf children, just as spoken languages are the natural first language of hearing children.

There are many different signed languages used around the world, each with its own unique grammar and syntax. Some of the most widely used signed languages include American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL), and Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

Research has shown that deaf babies who are exposed to a signed language from a very early age can develop language skills that are on par with their hearing peers. In addition, exposure to a signed language can help to promote cognitive development, socialization, and overall academic success.

It's important to note that while signed languages can be very beneficial for deaf babies, they are not the only option. Some families may choose to use spoken language with their deaf child, while others may choose a combination of spoken and signed language. Ultimately, the choice of language will depend on the individual needs and preferences of the family and child.

  1. Mayberry, R. I., & Kluender, R. (2017). Language acquisition in sign languages. In P. J. Brooks & V. Kempe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language Development (pp. 298-301). SAGE Publications.

  2. Newport, E., & Meier, R. (1985). The acquisition of American Sign Language. In D. I. Slobin (Ed.), The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition (Vol. 1, pp. 881-938). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  3. Petitto, L. A., & Marentette, P. F. (1991). Babbling in the manual mode: Evidence for the ontogeny of language. Science, 251(5000), 1493-1496.

  4. Schick, B., Williams, K., & Kupermintz, H. (2006). Look who's being left behind: Educational interpreters and access to education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 11(1), 3-20.

  5. Singleton, J. L., & Morgan, D. (2019). Language and deafness (2nd ed.). Plural Publishing.

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