ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI programmers based on an AI language model. This tool can be used to complete different kinds of writing in a very well-structured and human-like manner. The emergence of this innovation has sparked heated discussions in the academic community. For instance, whether using ChatGPT for assignments will make cheating more available than ever.
In this article, we would like to present a few suggestions on how to use use the chatbot without being accused of plagiarism while completing a dissertation, essay, or any other kind of academic paper:
- creating a research question;
- explaining complicated topics;
- drafting an outline for your paper;
- producing literature ideas;
- paraphrasing content;
- creating texts in any style;
- receiving feedback.
Go on reading to learn how to create and polish your texts using the benefits ChatGPT offers modern learners.
7 use cases for ChatGPT in academic writing
Educational institutions and universities are still developing policies and restrictions on how students may or may not use ChatGPT for assignments. It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by your university before making a decision. We suggest some ideas about how you may use this tool to facilitate the writing process while working on your academic papers.
Creating a research question.
The chatbot can be used to get assistance with generating a concise and clear research question. The tool allows you to create many possible research questions within several minutes. It is a perfect solution when you need to develop ideas and elaborate different approaches for your investigation.
Nonetheless, you should verify whether the completed sentences make sense and meet your expectations. Using ChatGPT can help if you edit its suggestions and tailor them to your needs.
Generate three research questions for an essay on the following topic: “The Role of Religion in Politics”.
- How does the role of religion in politics affect the democratic process, and what are the implications for religious and non-religious citizens?
- How do religious rhetoric and symbolism in political discourse shape public opinion, and how does this influence policy decisions?
- To what extent do religious beliefs and values shape individual voters' political attitudes and behaviors, and how does this impact political outcomes and representation?
Explaining complicated topics.
When you struggle with understanding complex concepts, you may ask the chatbot to explain them in simple words. This feature facilitates a better subject understanding. It can also be useful for non-native speakers who want to clarify complicated topics before starting their papers. For example, you may ask the bot to explain the term “molecule” to a 7-year-old child.
Please give an explanation of the term “molecule” to a 7-year-old child.
Hello! A molecule is a tiny little thing you can't see with your eyes, but it's what makes up everything around you! It's like a group of atoms that stick together like a little team. Just like how a bunch of Lego blocks can be put together to make a bigger structure, atoms join together to make molecules. These molecules can be found in the air you breathe, the water you drink, and even in your body! So everything that you see and touch is made up of these little teams of atoms called molecules!
Drafting an outline.
Students and writers may also use ChatGPT for writing a research paper outline. The tool can generate variants of clear and well-structured headings and subheadings, which you may improve.
Nevertheless, you should remember that the chatbot can’t understand your topic deeply. That’s why unsuitable headings may appear. You should check and change them so that your outline makes sense and discloses all the aspects required to get a response to the research question.
Suggesting literature ideas.
ChatGPT can be helpful if you need ideas about where to find the sources for your assignments. You may ask artificial intelligence for suggestions about what literature to consider and where to look.
Still, we don’t recommend using it to search sources directly as it’s not created for this type of task and tends to generate false sources and present them as real.
What sources can I use to write an essay on gender discrimination?
You can use several sources to write an essay on gender discrimination. Here are some suggestions:
- Academic journals: You can search for articles in academic journals such as Gender & Society, Feminist Studies, or Women's Studies International Forum. These journals often feature research-based articles on gender discrimination and related issues.
- Books: There are many books on gender discrimination that you can use as sources for your essay. Some examples include "The Second Sex" by Simone de Beauvoir, "Feminism is for Everybody" by bell hooks, and "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
- Government reports: Government agencies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the European Union publish reports on gender discrimination and related issues. These reports often provide statistical data and policy recommendations that you can use in your essay.
- News articles: You can search for articles on gender discrimination in newspapers and online news sources. These articles can provide current examples and perspectives on the topic.
- Non-profit organizations: Non-profit organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the National Organization for Women (NOW) publish reports and articles on gender discrimination and related issues. These sources can provide insights and recommendations from advocacy organizations.
- Documentaries: Documentaries such as "The Mask You Live In," "Miss Representation," and "She's Beautiful When She's Angry" explore issues related to gender discrimination and can provide valuable insights and perspectives.
Remember to evaluate your sources for credibility and bias before using them in your essay.
If you have to reformulate your ideas, you can use ChatGPT for this. The benefit is that you can do it whatever number of times you need until you’re satisfied with the final result. It may benefit non-native speakers who wish to enhance the text’s fluency.
Though, be aware of the pitfalls associated with this. You should be careful as the paraphrases produced by the chatbot often contain grammar mistakes or fake data. The best advice we can offer is to verify the output using grammar-checking software and cross-reference the text against more reliable sources to be sure the result corresponds to your expectations.
Reformulate the following text and find synonyms for “healthy eating habits”:
“Healthy eating habits are effective in maintaining good health. They provide our body with all vitamins needed for our general well-being and growth. Healthy eating habits allow us to control weight, enhance energy levels and minimize the risk of many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.”
Adopting a nutritious diet is a beneficial way to uphold good health. It furnishes our body with essential nutrients that support our overall physical and mental development. Incorporating healthy dietary choices enables us to manage weight, boost vitality, and reduce the likelihood of various ailments, such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Creating texts in any style.
Using ChatGPT allows you to experiment by reformulating your text in a different style or imitating the writing style of a reputable author. For example, you may ask the chatbot to transform your content and make it similar to a Mark Twain book. This benefit may be helpful for writers who make stylistic mistakes and need more knowledge about the particular style they have to stick to when completing their papers.
Rewrite the following text in a persuasive style:
The internet relies on physical means such as optical fiber data transmission cables or copper wires and other networking methods like LAN, WAN, and MAN. These physical cables are required for accessing the internet through 2G, 3G, and 4G services, as well as Wi-Fi. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an authority located in the USA, is responsible for managing the internet and its related protocols, such as IP addresses.
The internet, an integral part of modern society, heavily depends on physical means such as optical fiber data transmission cables or copper wires and other networking methods like LAN, WAN, and MAN. These physical cables are crucial for accessing the internet through 2G, 3G, and 4G services and Wi-Fi. These cables are necessary to connect to the internet and access its vast resources. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a prominent authority in the USA, has the critical responsibility of managing the internet and its related protocols, such as IP addresses. This management ensures that the internet remains secure, stable, and accessible to all users around the globe. Therefore, it is vital that we support and trust the efforts of ICANN in maintaining the internet's seamless functionality, as it plays a significant role in the continued growth and development of our interconnected world.
One of the best ways to use the chatbot is to get feedback on your paper structure, argumentation, and improvement recommendations. However, ChatGPT cannot deeply understand the topic, so it cannot replace a qualified writer as it may offer unsuitable or unclear suggestions. You may use the chatbot as a helper rather than as a substitute for in-depth professional feedback from people with academic expertise.
Dos and don'ts of using ChatGPT in academic writing
More and more users apply the chatbot that produces high-quality content as a great assistant when completing assignments. ChatGPT is very effective when it comes to performing boring or complicated tasks. It’s extremely effective when you lack time to do many tasks as it can offer fresh ideas and edit your text in seconds, which gives you much time for other things.
However, some over-excited writers may face problems if they don’t consider risks related to the excessive use of artificial intelligence in their content. Let’s consider what you can and cannot do with ChatGPT.
- You can benefit from ChatGPT when brainstorming to get inspiration for your essay.
- You may ask the chatbot for research guidance before completing a paper.
- Feel free to send your questions about the subject you don’t understand (you may use the chatbot as an alternative to Google Search to get a general idea of something).
- You can get help from the chatbot if you need to reformulate the text and change the tonalities of your speaking or writing style.
- You can proofread your dissertation with this virtual helper and get useful recommendations on improving your content.
- You must cite all AI-generated sentences in your list of references.
- Using ChatGPT to complete an original essay is prohibited, as you risk being accused of plagiarism.
- You shouldn’t blindly trust the information produced by ChatGPT, as it can deliver fake data.
- Applying the chatbot is only useful if you investigate the latest events or things that recently appeared; the tool needs to gain more knowledge of the events after 2021.
- You shouldn’t do anything violating your college policy related to the use of AI tools.
Artificial intelligence makes our life better and easier in different ways. There are many benefits of using ChatGPT for assignments, as this tool is great for generating or improving texts, explaining complex topics, paraphrasing, getting feedback on the essay, and many others. However, take your time to delegate all tasks to artificial intelligence. It cannot yet compete with the human brain, as people have something that any chatbot can never be taught – our creativity.
Can I produce citations using ChatGPT?
No, it’s impossible. The problem is that ChatGPT was created for other types of tasks. If you try to do it, the chatbot will offer you sources in an incorrect format or information that doesn’t exist. If you need to add citations to direct quotes in your paper, you cannot do it using ChatGPT. There are many citation generators you can apply instead for these purposes. The chatbot will be effective in delivering advice and inspiration for your writing.
Can I use ChatGPT for research?
Yes, ChatGPT may be your best helper when you complete a research paper. It can assist in the following cases:
- you have to create a research question;
- you need an explanation of a complicated topic;
- you’re working on an outline for your paper;
- you’re looking for literature ideas;
- your text requires paraphrasing;
- your text should be created in a particular style;
- you need to get feedback about your paper.
As you see, there are many ways of using ChatGPT to improve your writing. Remember that the chatbot cannot completely replace a human. Thus, always verify the results before using them in your research.
Can you use a chatbot for essays?
Unfortunately, no, and there are several reasons for it. First, representing another author’s text as your own is considered plagiarism, even if this “another author” is an artificial intelligence. You may have negative consequences even if you insert citations created by ChatGPT.
Second, the chatbot is a great reformulator of exhausting texts. Still, it’s helpless when it comes to generating new ideas. An AI doesn’t have specific subject knowledge and can’t produce original research results. The essay completed by the chatbot can include factual mistakes.
Yet, there are many other ways you can use ChatGPT, e.g., as a perfect source of inspiration and feedback.