AI for Students: 8 Tips for Using ChatGPT Ethically

The trend of introducing AI to education is met with two types of reaction. Some are excited by the possibilities, and others are worried by the potential threats to the education system.

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The picture explains what ChatGPT is and how it can be used in studies.

At the center of debate is ChatGPT—an advanced chatbot that produces incredibly well-written texts. The temptation may be strong to use the content it generates for cheating. But here’s a better idea: apply ChatGPT ethically to upgrade your writing skills or find inspiration.

Want to know how? This article by our custom-writing team has the answer! Stick around for 8 fair ways to use ChatGPT in your studies.

✨ Ethical Considerations of Artificial Intelligence in Studies

Every breakthrough invention raises ethical concerns, and ChatGPT is no exception. So, let’s see how AI is misused in education, and what the implications are.

The unethical application of artificial intelligence in academia usually comes down to one thing—plagiarism. When there’s zero input on behalf of the student, what’s the point of academic writing? If an all-knowing AI is a few clicks away, does studying make any sense?

Some teachers are panicking about the possible negative effects of artificial intelligence in education, even going as far as blocking access to ChatGPT for their students. It’s an understandable kneejerk reaction that doesn’t really solve anything since students can still use the chatbot outside the classroom.

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The picture enumerates 4 ways in which ChatGPT can help students.

But why focus only on the negative impact of AI tools? If we pause for a second, silence our biases, and look at the matter from a different angle, we’ll see countless benefits of an AI chatbot in education. Here are just some of them:

🔍 It can help students learn to write well-worded, specific search requests and analyze the information they look up. We live in the post-truth era, and knowing how to search for reliable information is a fundamental skill.
🎉 It can make classrooms more inclusive by helping people with disabilities such as dyslexia and various disorders of written expression improve their texts easily.
✍️ It can enhance the quality of essays and research papers. ChatGPT generates well-written, coherent sentences that can be used as examples while being a source of inspiration for students’ own writing.
🕵️ It can play a significant role in teaching students to fact-check. While AI-generated texts appear impressive, they can also be nonsensical and based on fabricated facts. That’s because the chat gets information from the data it’s been trained on. Its knowledge is limited, and everything it produces needs to be double-checked.

And there are many more benefits of artificial intelligence in education, which you can read about in our article on ChatGPT in academic writing.

So, why shy away from it? We suggest you use the power of AI to your advantage—keep reading to learn how!

🖥️ ChatGPT Basics: How to Write Perfect Prompts

Simply speaking, prompts are phrases that contain your requests. Writing efficient prompts is the first thing you have to master if you want to use ChatGPT to the full extent. AI or not, it is still only a chatbot, and it requires clear and understandable instructions to give you what you want.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when writing prompts:

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️ Conciseness The longer the input, the more difficult it is to process. This is the case of “less is more.”
️ Precision Always aim to ask unambiguous questions and give specific tasks.
️ Context A clear and short prompt is 50% of your success. If you add context clarifying the prompt, you’re aiming at 100%!
️ Simplicity You don’t have to impress ChatGPT with your vocabulary. What you really need is to use simple language free of slang and colloquialisms. Remember that we’re going for maximum clarity.

Let us demonstrate what we mean by “a good prompt.” Below you will see a few examples of a bad request and its improved version. We’ve also added search intent for each case to reflect the result you want from the tool.

Search intent ❌ Bad prompt ✅ Improved prompt
Information on younger people’s opinions about the positive aspects of life. What’s good about life? What do people in their 20s with lower-middle income usually consider the best aspects of life?
The reasons and consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Write me an essay about that famous disagreement between the Soviets and the USA. Write a 500-word essay about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
The most artistically creative period of Byzantine history. What do you know about Byzantine history? Which period of Byzantine history is considered to be the most fruitful in terms of art?

🤩 Top 8 Ways to Use ChatGPT in Studies Without Cheating

Knowing how to write excellent prompts is great, but it’s not enough to harness the power of AI! You also need to know when and how to use it in your studies to get the best results.

So, it’s time to look at our ultimate list of ways to use ChatGPT ethically.

The picture enumerates the top 8 ethical uses of ChatGPT in studying.

1. Creating Summaries

Hands down, one of the best uses for ChatGPT is summarizing texts. We’re not talking about letting ChatGPT do your homework! We’re talking about using summarization as a means to facilitate access to enormous amounts of information the world is throwing at us.

Just imagine that a long, tedious, and complex text you’re reading can instantly become shorter and easier to understand without losing its substance. That’s what ChatGPT is surprisingly good at.

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It uses both extractive and abstractive text summarization techniques and produces natural and accessible texts with all the necessary clichés. It can rephrase sentences and distinguish between primary and supplementary ideas.

We have a few tips for you to get the best summaries out of ChatGPT:

📜 Copy and paste full texts into the chatbox Using URLs doesn’t work. The good thing is that you can insert relatively long texts into the chatbox, but not an entire book, of course—according to ChatGPT, its word limit is around 2048 words.
🧭 Add explicit instructions You can specify the maximum number of sentences for the summary, the voice (active or passive), or 1st or 3rd person perspective. You can even ask ChatGPT to replace certain words or parts of speech with something else. Here are some prompt examples:
  • Summarize the text in less than 15 sentences.
  • Summarize it using only active voice.
  • Summarize it in 3rd person.
🌈 Use it with different kinds of texts Unlike many online summarizers, ChatGPT can work with creative texts. If you take a conventionally structured narrative article or chapter of a novel, ChatGPT will do a good job condensing it.

2. Paraphrasing Texts

Paraphrasing can also be mentioned among ChatGPT’s many talents. This tool is fantastic when it comes to readability. It is also good at finding words that fit the context and changing sentence structures.

This feature can come in handy if you need to quote someone indirectly in your essay or research paper. We recommend you check out this article on indirect quotations by ThoughtCo to learn more about this process.

When paraphrasing via ChatGPT, be mindful of the following for the best results:

🎯 Be very specific It’s better not to expect ChatGPT to read between the lines. You can add all kinds of details to your prompt. Here are the examples of what you can ask for:
  • Replace 40% of the words in the text.
  • Paraphrase the text using a simpler language than the original.
🧐 Check whether the original meaning is fully preserved It is crucial to reread the text once it’s been paraphrased. ChatGPT is an incredible tool, but you can’t expect it never to make mistakes, so don’t trust it blindly. This is true both for simple and complex texts.

3. Finding Topic Ideas

If you’ve run out of inspiration, you can turn to ChatGPT for help. Don’t worry: asking it to generate a few ideas for an essay is not cheating!

ChatGPT is an almost inexhaustible source of ideas on nearly any topic. Here are a few things to remember:

💎 Be precise about the subject of the topics This way, you’ll get the most interesting ideas from ChatGPT. Asking it for random topics will bring generic and bland results.
🔮 Specify what kind of topics you need Clarify whether you want the results to be fun and simple or creative and challenging. It’s also a good idea to specify what level of difficulty ChatGPT should aim for. Your prompts can go like this:
  • Generate 5 creative topics about excessive smartphone use.
  • Write 10 graduate-level topics about the fur industry in the US. Each title should include a subtitle.

4. Generating Thesis Statements

If topics don’t get your creativity going, you can jump straight to generating thesis statements. They will be well-formulated and contain at least 3 main arguments.

The guidelines are the same as with the topics—just type in “generate an essay thesis on [topic].” Here are some additional tips:

🎊 Use the arguments for your essay The best thing about these generated thesis statements is that they will include the main claim you can use as the foundation of your essay or research.
️ Try adding your own arguments Do your research, develop a main claim for your paper, and include it in your prompt. It will help you avoid generating a thesis based on false information.
️ Write the paper yourself! This way, you’ll avoid cheating and ensure there are no factual mistakes. For all you know, ChatGPT may write a text that makes no sense and doesn’t support the main argument. So, we suggest you stop at the thesis statement and write the rest of your paper yourself.

5. Creating Outlines

ChatGPT can also generate entire essay outlines. And not just any outlines, but good ones!

By default, it produces an outline for a 5-paragraph essay with 3 arguments for each body paragraph. As usual, you can customize it in any way you want.

Pay attention to the following:

🎚️ You can tweak the default settings Type precise instructions on how many paragraphs you need, the essay’s level, the thesis statement, and so on. For example:
Create an outline for a 1000-word high-school level essay about the ethics of playing as a villain in fantasy video games. Focus on the positives.
🔬 Do your research first You’ll be better off drawing your own conclusions and providing the main arguments in your instructions. This way, ChatGPT will skip the part where it generates nonsense and get straight to building an outline based on your sensible arguments.

6. Writing Essay Hooks

If you have a fear of the blank page, you can ask ChatGPT to generate a hook for your essay.

Hooks can be different, and you can ask for a few to have a choice. A question, a quote, or a piece of statistics are all excellent ideas that ChatGPT can easily bring to life.

But, as always, we have some tips to make this feature even more helpful:

🙅 Don’t rely on it too much regarding factual data Since ChatGPT is very good at generating incredibly convincing nonsense, we recommend you avoid asking to create a hook with statistics from scratch. If you ask it to just “write a hook for an essay using a piece of statistics,” the chat will likely generate something that’s far from the truth and explain it that way:
“I created the statistics you mentioned as an example, based on the knowledge I have on the subject, but it is not a real statistic that you can use as a reference in your essay.”
📚 Ask the chat to give you sources There is a great feature that can help you find what you’re looking for. If you need a piece of statistics for your hook, you can ask ChatGPT to give you a list of organizations and publications where you can look up the necessary info. Just type in “where can I get statistics for my essay on [topic]?” This way, you’ll get more trustworthy sources of information than the AI’s imagination.
📊 Use facts from a credible resource Once have what you need, ask ChatGPT to generate a hook using the facts you’ve found. This way, you’ll get a decent result that won’t turn out to be fictional.
✨ Use different prompts for various types of hooks Here’s how you can word your prompts to generate great attention-grabbers:
  • AI will replace 85% of customer service jobs in the near future. Write an essay hook using this piece of statistics.
  • “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Write a hook for an essay about the importance of personality using this quote.
  • Write a hook for an essay about the role of women in the history of the US in question form.

7. Developing Presentations

Presentations are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about ways to use an AI chat. But it can do that, too! It specifies what to include in each slide and even comes up with titles for them.

A good starting point for the command will be something like “generate a text for a #-slide presentation,” with the number of slides you need. But that’s too simple, right? Here’s what we recommend:

📝 Use ChatGPT to arrange a summary as a presentation Just enter the article or book chapter that you need to make a presentation on and ask the chatbot to “summarize the following text as a #-slide presentation.” It will rewrite it slide by slide.
💬 Turn a speech you wrote into a presentation The best idea is to make your presentation using a text you created yourself. You can type “make a text for a 6-slide presentation based on the following” and then insert the speech you wrote. The chatbot will divide it into nice logical parts.

8. Listing Pros, Cons, & Problem Solutions

You certainly know what it’s like to write pros and cons essays and problem solution papers. It may be hard to come up with more than a couple of benefits and drawbacks for something you don’t really care about.

Well, not anymore—now you have a helper in the person of ChatGPT! It has a special function tailored specifically for pros, cons, and problem solutions. All you need is to enter specific commands.

Here’s how to ask for help in the best way:

⚖️ Ask it to list the pros and cons of something A simple input command “describe the benefits and drawbacks of [topic]” with do the trick. You’ll get a list of those and a model introduction for your essay.
📑 Generate a list of problem solutions If you’re stuck coming up with problem solutions for your paper, type “write about possible solutions to the problem of [topic].” You’ll get an extended list of solutions, a model introduction, and explanations of the suggested solutions.
️ Fact-check the generated results By now, you’ve probably learned by heart that you must double-check everything the chatbot generates. You never know what a constantly learning AI may come up with!

Want to see some examples of AI’s ethical use in action? Check out our article where we compare ChatGPT to popular study tools.

💡 Limitations of AI Use in Studying

It’s important to note that every use we’ve discussed in this article has limitations. These drawbacks of ChatGPT are especially important to remember when you want to enlist AI’s help for studies.

The picture explains that ChatGPT is an imperfect tool for writing and shouldn't be used for cheating.

Let’s recap:

  • It has no knowledge of obscure and niche topics. The best thing it can do is invent some nice-sounding “facts” about them based on similar patterns of information.
  • The world after 2021 is a mystery to it. It’s no use asking it to write an essay hook using current news or any events from the last couple of years. But it can still rephrase or summarize new information if you provide it in your prompt.
  • It can’t summarize complex literary works. If the author is very creative and uses complex themes and storylines, the chatbot won’t get it. The same goes for classic literature, for example, Shakespeare or Shelley. ChatGPT can accidentally omit essential information or mix things up because of the intricacies of a literary text.
  • Its creativity is limited. You can’t expect it to produce an incredible idea that’s never been heard before. Interestingly, the chat can imitate famous writers to a certain extent, but not those who use unconventional forms, playful tone, and unexpected twists in their texts.
  • It’s incapable of having aesthetic judgments and personal opinions. As a result, it’s bad at debates and can’t choose between several options. If you want to chat about art, you should know that everything the AI says will be taken from reviews and art books.
  • It doesn’t disclose its sources. Even if ChatGPT comes with a legit piece of information that it hasn’t invented, it won’t provide a link to the source. It used to have that option, but it doesn’t anymore. This restriction is probably meant to make it more difficult for students to generate entire essays.

As you can see, cheating is made difficult by ChatGPT itself. Even if you decide to use it to create an entire paper from scratch, the chances that it will get at least a B- are low.

Remember: ChatGPT is excellent as a supplementary tool for facilitating the process and improving the result, but it is by no means a standalone instrument for writing.

To quote the tool itself:

As a language model AI, I don’t have access to current knowledge, I can generate text based on the information I was trained on. My purpose is to assist users in generating text, not to provide accurate information.


🚀 Conclusion: ChatGPT & the Future of Technology in Education

We are sure that AI has many improvements waiting for it in the future, and not only relating to the sphere of school and higher education. The science behind artificial intelligence and machine learning is developing rapidly. ChatGPT may overcome the limitations we’ve discussed in this article in the next few years.

At the same time, the masterminds behind these breakthrough technologies may also improve ways of controlling how we use their innovations. ChatGPT’s creators have already made it impossible to ask the chat for ways to commit a crime or get a full essay with references to pass as your own. New limitations will likely be imposed, but there will also be incredible new possibilities.

Interestingly, many things that ChatGPT can do were not part of the initial plan. Its creators made an algorithm to predict and transform text, and people found new ways of using its possibilities. We recommend you to experiment with it, and maybe you’ll also come up with exciting new uses of this incredible chatbot!

New technology is always exciting. It may be scary just as well. We’re curious to know about your opinions! Let us know what you think about the use of artificial intelligence in education in the comment section below. And good luck with your experimenting!

🔗 References

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