This version was generated after feeding in my attempt at writing this blog post and asking ChatGPT to ‘shorten this text into a blog post’.
I recently discovered the incredible potential of ChatGPT, and it completely revolutionized the way I approached my writing. As a student pursuing a Professional Doctorate in Education, I often struggled with crafting cohesive and focused assignments. My writing style was scattered and verbose, making it difficult for readers to follow my train of thought. Enter ChatGPT, a powerful AI language model that became my secret weapon in developing a well-structured research proposal.
Initially, I sought human help from my project supervisor, Stephen Webb, who pointed out that my writing relied too heavily on vague terms like “this” and “it.” While I understood the meaning behind my words, Stephen reminded me that readers might not share the same clarity. Armed with his feedback, I set out to improve my proposal.
When I completed the next draft, I thought I was finished. However, the word count was far too high, so I turned to ChatGPT for assistance in condensing my writing. It did the job, but the result lacked my personal touch and voice as a writer. I realized I would have to manually trim down the content to achieve the desired outcome.
During this editing process, I discovered the true power of ChatGPT. I started using it to check sentences that I struggled to articulate clearly. When I asked for grammar assistance, ChatGPT not only provided corrections but also suggested ways to enhance sentence structure and improve readability. This iterative process allowed me to refine my writing, discarding extraneous thoughts and rearranging sentences for better flow. It became evident that if a particular text no longer fit within the new leaner version, despite my attachment to it, it had to be eliminated. This experience epitomized the essence of editing.
As I continued to utilize ChatGPT, I encountered questions of ethics. While it proved immensely useful in reducing my word count, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about presenting the AI-generated content as my own. The ethical implications of using AI in writing remain a divisive topic, with differing perspectives on its appropriateness and boundaries. To navigate this issue, some suggest referencing AI tools in an appendix, detailing their specific use and purpose in the writing process. However, this raises questions about the extent to which we should acknowledge AI contributions and how that compares to other forms of assistance, such as spell checkers or language tools like Grammarly.
One important consideration is whether AI tools are always correct. While they excel at constructing language, they may strip away the author’s voice and inadvertently introduce errors. In my experience, Grammarly sometimes made corrections to the text generated by ChatGPT, highlighting the need for human judgment in refining the output.
In conclusion, ChatGPT became a game-changer for me, transforming my writing process in ways I had never imagined. I believe it should be embraced as a valuable resource for students to tighten their drafts before seeking extensive academic support. By incorporating AI tools, we can alleviate the burden on educators, who can then focus on reviewing more polished submissions requiring minimal intervention. However, it is crucial to strike a balance and ensure that AI enhances our own voices rather than overshadowing them. AI is undoubtedly here to stay, and by harnessing its power thoughtfully, we can elevate our writing while preserving our unique identities as authors.
Thoughts from the Proofreader:
I was asked to proofread Tom’s blog post here and have a look at ChatGPT’s version too. Comparing the two, I definitely found Tom’s writing much more personable – I could imagine him speaking as I read through it. ChatGPT’s version presented the information efficiently and effectively, and I found nothing to correct. However, in its response to the prompt, it had taken away everything that made Tom sound like Tom!
This experience also really made me realise how many misconceptions I have about AI tools. I’d assumed that ChatGPT would have a very grammatical approach to its interpretation of language – rather like I’ve been told I have! However, when Tom asked it about the difference between ‘that allowed’ and ‘allowing’, ChatGPT talked with authority about implications and potential meanings. This answer was a long way from my interpretation, which attributed the difference to the grammar of relative clauses (X refers to one thing, Y refers to another). As Tom demonstrated with his irony example, it’s worth being cautious with how far we trust its responses. And I think we can be confident that human input will still be needed for a few years (or at least months) yet.