As a writer, you know how essential it is to have reliable search tools that can help you find the right information, inspiration and just about anything that would make your writing stand out. Search engines like Google have been the go-to for many writers, but now that ChatGPT is here, Google seems practically obsolete. This incredibly helpful search feature is capable of doing things that even Google can’t. However, many writers still steer clear of it, fearing that ChatGPT may cross the line between inspiration and plagiarism. In this blog, we’ll take a look at just how beneficial ChatGPT can be and how to use it to enhance, not undermine, your writing.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI-powered Q&A system that can help you create more engaging text. It can understand human language, interpret queries, and mine information from databases to provide accurate information. This feature will save you a lot of time and energy, especially if you’re working with several sources, and it will help you find credible information faster.
ChatGPT as a research tool
You may wonder,how can I use ChatGPT without risking plagiarism? The answer is, use it as a tool, not a foundation. Let ChatGPT inspire you with what questions people are asking related to your topic. For instance, if you want to write about the best healthy food to eat during pregnancy, use ChatGPT to help with your research. You could ask ChatGPT what are the most frequent questions, popular content, or any topic or keywords that relate to that topic, and then draw inspiration from the results. This approach leaves a lot of room for creativity while producing content that is based on facts and research. The same can be done in Google using the “People Also Ask” feature, but ChatGPT is way more effective.
ChatGPT as Search + Thesaurus
This is going to sound wild, but stick with me. I recently needed a list of words that begin with “self,” followed by a hyphen, followed by a descriptor, in the same vein as “self-worth,” “self-confidence,” etc. I’m sure you’re thinking of what a nightmare that would be if you tried it in Google’s search bar. You wouldn’t be wrong. Here’s what Google came up with:
So, not awful, but not super great either. On the other hand, here’s the output from ChatGPT when I asked, “What are some words that begin with “self” and are similar to self-esteem, self-worth, and self-efficacy:
As you can see, this approach was much more effective, and gave me a much nicer output to work with. There truly seems that the only limit of what ChatGPT can do when used as a search and thesaurus feature is your own creativity and imagination.
ChatGPT as a writer’s block antidote
What if you want to write a book and have a vague idea of what you’d like to write about but don’t have a story idea? ChatGPT can help you with that! It is a powerful tool for helping you generate ideas or get “unstuck” when you reach an impasse. For example, here’s what I got when I asked, “Can you give me some ideas for a fiction romance book?”:
Viola! What I love about this is there is no plagiarism or thought-stealing here. It’s simply a useful tool to help you get the brain in motion.
ChatGPT as a citation generator
ChatGPT can be an excellent tool to use to create a works cited page for your writing. It can automatically create a citation in the format you need, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago style, and provide you with all the necessary information that you need to copy and paste into your document’s reference section. This feature comes in handy, especially when you’re working on multiple projects or have tight deadlines, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time formatting citations.
Check this out. This is the output I received when I asked, “can you provide some academic journal articles that study the link between mental health and weight loss?”:
Then, I asked ChatGPT to format the list according to MLA guidelines:
And finally, according to APA guidelines:
If you don’t want to get lost in the weeds of formatting your citations for papers or publications, this is what you need to be doing.
The benefits of using ChatGPT
ChatGPT has many benefits, and once you learn how to use it, you can enhance your writing in many ways. One of the main benefits is that it saves you time and improves your research accuracy. You can also use it as a tool for brainstorming, since it generates random text that can help you come up with new content ideas. And if you’re stuck, you can even ask it to help you come up with a title for your article or blog post.
ChatGPT can be enormously beneficial to any person who writes for a living, but it also requires a responsible use of the tool to avoid crossing the line between inspiration and plagiarism. With ChatGPT, you can easily generate random text for inspiration, discover what people are asking about your topic, and even format your works cited page. Remember, it’s a tool, use it as a supplement and not as the sole repository. The art of writing still requires creativity, hard work, and dedication. But with the help of ChatGPT, you can enhance those skills to produce writing that is engaging, thoughtful, and informative.