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Women's Studies (WOMS10): Using ChatGPT

Using ChatGPT

What is ChatGPT good for and not good for?

Remember, you'll always need to verify the information, because ChatGPT will sometimes make things up (known as "hallucination").

What is it good for?
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Narrowing your topic ideas for a research paper, and keywords for searching in library databases. See Generate Topics for Your Research Paper with ChatGPT.
  • Explaining information in ways that are easy to understand
  • Summarizing and outlining
  • Asking questions (be sure to fact check the results) You can ask a million questions without fear of being judged.
  • Translating text to different languages (not completely fluent in every language)
  • Helping write or debug computing code


What is it not so good for?
  • Library research (not yet). For now, it's best to use Library searchLibrary databases, or Google Scholar. ChatGPT is known to make up citations.

    Note: You may want to try one of these sites that summarize web search results with generative AI. (But don't use ChatGPT, since it's not connected to web search).
  • Asking for any information that would have dire consequences if it was incorrect (such as health, financial, legal advice, and so on). This is because of its tendency to sometimes make up answers, but still sound very confident.


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What to Type in ChatGPT

Tips on how to ask a question in ChatGPT

Always verify the information it gives you.
Think of ChatGPT as your personal intern. They need very specific instructions, and they need you to verify the information.
ChatGPT sometimes makes things up. That's because it's designed to write in a way that sounds like human writing. It's not designed to know facts.
Tips for writing effective prompts
  1. Give it some context or a role to play.
  2. Give it very detailed instructions, including how you would like the results formatted.
  3. Keep conversing and asking for changes. Ask it to revise the answer in various ways.
  1. A role could be, "Act as an expert in [fill in the blank]." 
    Act as an expert community organizer.
    Act as a high school biology teacher.
    Act as a comedian.
  2. Example prompt:
    Act as an expert academic librarian. I’m writing a research paper for my Women's Studies class and I need help coming up with a topic. I’m interested in women in STEM. Please give me a list of 10 women who have made an impact in the STEM field. 
  3. Example of changes: (keep conversing until you get something useful)
    Now give me some sub-topics or research questions for [one of those topics]. And give me a list of keywords and phrases I can use to search for that topic in library databases and Google Scholar.
    I didn't like any of those topics. Please give me 10 more.