A Student’s Guide to Using ChatGPT
  • 5-minute read
  • 12th May 2023

A Student’s Guide to Using ChatGPT

The emergence of AI-powered chatbots has led us all to wonder how we could use them to make our lives easier. Heading off to college or university is daunting, right? Trying to make sense of all those papers in obscure academic language… Having the freedom to share your ideas but not knowing where to start… In this article, we look at how you, as a student, might use ChatGPT to make your life a bit easier – and when you shouldn’t.

What Can ChatGPT Be Used For?


If you have an academic paper that you’re struggling to understand, ChatGPT can provide a summary of the topic, the main arguments and findings, and an explanation of any jargon or academic terms. You can ask it to provide this in whatever format you fancy, such as in simple language or bullet points.

Of course, if you still don’t understand it, you should go to your tutor, but you can do so having more clearly identified the issue you’re struggling with, which will be the best use of time for both of you.

Essay Prompts and Outlines

You might know your subject well but be struggling with blank page syndrome (aka writer’s block). ChatGPT can be used to suggest a prompt for your essay, an outline for addressing the essay question, or an engaging fact or statistic with which to introduce it (in which case, make sure to follow up with a prompt for the citation – and check it).

Providing Feedback

Once you’ve written your essay, you can ask ChatGPT to provide feedback on how it could be improved in terms of your writing style or the topics covered. You might find this to be less intimidating than asking a friend or family member to do it, and you may find the feedback easier to take from a chatbot.

Creating a Study Plan

It’s all very well being told to create a study plan, but that in itself takes time. Harnessing AI to do this for you may well be your biggest time saver. Have a look at our article on how to develop a study plan using ChatGPT.


This is possibly the most stressful part of being a student – figuring out how to remember all the information that you’ve learned over the course of a number of years. ChatGPT can be used to create a selection of revision tools, some of them entertaining enough to make you forget you’re even revising! These include:

●  Quizzes

●  Poems

●  Songs

●  Imagined conversations

●  Jokes

While you can certainly ask for a joke, you may want to lower your expectations on the humor front. Here’s what ChatGPT came up with for Hamlet:

Why did Hamlet bring a pencil to the play?

Because he wanted to “rewrite” the tragedy!

This joke plays on the idea that Hamlet, as a character known for his contemplation and introspection, might want to rewrite or change the tragic events in the play. It’s a lighthearted way to remember that Hamlet is a complex character who grapples with his own thoughts and emotions throughout the play.

What Can’t ChatGPT Be Used For?

Apart from jokes that are funny…

Writing Essays

You must not use ChatGPT to write your essay or other form of assessment for you – that would be a form of plagiarism. Universities and colleges are alert to this issue, and you may face serious academic penalties if you’re found to have used AI in that way.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

You would also be missing out on the purpose of studying, which is to develop your own skills.


The material provided by ChatGPT is only as good as the information that has been fed into it during development. And it can easily produce incorrect information. In creating this post, we asked it to write a song to help with remembering the key dates and events of the French Revolution, and the first line it produced was:

In seventeen-ninety-eight, the Revolution did ignite,

In case you didn’t study it, we should point out that the French Revolution started in 1789, not 1798.

It’s therefore vital to fact-check any information it provides.

To ensure fair play, we asked ChatGPT, “Do we need to fact-check the information you provide?” Its answer was:

Yes, it is always advisable to fact-check the information provided by any source, including ChatGPT. While ChatGPT strives to generate accurate and helpful responses, it is still an AI language model that generates content based on patterns and information it has learned from training data. It does not have real-time access to current information or the ability to verify the accuracy of every statement it generates.

A better use of ChatGPT for research would be to ask for suggested academic resources on a particular topic.

How to Use ChatGPT

ChatGPT aims to work like a text conversation. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that its ability to provide relevant responses is based on the prompts that you provide in your questions. Here are some suggestions you could try.

●  I have to write an essay about < >. Can you suggest some essay prompts?

●  Can you summarize the main dates and events of < > in a poem?

●  I have to write an essay about < >. Can you suggest some academic resources I could use to research this?

●  Can you please explain < > to me as if I were 12 years old?


ChatGPT can be a useful tool but, like any tool, you need to use it with care. You can certainly use it to provide a quick response to a question, but you should be alert to its failings. When it comes to revision, however, checking a fact can be a great way to make sure it sticks in your memory!

Remember that different universities and colleges may have different attitudes to the use of AI – including whether its use needs to be cited in your reference list – so always check what’s ok and what’s not.

Although ChatGPT can be used to proofread and provide feedback on your writing style, and is certainly a quick way to self-edit your writing before submitting it, it does have some limitations, which we explored in this article. After using ChatCPT to help with your work, you can always ask our experts to look it over, check your references, and improve your grammar and tone. Just like ChatGPT, we are available 24/7. You can even try our services for free!

Comments (0)

Get help from a language expert.

Try our proofreading services for free.

More Writing Tips?
Trusted by thousands of leading
institutions and businesses

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.