In the sphere of academic writing, there is something of a stigma attached to online tools. There are a lot of unethical ways in which they can be used – due to which students are often prohibited or discouraged from using them.
There are many ways in which AI tools are completely fine to use for academic writing. When used in those ways, these tools can play a very helpful part in the writing process.
If you want to learn about how you can ethically utilize AI tools for writing academic content, read this post till the end.
a. AI Tools Can Be Used for Research and Idea Garnering
One of the ethical ways in which you can use AI tools is for research purposes.
Research is necessary for pretty much every other academic content. Depending on the content that you have to write, you may have to learn about a concept, garner statistics, and so on.
Using AI for this whole process can help you save a lot of time and it can help you get your hands on useful information that can make your content valuable.
On top of research, these tools can also help you get started with some ideas i.e., suggestions on how you can get your content started.
- For conducting research, there are two types of AI tools that you can use. One is the dedicated research tools that only serve the function of gathering and providing information to the user. An example of such a tool that comes to mind is Frase. While Frase is overall not just a research tool, it does provide a feature where it collects and provides a vast amount of information from the SERPs to the user so that they don’t have to look for it all separately on their own.
- The other way to conduct research and get ideas for the content is by using online AI assistants. ChatGPT is a good example of a tool that you can use for this purpose. With tools like ChatGPT, you can create outlines, get ideas, garner facts, etc. The only downside is that these tools can’t give you exact or reliable stats and figures.
b. AI Tools Can Be Used for Improving Content Quality
One of the main unethical things that you can do with AI for academic writing is to methodically and mindlessly generate content without putting in an effort of your own.
So, while that is something you should avoid, there are ways in which you can use AI during the content creation phase ethically.
You can, to be precise, write the content yourself but then work on improving it with the help of online AI tools. This is something that you can do with paraphrasing tools in particular.
Instead of talking about how these tools work, and the whole improvement thing goes, we’re just going to show you what happens in action:
In the screenshot above, you can see that the tool has made several changes to the given text, and for the most part, they’re in a better direction. The resultant content is better to read as compared to the original.
This is basically what AI paraphrasing tools do. They change the content they’re given, and they word it differently. Since the tools are based on AI, the output text is typically better than the input.
The tool that we’ve used in the above screenshot is Paraphrase Online. It is one of the many AI-based paraphrasers that you can find on the Internet.
c. AI Tools can help you in the proofreading process
Proofreading and editing is an important part of the academic writing process. AI tools can also help you out with that.
In academic writing, one of the main steps that you have to take care of is checking and removing grammar/spelling errors.
There are other things as well, but a lot of those are specific to particular content types. For example, if you are writing a paper or a research article etc., then checking for incorrect/missing citations is also a step in the proofreading process. If you are writing a study where you’re required to add visuals, then checking the latter would also come in the process of proofreading.
Grammar and spell checking, however, is something that you have to do pretty much universally. And you can make it easier by taking help from AI tools.
Grammar checkers exist in abundance on the Internet – and a lot of them are fairly accurate and helpful. The good thing about using these tools is that they don’t just unexplainedly fix all the errors in the content you give them. Rather, they provide explanations and expositions of the errors so that you can actually avoid them in the future. Here is what the working of a typical grammar checker looks like:
We’ve used the tool Grammar Check in the image above. There are other similar tools available as well, but we’ve used this one because it is free and doesn’t require registration.
While they don’t have the warmest and most appreciated reputation in the world of academia, AI tools do have a lot of ethical uses in academic writing. They can be used during the pre-writing process for gathering facts and information. They can also be used to improve the quality of the write-up during the actual writing process, and they’re likewise handy during the editing phase.