AI in Education Content Creation

How to Succeed With ChatGPT for Technical Writing

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, AI-driven tools like ChatGPT are revolutionizing the landscape of technical writing. These tools are not just transforming the way we create content but are also challenging us to redefine our roles as content creators. This article delves into the potential of ChatGPT as a tool for technical writing, exploring its benefits, limitations, and the unique value that human writers bring. With the right approach, you can leverage ChatGPT to enhance your content creation process and succeed in technical writing.

ChatGPT is an AI writing assistant that can help streamline the content creation process and optimize content.  

Key Takeaways

  • ChatGPT is a powerful AI writing assistant that can streamline the content creation process and optimize content.
  • ChatGPT should be viewed as an apprentice or assistant rather than a writer. It can help solve writer’s block and provide information based on your prompts.
  • The responses from ChatGPT should be seen as placeholders. It’s essential to rewrite, quote, and research any responses to add more relevant information to your content.
  • ChatGPT can streamline the writing process and optimize content with the correct Prompt Engineering.
  • While ChatGPT provides a range of benefits, it lacks certain human elements such as experiences, stories, and your unique voice.
  • AI tools like ChatGPT can significantly streamline the technical writing process, but they are not a replacement for human writers. They cannot infuse personal experiences, stories, and a unique voice into the content. However, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in a technical writer’s arsenal when used as an assistant rather than a replacement.

Welcome to the first of three installment in our series dedicated to harnessing the power of AI, specifically ChatGPT, for technical content creation. All 3 articles together serve as a guide to success with AI tools. Please check them out !!

What is the Danger of Ignoring Tools Like ChatGPT?

What is the Danger of Ignoring Tools Like ChatGPT? The big question becomes, Can this new tool provide my customers/readers with a better product? Can I compete? I believe you can be successful by supplying what is missing, which is the value-add You Provide.

The ChatGPT hype cycle is on full tilt right now. Not surprisingly, the talk about ChatGPT has been highly divided. Those saying all writing is over, to those wishing to ban it. I think it is just a tool that can help us be more productive if used carefully.

The dangers of ignoring this wave are becoming evident. Such as; “ChatGPT is beginning to take market share from the online learning platform Chegg (CHGG).”

“In the first part of the year, we saw no noticeable impact from ChatGPT on our new account growth and we were meeting expectations on new sign-ups,” Dan Rosensweig, Chegg CEO, said on Monday.
“However, since March we have seen a significant spike in student interest in ChatGPT. We now believe it’s having an impact on our new customer growth rate.” Chegg stock tanked on the news, falling 45%.

Source: Chegg stock sinks as ChatGPT steals market share (yahoo.com)Tue, May 2, 2023

How To Use ChatGPT as Your Assistant

Sample ChatGPT content

A big mistake is looking to ChatGPT as your writer. Instead, think of it as more of an apprentice or assistant that can help you develop ways to help solve writer’s block—a tool, learning your trade and writing by providing information back to you from your prompts.  Your guidance streamlines the process and helps you optimize your messaging and content.  

Let’s explore how I use tools like ChatGPT for technical writing

Remember – It’s a Chat, Iterative, and Needs Feedback

Look at the responses as placeholders. Remember, it’s essential to rewrite, quote, and research any responses. It is up to you to add more relevant information to your content. In this way, ChatGPT can be used to help in our growing need for clear and concise technical documentation. 

ChatGPT can be an AI writing assistant that can streamline the writing process and optimize content with the correct Prompt Engineering. However, as with most tools, you must know how to ask to get what you want.

Prompt Engineering is the process of developing efficient inputs that direct large language models (LLMs) to generate more precise and useful outputs.

What ChatGPT Provides vs. What Is Lacking

It is essential to take into account the target audience. With extensive training in various texts, the model’s responses may not always perfectly align with a specific audience’s preferences and needs. Therefore, you need to customize the generated content to ensure it fits your intended readership.

It is important to acknowledge and address potential biases within the language model. As technical writers, we need to strive for inclusivity and neutrality in our content.  We must ensure that our content appeals to a diverse audience and avoids reinforcing biases or stereotypes.

ChatGPT ProvidesChatGPT is Lacking
– Functions as a chatbot that engages in conversation based on prompts.
– The Chat remembers the context of what you asked previously and treats it like a conversation.
– Produces responses similar to those given by humans in a text box.
– Functions as a virtual assistant
– Helps writer’s block as you can generate summaries and various versions
– Enhancing Clarity and Conciseness simplify complex ideas, making them more accessible to a broader audience. By removing jargon and technical language,
– Human Experiences
– Your stories Illustrate your point
– Being written in your voice
– Consistency between content
– Use Cases Aurhtoritiveness
– Trustworthy needs to be earned
– Provided text is not in your voice
– Could have Biases based on data trained
What ChatGPT provides vs. What is lacking.

How to compete in the new world of AI

Before diving into the details, it’s important to understand what ChatGPT is and why it is relevant to technical writing.

ChatGPT offers a range of features and capabilities that can streamline the technical writing process. For example, it can assist in generating ideas, creating outlines, writing drafts, and even providing grammar and style suggestions. By leveraging ChatGPT, technical writers can save time and effort while producing high-quality content.

The best way to judge the tools is to try it. Microsoft’s Edge has GPTChat available, and it is free. Having the tool in with search results also brings in references so you can fact-check what was provided and research the topic further.

As you see in the picture on the right,

  • You enter your chat question
  • GPTChat creates your response and answers
  • After the response, you wee the source or references that pertain to your question.
  • Further information and other questions you can also ask are suggested below the response.

Find a subject you want to write about and work through the prompts. What works and what doesn’t, change and adapt to what works for you.

Microsoft GPTChat screen

Is the Rush to Judgement About AI Content Correct?

With the rush to denounce AI writing assistants in specific situations, such as education, we may be losing out on a new tool that can make us better and more productive. Some educational institutions see this as cheating. Some fear that students and others can use AI to generate content and have it pass as their own.  

I wouldn’t say I like the interruptions of the writing tools as I formulate my ideas. For the second draft, I turn on the spelling and grammar checking and go to town. I will also take some wordy paragraphs and summarize or rephrase them to get closer to what I am trying to say.

I will stand on a soapbox and cop to the truth that I have been a Grammarly user for years.  I am not an English major by any stretch, but I heavily rely on Grammarly, Microsoft Word’s grammar/spelling checker, and my blogging CMS to be that second set of eyes. I use these tools to help take my stream consciousness first draft to its final stages. (I have a huge mental block on transitional words. LOL).

How I use Grammarly with suggestion.
How I use Grammarly with suggestions.
Remember, AI is not always the best way of getting YOUR VOICE across.

I signed up for a couple of AI Checking detection portals.  I took one of the articles I wrote last year, Pre-ChatGPT, and obtained a 50% score for originality.  WHAT???  After a great deal of experimentation, I realized my grammar checker, word editor, and blogging tool caused this to be thrown into the “High chance portions were produced by AI” category. 

Hey, at least it gave me a 0% Plagiarized result. LOL

We need to have an open mind about this. What AI Writing Assistants do you use? Are you allowed to use tools such as Grammarly or ChatGPT? In educational institutions, there is a movement that may ban them all.

The key takeaway is to look at the responses as placeholders. Always remember to rewrite, quote, and research any responses is important. It is up to you to add more relevant information to the article.
Remember to reference any articles you use !!!! Make sure this represents your voice.


How Do You Measure Successful Content?

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay
Our measure as educators; Have I solved the intent or reason why someone searched or found my content?  Did I solve their content need? Was my training content successful?

Let’s start the conversation from a high level. What is successful content?

There is more to a successful article, training material, or blog post than relying on ChatGPT. If you are providing content to a group of people looking to be trained, no matter what format or training framework you use, you need to solve that person’s informational need.

The need a person has when they look for content, as Google defines it, is called the Search Intent of the user.

Reference:  What is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Beginners (ahrefs.com)

It’s What You Bring to the Table That People Want

What you add to generic content from the AI tool is your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

I always felt that Google’s quality ratings guidelines, E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), were a great style guide of what you, as a content author, need to bring to successful content.

The primary measure of success is “Have you solved the intent of the reader? Have you provided the information that helped solve their need? Have you provided them with a successful interaction?  

The information is one thing, but E-A-T measures need what you bring to the article in addition to the raw information. Google uses quality raters, who are real people who determine how well Google’s search results meet users’ needs based on the Search Quality Rater Guidelines. (see What Are E-A-T and YMYL in SEO & How to Optimize for Them (semrush.com -Nov 30, 2022)

Important To Show Your Expertise

Being able to show your expertise leads to Expert Power, which builds trust and makes your ideas more accessible. Expert power is acquired through your demonstration of knowledge and skills rather than by a formal title or designation. This has a direct effect on the training content you create.

The best way to gain this is through is by having quality content. When using tools such as ChatGPT, you have to ensure the information is relevant, accurate, tells a story, and is well written. You do this through your experience and knowledge of the topic.

You need to bring your experience. – Your Authoritativeness?

Reputation and credibility are characteristics that sow trust and respect in others. Chat-GPT does not replace you; the author is recognized as a trusted source within their field.

Your authoritativeness is a characteristic that instills trust and respect in others. You gain this by showing you have expertise in the specific area. For example, a doctor holds greater authority on medical matters than a bricklayer. But, I would also not hire a doctor to build my brick wall.

You Bring Your Track Record – Your Trustworthiness

The concept of authoritativeness also relates to the perceived trustworthiness and standing of both you as the content creator and the website presenting the content. Not done through one article but is driven through your track record by maintaining consistency and developing a performance history.

Your writing with proven competence and integrity is seen as more authoritative. AI Tools write in their voice, not yours. You will not have a consistent feel between articles.

Source: Our latest update to the quality rater guidelines: E-A-T gets an extra E for Experience | Google Search Central Blog | Google Developers

Putting it All Together

Chat-GPT will help you refine, develop and assist you in gathering well-researched content. You need to ensure the information is relevant, accurate, tells a story, and is well written. However, for success, it is crucial to highlight qualifications, demonstrate knowledge, and establish a favorable reputation to uphold a reliable track record of content.

Putting it All Together (Integration)
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How You Can Benefit from ChatGPT

I have had success with ChatGPT to assist in generating ideas, creating outlines, writing drafts, and even providing grammar and style suggestions. By leveraging ChatGPT, technical writers can save time and effort while helping to produce high-quality content. The following are some of the main ways I have helped me to be more effective.

Note: I will soon publish an article, that reviews a use case and with a comprehensive promt reference and examples of Prompt Engineering for technical writing. << Add Link & Picture of article>> (To Come Soon)

Improving Efficiency and Productivity – Helping Refine

One benefit I have found is the ability to improve my efficiency and productivity. I use the tool to assist with generating ideas for my outlines. I find it useful when starting new projects or overcoming writer’s block. Given a good prompt hint, I can get relevant suggestions and prompts that help to stimulate creativity and help me develop an effective content structure.

Read on: Learning Paths Introduction: Guided Technical Enablement

Enhancing Clarity and Conciseness

One very helpful use case I have found is the ability to simplify complex ideas and summarize long-winded paragraphs. By removing jargon and technical language, ChatGPT can help helps writers strike a balance between simplicity and complexity.

ChatGPT offers various writing services, such as providing alternative sentence structures, suggesting vocabulary, and helping with rephrasing complex sentences for enhanced readability. Additionally, ChatGPT can aid in proofreading and grammar checking to reduce errors and enhance the overall quality of written content.

Leveraging ChatGPT as a Learning Tool – Bing Chat & Google’s Bard

ChatGPT is continuously learning and improving its responses. However, it is not updated with real-time data. Bing and Google’s Bard search are updated more frequently. Having these search tools in your browser as you work can improve your workflow by cutting down on jumping around applications.

“It is abundantly clear that those who learn how to communicate effectively with AI and articulate their needs concisely and clearly will have a competitive advantage in the future of the AI and creator economy.

ChatGPT, Prompt Engineering, NLG, And Who Will Win The Endgame (wordlift.io), Emilia Gjorgjevska
AI in Education Content Creation

Conclusion

In conclusion, while AI tools like ChatGPT are powerful and can significantly streamline the technical writing process, they are not a replacement for human writers. They cannot infuse personal experiences, stories, and a unique voice into the content. However, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in a technical writer’s arsenal when used as an assistant rather than a replacement. By understanding its capabilities and limitations and by adding our unique value as writers, we can compete and thrive in this new world of AI-assisted content creation.


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2 responses to “How to Succeed With ChatGPT for Technical Writing”

  1. […] How to Succeed With ChatGPT for Technical Writing – Delves into the potential of ChatGPT as a tool for technical writing, exploring its benefits, limitations, and the unique value that human writers bring. […]

  2. […] How to Succeed With ChatGPT for Technical Writing – Delves into the potential of ChatGPT as a tool for technical writing, exploring its benefits, limitations, and the unique value that human writers bring. […]

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