Chat GPT is an exciting new AI tool that can be incredibly helpful for writing research papers. As a graduate student working on my thesis, I’ve been experimenting with different Chat GPT prompts to make my literature review and writing process more efficient. In this article, I’ll share some vital prompts I’ve discovered through trial and error that can save researchers like me tons of time.
Finding Relevant Papers
The first challenge when writing any research paper is finding high-quality, relevant papers to review and cite. I used to spend hours searching databases and filtering through irrelevant studies. But with Chat GPT, I can now use targeted prompts to instantly generate lists of papers fitting my exact criteria.
Here’s an example prompt I gave Chat GPT requesting relevant papers on educational technology published since 2020:
List 10 recent relevant research papers since 2020 on the topic "educational technology and student engagement", formatted in APA style with author, year published, title, and journal name.
And here was Chat GPT’s impressively accurate response:
 Fisher, M. H., & Crawford, B. (2020). “Using educational technology to promote student engagement and success in quantitative disciplines.” Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 49(2), 249-273.
 Rizvi, S., Gulabovska, M., & Nunez-Mchiri, G. G. (2021). “Student perceptions of educational technology tools to increase engagement in online courses.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 53(1), 29-43.
With prompts like this, I can instantly generate reading lists on new topics without having to spend time searching databases. It makes the literature review process so much more efficient!
Once I’ve compiled a list of papers to read, my next step is summarizing them so I can process the key information. Reading and taking notes on 20+ papers can take forever, but Chat GPT helps me summarize them in seconds.
I simply copy and paste the paper abstract into Chat GPT and use this prompt:
Summarize the key points from this research paper abstract in 3 bullet points:
And Chat GPT provides a nice concise summary highlighting the main findings, methodology, and conclusions. When doing a literature review, being able to summarize papers this quickly is an enormous time saver!
When writing my actual research paper, I need to incorporate ideas and quotes from other papers. But I can’t just copy direct passages or I’ll run into plagiarism issues. This is where Chat GPT comes in so handy for paraphrasing.
For example, I found this great quote defining educational technology:
“Educational technology refers to the use of technology in teaching and learning and includes tools ranging from multimedia resources to internet-based course delivery systems.”
I copied this sentence and used this prompt in Chat GPT:
Paraphrase the following sentence by rewriting it in your own words:
"Educational technology refers to the use of technology in teaching and learning and includes tools ranging from multimedia resources to internet-based course delivery systems."
And got back this perfectly paraphrased version:
“Educational technology encompasses the various technological tools and platforms employed to facilitate and enhance teaching and student learning, from multimedia learning materials to online learning management platforms.”
Being able to parapharase entire paragraphs this easily is a game changer for properly citing sources in research papers!
My final vital Chat GPT prompt is for proofreading my finished research papers. It’s easy to miss typos, grammar issues, awkward phrasing, and formatting problems after staring at a paper for hours.
I just copy my entire paper text into Chat GPT and use this prompt:
Proofread the following research paper draft. Check for any spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, or awkward phrasing issues. Provide suggested edits using track changes.
Chat GPT scans through my paper and neatly presents back a marked up version with track changes showing proposed edits to polish up my writing. It catches all sorts of issues I would likely miss on my own.
These Chat GPT prompts have already saved me dozens of hours and had a huge impact on boosting my research productivity. I highly recommend all graduate students and researchers experiment with prompts for literature reviews, paraphrasing, summarizing, and proofreading papers. Chat GPT is truly a game changing AI tool for academics!
Here are some useful websites to learn more about applying Chat GPT for research writing: