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Exploring the Controversy: Students Embracing AI for Essay Writing

As ChatGPT has become more mainstream, and viral on social media, students everywhere have started using it.

However, without realising many failed to acknowledge the plagiarism checks their universities have, already set out: at a glance, AI cannot seem to bypass this.

While some argue it is a clever idea, others believe it takes away from students learning and developing grammatical and linguistic skills vital for expressing their thoughts through written language.

It’s a quick way of doing things, but it may not benefit you in the long run.

Let’s take a look at some of the key points educators are trying to make about subbing human effort for AI essays:

 Increased Efficiency and Time Management:

  • AI can streamline the essay writing process, meaning students can save time and focus on other academic or extracurricular activities.
  • Tools like ChatGPT can generate drafts, provide grammar and style, and assist in research.
  • Overall enhancement of student productivity.

Improved Writing Skills and Learning Opportunities:

  • Some believe that generated essays can serve as learning tools.
  • Students can gain insight into sentence structure, organisation, and other aspects of effective writing.
  • Exposure to well-crafted essays can inspire students to improve their own writing abilities.

Ethical Concerns and Academic Integrity:

  • AI-generated essays have a high potential for academic dishonesty.
  • Plagiarism and a lack of originality become significant issues when students submit essays that are solely written by AI.
  • It raises ethical questions and undermines the educational value of essays: it bypasses the necessary critical thinking skills created by writing.

Loss of Personal Voice and Authenticity:

  • Essay writing provides students with an opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions in a unique and personal way.
  • Relying on AI means they risk losing their own voice and authenticity.
  • Generated essays may lack the personal touch, originality and depth of insight that teachers expect from their students.

Educating Students about Responsible AI Use:

  • Instead of completely dismissing AI essays, schools/colleges/universities could take a proactive approach and incorporate lessons on responsible AI use (especially as it develops).
  • They can teach students how to utilise AI as a useful tool as opposed to replacing their own work with it.
  • Equip students with knowledge and skills to use AI responsibly and ethically.

Final Thoughts: What’s the Best Approach?

One way to approach AI essay writing could be to let it generate your essay plans. In doing so, you can get clear ideas and a clear theme for the content of your essay, without getting caught out by your school’s detection systems.

If you think it’ll be useful for you, there’s no harm in trying. Try to work alongside the AI by using it to enhance your writing, don’t let it do all the work.