How to resist the temptation of artificial intelligence when writing

Your local public library is a great source of free information, journals, and databases (even ones that often require a subscription and contain prohibited research). For example, your search should include everything from health databases (Sage Journals, Scopus, PubMed) to academic sources and news databases (American periodical Series Online, Statista, Academic Search Premier) and news, trends, market research, and polling databases (Harris Poll, Pew Research Center, News Bank, ProPublica).

Even if you find an inaccessible study or paper in one of these databases, consider contacting the study’s lead author or researcher. In many cases, they will be happy to discuss their work and may even share findings directly with you and offer to talk about their research.

Get a good filtration system

Excerpted from journalist Paulette Perhach’s article on ADHD New York Times, She uses Epic Research to view “two-team studies.” When two independent teams tackle the same topic or problem, they will ideally come to the same conclusion. She recommends finding research and experts through major associations related to your topic. She also prefers searching through Google Scholar but recommends filtering studies and studies from recent years to avoid using older data. She recommends keeping your links and research organized. “Always be ready for peer review,” Perhage said.

When you’re looking for information about a story or project, you may tend to start with a regular Google search. But remember, the internet is full of false information, and sites that appear trustworthy may sometimes be businesses or companies that have a vested interest in you and treat their words as objective truth without additional scrutiny. Regardless of your writing project, unreliable or biased sources are a great way to sabotage your work and any hopes of future work.

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Author Bobbi Rebell researched her book Start Financial Adult Use the IRS website. “I might say you can contribute a certain amount to a 401K, but that might be outdated because those numbers are always changing and it’s important to be accurate,” she said. “AI and ChatGPT are great for idea generation,” Rebell said, “but you have to be careful. If you’re using an article that someone was quoted in, you don’t know if they were misquoted or taken out of context.”

If you use AI and ChatGPT for sourcing, you run the risk of not only introducing errors, but also plagiarism—there’s a reason OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, was sued for downloading information from all those books.

Historically, the loudest has not been the best

Audrey Clare Farley is a writer of historical nonfiction who uses a number of historical research sites, including Women Also Know History (which allows searching by expertise or area of ​​study) and JSTOR (a digital library database that offers numerous free downloads) months. She also uses Chronicling America (a project of the Library of Congress) and (which you can access with a free trial, but requires a subscription after seven days).

When looking for experts, Farley warns against choosing the loudest person on a social media platform. “They are not necessarily the most authoritative. I vet them by checking to see if they have a publication history and/or educational credentials on the topic.”

When vetting experts, be aware of the following red flags:

  • You won’t find their work published or cited anywhere.
  • They were published in an obscure magazine.
  • Their research is funded by companies rather than universities, or they are spokespersons for the companies they are researching. (This makes them a public relations tool rather than a proper source of news coverage.)

Finally, the best ending to almost any piece of writing, whether it’s an essay, research paper, academic report, or investigative journalism, is to go back to the beginning of the article and show the reader the transformation or journey. The work is presented in perspective.

As always, your goal should be to write strong articles backed by research that make an impact without taking shortcuts. Only then can you explore tools that might make your work easier, for example by generating subtitles or discovering concepts you might be missing, because then you’ll have the experience and skills to understand whether it will hurt or help your work.

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