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Generative AI use pilot: Generative AI use

Using ChatGPT, or any generative AI, effectively and appropriately for this project

There are aspects of this project where generative AI, such as ChatGPT, would be useful if used effectively and appropriately. On this page you will find examples of where ChatGPT could be applied to help you get started on your own work. If you have an idea for use of generative AI that is not covered here, please speak with your instructors, first.

First, here are some uses that are not acceptable for your _______________ project:

  • Allowing generative AI such as ChatGPT to write all or part of your final project
  • Allowing generative AI to write any work for you that is a graded part of this project, such as the Annotated Bibliography assignment
  • Using generative AI outputs as sources for your paper/presentation. Please use TCC Library sources, and reputable free web sources only.

Part of the effective and appropriate use of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, for this project is to be transparent and document your use. Please use the following worksheet to record your use of generative AI and turn it in with your final project. 

Using ChatGPT effectively

Here is a basic introduction to using ChatGPT effectively (and appropriately) in the context of academic work  - your class assignments and projects. Always read your course syllabuses and ask your instructors before using any generative AI in your course work. Make sure that you are clear about the expectations and policies about generative AI in each of your classes. Your TCC Librarians and your TCC Writing and Tutoring Center are also excellent resources for questions you might have about generative AI and course work.

video: "How to use ChatGPT effectively" by University of Arizona Libraries is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Topic and sub-topic selection

ChatGPT is great for generating ideas about topics that you might explore in your project. If you already have a topic, ChatGPT can help you narrow the focus of you topic to a manageable, and interesting, sub-topic. Below, please see two examples for a ChatGPT prompt, and output, where a student is using the tool to get ideas for topics, and subtopics. (You do not need a ChatGPT account to see these chats.)


ChatGPT is pretty good at writing outlines for projects. Since part of your graded work for this project does not include turning in an outline, ChatGPT is a good option, and if you struggle with outlines, you can use ChatGPT to help you learn how to write one as well! Carefully evaluate the outputs though: Sometimes they tend toward giving advice for much more advanced work than we are doing!  (You do not need a ChatGPT account to see these chats.)

Researching databases - key word searches

Sometimes it's a challenge to get started in identifying effective words to use to search the databases for relevant information. ChatGPT can help with that. Here is a chat session using ChatGPT to identify an initial list of key search terms for this example topic.  (You do not need a ChatGPT account to see these chats.)

Developing a research plan

Effectively prompted, ChatGPT can suggest a research plan for your project, including where to look for credible resources. ChatGPT outputs are also pretty useful for suggestions about specific agencies to explore as a part of your research process.  (You do not need a ChatGPT account to see these chats.)

Understanding a complex concept or idea

ChatGPT and other generative AI can be very good at helping you understand a concept or an idea at a level that meets your current needs. You can prompt a chatbot to deliver information to you at specific levels of understanding, such as at the level of a 10th grader, at the level of a college freshman, at the level of someone who is not tech savvy, at the level of someone who just needs basic information, in under 300 words, and many more!

  • You can also prompt a chatbot to evaluate your own understanding of a concept or idea.
  • Note that this would be for developing your own learning and knowledge. Generative AI outputs are not to be used as sources in your project.

TCC Library Research Chat - need guidance for gAI or any aspect of research? Start a Chat with a human librarian!

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