How To Write 1st Class Essays Using ChatGPT (The Best AI Essay Technique)

The future of learning is here, and it's called ChatGPT. It's already turned the education system upside down with some institutions allowing students to reference AI sources and others trying to ban it completely.

Today I want to walk through how to write an academic essay using freely available AI tools like ChatGPT and discuss the pros and cons when it comes to writing an academic essay.


AI tools are going to revolutionize how we learn, work and perform everyday tasks but it can be really confusing knowing where to start.

To help you out and get ahead of the 99% I've created a course that covers everything to do with ChatGPT and AI that will take you from beginner to deeply understanding how to integrate AI into your existing productivity workflow and get more from your time.

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How To Structure An Essay

When I had to write scientific essays in my undergraduate medical training and then dissertations in my postgraduate surgical career, I had a system that got me a first every single time.

It involved breaking down the essay into its different sections and following a key format. And we can integrate this with ChatGPT.

How To Write An Essay Introduction

To start off, any essay, you need a strong introduction. The introduction is basically your gateway argument, and it's an opportunity to hook the reader and set the scene for your main body and then your conclusion.

Now, for most academic essays, you are given a title and probably some instructions on what the essay should cover. And your introduction is really going to be a paragraph of a couple of sentences, which speak back to that title and sets the scene.

So, for example, if our essay is entitled, "Discuss the Role and Risks of AI and Academic Essay Writing." I'm going to start looking for the keywords in that title that I can talk about in the introduction. So, in that title, the keywords are going to be "The role and risks of AI" and "academic essay writing". So I know that in the introduction I really want to touch on and define those keywords and explain what I'm going talk about and how I'm going to talk about those keywords in the main body of my essay.

In our first couple of sentences of the introduction, we're going define these points, and if we use ChatGPT here, our prompt might be something like "write a short three sentence introduction for an essay entitled x".

Now, this is a good prompt, but it's probably not specific enough and it's going give you quite a generic response. A more advanced prompt is to add in a persona and give it some structure and tone. So you might say something like: "ChatGPT, you are an academic, and I want you to write an essay in a tone that is both professional and intriguing to grab the reader's attention".

You can even paste in some text from a similar academic article or from a style that you like and ask ChatGPT to mirror that writing style when it writes your essay. This will then produce a very specific and focused introduction in the style that you like.

How To Write The Main Body Of An Essay

Now for your main body, this is the part where most people get really stuck or get writer's block when they come to write any type of essay.

The key here is to break up that main body and reflect back to the essay title with your headings, and make talking points around those key points and keywords that you identified from the title and any instructions you've been given. So for, for our essay title, we want to break down the main body into three or four headings, and then each of those headings is gonna have a subheading and each of those subheadings is gonna have a few talking points.

And again, we can do this manually, but we can also use ChatGPT to help automate and structure some of this. So, we might ask ChatGPT to write the headings of our main body for our essay. And this really is a brainstorming exercise for ChatGPT. You can say something like, "I want you to write four headings for the main body of my essay. These should be short and focused and reflect back to the title of my essay."

Now, if you have any further information provided by your academic institution rather than just your essay title, you can also use this to map out some of your chapters.

So once you've got your main chapter headings, you can then start breaking those down into subheadings and key talking points, and  we can use ChatGPT here, so we can take each of the headings in our main body and plug it back into ChatGPT and ask ChatGPT to give us some subheadings for that specific chapter topic.

So sticking again with our example, we might have our main chapter headings as something like "the role of AI", then "the risks of AI", then our own opinion, and then a quick summary before heading into the conclusion. Now, in the role of AI section, we might then wan to to have a couple of different subheadings.

ChatGPT can generate these. Now, once we've got those subheadings, we've really broken down our essay into tiny component parts, and this means if you're given a word count, like say a thousand words or 10,000 words for a dissertation, you can actually assign a word count yourself to those specific sections, and that turns this huge piece of work into a much more manageable and focused effort.

This means that you can focus on key areas or sections during your day and be much more productive with your time management.

One thing I really wanna make clear is that if ChatGPT generates all of your essay content, it does mean it's not going be original and there may be errors. Remember, ChatGPT is a language model. It's not a research tool. It can't scour the internet and pull in different sources or use the latest research from PubMed or attribute any key information to those sources, and this is a huge problem.

There's also a huge problem if your essay is really all about your opinion on a topic and expressing your own views on something. While you could ask ChatGPT to adopt the persona of a student and write from the first person it isn't necessarily going be accurate and it's not going be reflective of your view.

Often I found that when writing essays myself, the sections where I was asked for my own opinion, were the easiest to write because it was literally coming from my own brain and I could dive into real detail here. The bits that took time were often the parts where I needed to define topics or map out things that were just very, very boring.

So for example, if we plug our talking points and subheadings back into ChatGPT, and actually ask it to write a couple of lines of prose or a few paragraphs to bulk out those sections it can absolutely do that. But if we look through the results that we're getting, it's just not that high quality. There's no references and it's pretty obvious that it's quite generic.

What I would typically do is when you've got those subheadings and your talking points, you want to start writing and make your point. Back that up with some research backed evidence and then provide your own opinion on that evidence, as well as something like a worked example.

You can also pull things in like a diagram or a table to visually explain what you're talking about, which AI just can't do.

How To Write The Conclusion Of An Essay

Now, once we've got through the bulk of our main body, we're then heading into the closing or conclusion section. And this is where we want to summarize back the key points that we've made in our main body to the reader, and wrap things up.

And we'd maybe include a call to action or a specific finding from the essay that we've just been writing. Now, typically, if we were writing this ourselves, we could probably remember the key points and we could reflect back to the introduction quite quickly. And when I was actually writing essays myself back in medical school or in my postgraduate surgical training, I'd often write the intro and then the conclusion together, and these kind of sandwiched the main body in between. These were often the easiest bits to write because I already knew what my conclusion was going to be and I knew what my introduction was going to be, and so I got these out the way quickly. However, if we do want to use ChatGPT, we'll need to give it as much information as possible in order to summarize and write a conclusion for us.

So what this will likely involve for your prompt is copying a lot of your main body, and then putting that into ChatGPT, and then concluding your essay. So here's the ChatGPT result. And as you can see, it kind of does that, but it's perhaps not the best conclusion that you've ever read.

How To Review An Essay: Spelling & Grammar

Now after we've been through and written our essay, just like you would if you were writing the essay completely by yourself, we want to go back through and read over and really check what we've written.

And this is one area where you might already be familiar with lots and lots of AI writing tools. Tools like Grammarly or Quill Bot already use AI to go over and check grammar and punctuation and spelling.

In addition to grammar, one of the big areas that many people struggle with is actual readability of what they've written. Many people in the scientific field often overcomplicate things, and if you remember back to the Feynman technique, Which says we want to be able to explain difficult concepts in language that a six-year-old can understand. We wanna make sure that the language we're using in our ass essay is understandable to the reader and as wider audience as possible.

And this is where you can actually take portions of your essay, plug it into ChatGPT, and ask it to improve the readability or change the wording into a way that a six year old could understand it. Popular tools like Quill Bott can also rephrase and paraphrase some of the texts you've written.

AI Plagiarism Detection

Okay, so with ChatGPT bursting onto the scene and completely turning over and setting the education world on fire, lots of institutions have either completely banned it or they've adopted it with some Professors at large institutions suggesting their students should try out all AI tools so that they familiarize themselves with them because they're going to be used more and more in the future of work.

However, lots of other organizations are very, very scared, as you might expect, and they're putting in lots of plagiarism detection software OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT have also put out their own AI detection tools online, which you can try it yourself by heading over to their website and their AI text classifier, which can tell you the likelihood that the taxed into their taxed window is generated by an ai.

There are also some other companies that have popped up on the back of ChatGPT's popularity. For example, GPTZero is one such company set up by a Princeton student, which focuses on analyzing text and really checking for plagiarism against common AI language models. And don't forget, most academic institutions use popular plagiarism detection software like TurnItIn.

These plagiarism detection software companies have been building their own AI detectors that you can run essays. And then it will tell you whether the essay has been completely generated by an AI or not.

AI Essay Writing Vs Human Essay Writing

Now, in my humble opinion, writing essays and dissertations isn't the best way to help people learn or to assess their competence in any particular subject.

But I always got a first, every single time I wrote an essay as I had a system and a format for doing so. And if you break things down, the actual writing really isn't that tricky, especially when you consider essays that ask for your own opinion and this isn't just true for academic essays, it's also true of any blog articles or anything you're posting online.

If what you're writing isn't original or from your own personal experiences, it's gonna be pretty obvious and it's gonna be generic, and it's just not gonna be valuable to the end reader. And this is something that you really need to consider if you are thinking about using ChatGPT or generative AI.


AI tools are going to revolutionize how we learn, work and perform everyday tasks but it can be really confusing knowing where to start.

To help you out and get ahead of the 99% I've created a course that covers everything to do with ChatGPT and AI that will take you from beginner to deeply understanding how to integrate AI into your existing productivity workflow and get more from your time.

You can sign-up for early-access via the waitlist below:

7-Day AI Pro Course
Welcome to 7-Day AI PROmpt Engineer the number 1 course for anyone wanting to become an expert in AI.
Check Out My 7-Day AI-Prompt Course