In this article, I will explain how I utilized ChatGPT while preparing my thesis for university, and how I benefited from using ChatGPT in the thesis preparation process. Through this piece of writing, you can also discover how helpful ChatGPT can be in academic articles and papers. You can find answers to your questions about whether you should use it, and in which stages you should consider using it.
Writing a thesis is one of the significant steps in academia. However, it can also become an exhausting and draining process. Thesis writing can require a considerable amount of time due to the essential stages such as research, writing, analysis, and reviewing.
Now, can we use artificial intelligence tools like the language model ChatGPT to assist in preparing our thesis, as we will discuss in this article? If we use ChatGPT, does it generate plagiarized content? Or does using it compromise the quality of our thesis? Let’s delve into these topics one by one in this article. And how did I use ChatGPT? Let’s explore that too.
Can ChatGPT write an entire thesis?
No, ChatGPT cannot prepare an entire thesis on its own. Even if it could, the thesis it generates would not be of sufficient quality or meet the academic standards for success. Moreover, ChatGPT has certain limitations.
One of these limitations is that when writing or preparing a thesis, ChatGPT can generate sources that do not actually exist. We refer to this as hallucination. OpenAI’s GPT models, can occasionally produce hallucinated responses that are not based on reality. If we intend to create an academic work, we absolutely cannot include such content in our thesis. In fact, it’s likely that our thesis wouldn’t receive approval or acceptance if it contains such content. Therefore, ChatGPT cannot independently write an entire thesis without any input or contribution from you.
Also read: How did I have ChatGPT prepare my CV?
Can I use ChatGPT to write a thesis or papers?
However, the situation explained above doesn’t mean that we can’t use ChatGPT to assist in preparing our thesis. Thanks to artificial intelligence technology, ChatGPT can elevate our productivity to a remarkable extent. It can provide us with excellent ideas, offer feedback, and serve as an assistant, essentially for free, while we work on our thesis.
Also read: Automate content generation with ChatGPT
When using ChatGPT to aid in thesis preparation, we can have it rephrase our self-written content in a more fluent, professional, or academic tone. We can use it to correct shortcomings and errors in our drafts. It can help us when we’re stuck, offering assistance and inspiration. We can seek its support in receiving feedback on the thesis we’ve prepared. Most importantly, it can help us avoid repetitive work by generating content related to specific topics in our thesis.
Learn more: How to get longer responses from ChatGPT?
By incorporating ChatGPT as a tool in our thesis preparation process, we can harness its capabilities to enhance the quality and efficiency of our work, while still maintaining the necessary academic integrity and originality.
This implies that our theses, in an academic context, may not necessarily contain only statements that directly provide information for our project. In certain sections, we can create content that introduces our thesis, explains concepts, tells the story, or defines terms. In such cases, we can use ChatGPT to help with specific tasks like rephrasing existing content, crafting introductions, or drawing conclusions. This approach can be particularly useful for content that already exists, allowing us to avoid redundancy while working on sections that present the concepts, background, or terminology related to our thesis.
How did I receive assistance from ChatGPT while preparing my thesis?
Now, I will share how I received support from ChatGPT while writing my own thesis. By learning about the challenges I encountered, you can gain valuable insights in advance and effectively utilize ChatGPT when preparing your thesis.
First and foremost, when determining the topic of my thesis – a process that often takes some time for most students – I engaged in a mutual dialogue with ChatGPT to seek its assistance.
I shared my thoughts about the areas I wanted to explore and the question marks in my mind, aiming to find the right thesis topic. I communicated with ChatGPT alongside my professors to gather its insights and ideas. Of course, the opinions of my professors were of paramount importance. However, I couldn’t always have the opportunity to consult with them at all times.
Learn more: How to use voice typing in ChatGPT?
ChatGPT, on the other hand, is available 24/7 and can provide responses at any time. Utilizing its continuous availability, I engaged with ChatGPT outside of meetings with my professors, sharing my desired research topic and gathering its feedback. This process helped me make a decision about the final topic of my thesis. I arrived at a conclusion regarding what the topic would be.
2. Generating an outline
Once I had determined the topic, I thought what I intended to achieve in this work, the goals I had, the experimental and research methods I would use, and conducted a literature review. I created a preliminary draft of these aspects.
After completing the literature review, I turned to ChatGPT for support in creating an outline for the areas I was contemplating and imagining.
Here, I’d like to highlight an important feature of ChatGPT. Some might not be aware, but ChatGPT is designed for interactive human-like conversations. Thanks to this feature, you can engage in extended conversations with it, just like you would with a human. You can mutually point out each other’s shortcomings and request corrections. Taking full advantage of this capability, I maintained an ongoing interactive communication with ChatGPT. I shared my thoughts and ideas with it, explaining the type of research I wanted to conduct and the kind of draft I wanted to create. I asked it to provide me with a general draft or outline. This approach proved to be quite helpful.
3. Writing the thesis
Based on the outline I prepared, I conducted independent research and engaged in various readings and studies to conduct both the literature review and my own argumentation. I generated drafts from these activities. For the drafts I had prepared, I turned to ChatGPT, providing them to it without needing to type them out myself. I requested that ChatGPT articulate these drafts in an academic tone and refine them into polished pieces of writing. This step proved to be highly beneficial for me because it allowed me to allocate my time towards thinking, researching, and my individual work rather than typing away at the keyboard.
I sought support from ChatGPT in the writing process, not for direct generation of content but for refining and expressing the academic tone of the drafts I had prepared on my own. This approach allowed me to avoid any potential weakness in relying solely on ChatGPT for the core content of my thesis. I never fully relied on the information ChatGPT provided during the testing phase, as I was aware of its potential for generating hallucinated responses. It doesn’t always provide accurate answers.
ChatGPT draws upon the information in the dataset it was trained on to attempt to answer your queries. However, since the purpose of a thesis is to contribute novel insights to the academic world, using ChatGPT to write the essence of the thesis didn’t seem logical to me. Accordingly, I utilized ChatGPT to convert my self-prepared research and draft texts into an academic style and integrated these into my thesis.
Also read: Where does ChatGPT get its data from?
Furthermore, when writing the introduction, abstract, explanations of various terms’ histories, details, and the concluding sections of my thesis, I also benefited from ChatGPT. Because these areas were sections where existing knowledge was condensed, simplified, and narrated to the user.
4. Getting Feedbacks
After completing my work and having certain sections written by ChatGPT, I then turned back to ChatGPT to seek feedback and suggestions. I provided ChatGPT with my thesis and received input regarding areas that needed improvement. I incorporated the feedback it provided by making enhancements where necessary. Similarly, for certain sections, I paraphrased some text to express them differently and made various revisions, including correcting grammar and spelling errors. This iterative process of using ChatGPT for feedback and refinement proved to be beneficial for enhancing the quality.
Can the Turing Test determine if a thesis has been written by ChatGPT?
The Turing test is a tool used to detect plagiarism in academic papers. Among the questions that come to mind for students who use ChatGPT for support, one of the most common is whether the Turing test can determine if ChatGPT was used in preparing the thesis. In our previous comprehensive article on this topic, we explored whether the Turing test could understand text generated by ChatGPT. To provide a brief answer, there isn’t a definitive yes or no response to this question. However, with the advancement of artificial intelligence technology and evolving language models like GPT-4, the task of the Turing test has become more challenging.
Learn more: GPT-4 model vs GPT-3 model, A comparison
If, like I did, you didn’t use ChatGPT to write your entire thesis but rather used it to express your self-prepared drafts in a more refined and academic manner, for sections like conclusions, introductions, summaries, or repetitive parts of your thesis, or historical narratives and storytelling sections, and if you conducted your primary research yourself, encountering issues with the Turing test is unlikely. As long as the core research areas are genuinely your own and you’ve utilized ChatGPT to enhance specific sections without relying solely on it for the substance of your research, the likelihood of facing problems during a Turing test appears to be minimal.
Also read: Can Turnitin detect ChatGPT?
Indeed, the thesis I prepared, with the assistance of ChatGPT, successfully passed the Turing test.
In summary, tasks like writing a thesis or preparing an academic paper demand originality, the creation of new insights, and the conduction of research. ChatGPT, on the other hand, relies on the data it was trained on and can present existing information without generating new content.
Moreover, it occasionally produces hallucinative responses that may not be grounded in reality. Therefore, using ChatGPT to address your actual research topic, asking it to perform research on your research subject, isn’t the right approach. Relying solely on ChatGPT for your research might compromise the originality and authenticity required for academic works. Consequently, the probability of your thesis being accepted could be significantly diminished.
Furthermore, when you ask ChatGPT to include references, it can also incorporate non-existent sources.
However, the theses we prepare don’t necessarily have to be entirely original from start to finish. We can conduct our research, create drafts, and then request ChatGPT to articulate those drafts in an academic tone that would be appropriate for a thesis. By delegating tasks like repetitive writing and refining the prose to ChatGPT, we can focus our efforts on research, thoughtful analysis, and genuine work rather than spending excessive time at the keyboard. Effectively utilizing ChatGPT in this manner can enhance our productivity and yield better outcomes.
When we use ChatGPT in this way, there’s no need to be concerned about the originality of our work. After all, we’ve already conducted our own research, and we’re employing ChatGPT for repetitive tasks and sections.