How to Resist the Temptation of AI When Writing


Your local public library is a great source of free information, journals, and databases (even those that typically require a subscription and involve restricted research). For example, your search may include health databases (Sage Journals, Scopus, PubMed) to databases for academic sources and journalism (American Periodical Series Online, Statista, Academic Search Premier) and databases for news, trends, market research, and surveys. Everything should be included up to. (Harris Poll, Pew Research Center, NewsBank, ProPublica).

Even if you find a study or paper that you can't access in one of those databases, consider reaching out to the study's lead author or researcher. In many cases, they are happy to discuss their work and may even share the study with you directly and offer to talk about their research.

Get a Good Filtering System

For journalist Paulette Perhach's article on ADHD the new York Times, They used Epic Research to look at a “dual team study.” This occurs when two independent teams address the same topic or question, and ideally reach the same conclusions. She recommends researching and locating experts through major associations for your topic. She also likes to search through Google Scholar, but recommends filtering it for studies and research in recent years to avoid using outdated data. She suggests keeping your links and research organized. “Always be prepared to peer-review yourself,” Perhach says.

When you're looking for information for a story or project, you may be tempted to start with a regular Google search. But keep in mind that the Internet is full of false information, and websites that appear trustworthy can sometimes turn out to be businesses or companies with vested interests whose words you take as objective fact without additional investigation. No matter what your writing project is, unreliable or biased sources are a great way to ruin your work and any hopes for future work.

For accuracy, go to the government

Author Bobby Rebel researched her book Launching Financial Adults Using the IRS website. “I might say you can contribute a certain amount to a 401K, but that may be outdated because these numbers are always changing, and it's important to be accurate,” she says. “AI and ChatGPT can be great for idea generation, but you have to be careful,” says Rebel. If you are using an article in which someone was quoted, you do not know if they were misquoted or quoted out of context.

If you use AI and ChatGPT for sourcing, you not only risk introducing errors, you risk introducing plagiarism – which is why the company behind ChatGPT has banned all those books on OpenAI. A lawsuit is being filed for downloading the information.

Historically, the loudest voice is not the best

Audrey Claire Farley, who writes historical nonfiction, has used several sites for historical research, including Women Know History, which allows searching by expertise or field of study, and JSTOR, a digital library. Database that offers many free downloads. month. She also uses Chronicling America, a project of the Library of Congress that collects old newspapers to show how a historical event was reported, and (which you can access through a free trial. but requires subscription after seven days).

When it comes to finding experts, Farley cautions against choosing the loudest voices on social media platforms. “They are not necessarily the most authoritative. “I screen them by checking to see if they have a publication history and/or academic credentials on the topic.”

When checking with a specialist, look for these red flags:

  • You can't find his work published or cited anywhere.
  • They were published in an obscure magazine.
  • Their research is funded by a company, not a university, or they are a spokesperson for the company they are doing the research for. (This makes them a public relations medium and not a source suitable for journalism.)

And finally, the best ending for virtually any writing, whether it's an essay, a research paper, an academic report, or a piece of investigative journalism, is to go back to the beginning of the piece, and show your reader the transformation or journey. The excerpt is presented in perspective.

As always, your goal should be strong writing backed by research that packs a punch. Only then can you explore tools that can make the job a little easier, for example by generating subtitles or searching for a concept you may be missing – because then you will have the experience and skill to see it. Whether it is hurting or helping your work.