The Oxbridge Editing Blog 10th November 2023

Five Things to Avoid When Using AI for Editing

10th November 2023
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In a previous blog, we suggested that AI can be used to support and supplement your academic edit. However, even though AI can be used as a useful tool, this does not mean all AI use is beneficial and without consequences. Read on to find out what you need to avoid when using AI to reduce the chances of academic integrity issues and potential penalties.

1. Avoid copying AI-generated text

When asked, AI can rewrite whole paragraphs or even your whole essay. Although this could improve your edit, copying AI-rewritten text can get you into trouble. AI possesses a distinctive writing style that often comes across as sophisticated, making it easier for your professors to detect AI use and penalise you for it.

2. Avoid loss of your unique writing style

Over-reliance on AI when editing can lead to a loss of your unique writing style and voice, which may be picked up by your professors. For this reason, you need to avoid letting AI overshadow your originality and personal writing style. To overcome this potential pitfall, always make sure the revised text still sounds like you and maintains your academic voice.

3. Avoid AI’s American English

AI-generated edits are always in American English. If you need your essay in British English, you should avoid directly copying the text rewritten by AI. If you’ve always written in British English, suddenly switching to American English might raise suspicions among your professors and lead them to think you have used AI.

4. Avoid neglecting a thorough review

Another pitfall to avoid when using AI for editing is to neglect the importance of a thorough human review. Remember that AI tools are not always reliable and can make mistakes, such as incorrectly altering the style of your writing or your intended meaning. Always carefully review AI-generated edits to make sure they enhance the quality of your paper without introducing errors.

5. Avoid citation and referencing errors

If your academic work includes references or citations, AI may not always format them correctly. For example, AI may misplace or mislabel your sources or change the intended referencing style, leading to citation inaccuracies. This is why you always need to double-check the accuracy of edited citations and references to make sure they are correct.

A key message

The main takeaway from this blog is that not all AI use is beneficial or legitimate. If you over-rely on AI while editing, your essay may lose its distinctive character, adopt American rather than British English, and have content and citation errors. These are all clear signs of AI use that could jeopardise the authenticity of your essay and lead to potential penalties.