The Oxbridge Editing Blog 23rd October 2023

Five Ways AI Can Help You Edit Your Work

23rd October 2023
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AI’s misuse has led universities to intensify their efforts to discourage academic dishonesty. You’ve likely been repeatedly cautioned that AI use can negatively impact your educational journey. However, the fact that AI can be misused does not mean it should not be used at all. Like all new technologies, AI can be adopted in a way that supports rather than substitutes your writing. Here are five suggestions for using AI when editing your work without engaging in dishonest practices.

1. Use AI to improve structure

While reviewing the academic work you produced, you might realise you have structured the paper poorly. You might notice specific issues with your structure, such as a poor transition between paragraphs or an illogical sequence of your arguments. To improve these issues, you can simply paste your paper into the AI chat and ask AI to review it. You can instruct AI directly by asking questions such as “How can I reorganise the sequence of my arguments for better flow?” or “Can you help me create a more coherent structure?” and you will get some useful tips.

2. Use AI to find academic terms

How often it happens that you cannot find an appropriate term while editing your work? For example, you have a sentence saying “Viewers freaked out when confronted with the unexpected turn of events”, but the academic term for “freaked out” eludes you. This is another obstacle that AI can solve quickly. You can simply instruct AI to give you five alternatives for the term “freaked out” in your sentence and choose from the provided options.

3. Use AI to check grammar

When editing your paper, you want to make sure that your edited version is free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. AI can be used as a great aid here. A useful tip is to ask: “Can you check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes in this paragraph?” and then paste your whole paragraph into the AI chat. Just remember to instruct AI to use British rather than American spelling. If not explicitly instructed, AI will use American spelling and this may result in spelling inconsistencies in your work.

4. Use AI to paraphrase

Another benefit of AI is that it is very skilled in paraphrasing. When re-reading your paper, you might notice that some sentences sound very odd, yet you may find it challenging to correct them. To solve this, you can ask AI to paraphrase your sentence. This practice will be useful in the long run as AI will teach you to phrase your sentences and communicate your thoughts better.

5. Use AI to re-format references

The final advantage of AI is that it can complete tediously long tasks in seconds. Imagine the frustration felt upon realising you have formatted your references in Vancouver while you actually needed Harvard referencing. The frustration would be justified because the task would take an extra thirty minutes at the very least. However, AI can accomplish the reformatting in mere seconds, sparing you both stress and time.

A key message

In summary, AI can help you edit your work without making you a cheater. If used correctly, it can help you refine your skills and produce a more polished paper while managing to maintain your academic integrity. Not all AI use is useful and non-penalised, however. That’s why our next post will explore five things to avoid when using AI for editing.