Point/Counterpoint: Should Chat GPT be allowed to be used to write essays for school?


Screengrab by Jael Smith

Screenshot of a prompt being entered into ChatGPT.

Point: Jose Tovar

ChatGPT is a chatbot made and launched by Open AI in November 2022. ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) garnered a lot of attention shortly after its release due to its quick detailed responses which were effective across multiple topics. One of these many topics is essay writing. By inserting a prompt that could be given for an English assignment, ChatGPT will be able to produce a detailed response with solid arguments and reasoning to support them.

ChatGPT is the result of decades of chatbot advancements which started in the 1960s with the ELIZA program designed by an MIT professor. While originally a groundbreaking technology, chatbots are now seen everywhere from customer service to marketing. It is believed that by 2020, more than 75 percent of businesses used chatbots in some way.

Now, these other chatbots were more simple, one command/response software, but ChatGPT has revolutionized the scene due to its simplicity in providing complex answers. The development of chatbot software by Open AI has led some experts to wonder if Google’s search engine could be threatened by ChatGPT and future projects.

Crucially for students, ChatGPT is free, easy to use and extremely helpful for many school-related activities. Newspaper articles, English essays and graphic organizers can be written and filled with detailed responses from ChatGPT.

While it can be claimed that this constitutes plagiarism for students, it should rather be viewed as a tool for inspiration and motivation to help students write and brainstorm ideas for different projects.

Some school assignments can be burdensome for students especially when they have other priorities in place. Using ChatGPT could help students manage their time better and become more efficient and productive learners.

Furthermore, it could also be a helpful tool for teachers looking to create short assignments. A teacher could potentially request a prompt regarding any topic and use it as an exit ticket or warm-up question.

Overall, ChatGPT is a tool that poses risks for different careers and businesses but is also something that can be used positively in school settings. Both teachers and students could benefit from it and it should be viewed as a tool rather than a distraction.

Counterpoint: Jael Smith

AI chatbots have been around since the sixties; in recent years they have gotten much better at replicating human writing qualities. With the growing popularity of ChatGPT, one of the newest AI chatbots, comes the growing risk of academic dishonesty.

WJ has a high standard for plagiarism and academic dishonesty. School is and has been one of the places where students learn how to write confidently and clearly to get their message across. Having AI write essays and other schoolwork leaves a gap in what students learn.

Furthermore, a college student has created an application that teachers can run to determine whether or not it was written by a human. This information being out there doesn’t necessarily mean that teachers will use it. Students should still be held accountable for doing their own writing.

In the current day and age of technology many students cannot go a couple of hours without their phones. ChatGPT is a resource that allows them to spend more time with their devices and little to no work themselves. This adds to the reasons that students can let themselves be lazy.

Time management is one of the many skills that high school is supposed to teach students, but if they no longer need time to write their assignments they will no longer focus on their work and lose their focus.

Many times inspiration for creative writing is hard to come by especially when it seems that everything has already been written. ChatGPT can be a useful tool to find the start to a story or a point used to jump off of. It should not, however, be used to write stories or essays for people.

Using AI chatbots to write essays does not foster writing skills.