How to Write Good ChatGPT Prompts

With the popular AI writing tool ChatGPT, the responses you get are only as good as the prompts you use. Prompts are the textual inputs you enter for the tool to respond to. To create good ChatGPT prompts, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Give ChatGPT a role to play
  2. Be precise and provide context
  3. Avoid bias
  4. Test and improve your prompts

When prompted appropriately, ChatGPT can help you in all sorts of contexts: school and university, work and career, and everyday life.

Be aware of the limitations of ChatGPT. For example, the tool sometimes makes things up. ChatGPT is not always trustworthy, so it’s important to check any facts you’re not sure about against credible sources.

Note
Universities and other institutions are still developing their stances on how AI writing tools may be used. Always follow your institution’s guidelines over any suggestions you read online. Check out our guide to current university policies on AI writing for more information.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Give ChatGPT a role to play

The following phrases can be used to assign a role to ChatGPT:

  • Act like (my) ____.
  • Be (my) ____.
  • Play the role of (my) ____.

This will explain your expectations and encourage the tool to give the kinds of responses you want.

Example: Play the role of my Spanish teacher
  • Play the role of my Spanish teacher. Teach me new vocabulary, explaining the words in English.
  • Of course! I’ll be happy to play the role of your Spanish teacher. Let’s start by learning some new vocabulary. I’ll provide you with the Spanish words and their English translations. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.
    1. Hola – Hello
    2. Gracias – Thank you
    3. Por favor – Please
    4. Adiós – Goodbye
    5. Sí – Yes
    6. No – No
    7. ¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
    8. […]

Check out the prompts below. Click on the different tabs to see examples for different themes. You can use the example prompts yourself (just click the copy button to the right) or take them as a starting point to inspire your own prompts.

  • Act like my meditation teacher. I’ll share how much experience I already have with meditation, and you’ll instruct me on how to meditate more effectively. Please give me specific instructions and tips to improve my meditation practice.
  • Be my leadership coach. Identify my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and give me practical advice on how to develop further. My goal is to become a better leader. Start the conversation with a question that gets me thinking about my leadership style.
  • Play the role of Plato. Practice the Socratic method with me by asking me questions that I have to answer. Don’t answer the questions yourself! Adjust the level for my age: I’m 14 years old. Let’s start with a dialogue about sports.
  • Act like ____. My goal is ____. Please ____. Adapt your behavior to my age. I am ____ years old. Start the conversation with ____.
  • Be my ____. Ask me about ____ first. Then create ____ based on my answers. Practice these ____ with me. Limit your ____ to a maximum of ____ sentences per answer.
  • Take on the role of my ____. I have ____. Help me to ____. Note that ____. Avoid ____. First ask me about ____.
  • Be my guidance counselor. […]
  • Act like an English teacher. […]
  • Play the role of my professor. […]
  • Be my study partner. […]
  • Act like my mentor. […]
  • Take on the role of my personal tutor. […]
  • Act like a student advisor. […]
  • Act like my French teacher. Only speak to me in French. Keep your answers short (maximum 50 words per answer). Ask me questions after every answer. Let’s start the conversation with this topic: la gastronomie française.
  • Be my community manager. […]
  • Act like a copy editor. […]
  • Play the role of an estate agent. […]
  • Be my management consultant. […]
  • Act like a sales expert. […]
  • Take on the role of my job coach. […]
  • Act like a recruiter. […]
  • Act like my LinkedIn profile advisor. My goal is to improve my LinkedIn profile to make it more attractive to potential employers. Please check my current profile and give me advice on how to improve it. Then ask me about my career goals and identify my target audience on LinkedIn.
  • Be my personal assisant. […]
  • Act like a mindfulness coach. […]
  • Play the role of a yoga teacher. […]
  • Be my occupational therapist. […]
  • Act like an interior designer. […]
  • Take on the role of my personal stylist. […]
  • Act like a sports psychologist. […]
  • Act like my nutritionist. At the beginning of the conversation, please ask me about my current diet and any health issues I’ve been experiencing. Then design a diet plan according to my individual needs. Give me practical tips to help me improve my diet. At the end of each answer, ask 1–3 clarifying questions to deepen the conversation.
      Note
      We strongly advise against having ChatGPT write text for you and trying to pass it off as your own work. This may be considered plagiarism in some contexts. This offense may be recognized by a plagiarism checker or AI detector.

      Check for common mistakes

      Use the best grammar checker available to check for common mistakes in your text.

      grammar-checker-common-mistakes

      Fix mistakes for free

      Be precise and provide context

      The more precisely your prompts are worded and the more context you provide, the better ChatGPT will understand what kind of answer you are looking for. Let’s look at a new version of the prompt from the previous section, updated to give more precise instructions.

      Example: Play the role of my Spanish teacher (more precise)
      • Play the role of my Spanish teacher. Teach me 20 new words on the theme of shopping for clothes. Adjust the vocabulary to my level: I’m in the 9th grade and have been studying Spanish for two years.
      • ¡Hola! Soy tu profesor/a de español. Hoy vamos a aprender palabras relacionadas con ir de compras para ropa. Estoy emocionado/a de enseñarte nuevas palabras. ¡Comencemos!
        1. Ropa (Clothes) – La ropa es lo que usamos para vestirnos.
        2. Tienda (Store) – Es el lugar donde compramos la ropa.
        3. Pantalones (Pants) – Una prenda de vestir que cubre las piernas.
        4. Camiseta (T-shirt) – Una prenda de vestir que cubre el torso y los brazos.
        5. Vestido (Dress) – Una prenda de vestir para las chicas que cubre el cuerpo desde los hombros hasta los pies.
        6. Chaqueta (Jacket) – Una prenda de vestir que se lleva encima de la camisa o el suéter.
        7. […]
      Examples: Imprecise prompts without context
      • Teach me Spanish vocabulary.
      • What are some good activities?
      • Explain photosynthesis.
      • Be my writing coach.
      Examples: Precise prompts with context
      • Teach me 30 new Spanish words on the theme of politics.
      • What are some healthy and inexpensive leisure activities for a 25-year-old single man living in New York?
      • I work in an elementary school, teaching children who are 6 or 7 years old. I want to explain photosynthesis to the children. Give a short explanation with an example that children in that age range can understand. Keep the language simple and explain the basics.
      • Be my writing coach. At the beginning, ask me for a sample text to assess my strengths and weaknesses as an author. Then design a writing training session tailored to my needs, which will enable me to promote my strengths and improve my weaknesses. Split this writing practice into different answers (don’t give me the whole lesson in one go).

      Helpful phrases for your prompts

      The following phrases can help you to build up more specific prompts to get the best possible answers to your questions. Think of them as building blocks that can be combined however you like to meet your purposes:

      • Act like my ____.
      • Be my ____.
      • I am ____.
      • I need ____.
      • I need help with ____.
      • My goal is to ____.
      • Do ____.
      • Give me ____.
      • Generate ____.
      • I will do ____, and you will do ____.
      • Answer in the following format: ____.
      • Avoid phrases like “____.”
      • I just want you to ask me questions.
      • I don’t want you to ask me any questions.
      • Your answer should be no longer than ____ words.
      • Ask me a follow-up question at the end of each response.
      • Keep asking me questions until you have all the information you need.
      • Answer in three sentences.

      Avoid bias

      Bias is a distortion in someone’s (or something’s) thinking or behavior. Bias occurs due to people’s preferences, prejudices, and stereotypes.

      Responses from AI tools like ChatGPT can also be biased. This is sometimes simply a result of biases in the tool’s training data, which you can’t directly do anything about.

      But it can also result from how you phrase your prompts. ChatGPT is designed to give you the answers you want, so if you ask a question in a leading way, it will give you the kind of response you implicitly asked for, producing a biased answer.

      Example: Prompt with bias
      • Explain in three sentences why organic food is clearly overrated and offers no advantages over conventional food.
      • Organic food is often marketed as healthier and more nutritious than conventional food, but scientific evidence shows no consistent or significant differences in nutritional content. The use of organic farming methods, such as avoiding synthetic pesticides, can lead to lower crop yields and higher production costs, making organic food more expensive for consumers without clear benefits. Ultimately, consumers should make choices based on personal preferences and values rather than assuming that organic food is inherently superior.

      Using a prompt like this is not likely to result in a balanced view of the issue. ChatGPT obviously only mentions the downsides of organic food, since that’s what you asked for. This runs the risk of confirmation bias (where you only look for information that confirms your beliefs).

      An unbiased version of the same prompt, in which we ask about both sides of the issue, is shown below.

      Example: Prompt without bias
      • In a paragraph, summarize the pros and cons of consuming organic food instead of conventional food.
      • Consuming organic food offers several pros and cons compared to conventional food. On the positive side, organic food is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or synthetic fertilizers. This makes it a healthier option, as it reduces the potential exposure to harmful chemicals and promotes environmental sustainability. Organic farming practices also prioritize soil and water conservation, biodiversity preservation, and animal welfare. However, organic food can be more expensive and may have a shorter shelf life due to the absence of certain preservatives. Additionally, the yield per acre in organic farming is generally lower, leading to higher production costs and potentially limited availability. Critics argue that the nutritional differences between organic and conventional food are minimal and not significant enough to justify the higher price. Overall, the decision to consume organic food depends on personal values, health considerations, and affordability.

      Test and improve your prompts

      ChatGPT won’t always give you exactly what you want on the first try. For the best results, test your prompts several times and try to improve them step by step. You can follow up on answers in the same chat, or start again with a reworked prompt in a new chat. You can also use Scribbr’s free paraphrasing tool to help improve the phrasing of your prompt.

      Example: Following up on answers
      • Give me some examples of riddles.
      • Sure! Here are a few examples of riddles for you:
        1. I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have no body, but I come alive with the wind. What am I? Answer: An echo.
        2. What has keys but can’t open locks? Answer: A piano.
        3. […]
      • Please give me another riddle, but don’t tell me the answer. I will try to figure it out for myself, and you tell me if I’m right.
      • Of course! Here’s a riddle for you:I have keys but no locks. I have space but no room. You can enter but can’t go outside. What am I?Feel free to take your time and think about it. Once you’re ready, let me know your answer, and I’ll let you know if you’re correct!
      • A keyboard
      • Great guess! The answer is indeed a keyboard. Well done!

      While improving your prompts, bear in mind the tips from the previous sections: be precise, give sufficient context, and avoid bias.

      Don't submit your assignments before you do this

      The academic proofreading tool has been trained on 1000s of academic texts. Making it the most accurate and reliable proofreading tool for students. Free citation check included.

      Try for free

      Other interesting articles

      If you want more tips on using AI tools, understanding plagiarism, and citing sources, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations, examples, and formats.

      Frequently asked questions about ChatGPT prompts

      What are ChatGPT prompts?

      ChatGPT prompts are the textual inputs (e.g., questions, instructions) that you enter into ChatGPT to get responses.

      ChatGPT predicts an appropriate response to the prompt you entered. In general, a more specific and carefully worded prompt will get you better responses.

      What makes a good ChatGPT prompt?

      A good ChatGPT prompt (i.e., one that will get you the kinds of responses you want):

      • Gives the tool a role to explain what type of answer you expect from it
      • Is precisely formulated and gives enough context
      • Is free from bias
      • Has been tested and improved by experimenting with the tool
      Can I use ChatGPT to learn languages?

      Yes, there are a variety of ways to use ChatGPT for language learning, including treating it as a conversation partner, asking it for translations, and using it to generate a curriculum or practice exercises.

      Cite this Scribbr article

      If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

      Caulfield, J. (2023, June 13). How to Write Good ChatGPT Prompts. Scribbr. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/ai-tools/chatgpt-prompts/

      Is this article helpful?
      Jack Caulfield

      Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes for Scribbr about his specialist topics: grammar, linguistics, citations, and plagiarism. In his spare time, he reads a lot of books.

      1 comment

      Jack Caulfield
      Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
      June 13, 2023 at 12:59 PM

      Thanks for reading! Hope you found this article helpful. If anything is still unclear, or if you didn’t find what you were looking for here, leave a comment and we’ll see if we can help.

      Still have questions?

      Please click the checkbox on the left to verify that you are a not a bot.