Writing With AI

students' use of Generative AI is inevitable in lab writing.

ChatGPT and other generative AI tools are very attractive due to their amazing ability to generate human-written-like text. Since ChatGPT's public launch in November 2022, millions of users have accessed this tool, and engineering students are no exception. Engineering lab instructors should provide a clear position on ChatGPT to their students.

Potential impact of ChatGPT on Students' lab writing

Faculty don’t need to discourage students from using ChatGPT. Instead, faculty need to provide clear guidelines about ChatGPT in the context of their labs. However, copying the content in total or in part from ChatGPT is plagiarism. Faculty need to strengthen their education on academic integrity.

Note to your students that they can become better writers than ChatGPT because they know the lab’s rhetorical situation (audience, writer, purpose, and context) much better.

Chat GPT guideline samples.

Sample 1:

ChatGPT guidelines 

1. ChatGPT may assist you when writing labs; however, copying the content in total or in part from ChatGPT is plagiarism. The work you submit must be your own, not ChatGPT's. 

2. You should understand the recurring flaws in ChatGPT content and the risks of using such content, such as inaccuracy, bias, obsolescence, and unclarity of origins. 

3. You can use ChatGPT when writing the labs, you must document how you have used it after the conclusion section. 

Sample 2:

ChatGPT Guidelines of [Lab]

You are allowed to use ChatGPT to get help for writing your lab reports, with the following considerations: 

ChatGPT is good at: 

ChatGPT is NOT so good at: 

ChatGPT sometimes does terrible things, such as: 

Sample 3:

ChatGPT policy 

[Instructor Name]’s philosophy: 

ChatGPT is a tool.  Be familiar with any tool.  Know its strengths and weaknesses. 

Use ChatGPT to help your learning process, do not use it as a mean to get a product. 

As we are all getting used to this new tool, I am asking for transparency (we document our prompts and include them in the Appendix), so we can establish guidelines in the future. 

Here are some things to consider: 

Let’s together come up with mutually agreeable terms that we can try this term. 

Sample 4:

Syllabus policy on AI mark 1.0 

[Instructor Name]


Generative AI is a powerful tool, but it will never be able to answer the question, “What did I do today?” I aim to allow reasonable uses of AI to support the writing process as well as support grammar and spelling editing, but using it to generate the entire body of assignments is inappropriate. 

This class is based around the concept of “writing to learn”--by virtue of writing about something, you will come to know it better. AI can’t replace this. You must do substantial original writing, no matter its quality, in order to learn this material. In particular, do not use AI to write personal reflections of any kind. 

All use of generative AI (like Chat GPT) in this class must be extensively documented. For every assignment where you use one of these tools, please submit an attachment where you disclose every “prompt” you gave the AI (the text you typed in to get a result) as well as the entirety of the results it gave you. 

Sample 5:


[Instructor Name]

Generative AI’s (GAI’s) such as ChatGPT can be useful tools for engineering students and for practicing engineers.  Some examples of potential positive impact in report writing include: 

However, like any tool, when used improperly, may result in a negative impact.  Engineers and students need to critically review the content of the generated output before using it for their work.  Some common weaknesses include: 

You may use generative AI’s to assist with report writing in this class.  However,  

Bottom line:  work you submit is YOUR WORK!  You are responsible for achieving all learning objectives. 

Sample 6:

ChatGPT Guides

Use of generative AI (ChatGPT) to aid your lab writing

Opportunities for ChatGPT in lab writing

Hazards of ChatGPT in lab writing

Document your use of ChatGPT in your report