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The Commoner

The student news site of Rogers High School

The Commoner

The student news site of Rogers High School

The Commoner

Pros and cons of ChatGPT in English classes:

ChatGPT has changed English classes
Photo by Ella Kirkelie
A student using ChatGPT to finish an english essay

Have you ever been crunched on time in an English class and needed to write a 500-word essay? Some students are turning to AI to write these 500-word essays in record time.

However, although these quick essays have their benefits, they also have numerous potential drawbacks as well.

Whether you’re writing about Shakespeare’s plays or writing an explanatory essay about Alpha Males, AI software’s such as ChatGPT can write instant essays no matter the prompt.

Unfortunately, ChatGPT is not always accurate, sometimes, the software will make errors in sentence types, use words that don’t make sense in the context of the sentence, or incorrectly use grammar modifiers.

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When students use AI for their essays, they may not notice these errors, and overtime become used to the incorrect essay format provided by ChatGPT. Thus, this can lead to a decrease in vocabulary and grammar that can get worse and worse the more you rely on the software.

When asked if AI is useful for helping with vocabulary, RHS senior, Peter Truax said, “I find a tool like Grammarly perfectly fine, but ChatGPT is not as specialized with vocab enough to help.”

The underdeveloped qualities of ChatGPT make it relatively easy to notice if an essay is AI generated. Teachers at Rogers use programs such as, “Turn it In” to catch ChatGPT work, but even these programs are not entirely accurate.

These websites can give false ratings where they put good papers in the slammer or on the other end, miss ChatGPT papers, leading to the accuracy of the website being put under heavy fire by current students.

Daniel Maldonado, a senior at RHS said, “I’ve been submitting my essays through “Turn It In” for a while but sometimes I’ve had my essays flagged with high similarity reports without me actually using AI. ”

To avoid this, teachers will review the results as well, “There always has to be a human who is looking at the results” said RHS English Teacher Elizabeth Hallberg, “It’s up to me, to see if what it tells me is actually AI or just common human phrases.”

The extent to which students at Rogers use AI varies per student, some may plagiarize entire essays, yet others will use ChatGPT just to help start ideas for an essay, because of this, teachers at the school tend to ban AI completely to avoid this uncertainty.

English teacher RHS at Rebekah Leonardy said, “I’m okay with programs such as Grammarly, because it helps students with grammar errors and how to fix a phase, but I don’t allow AI such as ChatGPT in my classroom because it can create an entire story for you. That’s not helping, that’s plagiarizing.”

At the current moment, the uncertainty revolving around AI makes it a negative in RHS English classrooms, however, programs that help you fix phrases such as Spell-Check or Grammarly seem to be allowed.

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