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How to use ChatGPT in the workplace

With so much scary information and misinformation about the uses of artificial intelligence (AI), many of us are too worried to use it. Here’s a suggestion for some testing if you haven’t already done so. If you have, please let me know about your successes and failures.

Test it out with a freebie. Don’t pay for any tool unless you wish to and know how to use it. The free version of ChatGPT is  It is the 3.5 version. You create an account for free and it stores all your attempts, which can be useful.

N.B. Only put texts into it that you can share – nothing confidential – as they keep the data for their purposes.

A good sample to use to test it out is one of your emails. The key is to give good instructions.

Examples of what you can ask it to do:
– to reorganize the text so as to convey your message more clearly

– to correct any errors (but it usually does this anyway)

– to highlight the purpose of the email.

Then check what it gives you, as often the opening and closing language is more formal than you may have wished.

Example of an email exchange

As Publications Chair of a professional organization, I recently received this email (names changed to protect the author). And here’s what I asked ChatGPT to do:  

Please redraft this email to make it sound more English, be shorter and highlight the purpose more clearly.

1             Original email received

Esteemed professor Carol Waites, cordial greetings. 

I truly hope this message finds you well and in good health. 

It´s Juan Perez, an ELT teacher and researcher. Besides greeting you, the reason underlying this current message is because I would like to let you know I am highly interested in participating in the upcoming issue regarding English as a Lingua Franca, as it is a field of knowledge in which I have been working for some time already. However, I was wondering if it is within your possibilities to share with me one of the articles that had been published in any of the previous issues of the journal so that I can more clearly become familiar with the structure that the journal of this association follows.  

I know firsthand that most of the articles, especially those empirical in nature, follow a standard structure which consists of an introduction, literature review, methodology (which includes at the same time all its sub-sections (context, participants, etc.), as well as a data analysis and concluding section. However, what calls my attention is that, according to what I have read when checking the information online, the articles published in this journal do not commonly not to say never exceed the 2,000 words; something which I do not see as problematic. Nevertheless, I think that counting on an example article would really give me some lights on how to organize the proposal I am planning for the call. This is the reason why I am writing you, and making this request.

On a related note, I also want to share with you that my article proposal revolves around English as a Lingua Franca and the materials for its teaching (which are not many, by the way). The title of said potential article is “XYZ”, and, as its same title itself suggests, the intention is to reflect upon the orientation that market-driven ELT textbooks and overall teaching materials have towards inner circle varieties of the language, and towards Anglo-centered and congratulatory perspectives of the English language.  

Thanks for your attention.  

I will be looking forward to your reply.  

Warm regards, 

Juan Perez       

2             Redraft by ChatGPT

Subject: Inquiry Regarding Journal Structure and Article Submission

Dear Professor Waites,

I hope this message finds you well. I’m Juan Perez, an ELT teacher and researcher. I’m reaching out to express my keen interest in participating in the upcoming issue on English as a Lingua Franca. I’ve been working in this field for some time and would like to familiarize myself with the structure of the journal.

Could you please share an example article from a previous issue? Understanding the format will greatly assist me in organizing my proposal for submission. I’ve noticed that articles in your journal typically don’t exceed 2,000 words, which I find manageable.

On a related note, my proposed article titled “XYZ” examines the orientation of market-driven ELT textbooks towards inner circle varieties of English. I believe this perspective aligns well with the themes of your journal.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to your response.

Warm regards,

Juan Perez

3             ChatGPT’s suggested response

Dear Juan Perez,

Thank you for your kind message and your interest in participating in the upcoming issue of our journal focusing on English as a Lingua Franca. It’s always a pleasure to hear from fellow educators and researchers who are passionate about this field.

I appreciate your inquiry regarding the structure of articles published in our journal. While you are correct in noting the general structure of empirical articles, we do indeed have certain guidelines in place to ensure consistency and conciseness in our publications. I’m pleased to share with you an example article from a previous issue that should provide you with a clearer understanding of our journal’s format. Please find attached the article titled [insert article title here]. I trust that this will be helpful as you prepare your proposal.

Your proposed article sounds intriguing, and I believe it would make a valuable contribution to our journal. Exploring the orientation of teaching materials towards inner circle varieties of English and their implications in the context of English as a Lingua Franca is certainly a timely and relevant topic.

I encourage you to proceed with your proposal for “XYZ” and submit it for consideration. Should you have any further questions or require assistance during the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to receiving your submission and potentially working together on this project.

Warm regards,

[Your Name] [Your Position/Title] [Your Contact Information]

Carol Waites (PhD)
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Presentation/editing by Christina O’Shaughnessy (editor)

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