Writing Your Piece

This section provides suggestions on how to make your piece compelling, and how to use ChatGPT to support your writing process.

Table of Contents

Telling Your Story Effectively

Using ChatGPT to Support Your Writing Process

Telling Your Story Effectively

Here are a few suggested tips in order to help your story come to life. This is primarily for use in writing op-eds since LTEs are typically very short.

  1. Share your unique background. Are you part of a community that will be impacted by the measures? Do you have an area of expertise that lends itself well to the topic at hand? This is your chance to build credibility as a messenger and emphasize why your opinion should matter to the reader.

  2. Pick a theme. What is the unique angle you want to present that may get people to look at the issue in a different way? Following a cohesive narrative helps to present a clear perspective.

  3. Speak to readers’ values. People often make decisions based on their values rather than on facts. Readers will be more likely to be persuaded by something that addresses those values directly (i.e. compassion, integrity, justice, equality, etc.).

  4. Use an inclusive tone. If your goal is to persuade the reader of your viewpoint, the reader must feel that they are part of the community being addressed. Use inclusive language to show this is about all of us, not just vegans. Avoid any activist jargon.

  5. Consider PAF’s campaign narratives. Use the research-backed narratives in the PAF storytelling guide to support your argument.

  6. Write a compelling opening hook. In order to sway public opinion, you first need to get people to read your piece. Hook them in the beginning by evoking some kind of emotion - outrage, joy, disgust. You could tell a dramatic story, use wit and irony to question conventional wisdom, cite a shocking new study - write something attention-grabbing.

Using ChatGPT to Support Your Writing Process

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence software that can be used to assist you in your writing process. It’s important to note that this should just be a starting point from which to add in your own compelling points, stories, and personality.

Creating a First Draft with ChatGPT

One of the hardest parts of writing is getting started. Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to use AI to help jumpstart a first draft for your piece.

  1. Navigate to ChatGPT and follow the prompts to create a free account.

  2. Input your instructions and parameters. Below is an example of input you could use, but you may want to play around with different inputs to see what types of results you yield.

    Please write a [letter to the editor / op-ed piece] using the following parameters:

    • Topic: [Describe your topic, argument, supporting points you’d like to use, as well as any other details you’d like to include in your piece]

    • Format: [Copy the LTE or Op-Ed template from this section to use as a base.]

    • Tone: [Examples: Formal, informal, persuasive, conversational, critical, informational, upbeat, descriptive, introspective] This depends on your topic as well as your target publication. You can always use multiple!

    • Word count: [# of words]

  3. Refine the output. Review your results and request re-writes based on changes you’d like. Ask to refine certain parts of the piece by providing additional instructions around what you want.

  4. Add supporting evidence. Add in any facts, statistics and examples that you compiled to support your claims.

  5. Polish for clarity and readability. Polish up the piece and make sure it flows logically with a clear progression. Make sure your point is strong and your arguments are solid.

  6. Personalize your piece by adding in anecdotes, examples, and some personal flare! ChatGPT doesn’t have the ‘human touch’ and needs to be edited for authenticity.

Other Ways to Use ChatGPT

  1. Ask for ideas. If you’re struggling with writer’s block and can’t come up with something to write about, ask ChatGPT for some ideas with an input like “What are some topics I can write an opinion piece about related to rights for farmed animals?”

  2. Have it write specific sections of your piece. Your input could be “Write me an engaging opening hook for the following piece [input the rest of your piece].

  3. Ask to refine weaker sections. If there is a sentence, section, or paragraph that you feel doesn’t flow well or isn’t as strong as you’d like, ask GPT to rewrite it for you. You could even request synonyms or ask “what is a better way to say [X]?”

  4. Shorten your piece. If your piece is too long, ask GPT to shorten it for you. You could say “Please shorten this to [X number] words” or “can you make this section more concise while still maintaining the key points? [enter input]”.

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