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Should you use a bot to write your essays?

essaybot
EssayBot can write your essays for you...but is there a catch to this platform? Source: Chris Delmas/AFP

University life and essays often go hand in hand. While the thought of getting help in the form of EssayBot — an AI-based programme — to write your essays for you might sound tempting, we’re here to tell you why tapping into technology to do your homework might not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

EssayBot’s website notes that the platform can help writers “find inspirational sources, suggest and paraphrase sentences, as well as generate and complete sentences using AI” once a title and a prompt are given.

Think of it as a programme that can help you generate content with little effort on your part. Some might think of it as an upgrade from paying another person to write or help them with their homework.

While not all technology are bad when it comes to helping you with assignments, we explore some of the potential disadvantages of using a bot to write your essays and share some tips on how you can write better and improve your productivity instead: 

EssayBot

Can a bot write from scratch? Source: Maria Tan/AFP

Costs

We’ve all been there: staring at an empty word document for far too long, trying to conjure some words.

While EssayBot can help generate content for your essay, you’ll need to pay a subscription to download it. The pertinent question, however, is: should you pay for an essay that might not be original? 

Content

EssayBot doesn’t write anything from scratch. Instead, it takes what it assumes to be “relevant” paragraphs from your paper subjects and rewrites them by trying to hide the duplicate texts from search engines. 

You might find yourself with an essay that has sentences that don’t make sense, are way too long, or are grammatically incorrect. Reviews suggest that the platform might also have problems paraphrasing sentences. 

Plagiarism

One of the first things that your lecturers or professors at uni will want to drill into your head is not to plagiarise or pass off someone else’s work without proper attribution. But how confident are you about a technology’s ability to produce work that is plagiarism-free?

As a student, it’s your diligent duty to write and cite texts that have been used as referenced. While AI can help you summarise information into an essay, it cannot do the thinking and critical thinking needed to expand on the topic being written.

Getting caught for plagiarism can get you suspended, or worse, expelled.

How to write better essays

So, rather than rely on technology to write your essays for you, how can you up your game and produce better essays instead?

For some, creating an outline and listing topics that you need to cover can be a good place to start. When writing an argument, you’ll want to take the time to think critically, rather than merely regurgitate facts that you’ve read. 

Analyse what’s been written and try looking for holes in your argument to strengthen. This can help you to develop your points better for a convincing essay. Don’t forget to cite your sources and evidence.

If you’re pressed for time, there are some reliable apps that can improve your productivity.

This includes Speechify, a free-to-download software used as a web plugin. What this does is copy text and converts it into audio. So, if you prefer learning through listening, the app has a scan option that will let you take photos of multiple pages to turn them into a personal podcast. 

If you have issues with time management, the Pomodoro Technique is proven (by various research statistics) to be one of the most efficient time management methods used widely by students.