Editing AI: How ChatGPT is Impacting the Way People Write

Dec 12, 2023Posted by: mdctraining

Artificial Intelligence – you can’t go a single day without hearing about it. In interviews, articles and all over social, people constantly speculate about its risks and rewards.

From medical diagnostics and autonomous driving to cybersecurity and art, artificial intelligence is disrupting and reinventing the way people work.

Further, AI is constantly learning. All signs point to it becoming even more pervasive in our lives.

At MDC, our focus is on understanding AI’s impact on communication. What can AI do, and not do, to aid busy professionals today?

How can we leverage its capabilities to help, especially with written work?

by Christie Day, Writing Dynamics™ Master Trainer, & Alisha Fonseka, MDC Marketing Manager

Is AI Replacing Writers?

ChatGPT, the mainstream “large language model” chatbot, stirred waves of worry when it first launched in November, 2022.

Right away, teachers feared students would skip the hard work of researching and writing an essay and simply “outsource” the job.

How was the essay created? What did the student contribute? Is it accurate? How should it be marked?

Fast-forward a year. Instead of trying to catch cheaters, many teachers now encourage using ChatGPT as a research tool.

Meanwhile, people are employing ChatGPT to draft proposals, reports, business cases and much more, and then tailoring them to their needs.

Two questions stand out for us: What level of quality does this AI produce, and how much do you have to refine it to produce what you actually want?

AI Experiment: Leadership

We ran an experiment with ChatGPT. We asked for two different drafts on one subject – leadership. Then we assessed the results in two ways: relevance of the messages and readability of the pieces.

For readability, we applied the editing standards we teach in our foundational Writing Dynamics workshop.

We offer three guidelines for using this technology.

Our ChatGPT Best Practices


  • Start With a Clear Point of View
    Decide who your reader is and what you want them to do after reading your message. This AI harvests content from the web already written by others (pre-October 2021). How will you make it your own? Having a clear idea of your purpose will help you shape your ChatGPT query and craft a unique result.


  • Ask The Right Questions
    One of the keys to getting a reasonably useful draft is knowing what to “prompt” for. Like much of AI, ChatGPT learns by scouring the web for facts and language that seem to fit the parameters of your prompts. Generally, the more specific your inputs are, the more tailored the output you will receive.


  • Edit Rigorously
    We’ve observed that, even with specific prompts, ChatGPT drafts lack finesse, and often a natural “voice.” Treat what you receive as a starting point. To see the two examples of what we asked for, what we received, and how we edited them, read on.


ChatGPT Test Example #1

We were deliberately vague in our first prompt: “Write me a two-paragraph post about leadership for social media.” Here’s what came back.

“True leadership is not just about holding a position of authority; it’s about inspiring others to reach their full potential. A great leader is one who empowers their team, fosters a culture of inclusivity, and champions diversity. They lead with empathy, actively listening to their team members’ concerns and ideas, and creating an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. A leader’s success is not solely measured by their individual achievements but by the collective growth and development of the entire team.

Leadership is not about dictating orders but about setting an example through integrity and accountability. A strong leader takes responsibility for their actions and decisions, acknowledging both successes and failures. They continuously strive for self-improvement and encourage their team to do the same, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation. A leader’s vision is not limited to the present but encompasses a long-term perspective, guiding their team towards a shared goal and a brighter future.”


Editing AI for Originality and Readability

We think ChatGPT did a reasonably good job of providing relevant content, but it needed editing. We also added one statement to better align with our goals.

When it came to improving readability, we turned to the standards of our “Editor’s Six Obsessions” system in Writing Dynamics™ and scanned for the following traits.


  • Sentence length and variety: While no sentence exceeded our recommended maximum of 20-25 words, several were close; the shortest was 15, the longest was 25.We found very little variety of length. No short, crisp sentences to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Word length and variety: Writing Dynamics™ advises that no more than 15% of your words be three or more syllables long. The draft was slightly higher (17%). The main problem was repetition of both key words and sentence structure – “not just… but…,” “not solely… but….”We also replaced clichéd phrasing with fresh language.
  • Energy-draining verbs: In Writing Dynamics™, we stress that overuse of certain verbs, especially the verb “to be” (am, is, are, be, being, been), drags down the energy of any writing.We found a number to eliminate, which helped shorten and sharpen some sentences.


Edited Version of AI Example #1


“Do you see yourself this way?

True leadership is not just about holding a position of authority. It’s about inspiring others to achieve, contribute and grow.

A confident leader empowers their team, actively listening to concerns and ideas. They set an example through personal integrity and accountability.

They foster a culture of continuous learning and innovation by acknowledging both successes and failures.

A great leader looks far ahead, guiding their team toward a shared goal and a rewarding future.”


ChatGPT Test Example #2

We made our second request more specific and targeted. What we received was so “salesy” that we had to refine the prompts to produce a more accurate comparison with the first example.

Prompt 1:
Who I want you to be: An expert copywriter.

What I want you to do: Create an engaging LinkedIn text post about leadership that is two paragraphs long, but before that ask me a series of 5 questions about my goals, niche, audience, and tone of voice.


  • What are your primary goals for this LinkedIn post? Drive Engagement


  • Could you specify your niche or industry? Training Industry


  • Who is your target audience on LinkedIn? Decision-makers in learning and development in charge of booking training for their organization


  • What tone of voice do you prefer for your content? Professional and friendly


  • Do you have any specific keywords or phrases that you would like to include to enhance visibility and searchability? Communication


Prompt 2:

Can you make the tone less sales focused?

ChatGPT: Certainly, let’s adjust the tone to be less sales-focused while maintaining engagement.

“🌟 Calling all Learning and Development Pros! 🌟 Are you passionate about enhancing your team’s communication skills? Our newly launched training program is crafted to empower your workforce with practical communication strategies that make a lasting impact. From refining persuasive pitches to navigating the intricacies of virtual communication, we’ve got your team covered.  🎯Let’s embark on a journey to unlock your team’s full potential together. 🌈 #CommunicationMatters #TrainingExcellence

Are you eager to revolutionize the way your team communicates? Our comprehensive training modules are thoughtfully designed by industry experts to ensure your team not only grasps the fundamentals but also excels in navigating real-world communication challenges. Elevate your organization’s performance by fostering a culture of effective and efficient communication. With our proven methodologies and personalized approach, your team can expect measurable improvements in collaboration, client relationships, and overall productivity. 🌟 Consider investing in your team’s success today and witness the transformative power of enhanced communication firsthand. 🚀 #CommunicationTraining #SkillDevelopment”


Edited Version of AI Example #2


“🌟 Calling all Learning and Development Pros! 🌟

Are you passionate about enhancing your team’s communication skills?

Our market-leading learning programs are crafted by industry experts to empower your workforce with practical communication strategies that improve writing and speaking skills immediately.

From refining persuasive pitches to navigating virtual communication, your team can expect measurable improvements in collaboration, client relationships, and overall productivity.

Invest in your team’s success today and witness the transformative power of enhanced communication firsthand.

🚀 #CommunicationTraining #SkillDevelopment #CommunicationMatters #TrainingExcellence”


AI is Still Learning – Stay Tuned!

Final thoughts? ChatGPT and other AI applications are tools to explore early possibilities.

They can help save time on a first draft. Your critical thinking and unique voice, along with editing best practices, are still essential in expressing clear, original ideas.

New applications – and potential issues – are emerging every day.

At this point, ChatGPT content is from earlier than October 2021, though this may change.

Keeping up to date will set you apart. We want to hear about your experiences with using AI to produce communications. Connect with us on LinkedIn and share your experiences!

Writing is a process of continuous improvement. Our Writing Dynamics™ workshop offers dozens of practical tips to help you plan, draft, and edit your work, quickly and professionally – especially when used in conjunction with ChatGPT.

For details on our next Writing Dynamics™ workshop, click the banner below, or fill out this form to learn more about bringing this complete writing system to your organization!




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