The Risks of Using AI for Essay Writing

Blue background with AI written over it

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the new advances in artificial intelligence (AI) leading to tools that are now powerful enough to write coherent pieces of text. You may be wondering if such tools could be the solution to creating an essay for you that you’ve been finding particularly difficult to write. In fact, there are numerous risks to doing this. Here are some considerations to bear in mind.

1. You’ll Be Breaking the Rules at Your School

Universities require students’ work to be their own. The use of AI tools will fall under unauthorized assistance at most schools. Violating this rule could mean you face disciplinary action, which could mean suspension or expulsion. It’s easy for universities to detect AI-created content by using academic plagiarism tools like Turnitin.

2. It’s Plagiarism

Although an essay you create with AI will likely be unique, it’s still plagiarism because you didn’t create the work yourself. To avoid plagiarism, you’d need to reference the AI tool you used — which would only advertise that you’re breaking the rules.

3. The Writing Will Be Poor Quality

AI tools often create essays that are uninspired and feature sentence structures that are characteristic of poor-quality writing. They state the obvious, repeat ideas, and add fluff — all things that can easily push you up to the word limit without adding any value to the essay. It may require more effort to edit these to create an engaging essay that flows well than to write an essay from scratch yourself.

4. AI-Generated Essays Are Often Factually Incorrect

A major issue with AI tools at the moment is they’re unable to determine what makes an authoritative source. This leads to pieces of writing that are full of factual mistakes — and will definitely result in you receiving a lower grade.

5. You’ll Lack Citations

Even the reliable information in your essay will lack citations, which means you’re once again committing plagiarism. Fact-checking an AI-generated essay to back up the facts with sources is a huge waste of time.

6. You’ll Deprive Yourself of a Proper Education

A final reason to avoid AI tools is for your own personal benefit. Most people don’t find essays the most thrilling aspect of university, but they ultimately learn a lot from writing them. Essays are a chance to explore the ideas you’ve learned in a creative way, check you’ve understood concepts, and develop skills you’ll need after graduation. By handing the task off to AI, you’re robbing yourself of a valuable learning experience and failing to take full advantage of your education.

You’ll gain the best grades for your essays if you put in the time and effort to study. This is easier said than done when you’re facing constant distractions in your dorm room. The solution is to move into your own apartment. You can find UWaterloo off-campus housing with all the features you need for a great student experience at myREZ. For instance, when you need a change of scene from your suite, you can head to one of the large study spaces. Book a tour to see all the facilities.

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