Automated Academia: AI That Writes Essays For You?

By: Katherine Williams


Time was, AI was a mere dream. Today though, sci-fi movies seem to be becoming a reality as artificial intelligence rapidly integrates into our everyday lives. AI can now perform complex tasks.  From facial recognition to self-driving cars, it feels as though there’s nothing these robots can’t do. 

But what about AI that writes essays for you? 

AI is making its way into academia, but can it really replace student writing ability?

To answer these questions, let’s look at AI’s current capabilities in terms of language modeling.

How Does AI Writing Actually Work?

Artificial intelligence language models have come a long way from being able to recognize basic words and phrases; today, it can understand more complex concepts such as word prediction, summarization, and sentiment analysis.

AI writing involves a mix of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and a large corpus of text to build a language model. This language model is then used to generate text by using a combination of rules and statistical methods. AI essay generators rely on this knowledge base to generate cohesive ideas. Without this ever-expanding data base, ai essay bots would be totally lost.

AI writing systems can take several different forms, depending on the task it is intended for. For example, a system designed to summarize a text would use a different set of algorithms than a text generator tool designed to generate a long-form essay. Some AI writers, such as Jasper, have fully integrated structure prompts that make it easy to generate a simple essay on one platform. Others, like WriterZen or Copy.AI are more hands-on in the creation of your essay structure. 



AI Writing for Students

Now, let’s look at how AI fits into the paper-writing process.

First, it is important to understand that an essay AI writer can only simplify the paper-writing process if the paper is already well-structured and concise. If not, then the essay generator AI will struggle to make sense of the material, leading to poor results. You’ll need a solid outline, research, and a structure that makes sense to the AI program in order for it to produce a good paper.

 When writing a paper, an AI essay typer can help by providing a starting point. If you don’t have an outline, but you do have a chunk of text as research, for instance, an AI paper writer can analyze the text for keywords, topics, and themes and use this information to suggest a structure or outline.

 Once you’ve created your essay outline, can AI take over and begin to write your paper? That depends on a few factors.


Your Subject Matters

Just like human competence, AI’s effectiveness depends on the subject matter.

Artificial intelligence content writing tools can generally write papers on topics it has seen before, but for new or complex topics, AI may not be able to make sense of the material. For example, an AI essay writer might be able to write a passable paper on the history of the French Revolution, if it has seen enough material on the topic. But it wouldn’t be able to make sense of more complex topics, such as quantum physics or philosophy — at least not with any depth or originality of thought. In these cases, AI can be a fantastic tool to introduce yourself to new perspectives or directions you may not previously have considered and use this as a springboard for your own research.

For university-level papers, if you’re going to use AI, stick to subjects that are easy for the AI to understand. These include:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Computer Science Classes
For the more nuanced or current research, you’ll need to do some of the work yourself.

Writing Styles

AI can also struggle with “writing style” due to its inability to understand nuances in language and subtlety in arguments. An machine learning technology might be able to generate an essay, but it will struggle to express complex ideas with finesse and personality. For example, if you are a high school senior looking to write a college application essay, you’ll need to make sure you give the AI a strong summary written in the style you want the AI to mimic. Even with that model, you’ll need to go through and beef up the vocabulary and sentence structure variety before submitting.

Most AI writing systems are designed to mimic human-written papers in terms of structure, syntax, and grammar. But when it comes to the actual content of the paper, AI can’t quite match up to writing done by a human.

That said, AI writing is getting better all the time — and it’s becoming increasingly useful for more basic writing tasks such as summarizing text or generating outlines.





Sources and Citations 

Because artificial intelligence aggregates information from other sources, it can be difficult to tell which of the writing is it’s own and which has been copied from elsewhere. But AI writing systems can usually flag up any sections that may have been plagiarized or taken directly from another source.

For university level essays, and even some graduate student essays, using an AI writing system could help you quickly generate a list of citations and references. Depending on the writing software features of the Ai writing assistant you use, the artificial intelligence algorithms could search for papers on the topic, extract the relevant citations, and format them in your writing style of choice. You’ll want to double-check all the references, of course, but it could save you a lot of time.

AI writing systems can also help you to spot any potential plagiarism in your own writing. This can be useful for double-checking that you’ve referenced every quote or idea from an outside source correctly.

Benefits of Automated Writing 

So, now that we know how AI writing for essays work, what are the real advantages of using them?

1. Speed: AI writing systems are much faster than humans when it comes to research, analysis, and structuring a paper. This can be useful for tight deadlines or if you need to generate a lot of documents quickly.

2. Cost: AI-generated papers cost less than those written by humans (although prices vary). You may be able to get more bang for your buck with AI. Of course, outsourcing your essays to an AI system may not be acceptable in universities, so you’ll want to check the rules of your institution before doing this.

3. Streamlined Research: As mentioned, AI text generators can be a great way to introduce yourself to new ideas and perspectives, as well as assisting you in understanding complex topics. Put simply; it’s just another tool that you can use to create a better paper

4. Accuracy: You can rely on AI to be consistent and accurate. This is especially useful when it comes to citing sources and double-checking your own writing.






Drawbacks of Automated Writing

As with any new technology, there are some drawbacks to using AI writing.

 1. Quality: As mentioned above, AI cannot replicate the “writing style” of a human being. It also lacks the creativity, nuance, and flexibility that come with writing by hand

 2. Unfamiliar Ideas: AI writing systems can be helpful in introducing you to new ideas and perspectives, but they may not always get it right. It’s important to double-check any sources that the AI has used before trusting its conclusions.

 3. Accuracy: AI writing systems can make mistakes, which may lead to incorrect conclusions or faulty assumptions. This is especially true when the AI has been given incomplete or inaccurate data.

Can AI replace a Human Writer?

The answer to this question is a resounding no. Sure, for undergraduate papers, the information can be fudged a bit, but when you reach a university-level essay, in order to truly guide the AI, you need to

“As with any new technology, there are some drawbacks to using AI writing.”

So, Is AI Writing the Future of Education

AI writing systems are getting better all the time, and they can be a useful tool in writing essays — but they should never replace your own judgment or writing skill. AI writing is best used as a starting point or writing aid to help you produce the best possible paper you can. It’s no substitute for understanding your subject matter, writing with conviction and style, or being able to critically analyze a topic.

Ultimately, AI writing systems are just that — writing systems. They can’t replace the hard work of research and writing that you need to do if you want to produce an excellent essay. But they can be a helpful tool in the writing process and may well become an integral part of writing instruction over the coming years.

    So, while AI writing systems may never be able to replace the full writing process, they could still be a valuable addition to any writing course or learning environment. With careful use and monitoring, AI writing systems can help you write faster and better — without sacrificing quality.


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