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The ChatGPT Prompt Engineering Guide: No Fluff Quick Start

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Welcome to our ChatGPT Prompt Engineering guide! If you haven’t already done so, check out our Ultimate Guide to get started with ChatGPT.

Now, just like in verbal and human-to-human communication, there are many ways to ask questions. You can ask directly, or you can suggest by inferring. You can also use your body language to communicate your message. These are all valid in the real world, but ChatGPT can’t understand your body language and, for the most part, cannot understand inference.

And again, just like with language, the best way to get the answer you want is by asking the right questions. This same concept is applicable when prompting ChatGPT. To get the output you want from ChatGPT, you need to ask your questions and structure your prompts in a specific way. So, let’s learn how to write the best prompts.

Purpose of this Prompt Engineering Guide

Prompt engineering requires a prompt engineer to concisely structure the words used in prompts to get the desired outcome. Note that this may require the prompt engineer to iterate their prompts by refining prompt content and structure.



If You are new to prompt engineering, the best advice you should take on board at this stage of your experience is to be patient with yourself as you develop this new skill. This ChatGPT Prompt engineering guide will equip you with everything you need to know to get started in prompt engineering.

So what are you waiting for, let’s dive in and start prompting

Prompt Engineering Prompt Types

Yes, there are multiple ways to ask ChatGPT. Let’s see the 4 main types of prompts.

Single prompt

One simple piece of text that explains what you want: “

Please generate 10 suggestions for movies about traveling” 

Dual prompt

You’re using two prompts to get what you want. For example:

What would be a good side income idea for a 20-year-old student?

ChatGPT will give you suggestions, and you can follow up with another prompt: “Can you tell me more about the second idea you mentioned? How can I get this business started?”

Shot prompts

Zero shot is pretty simple, and you ask something to ChatGPT without any example:

Write an email to tell my colleague that I gave my resignation

One-shot means you’re giving one example to help ChatGPT:

“This is how my colleagues communicate (insert text sample).Can you write an email explaining that I am quitting, using a similar communication style as my colleague?

Few-shot means you’re giving multiple examples to ChatGPT:

I have two colleagues that resigned, and I really liked their email (insert text sample of email 1 and email 2), can you draft a similar email but in a different style?”

CoT prompts

CoT stands for Chain of Thought. It means you’re basically working hand in hand with ChatGPT during multiple prompts to have the output you want.

Example: 

Can you give me the pros and cons of changing companies and going to work somewhere else?

(ChatGPT replies)

How do you think I should tell my manager that I am considering leaving?

(ChatGPT replies)

Can you draft an email to help me tell my manager?

(ChatGPT replies)

What should I talk about during my exit interview?

(ChatGPT replies)

Now you had a good talk with ChatGPT and a better plan on what to do.

Prompt structure

One good formula works well with ChatGPT, but of course, depending on your needs and expertise, you can adapt it and create your own formula.

  1. If applicable, ask GPT to forget/ignore all previous instructions before this one (or start a new chat)
  2. Introduce yourself, your expertise if applicable, and your goal
  3. Explain the purpose/problem to solve
  4. Explain what you tried before, and whether it worked or not
  5. Give examples if applicable
  6. Describe your product/service if applicable
  7. Define the length of the reply
  8. Explain the tone/voice of the expected output
  9. Define the expected format 
  10. Define the target audience

Example:

I’m a social media content creator and I need to make more views on my TikTok videos. I really don’t have time to take a full TikTok marketing course but I want to get better at it. I tried to add clickbait titles and funny music, but it didn’t help my numbers. My target audience are between 18 and 25 years old, and I make videos about cooking. Can you give me a list of points I can work on to make my numbers better?

Prompt engineering tips and tricks

  • Make sure to double check your spelling and use proper wording relevant to your industry or your needs
  • Give room to ChatGPT and let it ask questions (it usually won’t have questions, but if you tell ChatGPT that it can ask questions, then you could end up with a more relevant output)
  • Tell ChatGPT when it gave you the wrong information, and ask it to try again after you add more information in the prompt.
  • An output from ChatGPT can be turned into a different prompt, or you can use a follow up prompt to get exactly what you want. A follow up prompt can be something like “Can you rephrase that?” “Can you make it shorter?” “Can you insert examples?” “Can you add relevant keywords?” “Can you make it SEO friendly?”
chatGPT UI to get to support the ChatGPT Prompt Engineering Guide

Some points to remember

Ok, there you have it, our ChatGPT prompt engineering guide, which we hope helps you start to develop your skills as a prompt engineer.

ChatGPT is an amazing tool, and learning Prompt Engineering will get you places, but there are some important things you should always keep in mind:

  • The free version of ChatGPT only has access to information up to 2021.
  • ChatGPT can provide inaccurate information, so fact-checking is important.
  • ChatGPT is not an expert and cannot replace the knowledge or experience of a specialist.
  • With power comes responsibility, it means that how we as humans choose to use AI will determine its future. If AI is used for malicious purposes, it increases the chances of it being banned. 

Okay, back to not being too serious! You’re now equipped with knowledge about prompt engineering. What will you accomplish next?

You can also check our other ChatGPT content on Automation Switch.

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