20 Practical ChatGPT Tips With Examples

Translating Prompt Engineering into Practical Examples

Mastering ChatGPT is hard.

The quality of your prompt significantly impacts the quality of answers.

A broad question, "Tell me about climate change" may give a generic response.

A more specific question, "What are the projected impacts of climate change on coastal cities by 2050?" gives a more detailed and practical response.

Balancing the right amount of background information and context to give ChatGPT is a delicate challenge.

Not too much, not too little, just right.

You may need to converse with ChatGPT for several turns to get there.

You may need to rephrase your prompt to curb misinterpretations.

Despite the challenges, mastering ChatGPT is invaluable.

It’s all about your prompt — the instructions you provide.

This post walks through 20 practical ChatGPT tips I use every day.

I’ve included examples, so you can easily copy paste to try them out!

1. Clarify Confusion

Help ChatGPT learn your intent and expectations, so it can tailor its answers.

Ask me clarifying questions until you are over 95% certain that your answers will be relevant and accurate.

Ask me one question at a time.

Use the Link Reader GPT, available in the ChatGPT store.

It’s free!

It lets ChatGPT read:

  • PDF

  • PPT

  • Images

  • YouTube

  • Websites

  • Word docs

Here’s a description of the Link Reader GPT plugin:

Here’s a real example:

I used Link Reader to read my LinkedIn Carousel PDF (where I originally made this list) and convert it into text format for this blog post.

3. Reveal ChatGPT’s Reasoning

To understand why ChatGPT is giving you particular answers, add this simple instruction to the end of your prompt:

Explain your reasoning step-by-step.

You can append this to any prompt.

Fascinating to watch ChatGPT’s thinking unfold real-time.

4. Add Verification Step

Adding a verification step is useful to check a certain condition is true before ChatGPT finishes answering.

For example:

  • Tell ChatGPT to search the internet to find upcoming conferences

  • Add a verification step: check conference date is in the future

  • If conference date is in the past, tell find a different conference.

ChatGPT will repeat your instruction until it finds a conference in the future, satisfying your condition.

Check whether <SOMETHING> is correct.

If wrong, try again.

Explain your reasoning step-by-step.

5. Learn Anything Fast

This is a fun prompt to learn about any topic, fast, in an engaging way.

Tell ChatGPT to be an expert, tasked with passing its expertise down to you.

You are an elite ___.

I am your student whom you must pass on your knowledge and expertise.

In a series of sessions, you have to fulfill this duty and see that I have mastered ___ by giving me tests I would face in the real world.

Reddit user Lying_king

6. Use Quotations to Emphasize Key Things

Employ quotations to highlight key items in your prompt.

Focus your answer on the “economic impacts of renewable energy”, particularly emphasizing global stats and trends.

7. Let 3 Experts Debate

This is called Tree-of-Thought prompting.

ChatGPT pretends to be different experts answering the same question.

Each expert explains their thought process step-by-step.

If at any step, an expert realizes they’re wrong, they leave.

This can be applied to general questions, as well as logic and math problems.

Imagine 3 different experts answering this question. All experts will write down one step of their thinking, then share it with the group.

Then all experts go on to the next step, etc.

If any expert realizes they’re wrong, they leave.

The question is:

Here’s an example with the question:

Should we worry now about climate change?

8. Get Custom Formats

One of ChatGPT’s most useful features - return answers in various formats:

  • csv

  • code

  • table

  • JSON

  • HTML

  • LaTeX

  • bar chart

  • markdown

  • bullet point lists

Just ask!

Here’s a sample prompt that returns a table:

Create a table comparing the economic impacts of climate change on three different industries: agriculture, real estate, and insurance. Include the following columns in the table:

1. Industry

2. Direct Impacts

3. Indirect Impacts

4. Potential Adaptation Strategies

Please ensure that the information is presented clearly, with bullet points for each impact and strategy to enhance readability.

Here’s the output created by ChatGPT, in table format:

9. Add Detail

A useful way to think about prompts - each prompt has 4 ingredients:

  • Task

  • Input data

  • Context

  • Examples

Adding more detail to each ingredient generally results in better answers.

10. Break It Down

Another useful tip is to break down your prompt in concrete steps.


Explain how to bake a cake: mix ingredients, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, let it cool.


Step 1. Explain how to prepare cake mix. What ingredients are needed?

Step 2. Talk about baking: what temperature and duration?

Step 3. Explain the cooling technique.

11. Request Specifics

Ask ChatGPT to take specific steps that you want included in the answer:


Explain how to calculate market capitalization.


First, define “market capitalization”.

Then, describe the formula to calculate it.

Finally, provide an example calculation using hypothetical share numbers and share price.

12. Shuffle Ordering

The order of sentences in your prompt impacts the answer.

Try mixing it up!

Why does sequence matter?

Context Setting

The initial sentences in a prompt often set the context.

This initial information can seem more immediate or important because it frames the topic and guides how subsequent information is interpreted.

Starting a prompt with a topic or question focuses the response on that area, potentially prioritizing it over other items mentioned later.

Logical Flow

The logical flow created by the order of sentences in your prompt can lead to different interpretations and answers. A well-structured prompt progresses logically from one point to the next, facilitating a consistent response.

Memory Constraints

In longer prompts, sometimes ChatGPT pays more attention to information at the beginning and end, diminishing the impact of information in the middle.

13. Provide Examples

This is formally known as “few-shot learning”.

It allows ChatGPT to adapt to new tasks with minimal input.

By providing a few clear, well-defined examples in your prompt, ChatGPT better understands your desired output and the task’s nuances.

Instructions: Please categorize the following texts by their sentiment: positive, negative, or neutral.


1. Text: "I absolutely loved the new Spider-Man movie!"

Sentiment: Positive

2. Text: "It rained all day during our beach vacation."

Sentiment: Negative

3. Text: "The book was delivered on time."

Sentiment: Neutral

Texts to Categorize:

Text: "This coffee is the worst I've ever tasted."

Text: "What an amazing game! Totally worth watching."

Text: "He goes to the gym regularly."

14. Avoid Negative Prompts

Write positive, direct, clear prompts.
Let LLMs figure it out.


Don't give me a technical explanation


Provide a simple non-technical summary.

15. External References

To tailor responses, give ChatGPT:

  • Domain-specific knowledge

  • Examples of writing style and tone

  • Fact-checking sources

  • Specialized instructions

By integrating domain-specific knowledge and specialized instructions, ChatGPT will provide more accurate, relevant, and detailed responses.

Incorporating fact-checking enhances the reliability and credibility of outputs.

I recommend Perplexity AI if citing sources is important for your use case.

Tailoring ChatGPT's output to fit specific writing styles and tones (e.g., formal, conversational, persuasive) enhances its ability to engage different audiences.

One neat trick: ask ChatGPT to answer in several different voices.

16. Assign Role

You are an expert in quantum computing

I want you to act as an intellectual property lawyer

17. Explain Audience

The audience is unfamiliar with biology.

Summarize the paper by simplifying complex terms and focusing on overall findings and broader implications in healthcare.

18. Try Again

If you’re not happy with ChatGPT’s answers, here’s a quick way to iterate:

Try again.

Do more of this: A, B, C

Follow the constraints: X, Y, Z

19. Translate to English

ChatGPT performs much better in English.

First ask ChatGPT to translate your prompt into English.

Then run the prompt.

20. Minimize Vague Pronouns (It, They)

Minimize use of vague or undefined pronouns.

ChatGPT needs a clear understanding of your instructions.


Explain how they impact global economies.


Explain how digital currencies impact global economies.