AI and Writing
  • Publication Date: August 25, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816514 / 1554816513
  • 144 pages; 6" x 9"

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AI and Writing

  • Publication Date: August 25, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816514 / 1554816513
  • 144 pages; 6" x 9"

We also offer a free 37-page PDF booklet on the topic of AI and higher education.

AI and Writing is an introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) and its emergent role as a tool for academic, professional, civic, and personal writing. Sid Dobrin examines GenAI from two perspectives: the conceptual and the applied. The conceptual approach addresses the function of GenAI and the ramifications of its use as a writing tool – especially the ethical, social, and material issues it raises. The applied approach offers guidance to assist readers in using GenAI responsibly and authentically. In consideration of the rapid evolution of GenAI and the many unsettled questions about its role, Dobrin leaves room for readers to adapt to shifting technological and institutional conventions.

This book is intended for composition and writing-intensive courses, and for any readers with a general or professional interest in the role of GenAI in writing. While it is primarily designed for first-year writing courses, it’s also applicable to courses in advanced writing, professional writing, technical writing, business writing, and writing across the curriculum, as well as writing-intensive courses in other disciplines. In other words, it can be used in any course in which students are required to produce texts.


AI and Writing is a practical, just-in-time guide for students—and teachers—on the uses and limitations of Generative AI in writing. Just as importantly, it will prompt critical reflection about AI's role in the future of writing and writing education. An invaluable read for anyone who wants to better understand GenAI and its impact on education.” — Naomi Mardock Uman, Metropolitan Community College

“Sid Dobrin’s AI and Writing offers engaging insights that cut through contemporary anxiety surrounding generative AI in education. This book adeptly navigates both the speculative and the practical landscape of digital technologies, demystifying the complexities of generative AI and presenting actionable insights. Dobrin’s writing is framed by a philosophical and ethical lens that makes this book relevant, accessible, and essential reading for educators and learners alike.” — Clare Dyson, RMIT University Adobe Creative Campus

“Sid Dobrin has spent his career pushing us to see what comes next for writing, and AI and Writing offers yet another exciting glimpse around the corner.… Dobrin’s book offers educators and students alike a vantage point from which to engage writing’s future.” — Jason Crider, Texas A&M University

“Whether you are preparing students and colleagues for the new world of writing with AI or just trying to help them catch up to what has happened since the release of ChatGPT, Sid Dobrin offers an essential resource. The speed of change in AI and writing can be intimidating, but Dobrin deftly captures the enduring questions, illuminates a longer history than some might realize for these technologies, and sets an agenda for thoughtful engagement with AI rather than a reactionary response.” — William Hart-Davidson, Michigan State University

“This is a good read for contemplating the future of writing, especially as it applies to teaching people how to write academically and in their career of choice. Answering the questions at the end of each chapter would be time well spent for considering the ramifications of this technology.” — Michelle Gardner. in Technical Writing


Part I: Understanding Generative AI

1. Change

  • Introducing GenAI
  • Automated Writing: It’s not Really New
  • History of Writing Technologies and Cultural Panic
  • Conceptual and Applied AI
  • Human-Machine Collaboration
  • So What?
  • Users Aren’t Losers
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Explain how new technologies can change a community.
      • Recognize that generative writing technologies are not as new as many of us think.
      • Analyze the histories of writing technologies and the cultural panic many of them caused.
      • Differentiate between Conceptual AI and Applied AI.
      • Examine the idea of human-machine collaboration in writing.
      • Formulate methods of questioning the positive and negative aspects of GenAI technologies.

2. Generative AI

  • AI Origins
  • New AI
  • Generative Artificial Intelligence
  • How Generative AI Works
  • Show your Work
  • Hallucinations
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Describe the evolution of Artificial Intelligence.
      • Discuss the development of Generative Artificial Intelligence.
      • Explain the basic operations of Generative Artificial Intelligence.
      • Identify ways in which Generative Artificial Intelligence challenges higher education, especially writing instruction.
      • Recognize the problem of hallucinations.

3. Integrity

  • Academic Integrity
  • Plagiarism
  • Citation
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Recognize the tenets of Academic Integrity.
      • Comprehend the meanings of plagiarism.
      • Describe the ways in which GenAI and plagiarism are connected.
      • Employ citation styles for GenAI content.

Part II: Opportunities and Applications

4. Writing with GenAI

  • Invention/Prewriting
  • Research and Citation
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Editing/Proofreading
  • Climbing Mount Everest
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Employ GenAI in prewriting.
      • Use GenAI in conducting research and in citation.
      • Compose drafts using GenAI.
      • Apply GenAI as a revision tool.
      • Apply GenAI as an editing/proofreading tool.
      • Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of using GenAI when writing.

5. Locations

  • Academic
  • Professional
  • Civic
  • Personal
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Identify the value and risks associated with GenAI in various contexts.
      • Examine the potential uses of Gen AI in academic contexts.
      • Explain the potential uses of Gen AI in professional contexts.
      • Identify the potential uses of Gen AI in civic contexts.
      • Recognize the potential uses of Gen AI in personal contexts.

6. Prompts

  • Prompt Engineering
  • Degrees of Separation
  • From Small to Big
  • Prompt Effectiveness
  • Training the Bot
  • Prompt Strategies
  • Learning to Learn
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Identify the role of writing prompts for GenAI.
      • Differentiate between prompts and GenAI output.
      • Interpret transitions from short prompts to large output.
      • Practice developing effective prompts.
      • Using prompts to train GenAI bots.
      • Design prompt strategies.
      • Formulate learning to learn strategies.

7. Visuals

  • Visual Rhetoric and GenAI
  • Generative AI and Multimodal Writing
  • Producing Visual Content
  • Visuals and Hallucinations
  • Visuals and Bias
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Examine the role of visual rhetoric in GenAI.
      • Describe uses of GenAI in multimodal writing.
      • Practice producing visual content.
      • Appraise the role of hallucinations in GenAI produced visuals.
      • Evaluate the problem of bias in GenAI produced visuals.

Part III: Challenges and Future Directions

8. Bias

  • Myths of AI Impartiality
  • Algorithmic Bias
  • Exclusionary Bias
  • Reinscription Bias
  • Societal Bias
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Describe occurrences of bias in GenAI.
      • Explain algorithmic bias.
      • Identify multiple forms of exclusionary bias.
      • Interpret reinscription bias.
      • Examine societal bias.

9. Materiality

  • AI and Materiality
  • Cradle to Grave
  • Ocean
  • Car Crashes
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Evaluate the relationship between AI and materialism.
      • Describe the role of cradle to grave thinking in relation to AI.
      • Explain the relationship between AI and ocean conservation.
      • Examine material and cultural risks of AI.

10. Labor

  • Labor saving
  • Changes to Labor Contexts
  • The Work of Writing
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Explain the role of GenAI in relation to labor.
      • Recognize the changing understanding of labor in the GenAI era.
      • Demonstrate uses of GenAI in relation to the work of writing.

11. Career Readiness

  • Defining Career Readiness
  • Education and Career Readiness
  • Academic skills
  • Employment-ready skills
  • Technical skills
    • Learning Objectives:
      • Describe the tenets of career readiness.
      • Demonstrate the connection between education and career readiness.
      • Illustrate academic skills needed for career readiness.
      • Identify employment-ready skills.
      • Examine technical skills for career readiness.

Sidney I. Dobrin is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Florida, and for ten years directed its writing program. He is the Founding Director of the Trace Innovation Initiative, serves as a Digital Thought Leader for Adobe, and is a member of the Florida Institute for National Security, which is part of the University of Florida’s Artificial Intelligence Initiative. Dobrin is the author and editor of numerous books and articles about writing, technology, and ecology.

  • • A fascinating yet concise introduction to the history and concepts of Generative AI (GenAI)
  • • Practical discussion of how GenAI can be usefully applied to composition, both in college writing and beyond
  • • Robust examples for analysis and discussion
  • • Discussion prompts and thought-provoking questions addressing
    • o Functional aspects of GenAI;
    • o Critical and ethical issues;
    • o Academic, professional, civic, and personal uses
  • • Numerous exercises, many of which involve the use of GenAI

To download a sample of AI and Writing, click here.
To download a PDF of Sidney Dobrin’s free educational resource Talking About Generative AI, click here.