Most people use ChatGPT in beginner mode, and without knowing how to structure a prompt, it will never give you the ideal output.
Let me share 7 best practices when it comes to effective prompt engineering. Then I will give you the formula and show you real life examples.
1 – Be Specific: If you ask a vague question, you may get a vague answer. The more details you provide, the better the model can give you what you’re looking for. Instead of /”tell me about all dog breeds that exist,” ask /”What are the different breeds of small dogs suitable for apartment living?/”
2 – State Your Intent: If there’s a specific purpose for your question, state it in the prompt. For example, instead of asking “explain quantum physics” you could say /”I’m helping my fifth-grade son with his science homework. Could you explain quantum physics in a simple way?/”
3 – Use Correct Spelling and Grammar: While the model can often interpret and correct spelling and grammar mistakes, providing clear and correct prompts helps ensure you get the best response.
4 – Direct the Output Format: If you want the answer in a specific format, state it in your question. For example, you could ask /”Could you list the steps to bake a chocolate cake?/” or /”Could you explain the process of baking a chocolate cake in a paragraph?/”
5 – Ask Follow-Up Questions: If the response wasn’t what you expected or if you need more information, feel free to ask follow-up questions to clarify.
6 – Experiment with Different Phrasings: If you’re not getting the response you want, try asking the question in a different way. The model might understand one phrasing better than another.
7 – Prompt for Fact-Checking: If you’re looking for reliable information, you can ask the model to provide sources or to fact-check information. For example, /”Can you fact-check this statement: The tallest mountain in the world is Mount Everest?/”
Here is the formula for a perfect prompt.
[Context] [Specific Information] [Intent/Goal] [Response Format (if needed)] Perfect Prompt
Let me share two different examples with you and fill in the formula.
Context: /”I’m a beginner cook/”
Specific Information: /”trying to make Italian cuisine/”
Intent/Goal: /”Can you provide a simple and easy to follow recipe/”
Response Format (if needed): /”Write it as a step by step list?/”
1. /”I’m a beginner cook trying to make Italian cuisine. Can you provide a simple and easy to follow recipe for spaghetti carbonara? Write it as a step by step list/”
Context: /”I’m a software developer/”
Specific Information: /”working on a Python project/”
Intent/Goal: /”Can you explain how to implement exception handling in Python?/”
Response Format (if needed): Write it in a simple paragraph or list.
Perfect Prompt: /”I’m a software developer working on a Python project. Can you explain how to implement exception handling in Python? Write it in a simple paragraph or list.
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