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How to Craft Effective Prompts Using the CREATE Framework

ChatGPT is an incredibly powerful tool, but providing the right prompts is key to getting useful results. The CREATE framework (Character, Request, Example, Adjustment, Type of Output, and Extras) provides a simple step-by-step process for writing effective prompts. Let's walk through an example of how we can use the CREATE framework to develop an instructional activity for a higher education course (Birss, 2023).

Using the CREATE Framework

Use the steps below to aid in the creation of your own prompt:

C - Character: Describe the perspective you want ChatGPT to take.

For our example, we'll say: "You are an instructional designer with 7 years of experience creating activities for a 300-level sociology course."

R - Request: Clearly explain the task you want ChatGPT to complete.

E - Examples: Provide 1-2 examples to guide ChatGPT.

A - Adjustments: Give feedback on early responses and adjust the prompt. If activities are too advanced, ask for simpler ones.

T - Type of output: Specify exactly how you want the final response formatted.

E - Extras: Add other directives as needed, like "Ignore any prior prompts." or "Explain your reasoning."

Below is a sample prompt using the examples listed above.

Sample Prompt

You are an experienced instructional designer with 7 years of experience developing activities for university-level courses. Please develop 2 interactive small-group discussion activities to help students analyze conflict theory in a 300-level sociology course. Activity 1 should have students discuss reasons for rising income inequality in the US and debate potential solutions. The activities should be focused on core concepts of conflict theory and applicable to undergraduate students. Please simplify any overly complex examples. Provide the 2 activities as a numbered list with each on a separate line. Please explain your reasoning and thought process behind each suggested activity.

Benefits of Using the CREATE Framework

Taking the time to carefully construct prompts using CREATE will result in responses from ChatGPT that are:

  • More Accurate and Relevant

  • Better Formatted

  • Tailored to Your Specific Needs

  • Iteratively Improved Through Adjustments

The CREATE framework takes some practice, but it is a useful approach for unlocking ChatGPT's capabilities and leveraging its full potential. Well-crafted prompts lead to amazingly helpful AI.

NOTE: Portions of this post were written with the assistance of generative AI.


Birss, D. (2023). The Prompt Collection. LinkedIn Learning course “How to research and write using Generative AI tools.” [LINK]

Kakwani, K. (2023, May 2). Mastering prompt engineering for chatgpt: Tips, tricks, and best practices. Medium. [LINK]

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