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Hidden Image Prompts

Most images on have been generated using MidJourney. We hid the prompt that generated the image in the ALT tag of the <img> tag. Hover over any image you like, right-click and inspect element. Look for "alt=" and the /imagine prompt is right there!

pensive attractive female client in a modern library writing notes on a notepad, infinite rows of bookshelves around and behind, side view, minimalist, modern, vivid colors, wide shot, by William Eggleston --style raw --ar 16:9

AI Prompt and chatGPT – a simple guide to prompting and frameworks

Let’s explore the essentials of crafting an effective “AI prompt.” We’ll talk about styles, tones, frameworks, and something called ‘writeprints.’ Stick around to get the most out of your interactions with chatGPT and other similar tools like Bard, Bing and Claude. Let’s get started!

What is an AI Prompt?

A prompt is simply a statement or a question given to an AI like ChatGPT. 

It’s called a prompt because it can be a variety of inputs we give AI. It can be, for example:

  • Questions
  • Statements
  • Instructions
  • Fragments of an idea
  • And other similar inputs

It serves as a guide for the AI in generating a response. Since chatGPT, Claude, Bard and other generativeAI are mostly conversation-based, prompts help direct that conversation or dictate the kind of information or style of response you wish to receive from the AI.

Level 1 – Asking questions

The starting point we all take with using chatGPT is asking questions. It uses the AI to basically search everything it knows to find and answer for us. If we ask:

What makes clouds turn gray when there is a thunderstorm?

We get an answer like:

When clouds turn gray during a thunderstorm, it is primarily due to their increased thickness and density. Thunderstorms are typically associated with cumulonimbus clouds, which are large and towering clouds with a significant vertical extent. Several factors contribute to the gray color of these clouds… (five paragraphs of details here) It's essential to note that the color and appearance of clouds can vary depending on the specific atmospheric conditions, the angle of the sun, and the observer's location. During a thunderstorm, these factors combine to give cumulonimbus clouds their characteristic gray or dark appearance.

Pretty cool. If you tried to Google that same question, you would have to check out 5-10-20 articles of the 17.5M results it has from various sources to understand the same concept. chatGPT summarized everything it knows about gray clouds into the answer.

Level 2 – Add Traits like tone, attitude and style

Now that we know how to get information out of chatGPT, it would be nice to let it know how to give us an answer in a language that is best suited for our purpose. If we were to use that answer with a class of 8 year old or as an introduction idea for a boating blog, how we say it really matters.

That’s where Traits come in. In Prompts, Traits are the written characteristics you want the answer to possess or comply with. You can group traits into 4 main categories:

  • Tone: critical, supportive, assertive, etc…
  • Register: formal, casual, comfortable, etc…
  • Attitude: serious, funny, concise, etc…
  • Style: direct, confident, neutral etc…

Traits are meant to be combined, ideally no more then three at a time, to shape how the answer is formulated back to you.

Let’s review our cloud prompt to:

What makes clouds turn gray when there is a thunderstorm? give me the answer in a style that is  funny, concise and confident

The answer now looks like:

Alright, listen up, cloud detective! When a thunderstorm rolls in, those fluffy, innocent clouds turn gray because they're not just any clouds; they're troublemakers! They're like the hooligans of the cloud world, up to no good.

You see, these cumulonimbus clouds are not your ordinary, "look at me, I'm so fluffy" clouds. They're thick and dense, holding tons of water droplets and ice crystals. They're like the heavyweight champions of cloud city!

Now, when sunlight tries to shine through these bad boys, they scatter and absorb that light like they're playing hide-and-seek with the sun. And boy, do they hide it well! They block so much light that it's like someone pulled the shades down on the sky.

So there you have it, clouds gone gray during a thunderstorm because they're rebels, absorbing light, and causing all sorts of shenanigans up there. So, next time you see those gray clouds, know that the party's about to get wild with thunder and lightning! Stay inside and watch the show, my friend!

For more on Traits, make sure to check out our Cheatsheet: Writing Style Traits

Level 3 – Use an AI Prompt framework

Describing what we need from the AI can get confusing when it’s more than a simple question. We can use prompt frameworks to make sure chatGPT better understands what we are trying to ask or solve. A framework is simply a way to frame our question or problem in a structured way to increase the likelihood that we get what we need in a more efficient way. It also helps us structure our thoughts on what we are asking consistently so we have a method we can replicate for similar projects we want to tackle with AI.

Let’s start with a simple one, RTOS.

  • R is for Role
  • T is for Task
  • O is for Output
  • S is for Style

If we were to use  RTOS to ask our question again it might look like:

Role=As a weather scientist with 20 years of experience in teaching weather events
Task=explain why clouds are sometimes gray
Output= short text fully formatted with bullet points
Style= humble, direct

The answer is shaped much more in the way we asked or expected it to be this time right?

- Clouds appear gray when they become thick and dense, blocking sunlight from passing through them effectively.
- The increased thickness is often associated with certain cloud types, like cumulonimbus clouds, which are commonly seen during thunderstorms.
- These clouds contain a significant amount of water droplets and ice crystals at various altitudes, which scatter sunlight and make the cloud appear gray to our eyes.
- Gray clouds are also a result of the shadowing effect they create on the areas below them, due to their large size and density.
- As a weather scientist with 20 years of experience, I can confidently say that the gray color of clouds during certain weather events is a natural phenomenon caused by these specific atmospheric conditions.

There are plenty of other frameworks you can use depending on what it is you need to get done. Here are a few of the ones I use.

RTOS: Role, Task, Output, Style

It’s like an assignment from your teacher.

Role=As a weather scientist with 20 years of experience in teaching weather events
Task=explain why clouds are sometimes gray
Output= short text fully formatted with bullet points
Style= humble, direct

CTO: Context, Task, Output

It’s like a roleplay where it’s given a scene to act out and how to perform it.

Context= You're a CSI in a murder novel.
Task= Describe the crime scene.
Output= Write it as a report for the police department.

GRADE: Goal, Request, Action, Detail, Examples.

It gives a kind of roadmap for thinking you want the AI to follow.

Goal= To learn about the water cycle.
Request= Can you explain how the water cycle works?
Action= Break down the water cycle into easy steps.
Detail= Talk about evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection.

PECRA: Purpose, Expectation, Context, Request, Action

It’s like a military briefing.

Purpose= To inform people about chicken farming practices and understand how health issues may arise for consumers.
Expectation= A clear and accurate description of common practices.
Context= You're a food and health inspector.
Request= After describing current practices, give your top 3 recommendations to make eating chicken products safer.
Action= Write the report for Congress.

Level 4 – Get your AI prompt to write like you or someone you like

ai prompt: bilbo the hobbit sitting on a tree stump with a typewriter on his lap in a green forest as in the lord of the rings, vivid colors, wide shot, by jrr tolkien --style raw --ar 16:9

The final piece is to get AI to write more like you want consistently. 

You can use: 

  • Style refers to an author, journalist, or famous business personality to guide the AI to use what it knows about them to influence how it creates the answer.
  • Create your own writeprint to give specific instructions for how chatGPT will write the answer to your prompt.

First let’s try that cloud question again using RTOS with an author style:

Role=As a weather scientist with 20 years of experience in teaching weather events
Task=explain why clouds are sometimes gray
Output= short text fully formatted with bullet points
Style= JRR Tolkien

(Tolkien 🧌 yes i’m a geek lol)

The answer now looks like:

In the realm of weather phenomena, behold the mystery of gray clouds, for they bear secrets veiled in their appearance:

- Gray clouds emerge when they amass their forces, thickening and gathering their density, obscuring the radiance of the sun.
- Amidst thunderstorms, mighty cumulonimbus clouds reign, their majestic stature laden with copious water droplets and ice crystals, scattering light, and manifesting the somber hue of gray to mortal eyes.
- As these colossal clouds extend their dominion, they cast a shadowy pall over the lands below, enveloping the world in their ethereal shroud.
- As a weather savant, endowed with two decades of knowledge, I affirm that the gray countenance of clouds arises from the enigmatic interplay of atmospheric forces, veiling their inner workings in a cloak of mystery.

Now, if you want chatGPT to mimic more the way YOU would write the answer, then you need to give it your own writeprint. A writeprint is essentially a unique set of writing features, like vocabulary range, sentence complexity, and use of metaphors. For instance, a Hemingway writeprint might involve short sentences and a pared-down vocabulary. 

Other prompt frameworks

Many more ways of aksin what you want the AI to look into for you exist. We will cover more advanced frameworks in other articles, such as:

  • Prompts that write prompts for other AI or itself.
  • Prompts that will get the AI engaged in a discussion with you to explore a subject matter.
  • Prompts that need a lot of context by feeding them large documents in chunks.
  • And more and more.


To create your own writeprint and learn how to get AI to use it, check out our article: Create your AI Writing Style

To see more examples of how Traits affect the output, check out our chatGPT Writing Style Experiment. We asked chatGPT to rewrite the same paragraph over and over again using various combinations of styles and traits, 

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