Streamline Your Prompts with Markdown: A Quick Guide for Better Clarity

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If you’ve been using ChatGPT or any other language model for your not-for-profit, you know that clear communication is key. But what if you could make your prompts even clearer? Enter Markdown—a text formatting tool that’s like the grammar of the internet. It’s simple yet powerful, and using it can greatly enhance your interaction with language models like ChatGPT. This tutorial will focus on four handy Markdown elements: headings, bold text, lists, and breaks.

Step 1: Level Up Your Headings with #
When creating prompts, you often need to indicate new sections or topics. To do this, place a ‘#’ symbol before the text to make it a heading. For example:

# Context This is where you place the context for your prompt.

The heading helps the model understand the structure of your content, making its output more accurate.

Step 2: Make Important Text Pop with **
Sometimes you need to emphasize certain words or phrases. To make them bold, wrap them in double asterisks (**). For example:

**Important**: This part is crucial.

The bold text captures attention and highlights key information.

Step 3: Organise Your Points with Lists
Lists are a fantastic way to break up your text into digestible points. Use ‘-‘ for bullet points and numbers for numbered lists. For example:

- Point 1 - Point 2 1. First step 2. Second step

These make it easy for the model to understand and process individual elements.

Step 4: Create Breaks with /// or —
Use horizontal rules to separate different topics or thoughts within your prompt. You can create a line using three slashes (///) or three dashes (—). For example:

/// This marks a new section or idea.

Horizontal rules help the model distinguish between sections, aiding in more accurate responses.

Simplicity is elegance. With just four Markdown elements, you can significantly improve the structure and clarity of your prompts, making your interactions with language models more fruitful.

Kyle Behrend