Prompt templates are potent tools in prompt engineering that allow for the efficient generation of new prompts for ChatGPT and other AI tools. They are pre-defined structures or formats that can be filled with specific content, making it easy to create many related prompts with minimal effort. Prompt templates are handy when addressing a family of related tasks. To create effective, prompt templates, here are three key steps to follow:

1. Analyze the Task

The first step is understanding the core requirements of the task. By analyzing the task, prompt engineers can identify the key components that need to be addressed in the prompt. This includes determining the specific information or concepts that must be conveyed to elicit the desired response.

For example, the task is to generate a summary of a news article. The key components to address may include the main topic, essential details, and the article’s overall message. Prompt engineers can design a template that concisely summarizes the article’s essence by identifying these components.

2. Design the Structure

Once the task has been analyzed, the next step is to develop a general structure for the prompt template. This structure should be flexible enough to accommodate different inputs or situations. It may involve creating placeholders for specific information filled in during the prompt generation process. Conditional statements can also adjust the prompt based on the context or user inputs.

For instance, a prompt template for generating product descriptions could have a structure like: “Introducing [Product Name], the [Adjective] [Product Category] that [Unique Selling Point]. Whether you’re [Target Audience], [Product Name] is designed to [Benefit] and [Benefit].”

In this template, the placeholders [Product Name], [Adjective], [Product Category], [Unique Selling Point], [Target Audience], [Benefit], and [Benefit] can be replaced with specific details for different products, resulting in diverse product descriptions.

3. Test and Refine

Continuous testing and refinement are crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of the prompt template. Prompt engineers should test the template with various inputs and scenarios to assess its performance across various use cases. Based on the observed performance, necessary adjustments and refinements can be made to optimize the template’s effectiveness.

For example, a prompt template for generating travel itineraries could be tested with different destinations, trip durations, and traveler preferences. Through testing, prompt engineers can fine-tune the template to produce well-structured and personalized itineraries that cater to different travel needs.

By mastering prompt templates, prompt engineers can create versatile and efficient prompts that can be adapted to various tasks and applications. Prompt templates streamline the prompt generation process, allowing for the quick creation of related prompts with consistent quality.

Prompt template examples:

  • Customer Support: Prompt template for customer support inquiries: “Hi, I’m experiencing [Issue/Problem] with [Product/Service]. Could you please help me resolve this? I’ve already tried [Actions Taken].”
  • Decision Making: Prompt template for decision-making prompts: “I need help deciding between [Option A] and [Option B]. Can you provide insights on the pros and cons of each option and help me make an informed choice?”
  • Creative Writing: Prompt template for creative writing prompts: “Write a short story about [Character/Setting/Theme]. Include elements of [Genre] and create an engaging plot with unexpected twists.”
  • Personal Development: Prompt template for personal development prompts: “What are some effective strategies to improve [Skill/Quality]? Please provide practical tips and actionable steps to achieve noticeable progress.”
  • Research Assistance: Prompt template for research assistance prompts: “I’m conducting a study on [Topic/Subject]. Can you provide relevant research articles, resources, or expert opinions to support my research?”

These examples showcase the versatility of prompt templates in various domains and tasks. By customizing the content within the templates, prompt engineers can generate prompts that cater to specific needs and generate high-quality responses.


This article is adapted from the ASU CareerCatalyst course, AI Foundations: Prompt Engineering. To learn more about AI and ChatGPT, check out the full course here