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Use of the correct verb tense allows you to express clearly the time relationships among your ideas.
In general, use the present tense to describe actions and states of being that are still true in the present; use the past tense to describe actions or states of being that occurred exclusively in the past. Zach Brown '03, and Sharon Williams would like to thank the following readers for their assistance in the preparation of this handout: Meghan Barbour '00, John Farranto, '01, and Professors Eismeier, Grant, Hopkins, Jensen, J.
The logic and practice of the discipline for which you write determine verb tense.
Typically, for the former, using the simple past tense is common, e.g., "Jones (2013) found that...." But it is possible to use more than one tense in a literature review.
Here are a few tips to consider when presenting a review of previously published work: These are tips to help you choose the right tense when referring to other studies, and not rules.
Historical events occurred in the past, so they’re written about in past tense.
If you’re writing about your science experiment, you completed the experiment in the past.
involves the use of verbs in the present tense when discussing the language, characters, and events in a work of literature.
The literary present is customarily used when writing about literary nonfiction as well as fiction—essays and memoirs as well as novels, plays, and poems.
Thus, you’ll write about the arts in present tense.
This is different than writing about other subjects, such as history or science.