Should I Write My Essay In Present Or Past Tense

The use of past tenses, on the other hand, makes it seem as if the speaker is more aloof and remote from what happened: "Yesterday I stood in line at a store and a man came in and robbed it." Because of the past tenses ("stood," "came," "robbed"), the speaker appears to care less about the past actions he's relating. Thus, to avoid the sense that they are neutral and unconcerned, speakers often use the present tense when relating a past action, since it lends the story a sense of being right there right then. After all, that's what the present tense is, by definition, "right here right now."

Should I Write My Essay In Present Tense

What Tense Should My Essay Be In

should college essays be in present or past tense? | …

The problem with "right here right now" in writing assignments for a history class is the writer doesn't have to engage the reader in the story. The writing has the reader's full and undivided attention at all times, because I'm the reader and I'm totally involved—I guarantee it!—in whatever you have to say. Nor do you need to encourage me to see the past vividly. I do that naturally, because it's my job and I love it. So, for your writing assignments in a history course, please don't use the present tense, when describing the past. Use the past tense, instead.

in an essay, should you use present or past tense?

Conversely, past-tense verbs should dominate history papers because the vividness of the present tense pertains less to the discussion of history than it does to literature. While it's possible to describe the historical past in the present tense, such a posture belongs more naturally to casual conversation than formal writing. That is, when a speaker is trying to make his account of something which happened in the past seem more real to a listener, he may use the present tense, saying, for instance, "So, yesterday I'm standing in line at this store and some man comes in and robs it!" Here, a past action ("yesterday") is being expressed in the present tense ("I'm standing," "comes," "robs"), with the speaker acting as if both he and the listeners were there when the event occurred.

12/10/2007 · Should college essays be in present or past tense

English Present: Simple And The Present Progressive

The tense of the verb in a sentence reflects the time at which the action is set. In historical studies that is, by definition, in the past. The vast majority of verbs used in history papers are past-tense (e.g. came, saw, conquered). When the topic is literature, however, it's a different matter. The action which takes place in works of fiction exists in a timeless world. So, in describing characters or recapitulating the plots found in literature, it's best to use the present tense.

Verb Tense for Literature Analysis Essays - PBworks

When describing the action or characters in a work of literary fiction, use the present tense: "At the midpoint of The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus journeys to the realm of the dead." It's best in this case to use the present tense ("journeys"), because stories like Homer's epics exist in a timeless realm where they can happen over and over again each time we read them. The present tense highlights the vividness with which they re-occur whenever they pass through our minds and, because they're works of fiction, they can and do relive with every re-reading.

Here are some general should a formal essay be in present tense civil law practice

Should I Write My College Essay In Present Tense

The answer is simple. If your paper is part of a historical study and you must by definition spend the majority of your time in the past tense, it's best just to stay there as much as possible. Whatever you do, try not to flip back and forth between past and present verb forms.

Would, should and could are three auxiliary verbs that can be defined as past tenses of will, ..

some of which even express the present tense.

Furthermore, to the same extent that the present tense is unnecessary in this particular context, the past tense is helpful. By stating the facts of history rather coolly in the past tense you appear calm and collected, which, in turn, makes your judgment seem more sober and reasoned. You don't look excited or excitable, and that's a good thing for a historian who's trying to convince others to see the past a certain way. Arguments in this arena work better when they appear to come from cool heads.

Tense use in essays. To simplify, tenses are used in the following ways: The present tense is used for: a generalisation; in overviews, statements of main points etc.

Tense use in essays - Monash University

However, if you are citing articles in the paper, as you probably should, then you should check with your professor to see if he or she would prefer that you use the literary present or the past tense when referring to these articles.