Should I Write My Essay In Present Tense
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.
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.