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Humanities LibreTexts

2.5: Academic Writing: Verb Tense

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  • Scholars of literature use the present tense to talk about a text: Humphrey’s continual references to the color pink further emphasizes the imagery of the rose…

    Scientists (including social scientists) use the past tense to talk about experiments, and only use the present tense when discussing results of those experiments: In 2013, Baker conducted the first of his experiments… His results are interesting, if inconclusive.

    History writers use present, or present perfect tense, to discuss their texts: Shirley Macintyre writes in her diary that the fighting was fiercest on the ridge… or Shirley Macintyre has written that the fighting was fiercest on the ridge…

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