How to Use Present Tense in an Academic Essay

  1. Definition. The present tense conveys what is happening now.
  2. Subject. The present tense is more appropriate for certain academic subjects than others.
  3. Format. The formatting style of the academic essay also influences whether or not the present tense is acceptable.
  4. Consistency. Consistency is important in academic essays.

Other Question and Answers that can be helpful for you

1. Should an essay be written in past or present tense?

Verb Tenses for Different Types of Essays

  • Expository essay. These essays are meant to test knowledge of a topic and the ability to communicate information clearly.
  • Descriptive essay. As the name implies, in a descriptive essay you are describing something. This may be a person, an object an experience or something else.
  • Narrative essay. Narrative essays tell about an event or an experience.

2. Should I write my essay in present or past tense?

Should essays be written in present or past tense

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3. Do I use past or present tense in an essay?

  • Long before the sun rose (past), the birds had arrived (past perfect) at the feeder.
  • Long before the sun rises (present: habitual action), the birds have arrived (present perfect) at the feeder.
  • Long before the sun rises (present: suggesting future time), the birds will have arrived (future perfect) at the feeder.

4. Is it better to write in past or present tense?

What person should I write in?

  • If you want to write the entire story in individual, quirky language, choose first person.
  • If you want your POV character to indulge in lengthy ruminations, choose first person.
  • If you want your reader to feel high identification with your POV character, choose first person or close third.