Which tense do you use in writing?

Consider literary analysis (CDW and expository essays), creative writing, writing about history.


5 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Almost all formal writing should be done in the present tense. When discussing an historical event, past tense is usually best but even in that instance, you can write the essay in present tense and refer to the past events accordingly.

    Source(s): English Grad Student
  • 1 decade ago

    Always write in the present tense, unless citing a historical reference.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you are writing about something that is going on while you are writing about it use the present tense.

    When you are writing about something that has already happened you use the past tense.

    When you are writing about something that is going to happen in future use the future tense.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you are using APA style (end notes and foot notes) I have provided a link to the guide I use for classes: http://www.siu.edu/~wed08/Eunit/apa1-4.htm

    It is comprehensive and allows you to figure out tense for all situations.

    If you are using MLA format (put the authors last name and page number in brackets after the citation) you should "Use the present tense when writing about literature. " (found here ).

    As far as I know, all social sciences are written using APA style and all english subjects are written using MLA (as a basic rule for papers).

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  • 1 decade ago


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