Verb tenses are the different tense forms of verbs. Different tenses indicate that events take place at a different moment in time.

In academic writing the following tenses are mostly used:

  • Present simple

  • Past simple

  • Present perfect

Why should I use different tenses in academic writing?

Present simple

The present simple is used to talk about general facts and suggest things that take place in the future.

Examples:

Research in the innovative learning field gives new insights in education.

Further studies about educational digital tools are needed.

Past simple

The past simple is used to indicate events that were completed in the past.

Examples:

Scientists in Aberdeen discovered a new enzyme in the stomach.

The new invention was used to analyze the data.

Present perfect

The present perfect is used to indicate events that have taken place in the past or have started but are still ongoing or recently completed.

In English, the present perfect is formed of the present tense of the verb “have” and the past participle of a verb. For example, “have gone” and “has played”.

Examples:

Scientists in Aberdeen have discovered a new enzyme in the stomach.

He has just analyzed these data by means of this new innovative method.

How should I use different tenses in academic writing?

You should use a variation of different tenses in academic writing. You should do this by analyzing properly which tense is needed in a specific sentence structure.

Automated Feedback can help you to do this correctly.

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