Literary Papers Tense

Literary Papers Tense-82
The APA manual discusses tense in the section on Smoothness of Expression on Page 65.The lit review of an APA style paper should be in past tense (The researchers found...) or present perfect (The researchers have shown...).

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Deciding the appropriate verb tense usually comes down to using the one that best reflects the time period of the action described in the text, but authors may find choosing the correct verb tense for signal phrases and specific sections of major projects, theses, dissertations or journal articles more complicated.

involves the use of verbs in the present tense when discussing the language, characters, and events in a work of literature.

The literary present is customarily used when writing about literary nonfiction as well as fiction—essays and memoirs as well as novels, plays, and poems.

Historical events occurred in the past, so they’re written about in past tense.

If you’re writing about your science experiment, you completed the experiment in the past.


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