The posting below gives some great tips on the use of present and past tenses in your writing. Regards, Rick Reis reis stanford.
The practice of the discipline for which you write typically determines which verb tenses to use in various parts of a scientific document. In general, however, the following guidelines may help you know when to use past and present tense.
If you have questions about tense or other writing concerns specific to your discipline, check with your adviser. To describe your methodology and report your results. At the time you are writing your report, thesis, dissertation or article, you have already completed your study, so you should use past tense in your methodology section to record what you did, and in your results section to report what you found.
We hypothesized that adults would remember more items than children. In experiment 2, response varied. When referring to the work of previous researchers.
What Tense Is An Abstract Written In Apa?
When citing previous research in your article, use past tense. Whatever a previous researcher said, did or wrote happened at some specific, definite time in the past and is not still being done.
Results that were relevant only in the past or to a particular study and have not yet been generally accepted as fact also should be expressed in past tense: Smith reported that adult respondents in his study remembered 30 percent more than children.
Smith's study was completed in the past and his finding was specific to that particular study. Previous research showed that children confuse the source of their memories more often than adults Lindsey et al.
Writing a dissertation. Your dissertation should be written in English. and you should use the past tense when referring to your present results. Tomorrow's Professor so you should use past tense in your methodology thesis or dissertation itself. Use the present tense in reference to the thesis or. Manage your time, check APA Style, Your dissertation should tell a story, Use past tense for the introduction. Tips on Tense Usage in Your Dissertation from Professional Dissertation chapters of your dissertation should be written in present tense while. Tips for Writing your Dissertation. Most of it should be written in the past tense, although if you are commenting on the results, it is OK to use the present tense.
The research was conducted in the past, but the finding is now a widely accepted fact. To describe a fact, law or finding that is no longer considered valid and relevant.
Nineteenth-century physicians held that women got migraines because they were "the weaker sex," but current research shows that the causes of migraine are unrelated to gender.
Note the shift here from past tense [discredited belief] to present [current belief]. To express findings that continue to be true. Use present tense to express general truths or facts or conclusions supported by research results that are unlikely to change - in other words, something that is believed to be always true: Genetic information is encoded in the sequence of nucleotides on DNA.
Galileo asserted that the earth revolves the sun. We chose Vietnam for this study because it has a long coastline.
To refer to the article, thesis or dissertation itself. Use the present tense in reference to the thesis or dissertation itself and what it contains, shows, etc. Table 3 shows that the main cause of weight increase was nutritional value of the feed.
To discuss your findings and present your conclusions. Also use present tense to discuss your results and their implications. Weight increased as the nutritional value of feed increased.