Tense selection in academic writing

Every type of an academic paper (essays, theses, and dissertations) might require you to choose different tenses. This article will show you the different tense selections in different parts of an academic paper.

While the following examples are the most common tense selections, there may be exceptions as these are just decisions rather than rules, and you might have to change your tenses based on your topic.

Abstract and summary

Present simple will help you tell what the paper (essay, research paper, etc.) does:

Present simple in abstract and summary

The study investigates Present Simple the influence of various teaching approaches on student success. Participants are separated into three groups based on their learning style: regular lecture, interactive lecture, and project-based learning. The results demonstrate Present Simple that students in the project-based learning group outperform those in the interactive lecture group, followed by those in the standard lecture group. These data imply Present Simple that implementing active learning practices might improve student success.

Present perfect will help you present researches from the past that are still relevant:

Present perfect in abstract and summary

The study has investigated Present Perfect the outcomes of a new education strategy on student performance. Results have shown Present Perfect that learners who have partaken in the program have improved Present Perfect their test scores considerably compared to those who have not. Besides, feedback from teachers and trainees has been Present Perfect overwhelmingly positive, indicating that the method has engaged and motivated Present Perfect students successfully.


Present simple will help you tell what the paper does and how it is crucial:

Present simple in introduction

Climate change is Present Simple a severe threat to our world. Using fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial activity all contribute Present Simple to global warming and the disruption of natural ecosystems. As a result, sea levels rise, Present Simple storms become Present Simple more frequent and severe, and precipitation patterns change. Present Simple Yet, despite data, there remains Present Simple disagreement on the causes and remedies to this problem. This article investigates Present Simple the current situation and the steps taken to mitigate climate change.

Past simple will help you give a historical background:

Past simple in introduction

In 1848, a group of gold prospectors in California made Past Simple a huge find that would permanently alter the direction of American history. The discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada mountains triggered Past Simple a migratory frenzy to the region known as the California Gold Rush. Tens of thousands of individuals migrated, Past Simple to California for money and opportunities. This event had Past Simple far-reaching economic, social, and political consequences, shaping the development of the American West and the country as a whole.

Theoretical basis

Present simple will help you describe theories and explaining definitions:

Present simple in theoretical basis

This study's theoretical basis is Present Simple Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). According to SCT, individuals learn and adapt Present Simple new behaviors and abilities through seeing and copying others, as well as via the process of self-reflection. Furthermore, SCT argues Present Simple that an individual's variables, such as self-efficacy and motivation, play an essential role in learning and performing a task or behavior. As a result, this study looks at Present Simple how viewing successful role models and receiving feedback on self-reflection might affect the development of self-efficacy and motivation in people learning a new skill.

Review of related literature and studies

Present perfect will help you describe past researches that are relevant to the present research:

Present perfect in literature and studies

Several studies have investigated Present Perfect the connection between goal setting and self-efficacy. Outcomes have shown Present Perfect that developing detailed, demanding goals leads to an increase in self-efficacy and improved performance.

Past simple will help you show the significant actions of previous researchers and the steps they took:

Past simple in literature and studies

Previous research on motivation and self-efficacy in skill acquisition focused Past Simple on goal setting, self-regulation mechanisms, and feedback as potential treatments. Setting detailed, challenging objectives boosted Past Simple self-efficacy and improved Past Simple performance, according to studies on the link between goal setting and self-efficacy.

Methodology and results

Present simple will help you explain experiments:

Present simple in methodology and results

The control group receives Present Simple no intervention, the goal-setting group establishes Present Simple precise, challenging objectives, the self-reflection group conducts Present Simple self-reflection activities, and the role model group watches Present Simple a successful role model in the skill being studied.

Past simple will help you explain experiments that are conducted in the past:

Past simple in methodology and results

Compared to the control group, the self-reflection and role model groups showed Past Simple a substantial improvement in self-efficacy and motivation. There was Past Simple a significant improvement in self-efficacy but no considerable change in motivation in the goal-setting group.

Conclusion and discussion

Present simple will help you interpret your data:

Present simple in conclusion and discussion

In conclusion, this study shows Present Simple that self-reflection and viewing a successful role model can effectively enhance self-efficacy and motivation in skill development. Therefore, according to the findings of this study, people and organizations may Present Simple improve self-efficacy and motivation by fostering self-reflection and offering opportunities to see effective role models.

Research limitations

Past simple will help you describe the details regarding your work and its limits:

Past simple in research limitations

The sample size utilized in the study was Past Simple one example of a research restriction. The study only had Past Simple a small number of participants, limiting the findings' generalizability to a broader population.


Modal auxiliary or simple future with hedging language will help what should be the focus of the next studies regarding your topic/thesis statement:

Modal auxiliary in recommendations

It is recommended that future research should investigate Modal auxiliary the case utilizing a more extensive sample size to increase the generalizability of the findings.

Simple future with hedging language

Based on the information available, it seems Hedging Language that the new marketing strategy could Hedging Language potentially increase sales.

Picture of Ibrahim Akturk
Ibrahim Akturk
Content editor at Tamara Research. Translation major, huge coffee and baking nerd. Addicted to good music and great articles.