Using Literary Present Tense
in Your Research Papers
- What is "Literary Present Tense"?
- How do I use literary present tense effectively in my research papers?
Take the quiz to see how you rate using "literary present tense." There are many additional helpful resources on this site, as well, regarding grammar, punctuation, usage, style, and literary devices. Enjoy!
Student Sample Not Using Literary Present Tense:
Student Sample - Revision #1:
Can You See the Difference?
- "written"; "is"
- It is acceptable to change verb tenses within sentences when writing about literature, and combing the ideas of the story with historical events - as long as you are writing in literary present tense - "written," not "wrote"
See a great example, below, which uses "The Yellow Wallpaper" as an example of the need to switch between past (for historical references) tense and literary present tense (the discussion of the text).
How (and Why) Do I Write in Literary Present Tense? The Basic Rule: You should use the past tense when discussing historical events, and you should use the literary present when discussing fictional events.
A great handout from Vanderbilt University, focusing on how to partial quotes, as well as evocative language - uses the (5) senses to describe persons, places, things, and events - in order to help prove your claim to your audience (moi).
--Play this song to remind yourself to "tighten-up" your writing after each new draft. --Excellent papers have at least 5+ drafts before submission. --Plan ahead, and write your papers at least 1-2 weeks in advance - --No problem!