What tense should a literature essay be written in

Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here.

What tense should a literature essay be written in

However, sometimes a shift in tense is necessary to indicate a change in the timeframe of the action. It is the unnecessary shifts in tense that sometimes cause awkwardness and should be avoided. Tense is the grammatical word to describe the ending of a verb usually —ed for past and —s for present.

English usually marks the sense of time with an adverb for example: When proofreading for unnecessary tense shifts, there are several questions to keep in mind: I have several options.

I can write my paper in the past tense, which is the style most people are used to reading in novels or short stories, as follows: This is also an acceptable writing style, especially for an essay: Should I ever change tense?

What tense should a literature essay be written in

Sometimes it is necessary to change tense. For example, if the time frame of the action changes from past to present, the tense should change to indicate this: Looking back, I think my feelings may have been influenced by stereotypes of the Old South.

I think my feelings may have been influenced by stereotypes of the Old South. The reason for this tense change is that I am thinking now—in the present time. Notice how putting that sentence in the past tense changes the time frame and ameaning of the action. I thought my feelings may have been influenced by stereotypes of the Old South.

Now it sounds as though I was reflecting during the car ride, but I wanted to imply that it was only later that I had this thought. When is it wrong to shift tense?

There are other times, though, when a tense shift is not correct. For example, if the action all happened in the same time—past, present, or future—then the verbs should be consistent in tense.

However, from a grammatical viewpoint, this type of unnecessary shift in tense should be avoided in more formal such as academic writing.

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Here is a better way of writing this sentence: What tense is best for my paper? There are other uses of tense that a college student should be aware of.

English majors and others who write analysis papers will often write in the literary present.

What tense should a literature essay be written in

This allows a writer to write about fictional or nonfictional information from a literary work in the present tense. In one scene, he disguises sexual references as sword-fighting terms.

Although Shakespeare wrote many years ago, his work can still be talked about in the present because it still exists. Again, though, there is no hard and fast rule about tense. If you wanted to stress that this happened in the past, perhaps as part of a biography of Shakespeare which was describing how he used to write, you may choose to write it in past tense instead of the literary present: In one scene, he disguised sexual references as sword-fighting terms.

This is also grammatically correct, but it changes the focus of the sentence slightly.

What tense should I use when writing an essay? | eNotes

Now it reads more like a narrative than an analysis. In a situation like this, when both styles are equally grammatically correct, it becomes a choice of deciding which is better for your purposes.

Are you analyzing or narrating? Do you have an example of a paper that uses tense changes well? The following is an example of an essay that uses tense changes successfully. Read the description of how the student changes tense and then pay attention to the effects of the tense changes as you read his essay.

Some of the verbs in the essay are in bold to help you spot these changes. This writer begins in past tense to talk about a specific production of the play. Then he shifts into something called the universal present to make the reader feel like an observer watching the play unfold.

Then he shifts back to past tense when making a comment about the play—something he felt when he was watching it. Then he shifts again to present tense in the final paragraph to state his overall evaluation of the play.Writing about literature. 1. Whether you are dealing with fiction, poetry, or nonfiction literature, use the present tense (also called the literary present tense) to discuss the actions and thoughts presented in the text.

Do this because literature exists as a present phenomenon regardless . Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback.

SAMPLE FOR STUDENTS 2 Abstract The abstract should be a single paragraph in block format (without paragraph indentation), and the appropriate length depends on the.

You can remember to write about literature in the present tense because you are currently reading or thinking about it. Every time you open a book it seems as though the events are currently happening; every time you read an essay it is as though you are currently speaking to the writer.

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(February ) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). Aren’t you caught in a double bind here? If you choose to attack DFW’s essay on the grounds that his spelling and grammar are poor, then you must surely help to prove his main contention: that correct spelling and grammar – as defined by experts such as yourself – are a major component in the creation of written authority.

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