Past Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis-EdiThumbs

Past Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis

 

Do you come across the following three questions when writing a thesis or scientific journal research article?

1) Should I use past or present tense in scientific writing?

2) What tense to use in scientific paper?

3) What tense should the introduction or methodology be written?

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Avoiding plagiarism is important but having proper and correct tense such as past or present tense in scientific writing is also one of the criteria for your work to get published. You’llPast Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis-EdiThumbs start getting nervous and ask the above questions especially when you want to pass the thesis defense. Well, don’t worry. You’re coming to the right place. This time, EdiThumbs will guide you to get things done. For sure you’ll get your questions answered after finished reading this articles.

Bear in mind that tense considerations for academic scientific and thesis writing are vital as this will give impacts to the readers. You can consider the guidelines below to know whether you should use past or present tense in scientific writing.

1. Abstract

Use the past tense as you have done your research and obtained the conclusive findings.

Past Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis-EdiThumbs2. Introduction and Literature Review

Case 1: Use present tense for any background information which can be accepted as fact.
Example: Malaysia provides business incubator for the new entrepreneurs.

Case 2: Use present tense when you’re referring to the previous research which conducted years ago and you believe the findings are still true and relevant.
Example: Most of the universities in Malaysia are located in city (Chiong, 2010).

Case 3: Use present perfect tense when you want to express contradict or disagreement of the fact such as research gap.
Example: Even though many research has been investigated on the mechanical strength of reduced graphene oxide, few experiments have been carried out to discover the mechanical strength after reduced graphene oxide is blending with carbon nanotube.

Case 4: Use past tense for any background information which is obsolete and not tally to the latest research trends.
Example: Friendster was a social media to connect people around the world.

 

Related: 17 Tips: How To Deliver Presentations With Ease And Confidence For Research?

 

3. MethodologyPast Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis-EdiThumbs

Case 1: Use past tense with passive voice (past passive) to describe how you conducted the research.Example: MATLAB software was used in this research.

Case 2: Use present tense when you’re referring to tables or figures for explanation purpose.
Example: Table 1 illustrates the number of social enterprise in Malaysia in 2014.

 

Past Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis-EdiThumbs

4. Results

Case 1: Use past tense to describe the results you obtained.
Example: Results shown that 80% of the junk foods contained chemical additives.

Case 2: Use present tense when you’re referring to tables or figures for explanation purpose.
Example: Figure 1 shows the performance of feedforward control with variations of process parameters.

5. Discussion

Case 1: Use the present tense to explain the significance results in your research.
Example: Business training and workshop appear to be effective to create more entrepreneurs.

Case 2: Use past tense to summarize research findings, with the present tense to explain the significance results or express your opinion.
Example: Job’s dissatisfactions among employees were corresponded to high-stress level, indicating that the turnover rate is high.

6. Conclusion

Use combination of tenses to summarize the key findings, pinpoint any limitations,Past Or Present Tense In Scientific Writing For Research Papers & Thesis-EdiThumbs
and propose suggestions for future research.
Example: This research confirmed that kindergarten children were capable of using the computer mouse to draw the straight line than curve line. Further studies are therefore, essential to consider the ability of kindergarten children to draw complex drawing using the computer mouse.

 

Related: Lifestyle Of Students In Malaysia: 8 Ways To Get Happiness In Your Life 

 

You have reached the end of the article. Do you feel confident to use the proper and correct past or present tense in scientific writing?

Chiong Sie Jing is a PhD student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He is also a creative Certified Internet Marketing Practitioner (CIMP) & Inbound Certified. He loves blogging; watching America drama series and movies; reading English novels; listening to English songs; and playing badminton, tennis, ping-pong in his leisure time.

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