Simple present tense essays simple present tense the simple present or present simple is one of the verb forms associated with the present tense in modern english it is commonly referred to as a tense, although it also encodes certain information about aspect in addition to present time it is called simple because its basic form consists of a single word (like write or writes), in.
Click here for a color-coded illustration of changing verb tenses in academic writing present simple tense the present simple tense is the basic tense of most academic writing use this as your first choice unless you have a good reason to use another tense specifically, the present simple is used: to “frame” your paper.
Whatever you do, try not to flip back and forth between past and present verb forms when the present tense is necessary in all types of formal writing there is one notable exception to the rule of excluding present-tense verbs in academic prose.
When you write an essay, an exam answer, or even a short story, you will want to keep the verbs you use in the same tense remember, moving from tense to tense can be very confusing eg mrs mallory sees her returning son and, in her excitement, twisted her ankle rather badly. Most admission officers read upwards of 1,000 applications each year, which is why it is imperative that your essay stands out among the sea of other qualified high school students i suggest beginning your essay with active language, in the present tense that draws the reader into a specific time and place.
The literary present when you quote directly from a text or allude to the events in a story (as in a brief plot summary), you should use the literary present we write about written works as if the events in them are happening now, even though the authors may be long dead quoting an essay, you would write, eg.
In general, when writing most essays, one should use present tense, using past tense if referring to events of the past or an author's ideas in an historical context an exception to these rules is the narrative essay, in which the writer can choose past or present tense, but the essay should still remain consistent in tense throughout.
In a thriller novel, for example, you can write tense scenes in first person for a sense of present danger: a muffled shot he sits up in bed, tensed and listening. Academic essays showcase students’ abilities to present their thoughts on a topic in an organized manner what tense should be used in academic essays is a topic that sparks debate among some people.