PG Writing Group 23/05/11 Social Science South Rm 2204 Mondays 12-1pm
While it would be convenient if Microsoft Word could develop a grammar checker to correct usage of verb tense in academic writing, it cannot. Grammar check programmes could probably be developed to check your work to determine if it follows the verb tense rules and conventions of academic writing. Programmes could also be developed to check that you apply tense consistently in your writing. But as you can also change your use of tense to signal to your reader your attitudes towards the concepts and research outcomes you are presenting, automated grammar checkers for verb tense will never be particularly useful. So you will need to understand the rules of tense usage and learn how to check you have applied them correctly in your own writing.
As a rough rule of thumb, what you or other researchers have done you write in past tense. What you or others think is present tense. But typically, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.
In the Postgraduate Writing Session on Monday 23 May we will focus on verb tense in academic writing. Bring along a page of writing that you are currently working on or bring a section of writing that you are finding it difficult to determine if the tenses are correct. We will work through some general examples and you can apply the rules and conventions to your writing.
There are a number of websites that provide advice on the use of tense in academic writing. See:
Monash University also has an interesting article on Referencing Conventions that includes information about verb tense and reader than the time frame:
If you would like to know more about the Postgraduate Writing Group or receive email alerts when a Writing Group blog has been posted please contact Jo Edmondston (E: firstname.lastname@example.org) or post a comment on this blog.