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(Psychology) The present perfect forms a connection between the past (previous research) and the present (your study).
The present simple, past simple, and present perfect verb tenses account for approximately 80% of verb tense use in academic writing.
This handout will help you understand how to use these three verb tenses in your own academic writing.
Specifically, the present simple is used: To show strong agreement with a conclusion or theory from a previous paper (“Smith suggests that”).
However, note that the present simple is not used to show agreement with specific findings or data (use the past simple).
Past simple tense is used for two main functions in most academic fields: 1.
To introduce other people’s research into your text when you are describing a specific study, usually carried out by named researcher.
This is also useful when you want to point out a gap in the existing research.
The passive voice is common in the present perfect tense to describe previous findings without referring directly to the original paper: “…has been studied; it has been observed that…” You should usually provide citations in parentheses or a footnote.
It’s confusing when an author changes tense in the middle of a scene.
The fragmented break in continuity makes it hard to place actions in relation to each other.