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What tense should essays be written in

Discussion in 'English' started by Azael, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. The following essay introduction from one of my students throws up interesting tense considerations. I did underline the sections to look at but the blog has erased them. Gnash, gnash, but I am sure you can see what I was remarking on.

    ?The Quiet American? is a novel which was written in 1955 by Graham Greene and it is set in Vietnam. The three main characters in the novel are Thomas Fowler, Alden Pyle and a young Vietnamese lady called Phuong. Phuong is a metaphor for the ongoing battle between France and America for Vietnam. In the course of my essay, I will be looking at the development of Thomas Fowler throughout the novel.
  2. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Present tense, excellent post by Markuss. Past tense when referring to life and actions of the author.
  3. Always want to see present for analysis and discussion of the text
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Yes. The student's introduction has "was written" past Tense. All the other verbs are Present tense. (Personal thing from me and almost on my own with this - always disappointed when students do not seem to have been taught "shall". Sigh, sigh.)
  5. nandos33

    nandos33 New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I am now enlightened! Much appreciated.
  6. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Life has many more coincidednces than would seem natural, you know. Had no idea o meaning of "nandos" when I posted here but this week I'm marking exam scripts with lots of descriptions of "Nando's" restaurants. Are they worth trying? I'm reading loads of recommendations.

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