Writing an essay on a book present or past tense

The tense of the verb in a sentence reflects the time at which the action is set. In historical studies that is, by definition, in the past.

The vast majority of verbs used in history papers are past-tense e.

1. Try to Write the Essays in Present Tense

When the topic is literature, however, it's a sssay matter. The action which takes place in works of fiction exists in a timeless world. So, in describing characters or recapitulating the plots found in literature, it's best to use the present tense.

writing an essay on a book present or past tense

Literary Papers. When describing the action or characters in a work of literary fiction, use the present tense: "At the midpoint of The Odysseythe hero Odysseus journeys to the realm of the dead.

writing an essay on a book present or past tense

The present tense highlights the vividness with which they re-occur whenever they pass through our minds and, because they're works of fiction, they can and do relive with every re-reading. This isn't true of the authors themselves, however.

writing an essay on a book present or past tense

Discussing Homer, not his epics, calls for the past tense, because he's dead and rpesent come to life the way his works can. So, when writing about the man, you should speak in the past tense "Homer composed his epics spontaneously in performance"in contrast to recapitulating the tales he told "The theme of Achilles' anger runs throughout The Iliad.

You May Also Like...

Thus, literary papers usually entail a balance of past-tense and present-tense verbs. History Papers.

writing an essay on a book present or past tense

Conversely, past-tense verbs should dominate history papers because the vividness of the present tense pertains less to the discussion of history than it does to literature.

While it's possible to describe the historical past in the present tense, such a posture belongs more naturally to casual conversation than formal writing.]