Present Tense - English for Students
A Quick Refresher on Present and Past Tense
This handout will help you understand this common grammar problem. This handout explains and describes the sequence of verb tenses in English. This handout gives some examples of the different tenses verbs can have. This handout contains a list and discussion of common irregular verbs.
Online Tense Exercises - English Grammar
phrasal verbs and prepositions with "out".
phrasal verbs and prepositions with "up".
examples of the forms of verbs in past, present, and future, with names and parts used to form the tenses.
prefers the past tense for academic essays.
The answer is simple. If your paper is part of a historical study and you must by definition spend the majority of your time in the past tense, it's best just to stay there as much as possible. Whatever you do, try not to flip back and forth between past and present verb forms.
of the present simple and the present ..
For example, while it's true that Caesar ruled long ago, the conclusions which current researchers infer from the surviving evidence about his life and reign are modern, living things. Thus, "Caesar's generalship leaves behind the impression of the right man at the right moment in history." In other words, if your point is that some thesis about the past exists today, state that opinion in the present tense: "This promotes the idea that . . ." or "Justinian's failures suggest that the internal disarray of the Byzantine Empire was his responsibility because . . ."
In contrast, the past could be ..
The contrast between the present-tense forms ("is forced," "has to re-Christianize") and past-tense forms ("was," "resolved") is something short of graceful. Moreover, to vacillate between these can be disconcerting to your readers. I mean, are we supposed to imagine we are right there alongside Charlemagne suffering his troubles, or viewing him from a safe historical distance and reflecting calmly upon his tribulations with the Saxons?