Using Tense Correctly in a Dissertation Study


By Marilyn Simon and Jim Goes

Tense is an important element of dissertation writing. Some of the most common writing problems we see as dissertation mentors relate to tense. Early proposal drafts are frequently riddled with tense errors. Confusion over the proper tense to use in particular situations, and the differences in tense usage between a dissertation proposal and the final dissertation, are both prone to confusion and with good reason–because the rules change depending on the context.

Our updated recipe, below, addresses this problem and provides guidance on how to use tense correctly.


Using Tense Correctly in a Dissertation Study


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