Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    lawrenceMcCambridge-audin Guest

    Using only the present tense in essays

    Please, please help!!!! I am teaching at an American school in Saudi Arabia, and while I am not a trained English teacher, but a trained Educationalist, I am a recognized British playwright, so feel I do have some understanding of the language and its uses. I am not American and this is my first experience of the American system, rubrics and all. My problem; I am told the students must use only the present tense when writing essays discussing literature. Is this the case? For while I can not explain the finer grammatical points, I can think of, and have come across, many instances when the past tense would seem more appropriate in essays. Further, having taught in British schools I have never come across this before, but as I say I am not a qualified English teacher. So please can anyone help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Using only the present tense in essays

    Quote Originally Posted by lawrenceMcCambridge-audin
    I am told the students must use only the present tense when writing essays discussing literature.
    Hmm. I wouldn't say, "only". When writing about literature, the convention is to use the Literary or Historical Present e.g., Shakespeare says, not Shakespeare said, to (a) express a fact/a general truth, (b) draw the reader in, and (c) make the argument present.

    Click here to read more and try searching under the terms literary present and historical present.




    [Edited to make link work - Shane]

Similar Threads

  1. about present continuos tense and simple present tense
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Sep-2006, 20:07
  2. present perfect tense
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15-Jul-2004, 18:12
  3. IF
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2004, 01:49
  4. The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family
    By shun in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 143
    Last Post: 09-Nov-2003, 01:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •