Back to Top Describing When we describe something, we indicate what it looks like—and sometimes how it sounds, feels, smells, and tastes. Descriptive details are a way of showing rather than telling—that the sky is blue, that the chemicals in the beaker have reacted and smell like rotten eggs. This chapter will help you think about the use of detail, about objectivity and subjectivity, about vantage point, about creating a clear dominant impression, and about using description to fit your rhetorical situation.
However, sometimes a shift in tense is necessary to indicate a change in the timeframe of the action. It is the unnecessary shifts in tense that sometimes cause awkwardness and should be avoided. Tense is the grammatical word to describe the ending of a verb usually —ed for past and —s for present.
English usually marks the sense of time with an adverb for example: When proofreading for unnecessary tense shifts, there are several questions to keep in mind: I have several options. I can write my paper in the past tense, which is the style most people are used to reading in novels or short stories, as follows: This is also an acceptable writing style, especially for an essay: Should I ever change tense?
Sometimes it is necessary to change tense. For example, if the time frame of the action changes from past to present, the tense should change to indicate this: Looking back, I think my feelings may have been influenced by stereotypes of the Old South.
I think my feelings may have been influenced by stereotypes of the Old South. The reason for this tense change is that I am thinking now—in the present time.
Notice how putting that sentence in the past tense changes the time frame and ameaning of the action. I thought my feelings may have been influenced by stereotypes of the Old South. Now it sounds as though I was reflecting during the car ride, but I wanted to imply that it was only later that I had this thought.
When is it wrong to shift tense? There are other times, though, when a tense shift is not correct. For example, if the action all happened in the same time—past, present, or future—then the verbs should be consistent in tense.
However, from a grammatical viewpoint, this type of unnecessary shift in tense should be avoided in more formal such as academic writing.
Here is a better way of writing this sentence: What tense is best for my paper? There are other uses of tense that a college student should be aware of. English majors and others who write analysis papers will often write in the literary present.
This allows a writer to write about fictional or nonfictional information from a literary work in the present tense. In one scene, he disguises sexual references as sword-fighting terms. Although Shakespeare wrote many years ago, his work can still be talked about in the present because it still exists.
Again, though, there is no hard and fast rule about tense. If you wanted to stress that this happened in the past, perhaps as part of a biography of Shakespeare which was describing how he used to write, you may choose to write it in past tense instead of the literary present: In one scene, he disguised sexual references as sword-fighting terms.
This is also grammatically correct, but it changes the focus of the sentence slightly. Now it reads more like a narrative than an analysis. In a situation like this, when both styles are equally grammatically correct, it becomes a choice of deciding which is better for your purposes.
Are you analyzing or narrating? Do you have an example of a paper that uses tense changes well? The following is an example of an essay that uses tense changes successfully.
Read the description of how the student changes tense and then pay attention to the effects of the tense changes as you read his essay. Some of the verbs in the essay are in bold to help you spot these changes. This writer begins in past tense to talk about a specific production of the play.
Then he shifts into something called the universal present to make the reader feel like an observer watching the play unfold.
Then he shifts back to past tense when making a comment about the play—something he felt when he was watching it.Jun 06, · Telescreens are present in upper- and middle-class homes, but not in the "prole" homes, because the government doesn't really care what the poor people are doing anyway.
One common type of essay is an article analysis essay. Its purpose is to evaluate the ideas or arguments presented in the article. Usually these essays are comprised of an introduction, at least three supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. It is traditionally very pro-government and is a middle/lower class newspaper.
Its main target audience is the working classes and young people and it can hugely influence public opinion. ‘The Daily Express’ is a middle-market newspaper that is primarily aimed at middle-aged housewives.
By , the printing press had made its way throughout Europe, and news sheets (or news books) were mass-distributed. ]]> The first weekly newspaper was published in Germany by Johann Carolus in ]]>.
The newspaper article, also sometimes called a newspaper story, takes the facts of a particular event or situation, and is molded by writers/editors to create a cohesive story that has a beginning and end. While audiences may consider the advertisements as an unwelcome interruption to their news and entertainment, in reality that news and entertainment is a way of attracting people to the medium so they will be exposed to the advertisements – a way of delivering audiences for advertisers (Parenti 62).