Usage of tenses in dissertation writing

Usage of tenses in dissertation writing

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Often our post-graduate students get confused about what forms of tense be used in different segments of writing a dissertation/thesis. I am trying to get the matter clear by referring to the following basics:1. In writing ‘Abstract’, past tense should be used as abstract summarizes briefly the importance and outcome of a research. However, present tense may be used while emphasizing the significance of the research.
2. Both present and past tenses are used in writing the ‘Introduction’. Present tense is used to express universal fact.
3. Review of literature may be written either in present tense or in past tense.
4. Methodology is written in past tense.
5. Result and analysis segment is normally written in past tense but while commenting on the research result, present tense may be used.
6. Conclusions are written in past tense.
7. Recommendations and suggestions on future action are written in present and future tenses.
Yours truly,
Prof. M Zahidul Haque
Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System
Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University
Dhaka.

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