Using Tenses In The Scientific Writing

Using Tenses In The Scientific Writing


Using Tenses In The Scientific Writing
tenses use for scientific writing
By : Alissa


It is important that a research paper for students at the university should make them better understand how to deliver the content of research papers properly and correctly. In particular, English students who learn English as a second language and a foreign language. The importance of understanding and submitting the content of research papers should be presented in accordance with the time and tenses of what is used. So, in this paper will explain how the use of appropriate tenses in making research papers.

When you write your research paper, you have to distinguish the tenses that you use in your research paper. The use of tenses in each of your research paper are differents. You will choose the tenses base on evidences when you do the research or all depends on the section you are working on within the scientific report. For example, What the use of tenses in abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussions, or conclusion.

The differences in the use of tenses in your research paper will make your research paper become more perfectly. The use of tenses also has benefits in the field of writing. it can make our research paper become better, more orderly, simpler, but when we deliver it, readers will more easily understand what information they get from our research paper.


A. Abstract

Here, we write about the background of the research we are undertaking, the problems we are facing, the methods that are being used to solve the problem, and the last result of our research as we might mention in the abstract. So, In the abstact we are using past tense.


1. The experiment was successful be-cause the densities measured were the correct, known densities of the substances and the unknown sub-stance was identified as zinc.

B. Introduction

In this section, we will discuss the contents in the paper and illustrate the focus of our research. It also present about the background information that will you need to explain why the research you are reporting is important. You may show or indicate your opinion in this introduction and indicate to the reader that you believe that the research findings are still true and relevant. To present the introduction, it will use present tense. But, the use of tenses in this section, may be using present perfect tense if you refer to previous research.

Example (Present Tense):

1. Genomics provides crucial information for rational drug design.
2. Many of the lakes and wetlands in the region are located in craters or valleys blocked by early Pliocene lava flows (Ollier & Joyce, 1964).

Example ( Present Perfect Tense):

1. A great deal of research has been conducted on the basic techniques of nuclear transfer, but few experiments have been carried out to discover the most appropriate age of the cytoplasm to support nuclear transfer most effectively.

C. Methods

In this section you will describe the population, the sample and how it is chosen, the sample size, the variables and the instruments that will be used in your research at that time. You are using past tense and you may using passive voice in the past passive or past active. But, you may using present tense while you tell diagrams and figures.

Example (Past Tense):

1. Total phosphorous (TP) and total nitrogen (TN) were measured in the laboratory using standard procedures. The standard protocol was followed for the preparation of the media from stock solutions.

Example (Present Tense):

1. Table 1 above demonstrates the success of cloning in various animal species.
2. Figure 2 below shows methylation in mouse 2-cell embryos.

D. Result

In this section you are explaining in more detail about the results of your research that you have done at the time. Then, to explain about past activities using simple past tense. But, You also can use present tense to tell diagrams, figures, and graphs.


1. Overall, more than 70% of the insects collected were non-phytophagous.
2. Results indicated that prolonged exposure to ultra-violet radiation had a positive correlation with the development of melanomas.
3. Following activation of NT oocytes with strontium, the cell cycle resumed in both groups.

E. Discussion

In the discussion, we will explain significance of results our research in theory and empirical. It also related to the results of previous research that must be explained about the differences or similarities that we discussed. To tell about this section will be using present tense.

Writers may use the past tense to summarise their findings, in combination with the present tense to explain or interpret what the results mean.

Example (present tense) :

1. Removal of vegetation for agricultural purposes appears to negatively affect the water quality of streams.

Example (Past tense and present tense):

1. As the maximal and minimal did not correspond to high and low tides, it is possible that the patterns observed may not be the result of mixing of waters with different concentrations.
Leaf carbon and phenolic content did not differ across sites, indicating that the response of secondary plant chemicals such as phenolics to water is complex.

F. Conclusion

In the final section of your thesis or report you summarise the main findings and the major implications of the study, point out any limitations, and offer suggestions for future research. To do these things you may use a combination of tenses.


1. Although the study found evidence of tillage and irrigation within the study area, from the data collected it was not possible to determine if the effects of agriculture upstream cause (or caused) higher levels of total nitrogen downstream. Further studies are therefore necessary to determine the effects of agriculture on the health of Stringybark Creek.


Using tenses in the scientific writing is important to learn for us as the students in english education department that learn english as foreign language and a second language. It also help us in to make our research paper become more better, more orderly, and perfectly. The use of tenses in each part of our research paper are differents. . You will choose the tenses base on evidences when you do the research or all depends on the section you are working on within the scientific report.