Tenses Making You Tense?

Tense tells the reader when. Is the event in the past, present, or future? For instance, the writer wrote (past tense), is writing (present tense), or will write (future tense). The mood of the project shows up in the use of verbs.

Author and college professor David Pierce identified a common condition. “When writing personal experience pieces, students start in past tense. When they get to the action, there’s a tendency to shift to present tense because that is a hot, immediate tense.”


  1. Tracey Beers says

    Thank you! I just finished a piece (last night!) whose lack of consistent tense was making me tense. I wished I had clear instruction on how to fix it. Your ‘familiar symptoms’ section cleared it right up!

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