Are Narrative Essays Written In The Past Tense

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When deciding a narrative voice, a key element to consider is what tense you will write in. It is the most popular tense for fiction, as it follows the natural tendency of retelling a story.

Past tense is a way of delivering a story that has already occurred; the narrator, whether first, second, or third-person, is recounting a tale.

It is a natural way to tell stories and remains incredibly popular with writers.

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.

The choice of tense, and how it is used, can dramatically change the dynamic of what is being written, and so it must be suitable for the story.

With first-person perspective, past tense narration becomes a character literally telling their story.

For example: If you choose the present tense, as in Example 1.1, you're implying that the findings of the research are generally accepted, whereas the present perfect tense in 1.2 implies not only general acceptance but also current relevance and, possibly, the continuity of the findings as an authoritative statement on the causes of death.

On the other hand, the past tense in Example 1.3 emphasizes the finding at the time the research was conducted, rather than its current acceptance.

Aspect allows you to be more precise in your selection of verbs.

Aspect falls into two categories: continuous and perfect.


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