The Essentials of Writing

The Hamilton College Style Sheet

Essentials of English Usage

Tense ("t")

Use verb tenses correctly and consistently.

To tell the story of a work of literature or a historical sequence, most writers use the "historical present"; they discuss the events as if they were happening in the present.

1. At the end of the movie Love Story, Jennifer dies a tragic death.
[Historical present correctly used. It is permissible to use either the historical present or the simple past tense in such cases, but whichever one you use, use it consistently.]

Frequently, however, errors of tense are due to standards that vary across disciplines. Check with your professors to find out what tenses their departments prefer.

For more information , see Verb Tense.