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Further reading on tense in abstract

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In this step, we will focus on the linguistic aspects of the tenses used in research abstracts, particularly the present tense. We will examine examples of abstracts to understand how authors use tenses to convey their research findings.

Background and Objectives

The abstract typically includes five key components: background, objectives, methodology, results, and conclusion. The background provides general information about the research topic. In the abstract, authors typically use present tense to describe background knowledge and events that are considered factual. For example, “Acceptance sampling has been widely used” emphasizes the current state of the research field. On the other hand, present perfect tense may be used to highlight the time frame of the background information.

Methodology and Results

The methodology section describes the research design and methods used in the study. Authors often use present tense to describe the methodology because they aim to emphasize the reproducibility of their findings. The same applies to the results section where present tense is often used to highlight the findings and their applicability under similar conditions. However, authors may switch to past tense to describe the methods and findings in some cases.

Conclusion and Future Directions

The conclusion section typically summarizes the main findings and provides suggestions for future research directions. Authors may use tentative verbs, such as “suggest” or “indicate,” to convey recommendations or future directions. Auxiliary verbs, such as “may” or “could,” may also be used to indicate the likelihood of future findings.


Examples of different types of abstracts show that present tense is the dominant tense used in research abstracts. However, present perfect tense and past tense may also be used to highlight specific aspects of the research.


In summary, authors use different tenses in research abstracts to convey their findings and ideas effectively. The present tense is the most commonly used tense in research abstracts, but present perfect tense and past tense may be used to highlight specific aspects of the research.

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