Scientific Language: Tense & Certainty

The tense of verbs will vary in the results stage, generally between the simple present and simple past. Simple past is used to report how you arrived at your results. Simple present is used to refer to what figures and tables show and to make generalisations about the results. (However, you need to be careful about what generalisations you make, as these are more appropriate in the discussion section. Also, generalisations often vary in degrees of certainty and verbs like ‘may’, ‘can’, ‘could’ tend to be used).

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