Is a Research Proposal Written In Past Tense? Let’s Find Out!

When writing a research proposal, you are presenting a plan for the research work. Many people will wonder about the tense to use when writing such documents. It helps a lot to be particular about the writing guideline to avoid any mistakes. Remember, you can never get excellent scores if you present flawless documents.

Now back to the main objective, which tens should we use when writing a research proposal? Is it past, present, or future tense? Let’s find out by reading through this post!

What Is A Research Proposal?

A research proposal is a document presented that provides a plan for a project. Often, students would handle this document before they commence their research projects. It helps a lot to understand how you should write such papers.

Also, you might encounter a research project in the future when you are working. If you don’t know the proper format for writing one, how will you present a relevant research proposal or project to your boss?

What Tense Should You Use When Writing A Research Proposal?

There are different sections in a research proposal. These will include the introduction, literature review, methodology, implications, discussion, and conclusion.

It is crucial to know the type of information to include in every section. As we all understand, a proposal is a plan of how you’ll do something. As such, it wouldn’t make any sense to use past tense when describing things yet to be done.

There can also be a variation in the tenses depending on the section in the research proposal. The most crucial area where you’ll use the past tense is when writing the literature review. Often, you’ll need to provide proof of available studies related to your research. When doing so, you must quote evidence and describe the outcome. When writing the literature review, you can’t miss out on where you’ll use past tense when reporting the different results.

The tenses to use when writing other sections will include:

  1. The introduction – Here, you can mix both present and future tenses. The prologue will provide an overview of the research proposal. Be sure that you use the appropriate information when writing one.
  2. The methodology – Here, you can mix both present and future tenses. Remember, you haven’t done any research work yet. As such, the procedure should be guiding you on what to do.
  3. The implications – Here, you’ll describe the essence of your proposal. What do you want to achieve in the long run? When writing this section, you can use a present or future tense. Remember, you are explaining why your research is valid and how it will contribute to your discipline.

Be quick to format your research proposal in the recommended manner. Besides, you must proofread the final document. Doing so will allow you to edit and correct any mistakes, including spelling, grammar, or even punctuation. Besides, you’ll be able to determine any alterations in tenses in the paperwork. From there, you’ll make any necessary changes and submit an excellent research proposal report.