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General question about a 5 paragraph essay?

Does each paragraph have to have the same verb tense? Can I have the 1st and 2nd paragraphs in the present tense, but have the last 3 paragraphs be in the past tense? I think that the verb tense should remain constant, but i'm not sure.

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4 Responses so far.

  1. motorcycle says:

    If something happens that leads to it from the 1st and 2nd then its ok to change tenses in the next ones. If its a flash back it would be acceptable. I’m not and English professor, but I think its fine.

  2. pluralistically says:

    yeah you are right because you cant be writting an essay from seemingly different times

  3. rotting says:

    You have to stay in the present time period no matter what. Tense depends, though.If you are writing a literary analysis essay, you MUST stay in present tense. ALWAYS.If you are writing about the present time and you want to talk about the past in the 3rd and 4th paragraph, that works. However, your conclusion (5th) should be the same tense as your introduction (1st).It always depends on the essay, but it would be best to stay in the same tense. If it’s not possible for you to change your last 3 paragraphs to present tense, change the first two paragraphs’ tenses to past.The best thing to do is email or ask your teacher about it.

  4. bead says:

    It could be different if your talking about your topic in the past, present, or future in different paragraphs. But if they all are about the same time period then they should remain the same.