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Homework Help: Is the 'Method' written in present or past tense?

  1. Feb 23, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    When writing up an experiment lab report I know the abstract is written in the past tense.

    Should the 'Method' be written in the past tense, i.e. this is the way the experiment was conducted?

    Or alternatively, should it be written in the present tense i.e. this is how you conduct the experiment if someone is now reading this and conducting it themselves?

    Thank you.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2013 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is not something for which there is a "universal rule" that all scientists follow. Professional, working scientists will just follow whatever arbitrary stylistic convention is dictated by the journal in which they are trying to publish their work. At the end of the day, this is not something that is particularly important either. Just ask your teacher what grammatical convention they want you to follow and go with that.
  4. Feb 23, 2013 #3
    Thanks cepheid.
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