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3 Reasons to Use Present Tense Verbs for Writing Task #1

You’ve just read a passage and now it’s over. You’ve also just listened to a lecture and now that’s over. Both of these events are in the past and now you’re ready to write about them.

Perhaps you want to write, “The reading said that…”

Don’t do it!

Instead, write, “The reading says that…”

Here’s why.

1. It’s Easy.

It’s usually easy to remember the form of many present tense verbs.

For example:

The reading claims that

The lecture insists that

Remember to include the “s”!

2. You Can Focus Your Attention On Writing the Details.

When you use present tense, then you won’t have to think about verb tense on test day. Now you can focus on the details from the reading and the lecture. To increase your writing score, you must include as many details from reading and, even more importantly, from the lecture as possible.

3. Academics Often Use the Present Tense to Summarize.

Students and professors in universities often use the present tense to summarize information. Of course this depends on the academic discipline. Let’s say you are in an Academic Writing class in the English Department. Your assignment is to write a thesis paper on the book you’ve just read. When you write the paper, you will summarize the information from the book in the present tense. This is the preferred academic style of writing. So, when you use the present tense in Writing Task #1, it’s a lot like doing a writing assignment at your dream school university.


You will use present tense verbs when you indicate the source of the information. The source is the reading or the lecture. If the information is about an event in the past or in the future, then you will use the appropriate tense.

For example:

The reading argues that the advent of the car caused changes in social norms and ideology.

The lecture states that droughts will become more prevalent by the year 2040.

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