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OASIS Writing Skills

Video Transcripts:
Mastering the Mechanics: Past Tense

Transcripts for Writing Center videos

Mastering the Mechanics: Past Tense

Last updated 5/31/2016


Visual: Walden logo at bottom of screen along with notepad and pencil background.

Audio: Guitar music.


Visual: “Walden University Writing Center. Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears in center of screen. Background changes to a close up of a dictionary page and a bright green box that reads: “Mastering the Mechanics: Simple Verb Tenses: Past Tense.” Slide changes to a mostly gray slide with the heading: Verb Tenses.

Below the text reads:

  • Place actions in time
  • Basic tenses

To the right of the first bullet point is a timeline chart showing the past, present, and future: The past is on the far left, the present is interrupting the line with a vertical line in the middle, and the future is on the far right.


  • The teacher uses an authoritarian teaching style.
  • The University offers an accelerated program.


  • The business declared bankruptcy in 2008
  • Colfax (20017) described the problem as “intricate and pervasive” (p. 53).


  • In this paper, I will describe childhood obesity
  • Beginning next year, the program will provide a reduced tuition option.

Audio: The past tense describes events that happened at one particular time in the past: “The business declared bankruptcy in 2008." They did it, it's done, you know, it happened in the past. A little APA nuance here is that according to APA writers should always use the past tense when talking about research that has been conducted. Or, or things that scholars have done in the past. For example, "Colfax described..." Similarly, I would say "Johnson stated...", “Peterson found....", and so on and so forth. You want to use those past tense verbs to talk about research that has been conducted.

Visual: “Walden University Writing Center. Questions? E-mail” appears in center of screen.