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OASIS Writing Skills

Video Transcripts:
Mastering the Mechanics: Present Tense

Transcripts for Writing Center videos

Mastering the Mechanics: Present 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: Present 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: Just as all sentences need to have verbs, all verbs need to have tenses. Tenses tell your reader when an action happened. Whether it happened in the past, whether it's happening in the present, or whether it's going to happen in the future. And as I talk about verb tenses, I'm going to use this little chart up here to sort of map out these verb tenses. If you're a visual learner like me, this might be helpful.

I want to stress that there's no reason to memorize what these tenses are called. I'm not going to quiz you on the names of these tenses or anything like that. Instead my goal is just to make you a little bit aware of the verb tenses in your sentences.

So let's start off by talking about the present tense. The present tense describes things that always happen or usually happen. They describe general truths or observations or facts. So for example, "The teacher uses an authoritarian teaching style." He used it yesterday, he's using it today, he'll use it tomorrow. This is just a basic observation. “The university offers an accelerated program." They offered it yesterday, they're offering it today, they'll offer it tomorrow. This is a basic observation, a basic fact, so I want to use the present tense.


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