Tips Menulis Paper/Artikel Ilmiah Dalam Bahasa Inggris Part 2: Memilih TENSES dalam Academic Writing

Oleh: Heri Akhmadi, M.A.

Ini merupakan bagian kedua dari artikel saya mengenai “Tips Menulis Paper/Artikel Ilmiah Dalam Bahasa Inggris”. Pada tulisan sebelumnya di Part 1 (bagian pertama) lebih pada pengantar dan pemilihan frase yang digunakan pada tiap bagian tulisan, pada Part 2 ini akan lebih fokus pada pemilihan tenses atau bentuk susunan kalimat.

Ya, tenses bagi yang belajar bahasa Inggris kadang jadi “momok yang menakutkan”. Gampang-gampang susah istilahnya (sy gunakan ungkapan ini biar yang banyak gampangnya…hehe). Untuk itu saya coba menyampaikan apa yang saya dapatkan mengenai tenses ini, tentu bagian dari pembelajaran saya juga.

Penggunaan Tenses

Berbicara mengenai tenses dalam bahasa Inggris, ada setidaknya 16 bentuk tenses (mungkin ini yang kadang bikin momok…hehe). Namun demikian, menurut The Writing Center University of Carolina dalam academic writing Present simple, past simple, and present perfect verb tenses merupakan tenses yang paling sering digunakan dalam academic writing (sekitar 80%). Untuk itu, tulisan ini fokus pada pemilihan/penggunaan tenses itu.

Adapun mengenai pada bagian apa digunakan di tubuh tulisan, pada umumnya paper menggunakan:

  1. Simple present tense (paling banyak)
  2. Simple past tense (methodology)
  3. Present prefect tense
  4. Future tense (sedikit, biasanya di akhir)

Berikut penjelasan dari masing-masing tenses yang merupakan modifikasi dari artikel “The Three Common Tenses Used in Academic Writing” dari The University Writing Center George Mason University (sebagian saya copy paste, tambahkan catatan dan modifikasi dari references no.3 (anonym) .


The present simple tense is the basic tense of most academic writing. Specifically, the present simple is used:

  • To “frame” your paper. In your introduction, the present simple tense describes what we already know about the topic; in the conclusion, it says what we now know about the topic and what further research is still needed.
  • To make general statements, conclusions, or interpretations about previous research or data, focusing on what is known now (The data suggest… The research shows…).
  • To cite a previous study or finding without mentioning the researcher in the sentence:

“The dinoflagellate’s TFVCs require an unidentified substance in fresh fish excreta” (Penrose and Katz, 330).

  • To introduce evidence or support:

“There is evidence that…”


Past simple tense is used for two main functions in most academic fields:

  1. To introduce other people’s research into your text when you are describing a specific study, usually carried out by named researcher. The research often provides an example that supports a general statement or a finding in your research.
  • …customers obviously want to be treated at least as well on fishing vessels as they are by other recreation businesses. [General claim]
  • De Young (1987) found the quality of service to be more important than catching fish in attracting repeat customers. [Specific supporting evidence]  
  1. To describe the methods and data of your completed experiment/research.
  • We conducted a secondary data analysis…
  • Statistical tests and t-student test were used for statistical analysis.
  • The control group of students took the course previously…
  • The researcher distributed questionnaires to 100 respondents, and ……..
  • Interview was conducted to collect data.
    The data were analyzed using T-test.
  • The 15,562 students who identified themselves as smokers were included in this study.


The present perfect is mostly used for referring to previous research in the field or to your own previous findings. Since the present perfect is a present tense, it implies that the result is still true and relevant today.

The subject of active present perfect verbs is often general: “Researchers have found,” “Studies have suggested.”

Look at the following examples:

Some studies have shown that girls have significantly higher fears than boys after trauma (Pfefferbaum et al., 1999; Pine &; Cohen, 2002; Shaw, 2003). Other studies have found no gender differences (Rahav and Ronen, 1994). (Psychology)

A new topic can be introduced with this structure:

There have been several investigations into…

The present perfect forms a connection between the past (previous research) and the present (your study). So, you say what has been found and then how you will contribute to the field. This is also useful when you want to point out a gap in the existing research.

Penggunaan present perfect juga sebagai jembatan dari past tense ke present. Menggunakan present perfect maka subjek yang disampaikan “must to be true”, sudah terbukti benar.

  • Penggunaan passive past tense, jadi lebih fokus pada konten dari pada pada peneliti.
  • Akan terhindar dari penyebutan “the researcher…”

More recently, advances have been made using computational hydrodynamics to study the evolution of SNRs in multidimensions…

However, a similar problem exists in the study of SNR dynamics. [gap] (Astrophysics)

The passive voice is common in the present perfect tense to describe previous findings without referring directly to the original paper: “…has been studied; it has been observed that…” You should usually provide citations in parentheses or a footnote.

You can also use the present perfect tense to tell the history of your idea (what “has created” it?), describe the results of your research (“we have developed a new…”), or to draw conclusions (“this has led us to conclude that…”).

Demikian, semoga bermanfaat.


Bogowonto Train, Selasa 13 Agustus 2019. Ditulis dalam perjalanan dari Purwokerto ke Jogja diatas Kereta Api Bogowonto.


  1. The Writing Center of University of Carolina. VERB TENSES. Accessed from:
  2. “The Three Common Tenses Used in Academic Writing” dari The University Writing Center George Mason University
  3. Anonym. TENSES FOR ACADEMIC WRITING. Modified from:
  4. Siti Nurjannah. 2019. Materi Ceramah Academic Writing (catatan yang disampaikan). Fakultas Pendidikan dan Bahasa UMY
  5. Feature image credit to


  1. […] lebih pada pengantar dan pemilihan frase yang digunakan pada tiap bagian tulisan, selanjutnya pada Part 2 lebih fokus pada pemilihan tenses atau bentuk susunan […]


  2. […] 3 bagian tulisan mengenai topik ini (Part 1, Part 2 dan Part 3), mulai dari pendahuluan (yaitu di postingan ini/Part 1) yang berisi mengenai […]


  3. […] melalui Tips Menulis Paper/Artikel Ilmiah Dalam Bahasa Inggris Part 2: Memilih TENSES dalam Academic Writing… […]


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