I am well aware of the fact that there are a number of questions that talk about tenses in research, but I still have not found exactly what I am after.
Basically my question is this, in a Master dissertation, should the tense be the same throughout the entire text? Or is it acceptable (or even required) to use different tenses in different structures?
Assuming the following structure, if you believe that there should be separate tenses, would the suggestions in brackets be correct?
- Title (Present)
- Abstract (Imperfect Past)
- Introduction (Present + Future)
- Methodology (Past Perfect, Present, Future or Mix?)
- Results (Past Perfect)
- Discussion (Present*)
- Conclusion (Mix?, conditional present)
*Would the choice of any present tense put all preceding sections in a past tense?
Looking at that structure I find it hard to see that only one tense should be adopted throughout the entire text.