I was just writing a historical overview of a battle and decided I'd write the introduction in the present tense--the present tense being a narration of a specific event during the war. I just realized though that in the last sentence, I shifted the to how the events are perceived today.

So instead of the present tense consistently being about how the event occurred, it shifts to how those events are perceived today at the end of the paragraph.

I've fiddled around with the passage a bit, but I'm still not sure how to write it.

Is it better to stick to one tense from one perspective? How do I go about that? Do I write it as:

  1. This incident would go on to ____ OR
  2. This incident has since __

Does the option 1. fix the issue (since the perspective remains unchanged)? To me it seems that it looks to the future from the perspective of the event whereas option 2. shifts to things as they are now and looks back from there.

  • 1
    1. Since we don't know what the rest of the sentence is, nor the preceding sentences, it's very difficult to give advice based on 4-6 words; and I don't fully understand your issue. 2. Writing advice is off-topic on this site. 3. I suggest asking at Writing
    – TrevorD
    Aug 23, 2013 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


One solution is starting that new paragraph with a temporal or other adverb or adverbial. Here's one set phrase: in retrospect. It means "reconsidering the past with the knowledge one now has."

E.g., In retrospect, this incident can be regarded as one of the most undeservedly overlooked episodes in the history of Whatchamacallit.

How about "Today, " or "In present times, "? And what about "Since then, "? You would there move into present perfect tense.

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