Posted March 20, 2012 - 12:27 PM
Generally, a research paper depends on the topic at hand as to the tense of the paper. If you are talking about material that has happened in the past, then yes, it is generally in the past. However, there are topics that would switch tenses when you are referring to future trends and there you would use a future tense. If you are doing a research paper about things that are currently going on then it should be present tense. When you generally speak, a research paper has many different sections to it. One for past information as to what has led up to this and perhaps trials. Then you have current issues and future trends. Each part of the paper should reflect the information you are conveying.