Should we use present tense or future tense when writing an article? I know this question will be off topic if I asked without example. So I will add an example:

You should use a very clean font when writing articles. It will help you to get more readers.

What should the second sentence be: it will help you to get more readers or it helps you to get more readers?

Another example is what I have written in the first paragraph: "So I will add an example." Is it correct? Or should I write So I add an example?

  • How about imperative mood (Use this not that) and present tense?
    – Stu W
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 1:18

2 Answers 2


When writing a technical article, use the command voice in present tense and do not use ambiguous words like "very clean".

Use a plain non-serif font for your article. Anything else looks non-professional, distracts from the text, and may cause readers to stop reading.

Do not use "you should", obviously the author of an article believes readers should follow their advice, so these words are superfluous. If you say anything in the article that is not your opinion, then you add something like "you must". e.g. "You must get the temperature of the sugar over 250F, and you must not exceed 270F."

Is it correct [writing it in future tense]?

Grammatically it may be correct, it would be more clear to say, in present tense,

An example follows.

  • Yeah, realized I had a typo in my comment and fixed it, probably while you were writing yours. "Should" is bad; I just meant that most of the time you shouldn't use "must" either. The default for instructions is "you have to do this". It sounds like we agree, so I'll delete these comments. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 16:43

I usually use the present tense. Future tense works too in the way you've used it, but I would use it sparingly.

This might be a "know your audience" answer, and I have more experience in technical guides than articles, but I also tend to avoid pronouns. I would say "Use a very clean font" and "it will help get more readers" but I understand that with some articles you might want the reader to feel you're talking specifically to them.

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