A world Guide to Good Manners
/How not to behave badly abroad /
Travelling to all corners of the world gets easier
& easier. We live in global village, but how well
do we know & understand each other? Here is a
simple test. Imagine you have arranged a
meeting at four o’clock. What time should you
expect your foreign business colleagues to
If they’re German, they’ll be bang on time. If
they’re American, they’ll probably be 15 minutes
late, & you should allow up to an hour for the
Italians. When the European Community began
to increase in size, several guidebooks
appeared giving advice on international
at first many people thought
This was a joke, especially the British, who seemed to
assume that the widespread understanding of their
language meant a corresponding understanding of
English customs. Very soon they had to change their
ideas, as they realized that they had a lot to learn
about how to behave with their foreign business
For example: The British are happy to have a
business lunch & discuss business matters with a
drink during the meal; the Japanese prefer not to work
while eating. lunch is a time to relax & get to know one
another, & they rarely drink at lunchtime.
The Germans like to talk business before
the French like to eat first & talk dinner:
The French like to eat first and talk
afterwards. They have to be well fed &
watered before discuss anything.
Taking off your jacket & rolling up your
sleeves is a sign of getting down to work
in Britain & Holland, but in Germany
people regard it as taking it easy.
signal their feelings of ease and
importance in their offices by putting
their feet on the desk whilst on the
telephone. In Japan, people would be
shocked. Showing the soles of your
feet is the height of bad manners. It is
a social insult only exceed by blowing
your nose in public.
The Japanese have perhaps the strictest rules of
social & business behavior. Seniority is very
important, and a younger man should never be
sent to complete a business deal with an older
Japanese man. The Japanese business card
almost needs a rulebook .
How do I write an observation report?
What does a baby peering through the bars of a crib
have in common with a scientist studying a slide
through a microscope? They are both making
observations. Observing involves using sense –sight,
smell, hearing, taste, and touch-to take note of things
around you. An observation report incorporates
descriptions of tings you have observed with conclusions
you have drawn from your observations. An observation
report is particularly suitable for science writing, but
anything that you observe and find interesting is a
possible subject. For example, the construction of a
building would make a good topic for a report.
An observation report
Includes sensory details and facts
Reports only what you have observed
Gives your reactions to what you have
States any conclusions you have drawn from
How do I begin an observation report?
If you live near a construction site, you
may be able to observe heavy equipment
in operation. Then choose a machine to
be the focus of your report. Your focus
should reflect your purpose. For example,
if you want to show how building changes
the land, you might choose the bulldozer
as your focus. If you want to describe how
the frame of a building is put up, you might
choose the crane.
Often the place is set for you because
you need to be where the action
occurs. Several factors, however, can
affect the times you observe.
Consider when the event occurs,
whether the event occurs in several
steps or all at once, what times you
are free to observe, and when your
report is due.
You might want to write a list of
questions to try to answer as you
make your observations. Also
You may want to make drawings or
take pictures. In your notes, includes
sensory details-sights, sounds,
smells, tastes, textures,
temperatures, and so on.
Your purpose and your focus will help you
determine what to record. Remember to pay
close attention to the particular object,
process, or event that you’ve chosen as your
focus. Jot down answers to the questions you
posed about events or processes. Come up
with comparisons you can use to help explain
how something looks, moves, or changes.
Write down your reactions to what you seefor instance, were you surprised, excite, or
amused? Draw conclusions both as you make
observations and after you reread your notes.
An observation report can be part of a descriptive
essay, or it can stand alone. By itself, an observation
report might take the form of field notes such as you
would write in science class.
How can I organize my report?
Some ways of organizing an observation report:
Describe the part of your observation chronologically
Describe the parts of your observation in spatial order,
from top to bottom or from front to back.
Arrange any answers to questions in a logical order.
1) To gain an understanding of the distinctive
features of an important genre of scientific
2) To begin to develop the analysis skills that
will help you recognize the distinctive
features of other kinds of writing as wellwriting you'll need to do in the university or
in other contexts
3) To practice articulating yourself clearly, in a
well organized fashion
4) To practice writing concise, detailed prose
while honing observation skills.
formal observation report is the way
that scientists share the results of
their research with one another. As
such, these reports follow certain
conventions. In class, we’ll look at a
student sample that you can use as a
Title: What object and issue are under study?
Abstract: What type of study, object, issue,
Introduction: What are you studying and why?
Method: What did you do?
Results: What did you find out (see)?
Discussion: What do the results mean?
Conclusion: What should be done next?
Your observation will follow this format. Each
section (except the title) should have a heading,
as in the student paper. The observation
descriptions we work on in class will serve as
the basis for the Results section of this paper.
The content of the other sections will follow from
the information you present in that section.
While the student sample that we will look at
uses outside sources, you are not required to do
so in this assignment. Instead, you should feel
free to leave questions open-ended and to
When I evaluate your formal observation
report, I will be looking to see how well
you have met the goals of the assignment.
That is, I will be looking for how well you
present your findings objectively and
according to the conventions of
observation reports. I will also be looking
for how you present your hypothesis and
make suggestions for ways to test it. If all
you do is present your observations, your
report will not be successful.
Your report will also need to meet many of
the standard expectations of good
academic writing. Your purpose and focus
will need to be clear and well explained.
You will need to provide your reader with
sufficient detail both in your use of trifocal
description and in your discussion. And, of
course, your prose will need to be well
written both stylistically (particularly in
regards to concise and objective
language) and grammatically.