THE TASK: Assume that your supervisor will be travelling for a business meeting to the country you chose for this assignment. Aware of your training as a researcher in college, your supervisor has asked you to research business etiquette, communication and customs in that country. You will be writing a memo to your supervisor reporting your findings.
RESOURCES TO CHECK: To save you time, I have listed the best sites I have found so far. Do not rely on just one source! Feel free to use one(s) that you discover on your own—if you find a winner, send me an email with the URL for the site for a possible bonus. A good search phrase to use is business etiquette country’s name.(Turkey)
https://culturalatlas.sbs.com.au/countries (Cultural Atlas)
https://businessculture.org/ (Passport to Trade)
[European countries and India]
WRITING THE MEMO: You can use my memo template on the last page of this document or one of Word’s memo templates. Make sure that the items you write into the heading are not in boldface. Make up a name for the supervisor. The body should be single spaced and in block style—paragraphs not indented, extra spaces between paragraphs. Yes, this is different from the MLA style we’ve been following. A writer needs to adapt to different situations!
In the first paragraph of the memo, establish the context of the communication—i.e. state that you’ve completed the requested research on the country.
In the second paragraph state (in your own words) that you are providing a list of the items that you think are most important for a business traveler to consider.
Include items that a foreigner (in this an American) are not likely to know and that could affect a business relationship. List a minimum of 5. (Chances for an A are enhanced by 8-10.)
Try to put these points, which should be bulleted, in your own words.
If you do use the wording of one of your sources, put that wording in quotes and indicate the source (not the URL but the title of the webpage) in parentheses at the end of the sentences. The period ending the sentence should come after the parenthetical reference. Here’s a hypothetical example for doing business in Antarctica:
“Don’t give anything made from penguin feathers as a gift” (eDiplomat).
In your third paragraph, tell the supervisor that more detailed information can be found at the following sites. Then list the two or three sites you found most useful.
You can close the memo by wishing the supervisor a productive trip, and telling him or her you enjoyed the assignment, etc. (typical business schmooze).
STYLE: Use clear, concise language in your memo. Be sure to run spell/grammar check and proofread. In business, you don’t want to submit an error-ridden document.
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