English is a widely spoken language around the world. It is the mother tongue to approximately 400 million people, and as the second language approximately 400 million people in more than 50 English speaking countries (reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language). This language has a long history and through time, also evolved significantly. It has been influenced and shaped by local cultures and usage. Although omnipresent, English is not universally used in the same way or understood the same way.

In any writing, regardless of language, it is crucial to keep in mind your intended audience. Are they native English speakers or people who speak English as a second language from the same country as you? Do they tend to be non-native English speakers? Will they understand the slangs and terminology you use, or the cultural inference you make? Do they have knowledge of what you regard as common sense? English as mother tongue and second language in so many countries, but also influenced and shaped by local culture and usage. Even though writing is a medium through which the author expresses his or her thoughts and messages, but if it is to be perceived a good piece of writing the readers should be able to truly understand and resonate with the content. Sometimes authors are not fully aware that their readers may not be from their country, and when they refer to their country in a specific way, it may confuse the reader. For instance, if the author is from Taiwan, writing a paper for an international scientific journal, whose audience include the journal editors, and scholars in the field of psychology all around the world. It is most likely that the readers will have good understanding of subject matter terminology, but if you refer to country-specific terms without proper explanations (for instance, use Taiwan, Republic of China, province, country interchangeably), it will cause confusion, and it may not be accepted by the journal in the first instance.

Country perspective essentially involve bias because the author’s thinking will have been influenced by the environment, teaching, beliefs he or she has been brought up with in the specific country. For instance, a Chinese author from the People’s Republic of China is likely to have been brought up with the teaching that Taiwan, Philippines and various Southeast Asian regions belong to the Chinese territory, so it is possible they may come across biased to non-native Chinese readers when talking about, for instance, the sovereignty of islands and resources. This relates to ethnocentrism, which occurs when a specific culture judges other cultures against their own values, such as in language, customs and religion. Another example is the feminist movement. Proponents of the movement from a Western society such as US believe the superiority of the movement represents the feelings of all women across different countries and ethnic groups; however, gender equality may be viewed differently across different cultures. Bias and subjectivity as a result of country perspective is almost inevitable, but it is recognizing it and providing readers the information to see and understand it from a different perspective, that make it a good piece of academic writing.

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