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Professional Writing Internship, Portfolio, and Graduation

Listed below are some general guidelines to consider when conducting your internship. Please consider them and perform tasks when appropriate. Graduating soon? Then read and study and revisit Preparing to Graduate for Professional Writing Majors.


The intern is a senior-level student within the Professional Writing program. The internship is a required 3-credit course that caps the Professional Writing curriculum. The goal of the internship is to provide students with hands-on experience working within the writing process, learning from an experienced mentor(s). Optimally, this experience will give the student knowledge in a variety of publishing areas, e.g., writing, editing, layout, research, interviewing, etc.


Internships are offered only in the Spring and Fall semesters.


Students must create a portfolio before entering an internship. To do this, students enroll in ENGL 5000 Professional Writing Portfolio during the semester before enrolling in  ENGL 4698 Internship and graduation. The portfolio should (1) showcase their best writing from professional writing courses and from other English program courses and (2) analytically reflect on what they learned during the writing process of each assignment. Students will create their portfolio as a website in ENGL 3171 Print and Web Design. The portfolio website will include a full resume, a resources page for professional writers, a contact page, and writing sample pages that will host the password-protected files of the showcase documents. Each writing sample should have an abstract that summarizes what assignment the writing sample addressed, what the assignment's objectives were, and how well the student felt he or she met the objectives (Give a reason for why you think you met the objects. Avoid limiting your answer to "I felt I met the objectives").  If the timing does not allow majors to create a digital portfolio, then they may create a printed portfolio in consultation with Dr. McCallus. The audience for the portfolio includes Dr. McCallus, internship mentors, and potential employers.


Internships are offered only to students who have completed all of Area G Program Required Hours (36). Internships are not allowed at a current employer of the intern.


The student must put in 12-15 hours per week at the facility.


The student cannot be paid.


The student must be involved with some aspect of the writing process. As noted above, this could be writing, editing, research, etc. While some ancillary office work connected to the writing process is acceptable, activities not related to the writing process are not acceptable.

On-site Work

It is critical that the student work on-site with a mentor. The direct interaction with the mentor will prove invaluable to the student's development as a writer. Email or web-based projects are not acceptable.


Twice a semester (at roughly weeks seven and fifteen) the mentor must evaluate the intern. This evaluation will be a confidential assessment given to a faculty member in the Professional Writing program.


The student is required to keep a journal. The journal entries must be written on a daily basis (each day you are on the internship). Each entry must be several paragraphs in length dedicated to two topics: (a) what tasks the student performed that day, and (b) how the tasks or internship in general reflects the academic preparation of the Professional Writing program.