Writing Internships | Department of English | Kent State University

Writing Internships

Interns WantedCourse Description & Requirements

Prof. Uma Krishnan, Director | ukrishna@kent.edu | (330) 672-1745

Charlene Schauffler, Assistant Director | cschauff@kent.edu

 

What are the goals for the writing internship?

The Writing Internship Program is a cooperative endeavor between students, the community, and the Department of English. As such it has a number of inter-related goals. Your own goals might include expanding your interests and experiences, finding out if you are suited for work as a professional or technical writer, and gaining valuable work experience before you graduate. For the community groups or businesses that use interns, the goals of the program may be to maintain good relationships with the university, to introduce "fresh blood" and new ideas into their organizations, and (frankly) to acquire smart, energetic, able workers without cost.

For the Department, the goals of the program include, of course, continued good relations with the community and successful placement of students into jobs after graduation. However, the most important goal of the program from our point of view is to enrich your education as a careful reader and competent writer, and to complement your classroom learning as a student of language and discourse. For instance, your work as a writing intern should involve a great deal of writing, and this writing may differ in important ways from the writing you do in most courses. Your "audience" will consist not of a teacher (whom you know) or even your contemporaries (such as your classmates). Your notions of readers will enlarge to include multiple audiences--your immediate supervisor and other members of the organization, as well as some segment of "the public" whose interests you must meet and whose backgrounds, knowledge, and values may be quite different from your own. This kind of writing, in a rich and immediate rhetorical situation, will teach you a great deal about writing and about the functions and uses of discourse. To this end, the requirements of the course include both job-related and academic responsibilities.

What are my site work requirements & expectations?

  • Approximately 10 hours per week (assuming 3 credits) at the firm or office as a regular part of the writing staff
  • Duties will vary, but expect to be involved in carrying a specific writing project(s) through all stages of development, from research (including interviewing) and organizing, to drafting and revising.
  • Writing may be your own work, but you may be asked to work on collaborative projects, or to edit others' writing
  • You'll work closely with your site supervisor(s) who will remain in regular contact with me
  • About 60% of final grade is based on the frank evaluation by your supervisor(s) at the end of the semester

How can I be successful?

Experience has shown that those interns who generate ideas, show initiative, and seek additional responsibilities will profit more from their internships than students who simply wait to be told what to do. While a great deal of your work will eventually be substantive writing and editing, you may be asked to perform assignments you regard as routine or "boring," especially at first. It's best to cheerfully accept such assignments. Evidence of an intern's ability to handle routine tasks quickly and accurately is often necessary before the intern is given more assignments. If you find, however, that you are doing routine clerical work or proofing for an extended period of time, you should contact Prof. Krishnan. Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions. You're there to learn.

Since 1996, The Writing Internship Program (WIP) offers a writing-intensive experience that blends classroom writing experience with on-the-job skills building. As a cooperative between students, businesses, and Kent State’s Department of English, the WIP has several interrelated goals:

  • The student expands his or her interests and experiences as a writer—developing an in-depth understanding of audience and purpose— as well as gaining valuable on-the-job skills and contacts prior to graduation.
  • Businesses acquire energetic, smart, and able workers with fresh ideas.

The kind of writing you will do, in a rich and immediate rhetorical situation, will teach you a great deal about writing and the functions and uses of discourse. To this end, the requirements of the course include both job-related and academic responsibilities.


Course Requirements & Expectations

The WIP is a 3-credit-hour course that satisfies the requirement for an upper-level writing intensive course. You can view the syllabus here. Prerequisite to this course must include one of the following:

  • Writing in Business (ENG 30061)
  • Principles of Technical Writing (ENG 30062)
  • Professional Writing (ENG 30063)
  • Argumentative Prose Writing (ENG 30064)
  • Writing in the Public Sphere (ENG 30066)
  • Senior Seminar (ENG 49091)

What to Expect

  • You will spend approximately 10 hours per week at your internship site as a member of the writing staff.
  • Your duties will vary, but expect to be involved in writing in all stages of development, from research and organizing to drafting and revising to distribution.
  • You may work individually or as a team, depending on your site’s needs.
  • You will work closely with your site supervisor, who maintains contact with the WIP.
  • About 60% of your final grade is based on your site supervisor’s semester-end evaluations. See the syllabus for other grade expectations.

In Addition to On-Site Work

  • You will submit three reflective journals as well as a final reflection, documenting your journey through your internship.
  • You will submit an updated cover letter and resume.
  • You will participate in three meetings with the WIP staff and your internship colleagues, all to be held on campus.

Measuring Success

Experience has shown that those interns who generate ideas, show initiative, and seek additional responsibilities will profit more from their internships than students who wait to be told what to do. While a great deal of your work will eventually be substantive writing and editing, you may be asked to perform assignments you regard as routine or boring, especially at first. It is best to cheerfully accept these assignments. Evidence of an intern’s ability to handle routine tasks quickly and accurately is often necessary before the intern is given more assignments.

Previous and Current Internship Sites

Internship sites may change from semester to semester, depending on the site’s needs and the potential intern’s interests and skill sets. Below is a list of some previous and current internship sites:

  • Akron Chamber of Commerce
  • Kent State University Flashcard Services
  • Kent State University Honors College
  • Kent State University Office of Global Education
  • Kent State University Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement
  • Kent State University Women’s Center
  • Kent State University Writing Commons
  • Ohio Literacy Resource Center