1. Am I required to take an internship for my writing major or minor?

No, all internships are elective.

2. Do I have to take an internship for academic credit?

Our department only sponsors internships for credit. However, if you can locate an internship that does not require credit (as in your home town), feel free to undertake it on your own.

3. What are the prerequisites for a credit-bearing academic internship?

Junior standing or above, and two Writing courses past the 100 level are required, as the internship is a 400-level course. (If you’re an English or Journalism major, we substitute one of your major courses.) We also now have a 200-level internship available to qualified sophomores.

4. Do I have to be a writing major or minor to take a writing internship?

Generally, yes. In some few cases, other students may enroll if they have extensive Writing course credits.

5. Are paid internships available in the Ithaca area?

For the most part, no. But we do have one paid internship in technical writing.

6. Are paid internships available elsewhere? 

Yes, in major cities, there are some — but they are highly competitive. If you have one, you may be paid and receive academic credit at the same time.

7. How many credit-bearing internships may I have before graduating?

You can enroll in as many as you like, up to a maximum of 12 credits before graduating. Writing internships range from 1 to 6 credits at one time; half-credits are available starting at 1.5 credits. Internships are taken in fall, spring, winter, or summer.

Note that for writing majors, only 6 internship credits count toward the major; any internship credits beyond that count as elective credit toward graduation. Some students complete one internship; others as many as four or five.

8. How much work is expected?

Each credit requires 45 hours of work minimum. During a 14-week semester, a 1-credit internship averages 3-4 hours a week; a 2-credit internship averages 6-7 hours a week; and a 3-credit internship averages 9-10 hours a week. And a 1.5-credit internship, for example, averages about 5 hours a week.

9. Where is the internship work done?

At some sites, most of the work may be conducted in the office. At others, all or most of the work is done remotely. Most sites involve both, with remote work focusing on researching, interviewing, and writing.

10. How is my work evaluated?

At semester's end, your site supervisor writes a letter of evaluation, which counts as 50% of your final grade. The other 50% is determined by your faculty supervisor (the internship director), based on your weekly logs of your experience and your final evaluative report.

11. Can I register for a credit-bearing internship online?

No. Registration is only through a written H&S proposal, no later than one week into the selected semester. Once you’ve been accepted at a site, our internship director will work with you to help you complete your brief proposal and become registered.

10. How should I apply for a credit-bearing internship?

Look over the list of internships on Writing’s web site. Attend our September workshops on How to Get an Internship and Résumé Writing. Then email the writing internship director with a statement of your interest, including your year, preparation, and sites and semester you’re interested in. Attach a résumé if you have one.

Most students begin applying and interviewing in the last half of the semester before interning (e.g., October and March for the following semester). Once you have applied, interviewed at the site, and been accepted, you should complete the H&S proposal paperwork soon after, which will register you for the internship course.

11. How do I locate an internship?

If you are seeking an internship not for academic credit, you can work with the Center for Career Exploration and Development. For a credit-bearing internship, contact the Writing internship director as soon as possible. You’ll work with the director on locating and choosing sites, developing your résumé and cover letter, and planning for and sequencing possible future internships. The director also has extensive contacts and resources to help you succeed in your application.

12. How do I prepare for an internship?

Consider taking courses like Argument, Grammars & Usages, Careers for Writers, Writing for the Workplace, Creative Nonfiction, Technical Writing, Public Essay, Writing for Popular Media, Science Writing, Writing for the Professions, and Proposals & Grants. Your courses in related disciplines also help –– such as English courses for students interested in publishing.

And campus activities and involvement in related areas are important to site supervisors who hire interns. Several technical skills are usually required, so it’s good to learn Excel, Photoshop, InDesign, and basic social media.

See IC’s free access to self-paced instruction in these skills.

13. Will I have to do “menial tasks” at the internship site?

Surprisingly few. Many interns are expected to do some database entry and photocopying. However, our local internships offer excellent experience, and nearly all interns find they both write and publish in some capacity.

For more information about local and national sites, contact Professor Jaime Warburton, Director, Internship Program in Writing & Publishing

(607) 274-3543 • jwarburton@ithaca.edu