Internship Paper Guidelines & Procedures

  1. The student must be within two semesters of completing the program. The student and chair collaborate on potential internship sites, and contact the agency.
  2. He/she should develop a list of objectives for the internship, which are submitted to the chair of the committee.  The student should discuss and develop these objectives consulting the supervisor at the internship site.  See the information under Chapter 1 below in developing the objectives.
  3. The student should develop a 1-2 page memo addressed to the Graduate Dean that clearly indicates  the name of the student, degree sought, the date of submission, and the internship objectives.  The objectives should be well-written.  A concluding paragraph should indicate the committee chair and the second committee member from the department (selected by the student and the committee chair).  This memo should be submitted to the committee chair for approval before submission to the Graduate Dean.  The memo, including the objectives and the name of the second committee member, are sent to the Graduate Dean for appointment of the third committee member.
  4. During the semester of the internship the student enrolls in CJ 699. The internship is 240 hours. The student writes an internship paper consisting of the following chapters: (1) introduction; (2) literature review; (3) description of the internship; (4) discussion and conclusions; and the bibliography. Appendices are optional, but may be required by the committee. Prior to enrolling and participating in the internship, the student must have the permission of the committee chair. The chair may require that chapters 1 and 2 have been written and approved before enrolling. If the paper involves research with human subjects, a proposal must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The cover sheet and format for this proposal can be obtained from the Graduate Coordinator.
  5. At the completion of the internship, the student writes the paper. The internship supervisor at the site is asked to complete a form, which is sent to the graduate office verifying that the 240 hours has been completed.
  6. When writing the paper, certain errors should be avoided. The student should consult with the committee chair frequently. As each chapter is written, it should be given to the committee chair. The chair can then be reading that chapter while the student is writing the next chapter. Do not write the entire paper and then give it to the chair. You should expect that the paper will be revised a number of times. In planning for your degree, allow a minimum of two to three months for writing and revision of the paper. Do not expect to write it and have it approved in two weeks; it never happens. Be sure that any portion of the paper given to any committee members include page numbers.  The faculty may return unread any materials submitted without page numbers.
  7. During the semester the student anticipates completing the paper, he/she should enroll for GR 699 Oral Exam.
  8. The paper should be in its final form and acceptable to the committee chairperson at least two weeks prior to the date of the oral examination. The entire committee needs a minimum of ten working days to review the paper prior to the oral exam.
  9. At the conclusion of the oral exam, the student is responsible for obtaining the committee members’ signatures on the acceptance sheet. The acceptance sheet must be received in the Graduate Office by the deadline stated in the schedule of classes for that semester.

Content of the Internship Paper

Chapter 1

This chapter should describe the objectives of the internship and their rationale. The background of the agency of the internship site should also be discussed, and how the objectives of the internship fit with the needs of the agency.

The objectives of the internship are important, and should take some thought. Some of the ideas tried in the past include:

  1. The development of a jail training program for jail personnel.
  2. A study to determine whether parolees use prison vocational training after release from prison.
  3. A comparison of the organization and management of a state agency with a branch of the military.
  4. An evaluation of an alcohol awareness program in a probation agency.
  5. The implementation and evaluation of a program in a halfway house.
  6. The functioning, communication patterns, and moral level in a mental health center as related to a particular intervention strategy.

Most of the successful internships have had a specific goal in mind, such as an evaluation, or a comparison, or a study. Internships with vague goals (i.e., "observe the functioning of an agency") are more difficult to write.

Chapter 1 should thus discuss the objectives, how or why they were selected, a background of the internship site, and how this internship will help the agency and the student. This chapter should be at least 10-15 pages.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is a literature review, a summary of the relevant theory and research related to the research question. It should be a scholarly review of the literature, and should meet certain requirements.

  1. Most of the citations should be recent (i.e., probably in the last five to seven years). Earlier studies should only be cited if they appear to be classic, landmark studies. When conducting the literature search, start with recent sources and work back.
  2. To review literature, computerized databases such as ProQuest, JSTOR, WestlawNext, and others available through the Kent Library website. Remember that you may have to try a variety of key words to access works that are relevant. Committee members will be most skeptical if they are told that there is not research on the topic. If the journal or book is not in our library, and you think it is important, you can obtain a copy for a small fee through interlibrary loan, which usually takes about two weeks.
  3. Literature reviews should cite works from journals, books, or government documents. They should not extensively cite work from agency manuals, popular magazines, or newspapers.
  4. A quick way to locate sources is to obtain a recent textbook on the topic, which will often summarize the research and provide references in the footnotes. Of course, this will not provide the most recent information, as there is publication lag. Recent journal articles will often have a summary of research in the introduction section.
  5. Students frequently want to know how many sources they should have. A thorough review of literature could easily have fifty or more. For purposes of the internship paper, a minimum of twenty-five is expected. Ordinarily, most of these sources would be scholarly journal articles.
  6. When reviewing the literature, organize the articles under subheadings (i.e., if one were reviewing alternatives to juvenile institutionalization, one might have subheadings under "history of institution" "problems of institutions" "de-institutionalization" and diversion movements" "alternatives" "evaluation of alternatives").

Be sure to summarize the review. It is desirable to include a discussion section at the end of the literature review, in which the implications of the previous studies are described, and the direction you will be taking in the third chapter is indicated. This chapter should be a minimum of 15-20 pages. The review should be relevant to the internship.

APA style should be used, such as:  Smith (1999) stated that...

Several studies have found that halfway houses are less expensive than traditional incarceration (Smith & Jones, 1997; Black, 1995; Jones, Smith & Dexter, 1998).

Chapter 3

This chapter is a description of the internship. It can be relatively brief. Do not include such matters as when you went to lunch. The committee will assume that you ate, slept, etc., during those three weeks. You do not need to log activities by the hour, but rather by the day. There should be an indication of the amount and time spent at each activity, the sequence of each activity, and the nature of the activities themselves. It should include descriptions of relevant events and reactions to those events. If results from a study were obtained, they should be included in this chapter.

Chapter 4

This chapter involves discussion and conclusions. It should generally be seen as the most difficult chapter to write. This chapter should discuss how the objectives were met. If results were obtained, they should be described and analyzed. What do they mean? The chapter should discuss what was observed in the internship, and what the writer concluded from those observations. If a comparison of two agencies was to be made, they should be compared and contrasted (i.e., how they are alike and different).

It should also tie observations or results and conclusions to what was found in the literature review in chapter 2. Were the observations and conclusions similar to those in the literature? Were they different, and if so, how? How is the agency typical and/or different from other similar agencies described in the literature?

The following questions should also be addressed:

  • What did you learn from the internship?
  • What implications does this have—for the agency, the field, etc.?
  • What overall conclusions and recommendations would you make for the agency, in light of your observations?

Finally, there should be an overall summarization. The chapter should be a minimum of 12-15 pages.


The bibliography should follow APA style. All sources cited in the text must appear in the bibliography. All references in the bibliography should be cited in the text.



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