Professional and Technical Writing students are encouraged to supplement their coursework with writing experience in workplace settings.

Workplace internship opportunities are available each semester. If you are accepted for an internship, you can earn three hours of credit toward your major, minor, or master’s degree by registering for RHET 4191/4291 (for undergrads) or RHET 7360 (for grads). Some internships also pay students an hourly wage or a stipend upon completion of the semester. For more information contact Dr. Joyce Carter ( For more information on credit-bearing internships and unpaid internships in the University Writing Center, contact Dr. Earnest Cox at


In exchange for the workplace experience you offer them, students in Professional and Technical Writing can help your organization with a wide range of writing tasks.

Through their coursework in our department, our students learn to:

  • conduct effective research through print sources, online sources, interviews, and surveys
  • analyze the needs and interests of readers
  • write well-organized, reader-friendly sentences and paragraphs
  • design documents that make it easy for readers to find and understand information

In recent years, our interns have written material for newsletters, magazine articles, and radio scripts; they have developed training manuals, business correspondence, brochures, and website content; they have served as editors, grant writers, and website designers. Students contribute an average of 8-10 hours of work per week to their sponsoring organizations – approximately 140 hours over the course of a typical semester.

Setting up a successful internship requires a close partnership between our department and your organization. Below you will find answers to questions that employers commonly ask:

  • When (and how) should we submit a request for an intern?
    • Students register for their classes 8 weeks before the semester begins. Although we can place them into an internship as late as the first week of classes, it’s much better for you and your intern to work this out 2 months before. Mid-June is appropriate for the fall semester, mid-October for the spring semester, and mid-March for the summer.
  • How do we locate and interview qualified applicants?
    • Send a description of your workplace, tasks anticipated, and the names of internship supervisors to the department, and we’ll circulate your information to our students.
  • What materials are we expected to provide for students?
    • Anything they need to do their job is up to you to provide.
  • What can we expect from students on the job?
    • Students are encouraged to take internships that allow them to do the work for which they’ve trained, as well as stretch their wings in the workplace. Generally speaking, our students are excellent at writing, research, research design, interviews, document/information design, and usability research.
  • What support will the Department of Rhetoric and Writing provide?
    • We will talk with you about our expectations, and will meet with your internship supervisor periodically (monthly, or shorter if needed) during the term of the internship.
  • How will interns be evaluated?
    • You will be encouraged to evaluate your interns according to how well they’ve worked for you. On our end, we will ask interns to reflect on their workplace experience through a lens of rhetoric and technical communication and identify ways the workplace experience was similar or different from what we taught in our classrooms. We combine these two types of feedback for the student.

If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact Dr. Joyce Carter, Chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, at or call 501-916-6453.