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Guidelines for Writing Internship Project Report, IA 500

Internship Project Report (IA 500) is an alternative culminating experience to a thesis


in order to provide an opportunity to students who prefer to undertake a more applied
culminating experience. As such, the nature of the report, its content and the academic
expectations associated with it are very different from those of a regular internship
report (IA 295), which is completed at the end of regular internship. It should be clearly
understood that the department’s expectations regarding the overall methodological rigor,
and the quality of the arguments relied upon in the Internship Project Report are the same
as those in a master thesis. As with the thesis, the Internship Project Report must be
orally defended before a committee comprised of the IA Coordinator and two readers.
The report must be a minimum of 50 pages (excluding references and appendices) and
must include a section devoted to a comprehensive review of the pertinent literature. In
particular, the Analytic and Evaluation sections of the Internship Project Report must be
based on compelling arguments and supported by the evidence gathered during the
internship experience and from the literature search and review. Likewise, the
conclusions recommendations advance must be linked directly to analytical and
evaluative sections of the report.

Below are brief descriptions of key sections of the Internship Project Report

(1) Descriptive Section

This section should describe the nature (duties, hours, daily tasks, project worked on,
project completed, and the duration of the internship.) and purpose, of the internship.
Toward the end of this section, you should introduce the report’s analytical focus
including a clear statement of the specific problem(s) and issue(s) investigated during
the internship.

(2) Literature Review

Review of the pertinent literature is one of the critical elements that distinguishes the
Internship Project Report from a regular internship report. In this section, indentify and
thematically review several books, articles, reports and other documents specifically
related to your internship topic and issues. The discussion here should provide the
broader contextual setting for the analytical section that follows. The selected literature
must include the IR literature relevant to the topic of the internship.

Review of the literature section must be completed and approved by the IA Coordinator
at least 30 days prior to the submission of the final report for defense.
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(3) Analytical Section

This is the main section of the report, and may begin again with a recapitulation of the
central problem/ issues /policy such as: What is the purpose of the organization? How
well their activities are being implemented? How well their goals are accomplished?

In this section, you also must incorporate relevant IR theory (ies) as an analytical and
evaluative guide. You should identify, analyze and evaluate policy options related to both
the internship and a field of study within international affairs. Is the organization
operating in accordance with IR theory? Are they informed by IR theory? Have they
incorporated IR theory into their efforts? If so, how does this influence their
effectiveness? If not, how might the adoption of IR theory might help or hinder
achievement of agency goals?

Typically, the analytic section contains several sub-sections/subheadings.

(4) Evaluation

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the organization? What are the bottlenecks
(e.g., resources, unclear goals/mission, implementation issues, etc.) impeding agency’s
functioning? Do you think there is too much bureaucracy, or inefficiencies? Do you think
the organization should expand or contract? Is the policy environment within which the
agency operates changing? Can the agency adapt to the changing environment? Does the
agency have the capacity for administrative innovation?

(5) Recommendations/Feedback

Organize your recommendations to show that they follow directly from the analytical and
the evaluation sections of the report.

Make sure they are cogently stated and linked to the evidence discussed in the previous
sections.
Enumerate each recommendation. For each recommendation cogently explain what is
being recommended and why.

Caveat: In your recommendations, you need to be mindful of the pros and he cons of
advancing an ideological critique of the organization. Because your analyses relates to
an internship experience rather than writing a thesis, you need to be cautious in
challenging the goals of the organization, especially from an ideological perspective.
However, you may explore how the origination’s ideology impacts its effectiveness to
achieve its goals and mission. Does the organization’s ideology prevent it from exploring
a range of options that might more effectively achieve its goals?

Revised 12-16-08
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(6) Conclusions

-- Summarize internship experience, analyses, evaluation, and recommendations.

-- Discuss how the internship complements your academic learning in the IA program

-- Elaborate the overall insight gained from the internship experience.

Revised 12-16-08