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TitleInternship Report Writing Format
Tags Psychology & Cognitive Science Evaluation Question Internship
File Size103.1 KB
Total Pages6
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Page 2

Guidelines for Writing an Internship Report1

To fulfil the academic requirements of the internship, interns are required to submit an
internship report following the specifications outlined in this guide (course instructor can
come out with own guide or modify this guide). Most work place communication is
written. To grab attention it must concisely articulate a clear, interesting message. An
involving topic, an organized text, and a readable style increase the likelihood of interns’
work being noticed and taken seriously. Often, written work such as reports, assessments
and memos are the first and only impression upper management receives of the interns.
Interns’ writing become his/her sole representative and reflects the quality, accuracy and
professionalism of interns’ daily work activities.

An Internship Report must include an outline of the business of the company for which
interns worked, summarize the work they did, and discuss the specific relevant aspects of
their work. The report must demonstrate their ability to communicate what they have
done in their internship, it must demonstrate their ability to relate their work to the bigger
picture, and it must demonstrate their ability for critical thinking. Interns have to
demonstrate that their internship had a major component (at least 50%) related, or that
they are able to relate their work to their major.

The Required Components and Purpose of an Internship Report
Internship report has to contain three subject areas:
1. Outline of the background and specific business of the company and/or department in
which interns performed their internship;
2. Outline of the work that interns have performed in the company;
3. A discussion of a specific issue related to their internship.
4. The first two components can be brief, and they can be included in the introduction of
the report. The major focus of the report should be on the third component, the critical
discussion and analysis of a specific internship-related topic. This component is referred
to as analytical component.

The analytical component should relate academic knowledge to practical
experience. Its purpose is to help interns develop written and analytical skills; interns will
not only gather information but interpret, organize and present it clearly and
understandably. It is common that the analytic component of the internship is perceived
as a major challenge of the internship. However, note that it is well acknowledged that
many aspects of interns’ daily work can be praxis oriented rather than academically
oriented. It is thus clear that interns’ work might include administrative duties as well as
mundane tasks required by interns’ employer. It is, of course, important that interns
follow the direction of their employers. However, to pass the academic requirements of
the internship interns must go, if necessary, beyond the following of instructions and
demonstrate their ability in critical thinking and the major field. Thus, the internship

1 There are many ways of writing Internship Report. Internet sources are easily accessible. This proposed
guideline is adapted from Able Smith, “Guidelines for Writing an Internship Report”, Dalhousie University
Master of Electronic Commerce Program, January 15, 2004. [Accessed 2 December 2008]


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report allows interns to examine aspects of a project or the organization beyond the work
performed by the company. Ideally, the report will be of practical benefit to their
employers and demonstrates initiatives beyond their instructed work.

Developing Report

Research and Planning Phase
Starting early is the key to producing a top-notch, professional report. Last-minute efforts
are reflected in a lack of research and poor quality of writing and usually result in an
``unsatisfactory'' grade. While interns cannot write their report the first month on the job,
they can begin gathering information and outlining their ideas. Once they have chosen a
topic, keep a notebook to record their activities related to the report's research – methods,
observations, meetings attended.

Preparation is an on-going process. Planning is essential – a well-laid out, logical
report reflects similar thinking. Interns decide what they want to say and to whom and
keep that in mind as they organize their thoughts. Gather together all the information they
have collected and divide it into categories. Interns may want to put each section heading
on separate pieces of paper and rearrange them until they have found a satisfactory order.
Some of what they have gathered will be useful as background information in the
introduction, some as support material in the appendices and some will be discarded. The
information they finally decide to use becomes the basis of their outline – an essential
organizing tool in report writing. Remember that the outline can be modified in the
planning stages but, once they start writing, stick closely to it so they do not stray off the
topic. By the time they complete their report, the outline will have naturally evolved into
their Table of Contents.

Subject Choice
Choosing a subject is a crucial aspect of interns’ success of their internship report. It is
sufficient to concentrate on one specific aspect or problem related to their internship, and
it is not required that they report in depth on all the projects that they might have
encountered during their internship. However, the chosen subject has to be discussed with
enough depth, if necessary with efforts beyond their daily work, so that their treatment of
the subject demonstrates a specialist-level ability in their major field. Managers may help
in the selection of a topic. This is to their advantage since their early contribution can
lead to a report that will be of direct use to them. Their `fresh’ objective view of a
problem or situation can benefit the organization. Their internship report must have an
analytical component. Even if they have not been assigned a specific project during their
internship, their report must still contain an analytical component. The topic does not
have to be original, but the report must be their own work and it must be related to their

Writing Phase
Once interns have gathered their information and planned an outline they can begin
writing. Interns should not worry about fancy beginnings or profound ideas – just write!
As interns work, they should keep their audience in mind. Interns’ language must be the


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The Table of Contents lists all sections and sub-sections and uses the same numbering
system as the main body of the report. The preliminaries are not listed. Remember – ease
of use is paramount.

Main Text
The main text has to include
1. Introduction
2. Body
3. Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations

The Introduction defines the subject of the report so that the reader is prepared
for the text that follows. Here interns can outline the company and/or department for
which they worked, and they can summarize the work they performed at the company.
Setting the background is important because the faculty member evaluating the report
may not be familiar with the detailed operations of their employer. Of course, there is no
need to give a highly detailed account. The information on the site layout and number of
employees would only be given if it relates to later parts of the report. The second part of
the background should outline the history or objectives leading up to the project or study
detailed in the report. The purpose of this part is to argue why the specific project or the
study outlined in the report is of interest. From this second part of the background, the
reader can now anticipate the objectives of the study.

The objective or goal of the study outlined in the report should be crisply stated
and conceptually separated from the background and the method used. An introduction
answers the question, ``Why was the specific work or study done?''. Keep the
introduction brief, but remember to outline the background and scope of the report and
give a clear statement of objectives of the study. Ask a question that will try to answer
in this study. After reading the introduction, the reader should be prepared for the report
that follows, and remember that a reader will be looking for sections dealing with the
issues addressed in the introduction.

The Body is the longest part of the report. It is here that interns develop their
theme by examining the problem, their findings and their meaning. This body of the
report should be formatted appropriately with sections and headings to guide the reader
through the report. Although every report will have different section headings, there are
certain themes which run through all reports – a description of the methods used to
acquire data, a summary of the data obtained and finally a discussion of the interpretation
of the data. In this context the word ``data" can have such different meanings as actual
scientific measurements, textbook information, manufacturer's literature, plant logbooks,
financial statements, opinions of experts or employees and so on.

Conclusions and recommendations are often confused but they are not the same
thing. Conclusions are derived from research outlined in the main body and do not
introduce new material. They may be presented in a sequence of two or three sentence
paragraphs. The conclusions should specifically answer the questions raised in the


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