Explore the Minor in Professional Writing
The deadline for SP2022 internships has passed.
The next deadline to apply for either Summer or Fall 2022 internships will be Thursday, Jan. 27 by 11:59 p.m.
The Minor in Professional Writing works with students from all areas of study across the university who are interested in writing in the professional world, academic settings and public arenas of civic life. We help students become reflective and articulate writers who contribute effectively to the ever-changing needs of twenty-first-century workplaces.
The program’s four courses and capstone internship together prepare students to communicate in the work world and give them a competitive edge when they apply for jobs after graduation. To complete the minor, students will:
- gain meaningful, hands-on writing experience in the work world
- enhance their professional writing portfolios
- develop professional references and contacts
- network with Columbus professionals and other students who have a passion for writing
- add valuable credentials to their resumes
The Minor in Professional Writing’s 15 hours of coursework include a variety of writing courses that can be taken across several departments. The first 12 hours are courses you take to prepare for the final capstone internship (English 4189), which gives you a hands-on writing experience at a local business, nonprofit, government agency or other professional organization. Three courses (one of which is English 4150) must be completed before the capstone internship.
- (Step 1) 2367, any department (second-level writing course)
- (Step 2) Group A and Group B electives (You may take 2 from Group A and exempt Group B)
- (Step 3) English 4150: Cultures of Professional Writing
- (Step 4) English 4189: Capstone Internship in Professional Writing - course + internship
Group A electives
At least one elective must come from this group. You may take two from group A and exempt group B.
- ENGLISH 3304: Business and Professional Writing
- ENGLISH 3305: Technical Writing
- ENGLISH 3405: Special Topics in Professional Communication/Technical Editing
- ENGLISH 3467S: Issues and Methods in Tutoring Writing (cross-listed as CSTW 3467S)
- ENGLISH 4567S: Rhetoric and Community Service: A Writing Seminar
Group B electives
You must complete a total of three credit hours in this elective group, which may require taking more than one course. If you have taken one of these classes as a requirement for your major, that course may also count toward the minor.
- AGRCOMM 4130: Publication Design & Production
- AGRCOMM 5135: Agricultural Feature Writing (5 hours)
Agricultural systems management
- AGSYSMT 2305: Professional Development 1 (2 hours)
- AVN 2200: Aviation Communication
- COMM 2210: News Design
- COMM 2221: Media Writing & Editing
- COMM 2321: Writing for Strategic Communication
- COMM 2511: Visual Communication Design
- COMM 3334: Strategic Message Design
- COMM 3404: Media Law & Ethics
- COMM 3629: Language & Social Interaction
- COMM 4202: Magazine Writing
- COMM 4511: User-Centered Communication Design
Construction systems management
- CONSYSM 2305: Professional Development 1
- ENGLISH 2268: Writing of Creative Nonfiction 1
- ENGLISH 2269: Digital Media Composing
- ENGLISH 2276: Arts of Persuasion
- ENGLISH 3271: Structure of the English Language
- ENGLISH 3468: Intermediate Creative Writing: Special Topics in Creative Nonfiction
- ENGLISH 3662: An Introduction to Literary Publishing
- ENGLISH 4568: Writing of Creative Nonfiction 2
- ENGLISH 4569: Digital Media and English Studies
- ENGLISH 4570: Intro to History of English
- ENGLISH 4572: Traditional Grammar & Usage
- ENGLISH 4574: History & Theories of Writing
- THEATRE 5331: Screenwriting
- THEATRE 5961: Playwriting
We work closely with workplace partners to ensure that your internship experience includes mentoring, direction and substantial professionalization of your writing. There are two components to the capstone experience, an internship with a workplace partner and a weekly class.
English 4189 meets 2 hours / week. Here, you learn from peers in other internships and continue to improve your writing skills, hone your professionalism, and learn to tackle new genres.
You work 8 hours per week at your internship, contributing meaningful projects to an organization. What follows is just a partial list of our workplace partners, organized by industry and writing type.
Note: Not all partnerships are available every semester. Students will learn about specific opportunities after they interview for placement during a particular semester.
Work for nonprofits ranges from generating internal business documents to grant writing to public-facing marketing for the organization. Over one-third of our partners are nonprofits dedicated to a cause you can support with your writing skills.
- 2nd and 7 Foundation
- Columbus Museum of Art
- Economic Community and Development Institute
- Heritage Ohio
- Ohio History Connection
- Ohio State Urban Arts Space
- Benefactor Group
- Godman Guild
- Local Matters
- Wexner Center for the Arts
Marketing and public relations
A few of our partners are small marketing and public relations agencies, but even more are marketing and communications departments within larger companies, such as Wexner Medical Center Marketing and Communications and M+A Architects.
- Beauty Boost
- Creative Spot
- Mix Talent
- Ohio Travel Association
- Paul Werth Communications
- Versatile Words
- Xcelerate Media
- Ohio State Office of Advancement, College of Education and Human Ecology
- Ohio State Office of Outreach and Engagement
- Ohio State Office of Student Life
- Ohio State STEAM Factory
- Ohio State Athletics Communication
- Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Communications and Marketing
Law, government and advocacy
Want to learn about legal fields, advocate for individuals through legal channels or contribute to local government? Contribute to the Ohio State Bar Association's media presence via press releases and print and digital articles. Write blog posts to promote the work of the city of Hilliard. You can also contribute to the cause of Disability Rights Ohio, a statewide advocacy organization that promotes the legal rights of individuals with disabilities.
- Adult Advocacy Services
- Advocacy and Protective Services, Inc.
- Disability Rights Ohio
- Ohio Statehouse
- Affinity Consulting
Publishing and media
Want to be a part of radio shows or a final published product? Contribute copy for radio stations or podcasts, or help write and edit pieces to be published in magazines or books. Work in publishing and media often includes doing research, editing and drafting compelling copy.
- Craft: Exploring Creativity
- CityScene Media Group
- Great Lakes Publishing
Scientific research and technical writing
Interested in contributing to research across disciplines or scientific innovation? You will often translate complex scientific text into engaging and compelling materials for print materials and the web.
- Ohio State Center for Automotive Research
- Ohio State College of Medicine
- Ohio State Energy Services and Sustainability
If you have already found a writing internship that meets the pedagogical goals of the program, you should apply and then talk to the Coordinator during the interview process about the possibility of counting your internship for the capstone experience. The Coordinator will review your portfolio, interview you and then talk to your supervisor to determine whether the position works with the Minor in Professional Writing.
Wherever you complete an internship, you will learn about writing in the workplace, the industry of your specific worksite and, above all, about yourself and what you want out of a professional career after graduation. You will also walk away having practiced a wide range of professional writing and having built your portfolio for future applications.
The Minor in Professional Writing seeks writing interns who have completed required prerequisites* and are enrolled in or have completed English 4150 to contribute excellent writing skills to a local Columbus-area organization in a capstone writing internship for eight hours per week.
Successful candidates may contribute any of the following writing types to a workplace, depending on workplace needs:
- Write press releases for media contacts to promote workplace events
- Write pitches for public relations firm
- Develop feature articles to promote in-depth interest in organization
- Organize and implement social media campaigns to promote business
- Follow AP style
- Produce marketing copy that appeals to potential clients, investors or attendees of an event
- Translate technical/specialized information of a research organization for a broad audience
- Creatively tell a story to indirectly sell an experience or product
- Write creative, engaging and easy-to-read-aloud scripts for radio shows
- Edit and proofread copy to ensure error-free prose
- Produce professional internal business correspondence such as emails, memos, slide decks, grant proposals and/or RFPs
Successful candidates may also contribute any of the following writing-related skills:
- Interview individuals associated with the organization to gather compelling information and craft a human-interest story
- Research, consolidate, and/or summarize information for marketing or internal business correspondence purposes
- Work within (or coordinate) a group
- Work on a tight deadline, such as a 24-hour turnaround
- Write concisely
- See a large project from conception through development to final edits
Scholarships and Funding
The Department of English and Minor in Professional Writing solicit applications for need-based grants that will offer funding to support interns in unpaid Minor in Professional Writing capstone internships. The total amount of each award is $1344, equivalent to approximately $12/hour.
The goal of this award is to support an MPW student intern in committing fully to the writing internship instead of overcommitting to the internship alongside paid work as well as a full courseload.
The Dept. of English and the Minor in Prof. Writing may award up to 3 grants Fall of 2021 and up to 4-5 Spring of 2022.
- Minor in Professional Writing students who have been approved for a capstone internship are eligible.
- The internship must be an unpaid experience, and students may not have another source of funding secured for an unpaid internship.
How to Submit
Interested interns should prepare and submit the following materials:
A statement (approximately 500 words) on the your financial situation and the difference receiving this grant will make to the your financial, work, and academic plans for the semester in question. Take the time to spell out how the semester would look, financially, without the grant money, and then describe what difference the grant will make.
Consider the following questions:
- Will receiving this money allow you to quit a part-time job and focus more thoroughly on coursework? Be specific.
- How will you be able to better focus on your internship if the grant lets you scale back in another commitment?
- Will it allow you to consider working more hours (up to 12/week) at the internship, if the company could use the assistance?
- Will receiving this grant make a difference to post-graduation plans and create more opportunities to secure a paid position? If so, how, specifically?
The more specific this statement about your financial reality--including what work you could remove from your plate because of the grant and how that would help your internship experience--the better. Include your name, the semester you want funding, and the place you are interning, if you are already placed.
- Your most up-to-date resume capturing your work history.
- This may be different from your writing-based resume you completed to apply for the capstone internship. Your goal here is to showcase your employment history, since you will be speaking to what you might scale back if you get the grant.
One Writing Sample
- 1 writing sample, 500 words or less (though it may extend up to 800 words), that showcases your skills in producing clear, clean copy, with the appropriate tone and style suited to the audience and context.
- For Fall 2021 Internships: Aug. 1, 2021 by 11:59 p.m.
- For Spring 2021 Internships: November 15, 2021
Awards will be selected by the Writing Program Directors Committee and/or staff in the Dept. of English. Selection criteria will be based on financial need and the usefulness of the grant as reflected in two items:
- FAFSA/Student Financial Aid documentation
- Your personal statement—The specificity of the plan and information you share in your personal statement about the practical difference receiving this grant will make to your ability to succeed in a professional writing capstone internship.
Terms of the Award
The recipient of the award agrees to the following:
- The recipient will sign a contract agreeing to the employment terms proposed in the personal statement, and agreeing that they have obtained no other source of funding for this internship.
- The recipient will take part in entrance and exit interviews at the beginning and end of the internship.
- The recipient will submit a full portfolio of work produced during the internship.
- The recipient will interview with program staff who will produce a feature article on the student’s accomplishments during the internship.
The 2020-2021 application deadline has been extended to Thursday, April 1, 8:59 a.m.
The Chen Ya and Siuha Anita Liu Award for Professional Writing supports a student minoring in professional writing and majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. Go to the Dept. of English Scholarships page for more details on eligibility and how to apply.
Students in the Minor in Professional Writing are eligible to apply for the Career Accelerator Fund from the Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success.
This fund supports unpaid or minimally paid internships, on a need basis. The application is more in-depth than the Dept. of English funding application, but the funding amount is higher (up to $5,000).
You will need a letter of support from your internship supervisor or Dr. Lindsay Martin to prove your placement in your internship, so plan ahead.
Deadline for Spring 2022 internships: Nov. 30, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits?
By completing a professional writing internship, you will:
- gain hands-on experience in a central-Ohio workplace
- improve the writing skills you’ll need in twenty-first century workplaces
- enhance your resume credentials and earn a professional reference
- build your portfolio of writing samples
- develop a network of business contacts who may be helpful after graduation
What will I do as an intern?
- work onsite at a local business or organization for seven to eight hours per week throughout one 14-week semester. For potential internship sites, see our list of workplace partners
- enroll in and attend the English 4189: Capstone Internship class once per week for two hours and complete class assignments
- to see what kinds of writing students have done at past internships, visit the What Students Write page
Will I have guidance during the internship?
Yes. In the professional writing capstone course, English 4189, you will read and discuss articles about workplace writing, share on-the-job experiences, ask questions about job assignments and issues and receive guidance from the minor’s program coordinator, your instructor and your peers. You can also review our tips for a good internship.
How will I be graded in English 4189?
You and your site supervisor will create a learning contract. Based on the contract, your supervisor will evaluate your work on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Your instructor in English 4189 will review the work you do in class as well as the site supervisor's evaluation before assigning a final grade of S or U.
Is the internship mainly for English majors?
No. This program is designed for undergraduate students from all areas of study at Ohio State who are interested in writing in the public arenas of civic life, in the academy and in the professional world. The program coordinator will work with you to find an internship related to your interests and/or prospective career field. What’s more, coursework for the minor is interdisciplinary, meaning it consists of writing-instructional courses from a wide variety of academic disciplines across the university.
Will I get paid for my work as an intern?
Most of the internships are unpaid. You will, however, receive three hours of academic credit for a successful internship.
Will I have to give up summer employment to complete the internship?
Probably not. You will undertake your internship during a semester in which you are enrolled in school, so you may intern during spring, summer or autumn.
What are the requirements for acceptance into the internship?
Eligibility requirements are listed under "Apply for the internship."
How will my application be evaluated?
We will be looking for:
- a thorough understanding of context, audience, purpose and genre. These should be apparent in all documents but especially in the different writing samples.
- clear, coherent prose with grammar, tone and word choice that are suited to professional workplace environments.
- an ability to edit your own work and pay close attention to detail in order to construct error-free writing.
- Read the job posting above for details on what exemplary cover letters, resumes, and samples will demonstrate.
What is the application deadline?
The application deadline varies each semester, but it is typically in the second or third week of classes each semester prior to the semester in which the internship will take place. For example, applications for spring 2020 must be submitted by September 9, 2019 in of autumn semester. Deadlines will be set before the prior semester ends, and you can check the webpage for specific dates at that point.
Where can I find more information?
If you have not already done so, please have a thorough look around this website. For questions not answered here, stop by the Department of English's front desk in 421 Denney Hall or call the reception staff at 614-292-6065 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.
What if I want more help with my portfolio, cover letter, and/or resume?
Come to the Portfolio Prep Workshop, held by the Minor in Professional Writing staff each semester, in the week before the deadline! We will go over features of successful cover letters, resumes, and the best portfolio pieces to choose. We'll also have the opportunity to look over your cover letters if you bring them and answer individual questions. Free advice *and* free munchies!