GUIDELINES FOR THE ACADEMIC PROJECT
In order to complete the internship experience, it is necessary to make connections between the work done in the field and the lessons learned in the classroom. The mechanism for achieving that goal is the academic project. The project is most commonly a small reflection paper, although alternatives, such as a scrapbook, video, or other options are encouraged. The project is negotiated between student and the Internship Coordinator. If a paper is chosen, then the length of the paper depends on the number of hours of academic credit. For example, for a three hour internship, a 3 to 5 page paper is required. Smaller papers are required for 1 or 2 hours of credit, and a longer paper would be required for an internship of over 3 hours.
This project is not simply a reflection paper on ones internship experience. Rather, it is an attempt to make connections between the realities as observed by the student during their internship and the lessons learned in their traditional courses. As such, some documentation of these lessons from your academic courses is essential. This means, in short, that some research and documentation of your sources are needed. In case of a paper, it is required that references to a book (a text from one of your major classes) or from scholarly journal articles (no Time, Newsweek, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, or similar news or practitioner oriented journals) be made. Full bibliographic citation is required. I prefer American Political Science Association style.
Your task is to read and understand the academic references and compare what you experienced during your internship with the theoretical predictions made in the scholarly literature. This means you have to think a bit. I will be willing to provide guidance on the project during the course of the semester, and will gladly suggest references for you, or at least point you in the right direction.
The final project will be due at noon on the last day of exams. If a paper is chosen, it can be turned in as a Microsoft word file, as an attachment to an e-mail.
The project must be decently crafted, i.e., such that a grade of "C" or better would be merited. Papers full of typographical errors, mistakes of grammar and usage, and misspelled words will not receive a passing grade. I will gladly review rough drafts of projects provided that they are turned in to me at least two weeks before the due date. If rough drafts are of sufficient quality, then no further work will be required. If not, revisions will be required. Those who choose not to avail themselves of the opportunity to get feedback on a rough draft will pass or fail based on the quality of the project as turned in. No pass or incomplete will be given, regardless of the quality of the work done at the work site, if the project is not of sufficient quality to earn a passing grade.