With the exception of the travel study examples, this page focuses on giving guidance to those who are doing independent Externships. If you are doing your Externship in a class, you will receive guidance from your instructor.
Annotated Sample Externship Paper:
“Adventures in Home Brewing” (original PDF version, annotated version) by Brian Holmsten – as the title implies, this Externship Journal describes Brian’s first effort as a home brewer. In brewing his beer, Brian comes to appreciate the power of learning by doing.
Examples of Travel Study Externships:
Michael L. Holcomb and Dennis Powell share their externship journals from Professor Patricia Monaghan's Fall 2009 travel study course, "Ireland: Land, History, People, Art."
Additional Externship Projects:
"Playing Beach Volleyball" by an anonymous student won an Excellence Award in 2011. In this externship journal, the student reflects upon she challenges herself to not be limited by her anxiety disorder and to push beyond her preferred mode of learning by participating in a beach volleyball team.
"Progress & Privilege: Blackness, Femininity, and the Evolution of the Talented Tenth" by Joy Boggs. In this Externship, Joy chronicles her journey through a GRE test preparation class. This Externship won an Excellence Award in 2009.
Externship Writing Tasks:
Students submitting Externships have up to four writing tasks:
Externship Worksheet -- This is a brainstorming tool to help you think about and develop your ideas for an externship before sharing those ideas with your academic committee for feedback.
Externship Proposal and Contract – You use this form to formally propose your externship to your committee. You can also use it to brainstorm ideas and get feedback from your committee as you start to focus in on your project.
Learning Journal – Throughout your process of thinking about and completing your Externship, you should be keeping a journal in which you record not only what you are doing, but also your thoughts and insights. Note that in the annotated example above, Brian combines his journal with his reflective essay.
Reflective Essay – This essay gives you a chance to step back at the end of the Externship to reflect upon and synthesize what you have learned. In some cases, like Brian’s, students combine the journal and essay in one document.
For more about Externships, see the Externship toolkit as well as Chapter 3 in the Foundation’s book.
SNL Faculty on Externship Journals
The best journals reflected an understanding of the assignment and conscientious effort. The weaker papers suffered from superficial reflection, poor analysis and synthesis of ideas, poor organization, and improper citations. Instructors recommended that students begin with a hypothesis or mission statement and revisit it throughout the externship. Thoughtful reflection on one's personal experience and the ability to connect that experience to larger questions are crucial to success with this sort of assignment.
-- from SNL Faculty Workshop, 1/11/06