Philip and Rita Rosen Department of Communications and Public Affairs

Guidlines for Writing Internship

Apply Now

We’re delighted that you are interested in our writing internship. As an intern, you will help in handling the steady stream of scientific discoveries, medical school news and feature-worthy individuals that merit recognition. You will come away with clips for your portfolio, friends in the department of communications and public affairs, and contacts throughout the College of Medicine with whom you have spoken during your internship.

A few pointers:

Return any paperwork we send you before you start on the project. Einstein prefers that all paperwork be in place before work begins. If you have questions about your contract, ask your assigning editor.

Prepare thoroughly for all interviews. We ask all of our writers to “do their homework” before taking the time of our busy researchers, physicians, administrators and others. Please:

  • Read all you can about the individual on the Einstein web, www.einstein.yu.edu and www.einstein.yu.edu/erp, or in information we may provide you.
  • Look on PubMed, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/citmatch, for the interview subject’s journal publications. Read the abstracts and the entire article.
  • Look up any words you don’t know.
  • Develop a series of up to 10 interview questions germane to the assignment.
  • Run your interview questions by the assigning editor.

In your writing, please avoid:

  • Stiffness and jargon. Our namesake, Albert Einstein, was a humanist as well as a scientist. In our writing we look to blend scientific excellence with warmth, meaning, perspective and collegiality. As you write, imagine you’re talking with a well-educated aunt or uncle. The writing in Einstein’s print publications and Web articles is friendly and may be gently witty. See www.einstein.yu.edu for samples.
  • Common errors. Errors we have seen recently include confusing “hyper” (above, beyond, excessive) with “hypo” (beneath, under, deficient); and saying “selective serotonin receptor inhibitor” (incorrect) for SSRI, rather than “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.” Getting the science right is critical.
  • Misspellings. Commonly misspelled words are ophthalmology, fluorescent, tendinitis, Niemann-Pick… Use spell check before submitting your manuscript. Spell check can’t catch all errors—for example, wheel (for wheal), plural (for pleural), breach (for breech)—but if you have read up on your topic, you’re unlikely to make this kind of error.
  • When in doubt, refer to the Einstein Style Guide (a copy of which you will be provided).
  • Errors in interviewee names. The Einstein website has entries for all faculty and researchers. Use these listings to confirm spellings, degrees and positions/titles (used in order as they appear on the Einstein web).
  • Overplaying Albert Einstein. We mention Albert Einstein (the man) occasionally, but you should avoid it, unless doing so is relevant to the article you’ve been assigned. 

Follow a few basic copy editing rules.

  • Don’t use the serial comma.
    • CORRECT: “body, mind and spirit”
    • INCORRECT: “body, mind, and spirit”
  • Avoid the passive voice whenever possible.
    • NOT OPTIMAL: “The protein’s crystal structure was solved by an Einstein researcher.”
    • BETTER: “An Einstein researcher solved the protein’s crystal structure.”
  • It’s “Albert Einstein College of Medicine” at the first mention, and “Einstein” or “College of Medicine” thereafter. You should never use “AECOM.”

Submit your work in a Word document, not within the body of an e-mail. E-mails often don’t allow the right kind of apostrophes and quotation marks (curly) and may insert strange coding, shading and line breaks.

Deadlines are hard and fast. The flow of material through the department of communications and public affairs is scheduled. Web developers, graphic arts department staffers and our printing house are all affected when materials are late.