Abstract An analysis is carried out to study the flow and heat transfer characteristics in a second grade fluid over a stretching sheet with prescribed surface temperature including the effects of frictional heating, internal heat generation or absorption, and work due to deformation. In order to solve the fourth-order non-linear differential equation, associated with the flow problem, a fourth boundary condition is augmented and a proper sign for the normal stress modulus is used. It is observed that for a physical flow problem the solution is unique. The solutions for the temperature and the heat transfer characteristics are obtained numerically and presented by a table and graphs. Furthermore, it is shown that the heat flow is always from the stretching sheet to the fluid.