Black and yellow title graphic reading "presenting our 4th annual why is sociology important? student essay competition" for Applied Worldwide Student Essay Competition

Applied Worldwide is proud to present our 4th annual “Why is Sociology Important?” student essay competition! We welcome undergraduate students from across the globe to submit their creative essays for a chance to win a cash prize and have their work published on

This year, our student essay competition is especially near and dear to our hearts as we watch states in our home country attack the integrity of our discipline. In January of 2024, the state of Florida essentially made the decision to remove sociology as a general education course at public universities in the state. We won’t go into all the devastating consequences of that decision for sociology professors, graduate students, and undergraduates in Florida, but devastating is the only word we can use to describe the decision. With that said, in the current political climate both here in the US and globally, we feel the continued mission of this essay competition could not be more timely. We hope this attack on sociology will only further motivate participation in this opportunity for both students and potential sponsors of the competition!

Thank you to our sponsors for this year’s competition!

You can learn more about each of these wonderful organizations by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

Continue reading below for full details on eligibility, guidelines, and requirements!

The Who, What, Where, When, and Why


Applied Worldwide is a digital content production and consulting company based in the United States with a mission to enhance a vision of applied sociology. Co-founders Dr. Stephanie Wilson and Luke Hanna launched in 2019 and have since grown a digital library of nearly 400 original publications from sociological professionals and students across the globe.


We are proud to host our 3rd annual global student essay competition that challenges students to explore the importance of sociological application. Winners of the competition receive cash prizes ranging from $20-100 USD and have the opportunity to publish their essays on


This essay competition is open to students across the globe who are passionate about the importance of sociology, wherever they might live!


Essay submissions are due June 1st and should be submitted using the submission portal linked at the bottom this page.


We continue to host this essay competition year after year for three main reasons:

  1. First, it is currently the only sociology essay competition that allows students to explore creative writing in sociology, as opposed to the traditional research paper.
  2. Second, we consistently receive essays that add invaluable insight to our international digital publication, and we are always excited to share those with our networks.
  3. Lastly, sociology and those who study it deserve to be celebrated, and this essay competition celebrates all that is important about the discipline!

Essay Competition Prompt, Guidelines, Requirements, & Eligibility

Below, you will find the prompt, guidelines, requirements, and eligibility for our “Why is Sociology Important?” student essay competition. If you have further questions about the competition or your eligibility to participate, please direct your questions to us at

Essay Prompt

The overall goal of this essay competition is to demonstrate the importance of sociology from a variety of viewpoints. Submissions should answer the general question, “Why is Sociology Important?” but can do so using a variety of angles.

We want to know why sociology is important to you!

At Applied Worldwide, we know that sociology is important and we are looking to publish a series of essays that demonstrate the importance of sociology to everyday life.

As a student, we know that you are regularly considering the importance of sociology and we are looking for essay submissions that highlight your insights.

Applied Worldwide is looking for original essays that address questions such as:

  • What value does sociology bring to the world around you and why?
  • How do you see sociology bringing value to your immediate communities?
  • In what professional sectors does sociology have an opportunity to make a valuable difference and why?
  • How might sociological theories and research methods help drive positive change in the world around you?

Submissions do not have to answer each of these questions, or really any of them, but in presenting them we hope to get the creative juices flowing as you prepare to write your essay on why sociology is important.

Essay Guidelines & Requirements

All essay submissions should meet the following guidelines and requirements:

  • Essays should be 1200-2000 words in length, not including references
  • All sources must be properly cited using an academic citation style or by hyperlinking them in text
  • Essays must be original work that has not been previously published elsewhere
  • All submissions should follow the prompt presented on this page (remember, creativity is encouraged!)
  • The use of generative AI is not welcome in this essay competition. Any sign that an essay was written either fully or partly using AI will disqualify that writer from the competition.

Essay Competition Eligibility

Please review the information below to ensure you are eligible to participate in this essay competition. Eligible students should meet the following criteria:

  • Have yet to earn their bachelor’s degree
  • Are currently studying or taking classes at the college level
  • Have taken at least one sociology class and have a basic understanding of the discipline of sociology

Submitting your Essay

Please use the submission form button below to access our secure submission system.

Meet our 2024 Essay Competition Sponsors!

Logo for Sociologists for Women in Society showing SWS in blue, green, and purple.

Sociologists for Women in Society is a nonprofit professional feminist organization dedicated to:

  1. Transforming the academy and professional organizations, including our own, by actively supporting feminist leadership and advancing career development of feminist scholars.
  2. Recognizing that structural inequalities impact those marginalized by their identities and that this requires proactively promoting the creation of inclusive institutional spaces in an ongoing manner and by practicing critical reflexivity.
  3. Advocating and encouraging the development of sociological feminist theory rooted in intersectionality and cutting-edge research for publication and dissemination.
  4. Promoting social justice research within local, national, and international activist spaces by supporting scholar-activist communities seeking to dismantle intersecting systems of oppression.
Logo for the Center for Equity Education featuring a star-shaped design in blue, purple, and organge.

The Center for Equity Education (CFEE), established in 2020 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, addresses a gap in expert-led education for organizations, especially those with limited resources. At CFEE, our mission revolves around empowering organizations with comprehensive knowledge on federal and state civil rights, specializing in harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment.

Logo for Hartman Castle Preservation Corp.

Hartman Castle Preservation Corporation, a 501c3 non-profit, is a A community grassroots movement formed to purchase and preserve the Hartman Castle in Gunnison, CO

American Sociology Association Section logo

The purpose of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology is to advance sociologically-informed research and practice, to further public discussion of sociological issues, and to promote the use of sociology to inform public policy.

Logo for Island Acres Resort Motel

Island Acres Resort Motel is a restored authentic 1950s lodging property in the style of the tourist court motel. Embracing the appeal of a bygone era, where history blends with hospitality.

Alpha Kappa Delta Logo

Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honor Society, seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship in the study of social problems, sociology, and intellectual activities that lead to the improvement in the human condition.

Logo for Pacific Sociological Association

The Pacific Sociological Association is committed to serving sociologists, faculty, applied professionals, and students. We strive to create a professional community that reflects the diversity of our region and enhances the diversity of our discipline. We are committed to inclusivity and equity in our organization, to promoting social justice by examining and challenging the structural and institutional barriers in our discipline, and to building pathways for the next generation of sociologists.

Logo for Association for Applied & Clinical Sociology

The Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) promotes applying social scientific knowledge and methods to develop constructive solutions. We provide educational, programmatic, mentoring, networking, and policy resources in a supportive professional community.