Undergraduate Student Paper Competition

Eligibility & Submission Guidelines | Rubric | Paper Competition Flyer


Each year Alpha Kappa Delta sponsors an undergraduate student paper competition. Winners are eligible to win cash prizes and travel money to attend the American Sociological Association annual conference. First place winners are eligible to have their papers published in Sociological Inquiry should they choose to submit them.


First Place Winner: $500 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to the 2020 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. First place winners have the chance to be published in the Sociological Inquiry journal if authors choose to submit them. If submitted for publication, members of the Editorial Board of Sociological Inquiry will assist with editing. If published in the journal, the paper will list the institution the author attended when the paper was written.
Second Place Winner: $250 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to the 2020 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Third Place Winner: $100 and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to the 2020 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Authors of all prizewinning papers will receive one-year extensions of their subscriptions to Sociological Inquiry.


Winners are encouraged to attend the 2020 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association with travel support from Alpha Kappa Delta. In order to receive the travel support portion of the award, paper winners must attend the Distinguished Lecture.


The American Sociological Association (ASA) has reserved slots in the 2020 ASA Honors Program for first, second, and third place winners of the undergraduate student paper competition. Winners are encouraged to participate in the complete schedule of the Honors Program activities. All paper contest winners are strongly encouraged to participate in the Honors Program — it is a great opportunity for travel, scholarship, professional development, and networking.


March 1, 2020


  • The author must be a current member of Alpha Kappa Delta
  • The paper must have been written while the author was enrolled as an undergraduate student during at least one term of the 2019 calendar year (January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019)
  • Students do not have to be involved with chapter activities
  • Papers must be single authored
  • No student may author more than one paper entered in the competition
  • The paper cannot have been previously published or be currently under consideration by a professional journal
  • All submissions must be received by the deadline via email


  • Must meet eligibility requirements (see ‘eligibility’ above)
  • A cover letter from a sociology member who is an active member of AKD and serving as the Chapter Representative. This person must affirm:
    • Fulfillment of the eligibility requirements
    • The author’s name, institution at the time the paper was written, and the title of the paper
    • The author’s and Chapter Representative’s names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses for February through September 2020
    • The name and email address of the student’s faculty sponsor of the paper
  • The paper must have sociological content and focus, but may be empirical, theoretical, or a critical review of the literature
  • An abstract of 100-150 words must summarize the major points of the paper
  • The paper may not exceed 35 double-spaced pages using MS-Word, Calibri 11-point OR Times New Roman 12-point font/type, with standard 1-inch margins, including tables, appendices, and references. For a detailed statement on format and requirements consult the inside cover of the Official Journal of Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociological Inquiry.
  • The author’s name should not appear anywhere in the title page, abstract, or paper


Email the paper and cover letter in a single email, but as separate attachments to AKD@lemoyne.edu and use “Undergraduate Student Paper Competition Submission” in the subject heading.

  • The paper and cover letter may be sent from either the author or the Chapter Representative
  • If need be, the author and Chapter Representative may send two separate emails


The Executive Office will acknowledge the submission in two ways:

  1. The office staff will reply to the emailed submission indicating receipt.
  2. The Executive Director will send an email to the authors and faculty sponsors of prizewinning papers around April 1. All others will be notified in a timely manner.