4 Essential Skills You Need | PhD in Sociology | Scholar Noire

hello okay so I'm going to talk today about what I think are some of the key things that it takes to succeed in a PhD in sociology program for one most important strength that I think you need to have or a desire is writing writing is your bread and butter in sociology and the majority of academia this is because you need to write essay grant applications and applications in general your articles eventually you need to write a dissertation writing is going to get you through every single course where as an undergrad a lot of your sociology classes may have been based around discussion doing lots of good activities at the graduate level in my experience almost everything is about reading synthesizing and writing your ideas out having a strong voice having something to say beyond I agree with the author about this I disagree about this you have to be able to critique them in very specific ways put authors and scholars in conversation with one another and then also posit your own ideas and notions about what you think they should be saying so for instance in college you might have read Eduardo Bonilla Silva you know racism without raises one of his greatest books and written Eduardo Vania Silva's amazing author I loved his book racism without racist because he highlights the ways in which colorblind racism is actually something that is very powerful in America and prevents people from seeing that we need to acknowledge it first within ourselves before we can actually resolve this issue but in graduate school you might have to write something like and read over Nia Silva is a wonderful scholar was contributed greatly to critical theory around racial inequality however he left out certain ideas and notions about racial inequality in the following ways so as you can see it isn't just about saying what you like or dislike you really have to make strong arguments about what these scholar has written using specific detailed examples and that is huge so getting used to write in loving the practice of writing and acknowledging that it takes a lot of hard work now if you're saying yourself I'm a terrible writer I'll never be able to succeed stop right there academic writing is is not easy and I don't think it's intuitive for most people for me I really struggled a lot when I first got to graduate school because I didn't understand how to make my writing more in line with this kind of almost mechanical way of laying out an argument or deconstructing an argument but all it takes is practice and once you have more confidence in your ability to write you then can start reinserting your own specific writers toolboxes of things that make you you so definitely don't take that every reason to not apply it but it is a skill that you need to be able to embrace and you also might need to make a writing schedule so writing regularly I'm going to make it a lot easier to finish your masters to finish your comprehensive exams and of course to finish your dissertation the second thing that it really takes to succeed is reading a lot you're going to have to read constantly I'm talking a book or more per week per class obviously we only have 24 hours in a day and we spend hopefully about eight of those hours sleeping and then other things you have to have a balance between school and other parts of your life so you're not going to be able to just sit there and read and literally if you did sit there and read every single book and every single article word-for-word you wouldn't have time to do it so of course there are the graduate ways of learning to get around having to do all the reading specifically reading the introduction the conclusion the first chapter and then parts of the chapters in between whatever is most related to the question that you're interested in so you can find ways to get around it what you're going to have to read a lot if reading a lot is that really turns you off you might want to reconsider the reasons you're interested in having PhD in sociology because you're going to have to read a lot a third thing I would say is obviously research that might feel like duh that's totally obvious but honestly it takes a great deal of work to create to devise and carry out and then analyze and write up independent research projects so for my own work I'm interested in politics so for my master's degree I did estimates affix studies and I interviewed people and I also did participant observation this takes a lot of work beginning from the literature review which is reading and writing previous works who people have done research similar to the area you're interested in and then doing your own stuff and you know going back and rereading transcripts of interviews transcribing interviews adding more in reading new literature reading new books talking to people there's so much work involved in it it isn't the same as just writing one term paper or doing one really in-depth essay it takes a lot of work now for those of you who may have done theses at the undergraduate level you might already be conscious of this and but there also might be more specificity and what's required of you at the graduate level so just be conscious that lots of research and you might say you're going to spend inevitably a lot of time by yourself thinking about these things be it carrying out your research or even if you want to do a quantitative study figuring out your models and all that kind of stuff it takes a lot of introspection and a lot of independent action and research to get it done so just be conscious of that the fourth thing that it really takes to succeed in a ph.d program is teaching now this is my program I'm not sure that there is a sociology ph.d program in which you don't have to do some form of teaching be a TA or maybe even instructing your own courses but you have to teach that means you need at some point feel comfortable stay out of a group of undergraduates and expressing ideas to them working with them mentoring them responding to their emails creating their papers and working with the professor you're going to have to work on your public speaking skills and your confidence in leading and teaching material and for some people that comes easier and for some people is harder because they don't really want to teach they just want to do research but for the most part you're going to have to do some warmth at teaching so just be conscious of that now this list is by no means it's not exhaustive it's not definitive it's thou'rt Edith it's my own experience and things that I wish I knew prior to apply because it also will change the ways in which you figure out what program you think is best for you so you know location the school itself its reputation its department culture the stage of life that you're in funding all of this is highly highly relevant and it's all going to figure into how you decide where and if you want to apply but the first step I think is understanding that writing reading research and teaching are the cornerstones of being in a ph.d program and if all of that totally turns you off you might really want to reconsider why are you applying for a PhD in sociology so that felt like a marathon so if you have any other questions about you know how I figure out what program I was going to go to what it's really like what the workload is like is there any of that kind of stuff please leave me a comment I'm really happy to help in any way that I can I wish that I had watched a video like this when I was applying myself so that's why I hope to help someone in this little video thank you so much for watching remember possibilities are endless imagine fine

20 thoughts on “4 Essential Skills You Need | PhD in Sociology | Scholar Noire

  1. Thank you so much for your channel! It's hugely refreshing seeing people of color pursuing PhD and Graduate programs within in humanities. I'm a senior in college, majoring in English, and really wanting to pursue an advanced degree after i gradate in 2018. Subscribed!!

  2. Thank you Sonita! I am considering pursuing a PhD in sociology, and I am glad I found your video. <3

  3. I love this! So inspiring, right now I am currently working my masters in medical sociology. In the near future I will pursue my doctoral degree in medical sociology. My goal is to become a researcher and focus on chronic diseases and race. I love researching, writing and reading. The reason why I choose medical sociology is because the lack of African American males in the field and also to influence more minority men on higher education. Thanks and God bless.

  4. Thank you so much for your videos! I am thinking of (finally) applying for my Sociology PhD and you have given some brilliant advice. Much appreciated!

  5. Thank you for this video. I am going into sociology so this was just the introduction I needed. Keep it up 🙂

  6. Hey, I was just wondering if there were specific resources that helped you with your academic writing, or whether it was just learning by feedback from the writing you were doing. If there's anything you can recommend to prepare you for academic writing, could you share them? Love your channel!

  7. Hi, I did my undergraduate in sociology and really passionate about it. I'm currently doing a Masters programme in Social Work which is a great transition. I am considering a PhD for the future and might explore Sociology again. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  8. Perfectly articulated! I especially appreciate the emphasis you placed on teaching. Some graduate or potential graduate students feel that teaching is not important since they are focused more of the practitioner, that is outside of academia. Regardless, your increase responsibilities in many capacities will require you to share knowledge, essentially teaching others, even if it's not in the classroom. There are elements of teaching that are applicable in many areas of our lives. Great video!

  9. hey thanks for the video it is very insightful. I am currently a junior in college and really want to go straight into grad school after i graduate 2019. I know that it is early but i am determined to earn my PhD in sociology and would like to know if i should be doing anyhting right now to prepare or make getting into a program easier aside from trying to get research experience, high gpa, building relations with proffesors, and researching studies. I have done an extensive amount of research online but if you have anything to add i would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  10. Thank you Noire I'm in undergrad a junior and I aspire to get my PhD in Sociology so I can become a writer I love bell hooks; maybe another video idea can be notable authors for an advanced degree in Soc but also some of your favorites in general

  11. I am finishing my Master of Science in Psychology and I was considering a PhD. Although, I'm not studying sociology I did find your video extremely helpful and would like more detailed information on the dissertation process, itself. Such as choosing a topic that is not to broad, has been overly researched or too narrow. Where to begin when conduct your research? How to find great research material? Finding out more about "who's who" in your research field? Great video. Thanks.

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