Thursday, May 1, 2014

Research Blog #10


Throughout my research process, I have developed a main case that is the core of my argument.  This main case describes the relationship between soft skills (a modern concept that is further defined in my paper) and Greek-letter organizations.  The main research question that I asked was “How does being in a Greek-letter organization benefit a member once they are on the pursuit to enter the professional world?” This was when I discovered soft skills and decided to make them the main topic of my research paper.  I found that though there is no hard evidence that Greeks are more likely to be hired than non-Greeks, I did find a strong connection between soft skills and members of fraternities and sororities.  These soft skills have shown to benefit the work ethic of those in the professional world.  I also found that these Greek organizations both pre-screen for soft skills during the recruitment process and develop them through the Greek experience.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Research Blog #9

Argument and Counterargument 

My argument for my paper is that college students who are involved in Greek life are more likely to possess soft skills than those who are not.  I discuss two different origins of these skills: before college or during college.  Greek life recruitment may act as a pre-screener as they take in new members who already possess soft skills.  The Greek organizations may also help students develop these skills through leadership and other experiences.  Regardless of the origin, businesses recognize Greek lettered organizations of having a close relationship with graduates who possess soft skills.  

My counterargument would be that soft skills are simply not necessary within the professional world.  It has been argued that if an applicant has the technical skills required to fulfill the job demands, they will do the best job possible.  As the economy is slowing changing to one of information rather than one of physical skill, there is an increase in the need for people who have interpersonal and communication skills.  Although my counterargument is valid, it is slowly disintegrating because of the change in society into the modern working world, commanded by businesses and technology.   

Literature Review #5

Robles, Marcel M. "Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today's Workplace."Business Communication Quarterly: 453-66. Print.

This article discusses the new perception on soft skills that employers are finding are a necessity in the modern workplace. It emphasizes that while technical skills are important, soft skills open up much more opportunities for workers because it makes them versatile, easy to work with, and productive. The article then goes on to mention the top 10 skills experts claim to me the essentials: communication, courtesy, flexibility, integrity, interpersonal skills, positive attitude, professionalism, responsibility, teamwork, and work ethic.

Marcel M. Robles is a Business Communications professors and Eastern Kentucky University. He has published studies in Business Communication Quarterly a few times before. Robles was also the recipient of the 2012 Federation of Business Disciplines Outstanding Educator Award.

Robles mentions that soft skills are "transferrable". I liked this phrase because it shows that the possessors of these skills are versatile workers. Being versatile is quite a relevant topic in the modern workplace. Another key term that Robles used was "people skills". He continued on to say that they are only one aspect of soft skills. Soft skills are a much broader quality to possess.

"Soft skills have more to do with who we are than what we know" (458). I used this quote in my paper because I felt like it was relevant to Greek life. Fraternities and sororities are an activity outside of the classroom, it is more about personal development than intaking information.

"In fact, soft skills are so important that they are actually ranked as number one and extremely important for potential job hires in many occupations and industries" (459). This quote will help me combat my counterargument that soft skills are just fluff added on top of real work. This quotation shows that workers who possess soft skills could definitely see more success than those who do not.

This source is valuable because it includes scholarly research and plenty of evidence that soft skills are beneficial in the work place. Although this source does not discuss the origin of these skills, it will help me explain the importance of possessing these skills.

Research Blog #8


As a member of the Greek community writing about the Greek community, I found a plethora of subjects to interview.  Since the main case in my paper concentrates on the transition between collegiate life and professional life, I chose to interview a senior named Carly within my sorority, so I could get her perception of the topic.  Carly helped me a lot with her interview.  Carly is a Human Resources Management major, graduating in a few weeks.  She is currently experiencing the process of applying and interviewing for jobs.  She had heard of the term "soft skills" before and helped me gather a personal story in regards to how sorority life can build them up before a career.  A topic that Carly touched on multiple times was the fact that Greek life opened her to experience in leadership that she would not have found elsewhere.  She said this leadership experience could help benefit her in her HR career in recruiting because it made her more sociable.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Research Blog #7


The case that I have formulated for my final paper is that soft skills are an important aspect of the professional world and Greek-letter organizations are closely related to these skills.  I mention throughout my paper that these organizations serve as both a pre-screener and a provider of these skills and that, although it is hard to distinguish when a member develops these skills, their Greek organization is a good indicator that they possess them.  I bring up many different factors of how these skills are developed and specifically what the skills are.  This helped me organize my thoughts and, in turn, made my overall argument stronger because there was a clear stream of consciousness.  

Research Blog #6


This is a table that is taken from one of my sources that I included in my paper.  I found it to be beneficial towards my argument because it shows statistics of how upperclass fraternity members have higher GPAs than their non-fraternity counterparts of the same age group.  The scholarly source that this table was included in is an entry from Administrative Science Quarterly, written by Walter L. Wallace.  I use a a few quotes from this entry throughout my paper and I think they each support my paper.  I decided to include this as a visual in my paper because it would add another dimension of numbers and statistics to my argument.  

Wallace, Walter L. "Faculty and Fraternities: Organizational Influences on Student Achievement." Administrative Science Quarterly: n. pag. Print.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Literature Review #4

Wallace, Walter L. "Faculty and Fraternities: Organizational Influences on Student Acheivement." Administrative Science Quarterly: n. pag. Print. 

This scholarly article is shows the data and explanations gathered when the author, Walter L. Wallace, asked the question of how much Greek-letter organizations influence the academics of their members.  Through tables, graphs, and much analysis, Wallace shows the positive and the negative outcomes of the subjects of his study.  His leading argument highlights the distinct differences between Greek structured college experiences and non-Greek structured college experiences.  

This article was published in Administrative Science Quarterly, an academic peer-reviewed journal that publishes studies, essays, and dissertations mostly in regards to organizational studies.  It was established in 1999 and is still publishing volumes today.  It has published many educated scholars and is a reliable source because of its legitimacy in the academic world and it's wide array of published writers.

The information in this study that stood out to me was the data gathered through questionnaires given to a range of over 1,000 students at a given university.  All is important because it is clear and concise numbers.  The writer demonstrates transparency as he shows all of his given data and compares all of the information he gathered in well-organized tables and charts.  

“fraternity membership reduced most negative relations between peer-oriented social values and grade achievement” (661). This quote is important because Wallace studied the positive impact that fraternities had on the students involved in his research. This is also a good quote for my argument because shows a reduction of negative relations from two aspects of membership: social and academic.
“a student whose expertise may be restricted to one particular activity, say getting high grades, is relieved from personally seeking well-rounded prestige in a variety of fields, say athletics, romancing, politicking, and others, in which he is not skilled, by his membership in a well- rounded organization” (666). This quote is also important for my argument because it shows that fraternities create well-rounded students who excel in an array of traits that non-members would not possess.
This study is important to my argument because it is unbiased, it includes information coming from both Greek-letter organization members and students who have opted not to join Greek-letter organizations. It is also scholarly because the author, Walter L. Wallace, is a professor of sociology and has performed research and surveys on this topic. I can also use some of his tables within my paper to help strengthen my argument and give visual aid to my final thesis.