Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Blog #4: Research Proposal

Matthew Marinelli
Research in the Disciplines: College!
Professor Michael Goeller
Research Proposal

Title: College Fraternities: The Effect on College Life

Topic: My topic covers all the effects that joining a fraternity may have on someone’s college experience. My topic involves the positive effects that may arise from learning certain skills as well as other things learned just by being in a fraternal environment. I will be discussing certain skills such as relationship building, effective networking, and advancements in education. There are many more positive outcomes that are results of joining a social fraternity but these are two of the most prevalent ones.

Research Question: Does joining a fraternity foster the possibility of enough positive outcomes that outweigh negative ones? How much effect do these outcomes have on someone’s life and can it be directly attributed to fraternal involvement?

Frame: One of the articles I have used was “The value of the Greek system: Should fraternities and sororities have a place on campus” by Deanna M. Garrett. This sparked interest for me because she gives both the positive and negative outcomes of being in a college fraternity. The positive outcomes that she talks about are those that I wanted to talk about from the start. These outcomes include advanced networking and the ability to build relationships. The negative outcomes that she addresses are some that are widely known of college fraternities. These include binge drinking, rape culture, and other things of that nature. This topic is relevant to me because I am in a social fraternity and I see how all of these outcomes affect a college student. I have never personally seen most of these negatives in my fraternity and I do believe that if you do, you are in the wrong place and it is filled with the wrong people. I am here to discuss how the positive outcomes are the most important ones to research and pay attention to.

Research Plan: Throughout my research I have not found an abundance of information but I want the information to come from people who have been in fraternities that can speak from first-hand experience. I would love to retrieve some information from Rutgers students that have done research and written articles as well as interviews with current Rutgers students who are involved in fraternities. There are articles and books that I plan on reading to expand my perspective such as “Paying for the Party” by Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton. There are other articles that are more direct to specific positive outcomes that I will be discussing such as “What Impact Do Fraternities Have on Education?” by Chris Blake. This will let me dive into the educational aspect of how a fraternity could help a college student.


Armstrong, Elizabeth A., and Laura T. Hamilton. Paying for the Party: How College Maintains      Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2013. Print.

Blake, Chris. “What impact do fraternities have on education?” SeattlePI. Demand Media, 2016.  Web.

Garrett, Deanna M. "University of Vermont." The University of Vermont. The University of Vermont,  29 July 2002. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.

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