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Julia Broughton

Professor William Loudermilk

English 1201

20 January 2019

Research Proposal

When I was in middle school, someone told me the famous statistic that “half of all

marriages end in divorce.” I was pretty sheltered growing up, so this statement shocked me. I

wasn’t aware back then that not all families have a mom or dad that were happily married. But as

I grew older and observed the world around me, I began to see just how many people were

divorced. In elementary school, many of my classmates had parents who were divorced. When I

was in middle school, I realized that many of my friend’s parents were divorced. People

everywhere were suffering from heartbreak and broken relationships. This made me start to

question why people even bother to get married. My thoughts and observations made me wonder

what marriage entails that makes it so appealing since so many people end up separating in the


I feel very strongly about the topic of marriage. I grew up in a household where my parents

deeply loved each other and still do. Their devotion to one other is inspiring, and I want a

relationship like that when I get married. However, I know that people who are reaching their

twenties and thirties are marrying less and less. The marriage rate is declining among younger

generations, and couples are opting for cohabitation rather than marriage. My thinking is that

people don’t see any good reason to get married. People don’t participate in things that don’t

have a benefit for them. If marriage has no benefits that can’t be gained in a different type of

relationship, then why bother? However, I know that marriage can be a beautiful thing because
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as often as I have seen the results of an unhappy marriage, I have also witnessed many happy

marriages. I think that growing up, many people didn’t see their parents living as a happily

married couple, so they are turned off by the idea of marriage. But I believe that things can

change if people are shown that marriage can be an incredible life experience. Therefore, my

research will focus on how marriage benefits a couple (as a whole and individually) and the

children they have or will have in the future.

I am hoping that by doing extensive research and perhaps even interviewing married

couples, I can find the answers to my questions. To start on the research for my topic, I am going

to go the Opposing Viewpoints database, since it has good articles that help in the beginning

phases of research. I am only going to focus on traditional marriage. That is, marriage between a

man and a woman since this type of marriage has been around the longest, meaning it has been

the most researched upon.