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Question Description


In this assignment, you will type up an MLA formatted Thesis Statement and One Body Paragraph of a 4-Paragraph Essay. You do not need an introduction, second body paragraph, or a conclusion.

The topic for this thesis and body paragarph assignment is Schmitt’s claims about culture and beauty from the article “Facial Attraction” You will focus on the question: Are Schmitt’s claims valid or invalid? Your analysis of Schmitt’s claims will be based firstly on the evidence (support) the author provides in the reading, and secondly, on your knowledge of your own culture’s view on beauty. In other words, your opinion is not part of this exercise; it is based on your observations of the information in the text and on your observations about your culture’s viewpoint.

The reason we use the terms “valid” and “invalid” rather than “true” or “false” is so that you focus on whether Shmitt’s claim has strong evidence to support it, whether or not you agree. Also, since everything isn’t always black and white in academics, you can absolutley say that a claim is “partially” or “somewhat” valid based on the evidence given.


  1. Find Schmitt’s main claim (main idea) in paragraphs 4 and 5 in the article “Facial Attraction” She makes a number of claims in these paragraphs, but there is one main idea that both are focused on.
  2. Once you have the main claim, study the supporting information that Schmitt gives for this claim. Does she provide explanation? Does she provide evidence, such as scientific studies? This will help you to determine how valid or invalid her claim is.
  3. Think about Schmitt’s claim from the perspective of the culture you grew up in and the beliefs of that culture. Remember, this is not about your opinion. It is important in academics to be able to study a subject without having an opinion. You might agree with your culture’s beliefs about beauty, and you might not agree, but the point here is to use your culture’s beliefs to evaluate Schmitt’s claims. Is Schmitt’s claim valid in the culture you grew up in?
  4. Now that you’ve considered the explanation and evidence given by Shmitt for her claim, and you’ve also considered your culture’s view on her claim, it’s time to write a thesis statement that answers this question:

How valid or invalid is Schmitt’s claim in paragraphs 4 and 5?

Your thesis should be specific and include the following:

      • a paraphrase of Schmitt’s main claim in paragraphs 4 and 5
      • an expression of your evaluation of how valid or invalid Schmitt’s claim is
      • 2 reasons why you think Schmitt’s claim is valid or invalid (see Thesis Statement Review exercise on the Week 2 homework page). These two reasons would be your focal points for a full essay, so include them in your thesis statement, but remember: you are not writing a full essay here, and you will only write a thesis statement and one body paragraph that discusses one reason in your one body paragraph.

Here is an example thesis you may be useful as a guide:

      • “Ramsey claims that potential corona virus mutations are more worrisome than the original virus; however, based on the evidence Ramsey provides and my own research as a virus expert, Ramsey’s claims are only partially valid.”

5. Write a 10-12 sentence body paragraph that focuses on one focal point. The paragraph should

(A) A topic sentence that gives one reason why you think the author’s claim is valid (or invalid).

(B) Clear reasons and other evidence to support your idea from the article and your experience.

(C) MLA citation for the information your paraphrase from Schmitt’s article. The citation should
include the author’s last name and the paragraph number.

For example:

        • According to Allie, switching to online classes has been challenging for students, especially those with limited technology skills (par. 3).
        • In the article, “The Challenges of Online Learning,” Allie states that switching to online classes has been challenging for students, especially those with limited technology skills (par. 3).