Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.


If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

what's a thesis in ela

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper



Developing Strategic Transitions


Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

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About Thesis Statements

Emilie Zickel

A thesis serves as the guiding idea of the essay – the one core point that you will make in the essay.

A thesis is provided at the end of the introduction section.

A thesis functions as a guide for the paragraphs that follow. Each body paragraph will, in some way, help to develop, support or elucidate the thesis.

A thesis is often called a “road map” for the rest of the essay. In the thesis, you indicate to your reader the key subtopics that you will address in the rest of the paper. Thus the reader of your paper knows what to expect in the essay.

A thesis does not always have to be an argument; even explanatory papers have thesis statements.

How can you check to see if your thesis is strong?

1.Does your thesis answer the assignment question?

  • look over your assignment sheet for this essay/project. What is core assignment question that you need to answer? Where do you see your thesis directly addressing that question?
  • Assignment sheet says:  Identify several key themes that arise in critiques of the popular media.
  • Your thesis could reuse this wording:  Several key themes that arise in critiques of popular media are the notions of partisanship on the part of the media corporations, partisanship among reporters, and a willingness to publish “fake news” stories.

2. Does your thesis adhere to the type of writing you are being asked to do? (persuasive or explanatory) ?

  • Again, the type of writing that you are asked to do should be indicated on the assignment sheet. If you are not sure of what type of writing is expected of you, ask your professor.

3. Does your thesis provide enough material to meet the assignment length and depth requirements?

  • See the outlining chapter and try to build your outline if you are unsure of whether or not you have enough information for your thesis.

4. Does the thesis create a roadmap for the rest of the paper?

  • Your thesis can be a mini-outline of the body of the essay. If you indicate three ideas in your thesis that you will discuss (ideas 1, 2 and 3), then you should discuss those ideas – in the order that you presented them in the thesis – in your essay.

5. Does the thesis make sense?

  • A thesis must make sense as a sentence. Sometimes we get carried away in trying to “answer the assignment” and we end up with a thesis that technically addresses the assignment requirements, but ends up being a sentence that is grammatically unsound or otherwise unclear. A thesis should be a powerful, clear and interesting sentence that makes sense to the reader. If the grammar is off, the thesis will not make as much sense to a reader as it needs to and the thesis loses its power.

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no,’ you need to revise your thesis.

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About Thesis Statements by Emilie Zickel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.


Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • Literary Terms
  • Definition & Examples
  • When & How to Write a Thesis

I. What is a Thesis?

The thesis (pronounced thee -seez), also known as a thesis statement, is the sentence that introduces the main argument or point of view of a composition (formal essay, nonfiction piece, or narrative). It is the main claim that the author is making about that topic and serves to summarize and introduce that writing that will be discussed throughout the entire piece. For this reason, the thesis is typically found within the first introduction paragraph.

II. Examples of Theses

Here are a few examples of theses which may be found in the introductions of a variety of essays :

In “The Mending Wall,” Robert Frost uses imagery, metaphor, and dialogue to argue against the use of fences between neighbors.

In this example, the thesis introduces the main subject (Frost’s poem “The Mending Wall”), aspects of the subject which will be examined (imagery, metaphor, and dialogue) and the writer’s argument (fences should not be used).

While Facebook connects some, overall, the social networking site is negative in that it isolates users, causes jealousy, and becomes an addiction.

This thesis introduces an argumentative essay which argues against the use of Facebook due to three of its negative effects.

During the college application process, I discovered my willingness to work hard to achieve my dreams and just what those dreams were.

In this more personal example, the thesis statement introduces a narrative essay which will focus on personal development in realizing one’s goals and how to achieve them.

III. The Importance of Using a Thesis

Theses are absolutely necessary components in essays because they introduce what an essay will be about. Without a thesis, the essay lacks clear organization and direction. Theses allow writers to organize their ideas by clearly stating them, and they allow readers to be aware from the beginning of a composition’s subject, argument, and course. Thesis statements must precisely express an argument within the introductory paragraph of the piece in order to guide the reader from the very beginning.

IV. Examples of Theses in Literature

For examples of theses in literature, consider these thesis statements from essays about topics in literature:

In William Shakespeare’s “ Sonnet 46,” both physicality and emotion together form powerful romantic love.

This thesis statement clearly states the work and its author as well as the main argument: physicality and emotion create romantic love.

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne symbolically shows Hester Prynne’s developing identity through the use of the letter A: she moves from adulteress to able community member to angel.

In this example, the work and author are introduced as well as the main argument and supporting points: Prynne’s identity is shown through the letter A in three ways: adulteress, able community member, and angel.

John Keats’ poem “To Autumn” utilizes rhythm, rhyme, and imagery to examine autumn’s simultaneous birth and decay.

This thesis statement introduces the poem and its author along with an argument about the nature of autumn. This argument will be supported by an examination of rhythm, rhyme, and imagery.

V. Examples of Theses in Pop Culture

Sometimes, pop culture attempts to make arguments similar to those of research papers and essays. Here are a few examples of theses in pop culture:

FOOD INC TEASER TRAILER - "More than a terrific movie -- it's an important movie." - Ent Weekly

America’s food industry is making a killing and it’s making us sick, but you have the power to turn the tables.

The documentary Food Inc. examines this thesis with evidence throughout the film including video evidence, interviews with experts, and scientific research.

Blackfish Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Documentary Movie HD

Orca whales should not be kept in captivity, as it is psychologically traumatizing and has caused them to kill their own trainers.

Blackfish uses footage, interviews, and history to argue for the thesis that orca whales should not be held in captivity.

VI. Related Terms

Just as a thesis is introduced in the beginning of a composition, the hypothesis is considered a starting point as well. Whereas a thesis introduces the main point of an essay, the hypothesis introduces a proposed explanation which is being investigated through scientific or mathematical research. Thesis statements present arguments based on evidence which is presented throughout the paper, whereas hypotheses are being tested by scientists and mathematicians who may disprove or prove them through experimentation. Here is an example of a hypothesis versus a thesis:


Students skip school more often as summer vacation approaches.

This hypothesis could be tested by examining attendance records and interviewing students. It may or may not be true.

Students skip school due to sickness, boredom with classes, and the urge to rebel.

This thesis presents an argument which will be examined and supported in the paper with detailed evidence and research.


A paper’s introduction is its first paragraph which is used to introduce the paper’s main aim and points used to support that aim throughout the paper. The thesis statement is the most important part of the introduction which states all of this information in one concise statement. Typically, introduction paragraphs require a thesis statement which ties together the entire introduction and introduces the rest of the paper.

VII. Conclusion

Theses are necessary components of well-organized and convincing essays, nonfiction pieces, narratives , and documentaries. They allow writers to organize and support arguments to be developed throughout a composition, and they allow readers to understand from the beginning what the aim of the composition is.

List of Terms

  • Alliteration
  • Amplification
  • Anachronism
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Antonomasia
  • APA Citation
  • Aposiopesis
  • Autobiography
  • Bildungsroman
  • Characterization
  • Circumlocution
  • Cliffhanger
  • Comic Relief
  • Connotation
  • Deus ex machina
  • Deuteragonist
  • Doppelganger
  • Double Entendre
  • Dramatic irony
  • Equivocation
  • Extended Metaphor
  • Figures of Speech
  • Flash-forward
  • Foreshadowing
  • Intertextuality
  • Juxtaposition
  • Literary Device
  • Malapropism
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Parallelism
  • Pathetic Fallacy
  • Personification
  • Point of View
  • Polysyndeton
  • Protagonist
  • Red Herring
  • Rhetorical Device
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Science Fiction
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Module 3: Writing Workshop—Writing Essentials

What is a thesis, learning objectives.

  • Identify effective thesis statements

The thesis statement pulls together the entire essay.

An open notebook with the words "my plan" written at the top of the page.

Figure 1 . Your plan for organizing and constructing your paper will be dependent on your thesis. The thesis should guide and connect all the different parts of your argument.

In a nutshell, a thesis is a statement that expresses the author’s position on a subject. But it does more than that. A thesis statement pulls together the whole essay. What do we mean by that?

Think of it this way: in a conversation, we sometimes say “All I’m saying is…” The “thesis statement” would be whatever follows “All I’m saying is…”

  • “All I’m saying is: Brokeback Mountain was a better movie than Crash , and should have won the Oscar.”
  • “All I’m saying is: I think my cat is plotting to take over the world.”
  • “All I’m saying is: Ines is a very nice person, but she’s a terrible manager.”

Notice how “All I’m saying” works: It pulls together a set of statements about something. When the speaker says “All I’m saying is: Ines is a very nice person, but she’s a terrible manager,” she has probably already talked about the ways Ines is a nice person, but she has probably also shown that Ines is a bad manager. “Ines is so thoughtful and caring. She never forgets anyone’s birthday. But somehow she forgets to schedule our performance reviews! All I’m saying is: Ines is a very nice person, but she’s a terrible manager.” There are other statements that do this as well: “The bottom line is…”, “At the end of the day…”, “All in all…”

Practice: Pulling together a story

Choose one of the prompts below and, in 4-5 sentences, describe the events you think would lead up to it. What is the story that the prompt is pulling together? Remember, this is informal writing—thinking by way of writing—so don’t worry about whether your wording is perfect. Try to focus on the way the events in the story lead up to this concluding line.

  • “All I’m saying is: college is hard enough without this other stuff getting in the way!”
  • “The bottom line is: when you’re going in for a job interview, you have to pay attention to the details.”
  • “All I’m saying is: ‘bring your cats to work day’ turned out to be a terrible idea.”
  • “All in all, aside from the flooding and the cake disaster, it was a pretty good wedding.”

How does this help us become better readers and writers?

The thesis can be a pretty intimidating idea, especially when we’re already working with difficult academic concepts. It can be helpful to remember that we use statements to sum up our position on a subject all the time.

Note: The thesis often comes early in the essay to provide guidance to the reader

In contrast to the “All I’m saying is…” formulation, the thesis statement usually comes before the elements that support it. Some people refer to this structure as BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front. When the thesis comes early in the essay, the reader can interpret the pieces of the essay in light of the thesis. Imagine that a friend is going to tell you a story about something that happened to them that day. How would you listen to the parts of the story if your friend starts with “Something really funny happened to me…”? What about if they say “I’m really upset because of something that happened today…”? Or “I really need your advice. Here’s what happened…”? With each of these different beginnings, we listen in a different way. In the first case, we’re primed to laugh; in the second, we get ready to offer comfort and sympathy; in the third, we’re prepared to problem-solve. Likewise, if it comes near the beginning of an essay, thesis statements can tell us something about how we should interpret each of the supporting elements in the essay.

On the next page, we’ll look at what the thesis is pulling together: the argument of an essay.

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Writing Explained

What is a Thesis? Definition, Examples of Theses in Literature

Home » The Writer’s Dictionary » What is a Thesis? Definition, Examples of Theses in Literature

Thesis definition: A thesis is a statement in which the writer conveys his position regarding a topic.

What is a Thesis?

A thesis statement refers to part of an essay where the writer establishes his position regarding a topic. This is the position that the writer will further explore throughout his paper.

Example of Thesis

  • Topic : religious freedom.
  • Thesis : All citizens of the United States should be allowed to exercise the religion of their choice freely without interference from government.
  • Explanation : In this thesis statement, the writer has taken the position that all citizens should be free to worship and practice their religion as they see fit. The government should not pressure citizens into any religion, and it should not persecute members of any faith community.

The Importance of a Thesis Statement

Thesis statements are important in order to establish the writer’s position regarding a topic or idea. They help to introduce the essay and set a focus for the reader.

Narrative thesis statements are found in narrative essays or in literature. They set the scene for the lesson that will be explored or taught through the piece.

Famous opening lines that exemplify a narrative thesis:

  • The following narrative thesis is found in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The Function of Thesis in Literature

Narrative thesis statements are important in literature in order to establish the purpose for the work or introduce the lesson that the novel will attempt to teach. This allows the reader to have a focus when beginning the novel in order to effectively engage them into the story.

Examples of Theses in Literature

In the memoir, I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, a thesis statement can be found in the beginning pages of her story.

  • “One year ago I left my home for school and never returned. I was shot by a Taliban bullet and was flown out of Pakistan unconscious. Some people say I will never return home, but I believe firmly in my heart that I will. To be torn from the country that you love is not something to wish on anyone.”

In this thesis statement, Yousafzai establishes the basis of her memoir, which is to tell the story of how she was forced to leave her home.

In Vladmir Nabokov’s Lolita , a thesis can be seen in the line, “Lolita, light of my life, the fire of my loins”.

Here the narrator establishes the identity of the young nymph that he is unhealthily obsessed with in the story. Lolita is a young child while he is a grown man; therefore, this statement creates the uneasy feeling about him that continues throughout the novel.

Summary: What Are Theses?

Define thesis in literature: In summation, a thesis statement establishes a purpose in the piece of writing. It may establish the lesson or story to be told, or in an essay it may establish the position the writer assumes when exploring a topic.

Either way, it is important for the thesis to be clear in order to effectively convey the writer’s message.

Final Example:

In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” the thesis statement can be found in the first line of the short story. Montresor immediately states his purpose, “the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.”

In this statement, Montresor states that he will be seeking revenge after being treated wrongly by Fortunato. By beginning the story with the narrative thesis establishes the purpose for the remainder of the piece.

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Definition of thesis

Did you know.

In high school, college, or graduate school, students often have to write a thesis on a topic in their major field of study. In many fields, a final thesis is the biggest challenge involved in getting a master's degree, and the same is true for students studying for a Ph.D. (a Ph.D. thesis is often called a dissertation ). But a thesis may also be an idea; so in the course of the paper the student may put forth several theses (notice the plural form) and attempt to prove them.

Examples of thesis in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thesis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

in sense 3, Middle English, lowering of the voice, from Late Latin & Greek; Late Latin, from Greek, downbeat, more important part of a foot, literally, act of laying down; in other senses, Latin, from Greek, literally, act of laying down, from tithenai to put, lay down — more at do

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a(1)

Dictionary Entries Near thesis

the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children

thesis novel

Cite this Entry

“Thesis.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of thesis, more from merriam-webster on thesis.

Nglish: Translation of thesis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thesis for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thesis

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Meaning of thesis in English

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  • I wrote my thesis on literacy strategies for boys .
  • Her main thesis is that children need a lot of verbal stimulation .
  • boilerplate
  • composition
  • dissertation
  • essay question
  • peer review

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

thesis | American Dictionary

Examples of thesis, collocations with thesis.

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injury to someone caused by severe cold, usually to their toes, fingers, ears, or nose, that causes permanent loss of tissue

Keeping up appearances (Talking about how things seem)

Keeping up appearances (Talking about how things seem)

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[ thee -sis ]

He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.

Synonyms: proposal , contention , theory

  • a subject for a composition or essay.
  • a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.
  • Music. the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. Compare arsis ( def 1 ) .
  • a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.
  • (less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. Compare arsis ( def 2 ) .
  • Philosophy. Hegelian dialectic

/ ˈθiːsɪs /

  • a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma
  • a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument
  • a subject for a discussion or essay
  • an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument
  • music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting
  • (in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus Compare arsis
  • philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis
  • The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .

Discover More

Word history and origins.

Origin of thesis 1

Example Sentences

“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.

It’s a hypothesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis, and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.

While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis.

They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.

Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.

In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis, “Circle of Stone.”

At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis: acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.

Her doctoral thesis, says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.

Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.

He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.

And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.

It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.

But the word thesis, when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.

This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.

Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.

Related Words

  • proposition
  • supposition

What Is The Plural Of Thesis?

Plural word for  thesis.

The plural form of thesis is theses , pronounced [ thee -seez ]. The plurals of several other singular words that end in -is are also formed in this way, including hypothesis / hypotheses , crisis / crises , and axis / axes . A similar change is made when pluralizing appendix as appendices . 

Irregular plurals that are formed like theses derive directly from their original pluralization in Latin and Greek.

Meet The Marías: The bilingual band thriving after romantic breakup, singing with Bad Bunny

what's a thesis in ela

The Marías are no longer the band they used to be – and they're embracing it.

Since their 2021 debut album "Cinema," the Los Angeles indie pop band has gone from playing indoor clubs to a stadium show with Bad Bunny . They’ve navigated the romantic break-up of singer María Zardoya and bassist Josh Conway, managing not only to stay whole as a group but find a new level of creativity. Even their sound is shifting as they lean into trip-hop and experiment with heavier electronics.

Change serves as the thesis for their sophomore album "Submarine." Just look to the album cover, in which they abandon their signature red for an ominous navy blue to depict the Puerto Rican frontwoman swimming in the deep ocean free of fear and driven by curiosity. 

"With 'Submarine' I wanted just a big change, because we had all gone through so much change before writing the album and during writing the album that shifting the color palette completely was something that was very intentional," Zardoya tells USA TODAY. 

The aesthetic drew inspiration from 1993 French film " Three Colours: Blue " about a woman grieving the loss of her husband and daughter who forces herself to reenter reality after detaching herself from it. The album, out May 31, tackles the sense of freedom that can be found within loneliness and isolation. Like the color blue, what can appear completely sorrowful could covertly hide serenity. 

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

Here's what you need to know about the group known for their hypnotic bilingual discography and who they've become with "Submarine."

BottleRock music festival: Bradley Cooper performs 'A Star Is Born' song with Pearl Jam

The Marías shattered their former dynamic and formed a stronger one

The bond between Zardoya and Conway was never easily defined. The two navigated a romantic relationship while being creative collaborators, business partners and parents to their Australian shepherd Lucy.

The pair created something special alongside Conway’s childhood friends guitarist Jesse Perlman and keyboardist Edward James. The end of their relationship may have shattered their former dynamic but only empowered the group holistically. 

"When Josh and I were together, I was like, 'I'm in a band with my partner and his best friends'" Zardoya says. "Now that we're all individuals, I see it more like I'm in a band with three of my best friends."

Zardoya relates to "No Doubt" members Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal, continued to make music together after their 1994 split. They knew their band meant far too much to allow their breakup to fracture the group, a sentiment Zardoya echoes with the Marías.

It wasn't easy (Conway refers to the early post-breakup days as an " Eat, Pray, Love " situation), he and Zardoya became stronger collaborators. And, it strengthened James and Perlman’s creative involvement. 

"The discontinuation of the romantic relationship allowed the exploration of what our individual relationships are, what they were and what they could be," Perlman says. "So that's just been a whole new source of life. A whole new different kind of fuel that the band hasn't really had before."

The Marías on why it was 'so special' to share a stage with Bad Bunny

After the release of "Cinema," which landed a 2022 Grammy nomination in the best engineered album, non-classical category, the band collaborated with trailblazer Bad Bunny , the Grammy album of the year nominee for " Un Verano Sin Ti ." Last year, they appeared on Puerto Rican record producer Tainy’s debut album "DATA" with the track "mañana." The projects were especially meaningful for Zardoya who felt an unrivaled sense of pride to share her culture through music.

"Being a part of Bad Bunny’s album, which was a love letter to Puerto Rico, was so special to me. I had my whole family in Puerto Rico feeling really, really proud," Zardoya says. "I just felt even more proud to be Puerto Rican."

The singer also got a taste of stardom while performing live with Bad Bunny during his World's Hottest Tour. While playing at smaller club venues for the "Cinema" tour, Zardoya accompanied the King of Latin Trap on stage singing summer tune " Otro Atardecer " to tens of thousands. 

"I had never even been to a stadium show in my life, let alone performed in a stadium show," she says. "I'd be backstage with my in-ears and hearing this entire stadium, and I'd be like 'Nope, I'm going to walk away.'" 

Once she started singing the nerves vanished, she says. The milestone experience helped her feel comfortable in the face of fear. Instead of fleeing from a formidable task, Zardoya dives head first. 

'Submarine' is ready to emerge to the world

While the album is its own era separate from "Cinema" and their "Superclean" EPs, the group assured listeners they have not lost their mesmeric charm. Like most of their work, the project has a cinematic essence as Zardoya said the group’s love for film is an integral part of their DNA.

The album will also feature Spanish tracks including the single " Lejos de Ti ," something Conway said has always kept the band exciting. Despite Zardoya being the sole Spanish speaker, she said the guys have always embraced incorporating the language from silky-smooth lullaby " Cariño " to reggaeton bop " Un Millón ."

"Making songs in Spanish was the first thing about the Marías that got me really, really excited about it," Conway said. "I'd certainly never made any songs in Spanish before. I mean, I don't speak it so there's a reason for that. That was what really sealed the deal for me."

Zardoya encourages listeners to let "Submarine" sink in with no interruptions. She also urges them to first listen to it wherever they feel most comfortable being themselves.

"Whether it's in your car, in your bed, in your apartment, by the ocean, in nature, wherever," she says. "We would love for people to listen to it from start to finish. I think all the songs mean so much more as a collective than just individually. We just invite people to listen on headphones in an isolated experience."

  • International

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Israel-Hamas war

May 28, 2024 - Israel-Hamas war

By Helen Regan, Heather Chen and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Our live coverage of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza has moved here .

Nikki Haley writes "Finish them!" on Israeli artillery shells

From CNN's Ebony Davis

Nikki Haley visits Kibbutz Nir Oz, Israel, on May 27.

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley wrote “Finish Them!” on Israeli artillery shells during a Memorial Day visit to Israel, according to  photos in a post from Danny Danon, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, who accompanied her on the trip.

Her visit to the northern Israeli border came a day after an  Israeli strike  that killed 45 at a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the strike as "a tragic error ".

Haley's message echoes her previous sentiment during a Fox News interview in which she condemned Hamas’ attacks and called on Netanyahu to “finish them.”

"I will say this to Netanyahu: finish them. Finish them. Hamas did this, you know Iran is behind it, finish them. They should have hell to pay for what they've just done,” Haley said back then.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Haley for comment.

Haley said Tuesday: "1 in 4 of their neighbors were murdered or taken hostage in Gaza. No other country would accept this, Israel should not either."

She also reaffirmed her commitment to Israel, saying during the tour, saying "Don't listen to what is being said in the media. I reassure you: America stands with Israel!"

During the Memorial Day weekend trip, Haley visited Kibbutz Nir Oz, the site of the Nova festival, and Sderot.

She reflected in a  social media post  about a nurse she met whose “life changed forever’ after October 7.

“Like my daughter, Tali Biner is a nurse in her 20s who loves music and her friends. But, her life changed forever at the Nova Music Festival. For hours she hid, praying not to be next, listening to fellow concert goers beg for mercy as they were raped, genitally mutilated, and shot to death by Hamas,” Haley said.

“When she escaped, she tried to treat victims who were butchered and left to slowly die. Now, she bravely tells her story to bear witness for the hundreds who can’t — raped, tortured, kidnapped, and murdered simply for being Israeli,” she continued.

Algeria draft Security Council resolution calls for ceasefire in Gaza and hostage release, UN diplomat says

From CNN's Richard Roth

Algeria has circulated to all UN Security Council members a proposed draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the unconditional release of all hostages, a UN diplomat told CNN on Tuesday.

It's unknown how the US will vote on this.

Algeria's draft resolution comes after 45 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a Rafah camp housing displaced people on Sunday.

Houthi ballistic missiles strike Greek-owned ship in Red Sea, US military says

A Greek owned and operated merchant ship in the Red Sea reported being struck by three anti-ship ballistic missiles launched Tuesday by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, according to US Central Command.

Merchant Vessel Laax continued on its voyage and there were no injuries reported, CENTCOM said in a statement.

During the same time, US forces destroyed five Houthi drones over the Red Sea that were launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen and “presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels in the region,” the statement added.

Nearly 1 million Palestinians displaced from Rafah, UN officials say. Here's what you should know

From CNN staff

At least 940,000 people have been displaced from Rafah in the past three weeks as a result of "the intensification of hostilities and issuance of evacuation orders" by Israeli forces, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Many of the displaced Palestinians are attempting to evacuate following devastating Israeli strikes – but they don't know where to go.

Here are more headlines you should know:

More on the Rafah strike:

  • The Israeli military is looking into the possibility that the Israeli airstrike, which killed more than 45 people on Sunday, may have unintentionally set off possible stored weapons in a nearby compound and a large fire that decimated part of a camp housing displaced Palestinians, according to spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.
  • A CNN analysis of videos and a review by explosive weapons experts found that US-made munitions were used in the strike.
  • The United States “ will be watching ” the results of the Israeli investigation, said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. He added that the findings should be “presented openly and transparently to us and to the world.”
  • White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby  told reporters Tuesday  that Sunday’s airstrike did not cross President Joe Biden's red line. Kirby said he had “no policy changes to speak to” when asked if this strike would change policy – but emphasized that this strike “just happened.”

International reaction to the Rafah strike:

  • French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière warned of any further escalations in Rafah, saying "it is high time," for the UN Security Council "to take action and to adopt a new resolution" about the war in Gaza.
  • Protesters in cities across Europe gathered to voice opposition to the deadly strike in southern Gaza.

Other Israeli attacks:

  • The Israeli military killed at least 29 Palestinians  in two separate attacks around Rafah, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health and the Emergency Committee of the Rafah Governorate. UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said his staff are "terrified" and are packing up and moving following the strikes.

Broken pier:

  • The  temporary pier constructed by the US military  to transport aid into Gaza broke apart in heavy seas on Tuesday in a major blow to the American-led effort to create a maritime corridor for humanitarian supplies into the war-torn enclave, according to four US officials. An effort to reassemble the causeway and connect it to the parking area will resume when sea conditions allow, officials said.

US-made munitions were used in deadly strike on Rafah tent camp, CNN analysis shows  

From CNN’s Allegra Goodwin and Avery Schmitz

US-made munitions were used in a deadly Israeli strike on a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah, a CNN analysis of video from the scene and a review by explosive weapons experts found. 

CNN geolocated videos showing tents in flames in the aftermath of the strike on the camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) known as "Kuwait Peace Camp 1."

In video shared on social media, which CNN geolocated to the same scene by matching details including the camp’s entrance sign and the tiles on the ground, the tail of a US-made GBU-39 small-diameter bomb (SDB) is visible, according to four explosive weapons experts who reviewed the video for CNN.

The GBU-39, manufactured by Boeing, is a high-precision munition “designed to attack strategically important point targets,” and result in low collateral damage, explosive weapons expert Chris Cobb-Smith told CNN.

However, “using any munition, even of this size, will always incur risks in a densely populated area,” said Cobb-Smith, a former British Army artillery officer.   

Trevor Ball, a former US Army senior explosive ordnance disposal team member who also identified the fragment as being from a GBU-39, explained to CNN how he drew his conclusion.  

“The warhead portion [of the munition] is distinct, and the guidance and wing section is extremely unique compared to other munitions. Guidance and wing sections of munitions are often the remnants left over even after a munition detonates. I saw the tail actuation section and instantly knew it was one of the SDB/GBU-39 variants.”   

CNN’s identification of the munition is consistent with a claim made by Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari in a briefing about the tragedy on Tuesday. Hagari said the strike – which he said targeted senior Hamas commanders – used two munitions with small warheads containing 17 kilos of explosives, adding these bombs were "the smallest munitions that our jets could use.”

The traditional GBU-39 warhead has an explosive payload of 17 kilos.  

Additionally, serial numbers on the remnants match those for a manufacturer of GBU-39 parts based in California – more evidence the bombs were made in the US.  

The Pentagon declined to comment and referred CNN to comments from Israel on its operation. CNN has also reached out to the US National Security Council.

Read the full story.

French UN ambassador calls on UN Security Council "to take action and to adopt a new resolution"

From CNN's Richard Roth and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Nicolas de Rivière speaks to press at UN Headquarters in New York on November 6, 2023.

French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière warned of any further escalations in Rafah, saying "it is high time," for the UN Security Council (UNSC) "to take action and to adopt a new resolution" about the war in Gaza.

"There must be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the unconditional release of the hostages. There is no safe zone for Palestinian civilians in Rafah," Rivière said in a statement Tuesday. 

He added that the Security Council "must fulfill its mandate and take action now,"

"It must allow the UN to play its full role in the Gaza Strip, in order to cover the immediate needs of the population," he said.

"France will remain committed to building a state for the Palestinians and security guarantees for Israel," Rivière added.

Doctor describes sleepless nights and "very miserable" situation in Rafah

From CNN's Sarah EL Sirgany and Mohammed Tawfeeq

The situation in Rafah is "very miserable," according to a doctor currently working in the southern Gaza city.

"All night, we couldn't sleep," Dr. Safa Jaber told Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), in an Arabic audio message shared by t he group on X with English subtitles .

"All night we heard the clashes, the bombings and the sound of the rockets. Nobody knows what is happening exactly. There are clashes in two different locations in Tal al-Sultan area, in the north and the south," Jaber said. "I am speechless, I cannot even describe what is happening. We are scared for ourselves and for our children. We are not expecting this to happen so suddenly," she added. "Everyone is very terrified. Where shall we go? We are heading to the so-called safe zone. But there is no safe space here after what happened the day before yesterday with the burning of tents," she explained. "We are forced to stay in tents where we will be exposed to the heat, sand. We have to struggle to find water every day; both clean and salt water; the basic services that every human being needs to stay alive. The situation is very miserable," Jaber added.

"There is no shelter, no life, no future." Displaced Palestinians in Rafah wonder where they must move next

From Mohammed Al-Sawalhi, Sarah El Sirgany and Abeer Salman and Hira Humayun 

Palestinians flee from Rafah on Tuesday.

Displaced Palestinians are attempting to evacuate following devastating Israeli strikes in southern Gaza – but they don't know where to go.

Speaking to a CNN stringer in Khan Younis, north of Rafah, people said they did not know where else to go, as they tried to head north toward Deir El-Balah in central Gaza.

Video from the stringer shows mattresses, wooden panels, chairs, and various other belongings piled on top of vehicles and donkey carts.

"What’s happening now, whether in Rafah, Khan Younis or Gaza in general, is the disastrous displacement of people. There is no shelter, no life, no future," said Ansar Mahdi, who said she's been displaced four times.  "The displacement is repugnant. When people move from one place to another, they want to live.They need money. They’ve lost their savings," she said. "They told us to move from the north to the south. We did. We stayed in tents in abysmal conditions. No words can convey what we went through," she added. "Where else can we go? Where the next displacement would be?" Mahdi asked.

The roads, lined by tents and piles of garbage, were busy with people and vehicles moving in search of empty spaces.

Walking on crutches, Mohamed Jarbou, said, "The elderly have been humiliated. Children humiliated. What’s wrong? They are all civilians. The resistance is not here. The resistance is fighting somewhere else. We are displaced. Why are you hitting the displaced people?"

Israeli strikes over the past two days in Rafah have forced the already displaced people to flee.

More than two dozen people were killed in Israel strikes on two camps on Tuesday, according to Palestinian officials.

The Israeli military denied striking a humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi, telling CNN, "Contrary to the reports from the last few hours, the IDF did not strike in the Humanitarian Area in Al-Mawasi.”

CNN has asked if the military struck elsewhere in Al-Mawasi, and for comment on a strike that hit the Tal al-Sultan camp .

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U.K. 2024 General Election: What to Know

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By Esther Bintliff

Reporting from London

Why does this election matter?

How does britain vote, what are the main issues, who is running, and who is likely to win, when will we find out the results, where can i find more information.

The general election on July 4 is a pivotal moment for Britain after 14 years of government by the Conservative Party. The last full parliamentary election was in December 2019, when Boris Johnson won a landslide victory for the Conservatives , propelled by his charisma and a promise to “Get Brexit done” after the country’s decision to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum.

A lot has changed since then. In July, voters will give their verdict on five tumultuous years of government that have spanned the coronavirus pandemic , the troubled implementation of Brexit , the “Partygate” scandal around Mr. Johnson’s rule-breaking during pandemic lockdowns and the disastrous six-week tenure of Prime Minister Liz Truss .

A gothic revival-style building is seen peering over some trees along a river with a British flag flying overhead

Polls suggest that the center-left Labour Party is set to return to power after more than a decade in opposition, which would bring a fundamental realignment to British politics.

The United Kingdom — which consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — is divided into 650 constituencies.

Voters in each constituency select a candidate to represent them as a member of Parliament, and the political party that wins the most seats usually forms the next government. That party’s leader also becomes prime minister.

To win an overall majority, a party must secure 326 seats. If the top party falls short of that, the outcome is known as a “hung Parliament” and the party can try to form a coalition government with other parties. In 2010, the Conservatives joined with the Liberal Democrats to form Britain’s first coalition government since World War II, and, in 2017 , the Conservatives allied with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

The state of Britain’s economy is the top issue for most voters today, according to polls, in the wake of a cost-of-living crisis and record inflation — which reached a peak of 11.1 percent in 2022 and has only recently begun to return to target levels .

The National Health Service , the state-funded health care system that provides free care across the country, is another top priority. A decade of fiscal austerity that began under Prime Minister David Cameron after the 2009 global financial crisis left Britain’s public services deeply underfunded and facing chronic staff shortages. Waiting lists for N.H.S. treatment were already growing before the pandemic, and have since rocketed further upward , a major source of public dissatisfaction.

Immigration comes third in many voters’ lists of top issues, although its importance differs starkly according to party preference. Only 20 percent of Labour voters said it was one of their most pressing national concerns, compared with 65 percent of Conservatives in a recent poll conducted by YouGov .

The two largest parties in Britain are the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak , and the Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer , a former public prosecutor and human rights lawyer.

Labour has maintained a double-digit lead in the polls for more than 18 months , during which time the Conservatives have suffered a series of stinging losses in parliamentary special elections and elections for mayors and local councils . Although the polls often narrow in the final weeks of an election campaign, analysts believe the Conservatives would have to achieve something close to miraculous to win a majority.

In Scotland, the Scottish National Party became the most popular party in 2015 , displacing Labour there. But a funding scandal and the departure of Nicola Sturgeon as first minister has weakened the party’s support over the past year. Polls now suggest that Labour has a chance of gaining significant ground in Scotland this time round, which would ease Mr. Starmer’s path to becoming prime minister.

The populist Reform Party, which was co-founded by Nigel Farage, the champion of Brexit , has risen in the polls in recent months. Conservative Party officials fear that the anti-immigration party could siphon away supporters from their candidates, although Mr. Farage’s decision not to run as a candidate will have been welcomed by the Tories.

Two other parties, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party , made sizable gains in local elections in early May. But while both are aiming to add seats in July, Britain’s electoral system makes it harder for smaller parties to win seats in a parliamentary election.

Just after polls close at 10 p.m. on July 4, exit-poll results are announced, based on surveys of thousands of voters after they have cast their ballots.

Exit polls are not always accurate — famously, in Britain’s 1992 and 2015 elections, they predicted a hung Parliament, when in fact the Conservative Party went on to win a majority. But they have become increasingly reliable in the country in recent years and are generally seen as offering a good early indication of how the public has voted.

The first results from a few individual constituencies will be announced from around 11 p.m., and then a steady rhythm of results arrive through the early hours of the next morning. By around 7 a.m., the overall result is usually clear, although some rural seats can be announced later.

Sunak Announces U.K. Elections for July 4, Months Earlier Than Expected

Rishi Sunak’s Dismal Task: Leading U.K. Conservatives to Likely Defeat

Scotland’s Governing S.N.P. Looks to a Stalwart After Its Leader Quits

England’s Local Elections and Their Wider Significance, Explained


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