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Here is another example of revision, beginning with a formal

sentence outline, which will be used as the plan for the final
draft. Use this kind of step-by-step outline when you want to
make sure that you stick to the point and include all the
essential elements of the argument, making a point,
demonstrating it, explaining it, and closing/connecting to the next


Introductory Statement:

In the short story The Rocking-Horse Winner, the characters confuse success and
happiness with the pursuit of luck and money, a course which ultimately leads to death.

Thesis Statement:

D. H. Lawrence uses specific aspects of literary style to demonstrate this ironic path to

Paragraph 1:

Material possessions are valued over relationships in the family, even though it does not
appear that way to outsiders.

In this Point 1:
paper, the The mother appears, to anyone outside the family, to be a caring and loving person,
although she actually does not demonstrate affection for her children.
student is doing
a literary Example:
analysis, so the
examples are Everybody else said of her: She is such a good mother. She adores her children. Only
all direct she herself, and her children themselves, knew it was not so. They read it in each others
quotations eyes. (Lawrence 19)
from the
primary work Explanation:
of literature.
Despite appearances, the family is not happy and loving, and that fact remains unspoken.
Note that
page Point 2:
are easy to The family attempts to live a glamorous life, even though they are unable to afford it.
include at this
stage and allow Example:
for ease of
assembly in
later drafts.

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There was never enough money. The mother had a small income, and the father had a
small income, but not nearly enough for the social position which they had to keep


Since the family cannot afford their way of life, the mothers actions haunt the children
who feel a constant need for money.

Closing Sentence:

The appearance of a contented family contrasts with the reality of a compulsive need for

Paragraph 2:

For this family, who is struggling financially, luck is the ability to make more money and
have a better life.
Weaknesses in
argument Point 1:
become easily
apparent when No matter how much money the family makes, there is always a need for more.
you use this
approach, and
cosmetic If youre lucky, you have money. Thats why its better to be born lucky than rich. If
changes can be youre rich, you may lose your money. But if youre lucky, you will always get more
readily money (20).
incorporated as
you progress Explanation:
through various
drafts. In this conversation with Paul, his mother explains why they are the poor members of
the family and blames it on the fact that his father has no luck (20).

Point 2:

The children detect an underlying pulse in the house regarding the need for more money.


And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more
money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time, though
nobody said it aloud (19).


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Family life in the story revolves around money. The intensity is so great that even the
house whispers the need. The children infer from the mothers words and actions that
money is the most important thing in life.

Closing Sentence:

The focus of the entire family is on finances and possessions.

Paragraph 3:

Pauls innocent desire to make money for the sake of his mothers happiness leads to his
tragic corruption and death.

Point 1:

The children are haunted by the need for money.


And the children would stop playing, to listen for a moment. They would look into each
others eyes, to see if they had all heard. And each one saw in the eyes of the other two
that they too had heard. There must be more money! There must be more money!


The children are disturbed by problems that they should not be troubled about

Point 2:

There is a contrast between the figure of the rocking horse and the corruption of the race


Ive got to know for the Derby! Ive got to know for the Derby! the child reiterated,
his big blue eyes blazing with a sort of madness (20).


Paul begins with the childs play of riding a rocking horse, but ends with an addiction to
gambling on the horse races. Pauls uncle and the gardener continue to use his advice to
bet on horses, even while Paul is on his death bed.

Closing Sentence:

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Although Paul reaches his destination on his rocking-horse ride, he is ultimately
overtaken by the corruption of his family and friends.


Restatement of thesis:

Pauls inevitable death is an ironic end to an innocent pursuit.

Restatement of key arguments:

A young mans desperate attempt to fulfill his mothers dreams exposes the irony of the
situation, as he rides his horse to money and to death.

The clincher:

Even on Pauls death bed, his uncles words to his mother reveal the irony: My God,
Hester, youre eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But,
poor devil, poor devil, hes best gone out of a life where he rides his rocking horse to find
a winner (30).

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