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Transition Analysis of "America's Schoolchildren"

Your assignment this week is to perform a transition analysis for “Remarks by the President in a National Address to America’s Schoolchildren” by Barack Obama (page 67 of Springboard).


When an author writes any text, they carefully consider how to transition one idea to the next. In dialogue, this means having one character speak and having another one respond in a way that seems related. If a character regularly responded with “I love dogs” when the conversation was about World War II, an audience could logically assume that character was insane; similarly, if an author writes an informational text or an argument and the connections between ideas are not clear, the audience might conclude that the author is not to be trusted. To avoid this, authors often end one paragraph by introducing ideas that will be in the next paragraph, or start a new paragraph by referring to ideas in the previous one.


So, for this week’s homework, you will be asked to analyze how President Barack Obama transitions between paragraphs to build a strong argument.


You must:

  • Examine the text and find five transitions between paragraphs that you think are well done.

  • Write the sentence that ends the paragraph, including the paragraph number.

  • Write the sentence that begins the following paragraph, including the paragraph number.

  • Explain how the two sentences are related. How does one build on the ideas of the other?

  • Explain why you think it is effective. Does it make a connection clear? Does it connect ideas to the thesis/claim? Does it make the speaker more reliable? Etc.



  • Paragraph 1 ends: “And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little bit longer this morning.

  • Paragraph 2 begins: “I know that feeling.”

  • The speaker begins the second paragraph by responding directly to his statement in the previous paragraph. This allows the speaker to connect with his audience (children) and transition into the speaker talking about his own experiences as a child.

Earlier Event: September 28
Publication Draft of Interview Narrative
Later Event: October 2
Reading Log Due