The document analysis we read merits an A grade because of its clear and sophisticated thesis, organized paragraphs, and useful corporation of evidence. The thesis, “Peter the Great and Catherine the Great stratified and expanded governmental roles in order to strengthen Russia’s international presence and to pacify conflict within and regulate the daily lives of the nobility and townspeople,” is specific and clear. While this thesis does answer the prompt, it focuses on one particular aspect of the readings: the stratification and ranking of Russian citizens. By narrowing in on one theme in the readings, the paper is able to develop fully its ideas, instead of spreading itself too thin.
Furthermore, the body paragraphs in the paper are organized very well. Each paragraph starts off with a topic sentence which introduces the mini argument within the paragraph. For instance, the second paragraph begins, “This new system also
spoke to Peter’s desire for Westernization, especially his imitating of
European militaries to strengthen Russia’s own armed forces.” With this sentence, the reader understand that the following paragraph will explain that Peter’s desire for Westernization influenced some of his military reforms. The paper then offers an example, article 15 of the Table of Ranks, to support this argument. The paragraph continues by rephrasing that quotation before explaining how it connects to Peter’s larger goal of Westernization. The paragraph concludes with a strong closing sentence.
The organization is also clear in between paragraphs. The paper moves logically from Peter’s reforms to Catherine’s. Moreover, it tries to both show the connections between the two monarchs’ reforms, such as in the third body paragraph, and highlight the disparities between the two, such as in the fourth and fifth body paragraphs.
The paper also uses evidence well. In paraphrasing or quoting the documents once or twice per paragraph, it gives enough evidence without letting the evidence overwhelm the reader. Also, the paper does not quote incessantly; it only quotes when it needs to. However, it still uses evidence by paraphrasing the documents. For example, the fourth body paragraph paraphrases a section in the Charter to the Towns: “The first guild, for instance, was for those with wealth between ten thousand and fifty thousand rubles, whereas members of the third guild possessed between one thousand and five thousand rubles.” Instead of quoting, the author paraphrases here to draw attention to the evidence it needs.
Finally, the paper is free of grammatical errors, and the language is (for the most part) concise and clear. The paper meets the qualifications for an A grade which Professor Qualls has expressed.