I think that there are several reasons as to why this paper received an A, the first of which being the thesis statement. Professor Qualls has always talked about how our thesis statements should be concise and should ask a specific question that can be debated. This statement does exactly that by specifying that the author believes that Catherine and Peter changed the role of the government in order to strengthen it. On top of the clear pointed meaning behind the thesis, the paper also strictly follows the thesis. It doesnt deviate or get of track with the facts and information presented throughout the paper.
Another contributing factor to this paper receiving an A are the conclusions that have been drawn from the primary sources. All of the points in this paper have been backed up with evidence from the primary documents that we have read from Catherine and Peter. These points, in turn, have been grouped together so that the overall point of the paper is solidified, rather than being all over the place causing confusion.
I think another reason this paper deserves an A is also the language and word choice that was used throughout the paper. Rather than trying to cram tons of big exotic words into their argument, the author used wording that helped their argument rather than harming it. By choosing relatively simple, yet effective language, the author was able to enforce their argument without choking the reader with it.
Lastly, the author draws conclusions from the documents that are not obviously apparent from reading the sources individually. For instance, at one point it is stated that by creating the Table of Ranks, Peter put into paper his desire to become a more Western nation. While this desire is not obvious in a first read of the Table of Ranks, the author follows through and explains their point, talking about how Peter created the Table in order to form a more Western style military as the West’s militaries were significantly more effective.
In all, I think that this paper received an A because it followed all of Professor Qualls’ basic guidelines of writing papers. The thesis was concise and to the point, the points in the paper closely followed the thesis, the language was well chosen, and the author drew significant conclusions from the primary sources from which they were able to write a thoroughly convincing paper.