Essay Review

This essay is worth an A grade primarily because of its strong thesis statement, which aided that paper in many related ways. The thesis addresses the prompt of the essay  accurately by addressing not only the how of the reforms – “…stratified and expanded government roles” – but also the why – “… in order to strengthen Russia’’s international presence and to pacify conflict within and regulate the daily lives of the nobility and townspeople.” The rubric states that in an A paper the thesis is always kept in focus, and in this paper everything revolves around it just as it should.

The thesis also sets the essay up to be organized in a way that is clear and logical to the reader. Each topic sentence harkens back to a certain aspect of the thesis, pairing a ruler with their specific reforms and the reason for that reform. The essay is set up starting with analysis of Peter’s goal to centralize power, then goes on to talk about his desire to strengthen Russia’s military. The focus then switches to Catherine, starting with a comparison between her reforms and Peters and then going on to talk about her own goals of decentralization and control over the population through ranking. The transition paragraph between the analysis of Peter and Catherine is useful for reader to understand how the later paragraphs relate to the first, allowing the author of the essay to avoid having to talk about both rulers throughout and clutter up the essay.

The paper also follows all of the guidelines found in the “Tips on Writing for Me” resource. Besides following the basic formatting and grammar rules, the author also demonstrates an ability to achieve the more complicated goals set. The quotes used throughout the essay are only used when the benefit the argument the most, or are being closely analyzed. They are also always introduced in a way that makes the transition fluid and natural. It does not wear out any particular phrases, and utilizes a variety of sentences structures in composing the argument. The writing of the essay is also very concise: it says only what is needs to in order to get its point across clearly, be that analysis or examples, and nothing extraneous.

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