World War II Timed Essay Showdown: Neil vs. Carolyn

A few years ago, when we first started homeschooling, Neil and I wrote persuasive essays with opposing points of view, and I posted them here. Neil is an excellent writer, though he sometimes loses sight of this fact.

So as part of his final test on the World War II unit we’ve just completed, I set up a timed one-hour essay on the question “Compare and contrast Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler. Be sure to specifically include one military campaign or battle for each.” Naturally, as they person who knew the question before the test, I had an advantage. Afterwards, I typed up both essays, omitting the author’s name on each, and gave them to Peter to grade. To my surprise (but also somewhat to my delight) Neil bested me, slightly in organization and focus–and Peter thought I’d written that essay!

To be fair, I gave Neil the chance to come up with a similar question for our next timed one-hour essay. He put up the question, “What were some of Hitler’s greatest mistakes in World War II?” We each thought the other’s essay was better, so I post them here for you to read and judge–and guess who wrote which. I left errors in place, just as they would have been in a formal test. (Neil also points out that by Godwin’s Law, we’ve both already lost our respective arguments….)

First Essay: Hitler’s Biggest Blunders

Second Essay: Hitler’s Greatest Mistakes

Let us know what you think in the comments!!


  1. Jon Ziegler

    Excellent test. I didn’t know Neil likes competition.

    The second essay, “Hitler’s Greatest Mistakes,” is yours. The first is Neil’s. That’s my conclusion from reading a paragraph and a half of each.

  2. Mary Deignan

    I agree with Jon Ziegler as to the authors of the two essays.


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