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A Letter Home Assignment

This assignment requires that you imagine yourself as a British soldier the day before the Battle of the Somme. You live in a muddy, rat-infested, and dangerous front line trench, with only a few hours to spare before the big attack. You decide to write a letter home to your parents back in England.

Your letter should describe the living conditions of your trench, daily life, and food, how you spend your time between attacks, and your feelings about the upcoming attack. There exists a strong possibility that you will not survive and this may be your last letter or communication with your parents. What would you like to tell them before the attack? Be sure to fully describe your life in the trenches, and your fears about the upcoming attack.

Writing the Letter

A personal letter usually contains five standard parts:

1. Heading in upper right hand corner - gives your present address or position. For example: France 1916, Western Front.
2. Greeting close to left margin - gives a salutation like "Dear Mom and Dad."
3. Body of the letter - holds the message and content of the letter. Use paragraph indents to separate your ideas.
4. Complimentary close - acts as a good bye.
5. Signature - put your signature at the bottom of the letter.

To help get into the mood of writing a letter from the trenches, be sure to read over the resource hot sheets dealing with the conflict. In addition, be sure to study the various photographs provided to understand the conditions faced by the men. Remember, a letter acts as a conversation with your reader. The flow of the letter should be like a conversation that you would have in the hallways of your school. In writing a letter in this manner, you will create an effective piece of writing. The letter should be 400 words in length.