Catholic writing

September 20th, 2009

Catholic churches are closely associated with the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Churches are said to be in communion with the current pope who is Pope Benedict XVI. There are numerous online sites for writing Catholic literature and this site will list and help to find them.

Why Phonics is a Good Way to Learn to Read

January 18th, 2013

Phonics is a branch of reading instruction that helps children who are learning to read decipher words by focusing on the sounds that a letter or combination of letters makes. It is a proven way to help young children become more fluent readers but it is not to be confused with reading comprehension. Phonics, rather, is geared solely towards recognizing and pronouncing the words in an accurate and efficient manner.

Types of Phonics Instruction

The first type of phonics instruction is called systematic phonics. This focuses on showing children the sounds that letter make then having them combine those sounds to form words. Generally, it is taught along with spelling. For example, children might be asked to blend sounds to create a word such as b-oo-k or t-oo-k. The focus here is on segments of sound.

The other type of phonics instruction is called analytical phonics. This is when children are asked to focus on a sound within a word. Using the same example above, children might be shown the words book and took then asked which sound they shared in common. So, instead of blending sounds together, children analyze sounds within words that they are shown.

Benefits of Phonics Instruction

Decipher Words: Phonics is a beneficial form of instruction mainly because it helps children decipher words, which in turn makes them better independent readers. Understanding how the sounds blend together helps children to sound out words without assistance.

Learn New Words: Learning phonics also helps children to learn new words that they have never before encountered. It is easier for them to read a new word when they are able to break down the usual sounds of a word from previous knowledge.

Spell Correctly: Another benefit of phonics instruction is that it helps children learn to spell words correctly. While the focus is generally on the sound of the word, it exposes children to the look of a word as well. This makes spelling come more naturally.

Phonics is an important component of learning for all children but it may work better for some than others. Either way, understanding the way a word sounds or the combination of letters within word segments is a vital step on the way to becoming an active and enthusiastic reader.

The key points of business writing

November 30th, 2010

For operation as well as for owning a business enterprise, it is extremely important that you develop business writing skills. Writing for advertising campaign or sending out proposal letters, whatever the case may be, you must develop a strong hold over this skill. You must have a strong professional attitude in the moves you make. When it comes to business writing, the basic principles are the same even today. Here we shall help you to brush up your skills of business writing.

Maintaining a strong command over the language is extremely important. You must not forget that you are supposed to maintain a professional approach while writing official letters or dealing with email etiquette. There are online courses available that you can opt to improve your writing skills. You can also join schools offering adult education classes in shifts to improve your skills.

There are some wonderful books that you can find the retail bookstores and the online stores as well. “The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course in Business Writing and Communication”, “10 Steps to Successful Business Writing”, “The Business Writer’s Handbook, Eighth Edition”, which are some highly recommended and can be studied in this case.

You must keep in mind the recipient while writing the letter. You may be in the mood of giving in some details about the historical background of your organization, but is the recipient really interested in that? Is that is what he wants? Analysis of these factors will help you to write some good quality letters that will instantly grab attention of the reader:

1.      Check for spelling and grammatical errors.

2.      Proof-read your articles as many times possible. This will certainly help you to improve your business writing dexterity.

3.      Concise information is highly appreciated and do not spend time in writing elaborate letters.

4.      Stick to the professional format and professional tone, rather than getting too informal.

5.      Put in the information that you are completely aware of. This will ensure that you are not keeping the reader under any false impression.

Going through courses for developing business writing skills will help you to brush up your skills and this will help in improving the image of your organization.

So, if you want to climb up the corporate ladder, these are some of the aspects that you should be taking care of. Since each one of us will want to represent our businesses in the best possible way, these are the aspects that you must ponder upon.

IR35 and writers

April 2nd, 2010

A Guide to IR35 – Does It Affect Me? Introduction – what is IR35?

The term IR35 came from the name of the press release from HM Customs & Revenue when they announced their intent to introduce legislation to address “disguised employment”.

What is disguised employment ?

This term is used when your relationship with the end client is similar to that of an employee. Its key impact is that HMRC will examine your agreement with the end client, and may consider your earnings to be salary. This means that tax and national insurance will be payable.

When does it apply?

Each contract is viewed on its own merit so it is important that you consider each contract and inform us of your IR35 status for each one. We can provide guidelines for assessing whether IR35 applies but the responsibility for ensuring that the correct status is applied lies with the contractor who understands the true reality of the relationship they have with the end client.

What are the indicators of disguised employment?

The contract is key and should reflect the reality of the situation and the relationship between contractor and end client. Within the contract, there should be the following features which suggest self employment rather than employment (and within IR35)

  • Right of substitution – you have the right to send a substitution to undertake the work if you are not available
  • Place and hours of work – are at your choosing
  • Price – ideally should be a fixed price so that you have the risk of additional work if there are problems rather than working and charging by the hour
  • You provide your own kit rather than use the clients
  • You have freedom to control the work you do and are not under the direct supervision of the client What do I need to do?

The IR35 status of each contract is a matter of fact rather than choice. It is important that the correct decision is made to avoid penalties and backdating of tax owed to HMRC later on. Each contractor is responsible for determining the nature of their contract with the end client for each assignment.

What if I have more than one client/contract?

A common misconception is that IR35 only applies in situations where you have one client or customer. This is not necessarily the case. You could have the situation where one of your contracts is within IR35 and one is outside. It is important that each contract is reviewed on it’s own merit.

I’m going to opt out of IR35!

There is no such thing as deciding to opt in or out. Your tax position is largely a matter of fact and determined by the nature of your contract and working relationship with the end client. You are responsible for your own tax affairs. This means that you will bear the costs of unpaid tax and penalties in the event of a HMRC investigation into your employment status.

I’m OK – I have IR35 insurance!

Read the small print! Most insurance policies around IR35 and tax investigations will cover the cost of an enquiry and any penalties/unpaid taxes unless you knew or ought reasonably to have known that you were operating in a manner which was likely to give rise to a claim. This means you will not be covered in situations where it is clear that IR35 applies and you have chosen to ignore that fact. If you are operating within IR35, by using an umbrella company, you will have peace of mind that your earnings are being managed in a tax compliant manner.

Important Catholic Dates

February 7th, 2010

The Catholic Church assigns certain days and seasons throughout the year to remember different events in the life of Christ.

One complete calendar year is represented in terms of the Catholic Church as a cycle of six liturgical seasons which determine which sections of scripture should be read from and which commemorations and memorials should be celebrated.


The liturgical year begins with the season of Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and runs until Christmas Eve. In 2009 advent begins on the 29th of November and runs for 26 days.


Following advent, the Christmas season begins on the 24th December with Christmas Eve. Christmas day, the day commonly celebrated as the anniversary of the birth of Christ is held on the 25th December. The Christmas season then lasts until the feast of Epiphany which is celebrated on the 6th January through the traditional twelve days of Christmas.

There is then a period of “Ordinary Time” that belongs to no season in particular. This period will contain anywhere between 3 and 8 Sundays and ends with the start of Lent.


The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for forty days, although any Sundays falling within this period are not counted. Lent includes the important dates of Good Friday and Palm Sunday.


Easter is the most important season in the Catholic liturgical year since it represents the resurrection of Christ. The feasts and celebrations of the Easter season, including Easter Sunday are not fixed in relation to the traditional calendar. Instead their dates are related to a lunar calendar.

Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday, always falls between March 22nd and April 25th. Easter Monday follows and is a civil holiday in many countries.

Summary of dates

Ash Wednesday – The first day of Lent, forty six days before Easter Sunday
Palm Sunday – The Sunday before Easter Sunday
Good Friday – The Friday before Easter Sunday
Holy Saturday – The Saturday before Easter Sunday
All Saints Day – Normally held on November 1st
Christmas Eve – December 24th
Christams Day – December 25th

Travelling Companions – what would you take?

December 22nd, 2009

Apart from the clothes you are wearing what item do you think is the most essential item to take on holiday if visiting a Catholic site? Of course, this question could be answered differently by all of us. We each have our own little items that without be feel lost. So lets imagine we are travelling from London to Australia what would you take?

A popular choice is a good Catholic book; some people just love to read or even write on the plane. Or maybe make the most of technology advancements and take a computerised handheld book or eBook giving you the options of hundreds of stories within the device.

For some it’s the cosmetic cases, ranging from hairbrushes to the lip-gloss and moisturiser. It could be once said this was a more likely choice of the ladies, but now titivation is now as much males’ hobbies as well as females.

The addiction for computer games would be key in some people’s decisions. Either the Playstation handheld or Nintendo DS could keep some people occupied not just for the flight to Australia but for the duration of their stay as well.

The differences between different peoples choices is vast and above are just a few items people would take. From Sudoku, to religious magazines or the daily tabloids to laptops or knitting the list could be endless.

For others there is nothing they want more than when on a plane is to try to sleep. Whether this is just because they have a chance to catch up on some sleep or maybe trying to adopt the incoming time zone grabbing a blanket and a seeing if the cabin crew have any blindfolds is a great option. Of course the choice is yours.

Saint Patrick’s Day

November 9th, 2009

It’s true – it seems everyone wants to be Irish on St Patrick’s Day (March 17)! Maybe it’s the fun, cheerful atmosphere that’s enjoyed in the numerous St Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world, or maybe people just enjoy dressing in green, throwing shamrocks around and leaping like leprechauns!

Whatever the reason, St Patrick’s Day is one of, if not the most, widely celebrated days in honour of a Catholic saint. Especially in North America, many cities have huge parades on St Patrick’s Day and those Irish pubs become very busy with everybody joining in the merrymaking!

It’s ironic that until 1996, the celebrations in Ireland itself couldn’t rival those around the world, so the Irish government established the St Patrick’s Festival, a national festival that would make the Irish proud!

Visiting the St Patrick’s Festival

All across Ireland you’ll find towns and cities celebrating St Patrick’s Day in one way or another, whether it’s on the day itself, or maybe the weekend before, but Dublin is home to the national celebrations.

If you’re heading to Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, be aware that you’ll be one in about a million other visitors who have come for this family fun event, so make sure you book your travel arrangements and hotel accommodation well in advance. in the centre of town and hotels near other Dublic attractions.. There are a large number of excellent Dublin hotels, from budget to 5 star, but with a million people in the city hotels will get booked up fast. If you would like to stay near one of Dublin attractions then try one of the Temple Bar hotels, or the hotels near Dublin Castle. Alternatively, if you are staying for only a short time then try a hotel near Dublin Airport.

The festival parade is the main event of the celebrations, but as the festival takes place over the course of several days you have the opportunity to enjoy more than simply the parade. There’s usually a large fun-fair for example, maybe live music, and of course you have the whole of the great city of Dublin to explore too; so take your time and stay for a while!

Find out more about exactly what will be included in the 2010 St Patrick’s Festival by checking the official website nearer the time.

What is the St Patrick’s Festival?

The first St Patrick’s Festival took place in Dublin in 1996 and included a huge parade and spectacular fireworks. Since then the festival has grown and there are now celebrations of one kind or another going on for about four days, covering the weekend before St Patrick’s Day itself, on March 17.

Dublin is now home to probably the best St Patrick’s parade in the world, but the fireworks, known as Skyfest, have been on the move over the past few years, happening in County Tipperary in 2008, and in the beautiful city of Waterford in 2009. Where exactly Skyfest will take place in 2010 is still a mystery, but the official St Patrick’s Festival website will give you more information as soon it’s been released.

Who was Saint Patrick?

Saint Patrick is one of three patron saints of Ireland, and though there are two others he is the most famous. He came to Ireland as a Catholic bishop to spread the world of Christianity, using a shamrock to explain to the Irish about the Holy Trinity. After his death he was declared a Saint in Heaven, and a few hundred years later Saint Patrick was widely accepted as a patron saint of Ireland.

How to write an article

September 22nd, 2009

If you are reading this then you are probably thinking about writing your own articles and publishing them online, either on a blog or a community website. If so, it is worth considering a few things before you begin.

First of all, think about why you are going to write. Do you want to put forward a certain view or argument about a topic or do you want to just make information about a certain subject more accessible? Bear this in mind throughout your writing.

Do your research

No matter what the subject matter of your article is you can always benefit from doing some research on the topic. Take a look at articles that other people have written and take on board the things you like and dislike about their writing. You might learn something new about the topic in the process which you can then incorporate into your own work.

Structure your article

One of my University lecturers always said that he would tell a class what he was going to tell them, then he would tell them, then he would tell them what he just told them! Whilst it sounds a little strange, this three step repetition is a very effective way to share information.

Start by introducing your reader to the subject matter via a short literature review, go on to explore the subject in more detail, and then close with a summary of what they have just read.

Be clear and concise

Your article will be competing against a world full of information on the Internet so make sure that your reader gets the point. Be clear and concise with your language and don’t pad out articles with unnecessary superlatives.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar

Modern blogging and word processing programs will help with this, but it is certainly an advantage if you have a good understanding of the language you are writing in. There is not much worse than trying to decrypt the content of an online article.

Be natural

Don’t forget that you are writing for other people! Nobody likes to read through hundreds of lines of flat, boring text so make your article interesting and entertaining. A sense of humour is not always appropriate, but it can certainly help your reader enjoy your article.

History of Catholicism

September 22nd, 2009

Catholicism is a form of Christianity that has a long and rich history. The term primarily refers to Christians that are in full communion with the Church of Rome and are led by the Roman Pontiff, currently Pope Benedict XVI.

The name “Catholic” will often be used to describe any member of the Christian faith although this usage is far from appropriate. Catholicism differs from many other branches of Christianity and bears very noticeable contrasts to the beliefs of Protestant Reformers.

The word “Catholic” is an adjective derived from the Greek language and means “universal”. Its usage in reference to the Church implies that Christianity is open to people of all ages, genders and races and is not limited to any particular time or place.

Catholics have faith in one God and in Jesus, the son of God. They follow the teachings of the Bible and believe that Jesus suffered for the sins of mankind, was crucified and buried, and was then resurrected to open heaven to his followers. They believe that Mary was the Mother of Jesus and that her conception was immaculate.

Most Catholics are baptised, a ritual that signifies the removal of original sin and welcomes the recipient into the family of the Catholic Church. Baptisms will usually be conducted on infants and involves immersing the subject in water, although gently pouring water on the forehead is a more common act nowadays.

The foundation of the Catholic belief centres on the seven sacraments. These sacraments were defined and taught by Christ during his life on Earth. The sacraments include baptism, confirmation, Holy Communion, confession, marriage, holy orders and the anointing of the sick, also known as last rites.

Like all of Christianity, prayer is a big part of the practice of Catholicism and provides a means to reflect and find grace. Catholics pray to God and Jesus, but also to Saints. The term Saint refers to a follower of Christ and lives exclusively according to His teachings, although is often used more specifically to refer to particular holy men or women that have already entered Heaven having lived a life of virtue.