Argosy University Blog

Demystifying Commonly Misused Words

Let’s face it; the English language can be more than a little wacky at times. A word can look exactly the same as another word, but be pronounced differently and have a different meaning. For example, you might say “I read the entire book my instructor assigned in class this week, but I heard that there were many people who didn’t take the time to read it.” Then there are those pesky words that seem interchangeable but definitely aren’t. Check out some of the examples below.

  • They’re, There and Their. This trio is quite possibly the most-often confused of all, but they don’t have to cause you to scratch your head in frustration. They're is a combination of they and are, as in “They’re planning to meet after graduation for dinner.” There can be used either as an adverb (She is planning to go there tomorrow) or a pronoun (There is nothing we can do about it). Finally, their shows possession, as in “I was invited to a party at their house.”
  • To , Too and Two. The word to can be used either as a preposition (We came to their new home; they had moved from a small apartment to a house) or as an adverb (When she came to, she couldn’t remember anything that had happened). Too is an adverb meaning in addition to or also, as in, “I wanted to attend the conference too” or “I, too, thought she was an excellent candidate.” Finally, two is the spelling for the number 2, as in “There were two of us in the office when I arrived.”
  • Lose and Loose. Lose is a verb. For example, “I’m always worried I will lose my car keys” or “I have always struggled to lose weight.” The word loose can be used as an adverb (The rope was tied loosely around her waist), or a verb (After I lost weight, my pants were definitely loose).

If there are other words that stump you, or you need general writing help for your class, check out the Tutoring Center in the Campus Common.

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When it Comes to Your Education, You are in Charge

When it comes down to it, how you proceed with your education is entirely up to you. Earning your degree is most definitely an investment, so you should make sure you're getting the biggest return possible. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Stay active and engaged. Online learning should not be a passive experience. Make sure you’re in the driver’s seat by participating in online discussions with your classmates and instructor.
  • Stay on track. Keep yourself organized. Keep a calendar of assignment due dates and reading assignments, and make sure you’re up to date with your work. It’s a lot easier to keep up with your course schedule than to try to catch up once you fall behind.
  • Get involved. Visit the Campus Common to join groups or clubs that are aligned with your career interests. Groups can help you to network with others in your program and can be a valuable resource as you move into your job field.
  • Gain real-world experience. Nearing the end of your program? Make sure to reach out to Career Services and explore opportunities for internships. Nothing sets you apart from other job candidates like actual experience in your field.

Remember, you’re in charge of what you take away from your college experience. You can go through the motions, or you can walk away with a degree and the skills that set you apart from the rest!

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Top Misconceptions About Online Learning

Many new students are not 100 percent sure what to expect when they begin taking classes online. After speaking with several of them, we have found that many of them share some misconceptions about online learning:

  • Online courses are easier than traditional classroom courses. The truth is, online courses feature the same curriculum as campus-based courses. They require the same amount of time and effort as a traditional classroom course.
  • I won’t get individual attention from my instructor. This could not be further from the truth. In online courses, your instructor will participate in your classroom discussions and give feedback for each homework submission, just as she would in a traditional classroom.
  • I won’t get to know my classmates. Many students are surprised to find that they get to know their classmates quickly by interacting in discussions. Similarly to a campus-based school, online students that share the same major often progress through the same courses, building lasting friendships.
    Furthermore, many student groups allow you to network with students that share your interests. Visit the Campus Common to see what groups you might like to take part in.
  • Online degrees don’t carry the respect of traditional college degrees. Because the online curriculum is the same that you would learn in the campus-based school and shares the same prestigious accreditation, the only difference is the delivery method.
    In fact, online degrees are more accepted and respected than ever, and more and more students are choosing to pursue their degrees online due to the flexibility of the format.
  • Instructors that teach online are not as qualified. We have very high standards for the facilitators that represent our university. In fact, every instructor that will teach you has, at the very least, a master’s degree and several years of work experience in his field. We also require all facilitators to complete training that equips them with the skills and knowledge to support the success of students in the online learning environment.
  • I won’t have access to help when I need it. If you ever find yourself in need of help, there are many resources available to you, such as individual feedback from your professor, guidance from your academic counselor, online tutoring services and a whole host of other resources available to you in the Campus Common.
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