Dr. Amanda Licastro (You can address me as Dr. L or Professor)

Telephone number: I rarely use my office phone. Please email.

Stevenson email: alicastro@stevenson.edu

Best times for phone contact: I will respond to emails anytime before 10pm and after 9am if possible.

Office location: DC 238 (on Greenspring on the first floor of Dawson Center)

Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2pm on OMN, and Fridays at GS, by appointment


English 151: Composition and Writing from Sources

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): Placement by admissions.

Classroom or Studio Location: SBL 105

Scheduled Class Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday. Check Webexpress for details

Course Description: Develops the ability to write clear, coherent, and well-developed expository prose. This course requires analytical reading and critical thinking and includes instruction and practice in research methods and writing from sources.

Instructional Methods Used in this Course: This course features frequent class discussion and in-class writing and requires active participation and careful preparation from every student.

Required and Recommended Texts, Manuals, and Supplies:

Please get a notebook with removable pages.

Required text

Author: Ernest Cline
Title: Ready Player One
ISBN:  0307887448
Publisher: Broadway books

You should get the paperback version and the audiobook (I recommend Audible or Kindle)


Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to

*Develop clear, supportable claims through careful reasoning and analysis of evidence.
*Apply rhetorical considerations of audience, occasion, and purpose to critical reading and to composition of written texts.
*Make effective choices about content, organization, style, and language in response to the specific audience and purpose of a writing task.
*Evaluate and analyze sources of evidence in order to respond to clearly defined questions and problems.
*Develop a writing project over multiple drafts by incorporating feedback from previous work, classroom instruction, and workshops, and knowledge of specific writing strengths and weaknesses.
*Apply principles of MLA citation in order to incorporate evidence and to accurately differentiate between quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information.
*Negotiate personal values by recognizing the values within a text.


Grading Scale:

A 93-100 4.0
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3.0
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 70-76 2.0
D 60-69 1.0
F 1-59 0.0

Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in English 151 in order to earn credit toward the SEE Writing and Communication requirement and to proceed to English 152.

Grading Standards: The attached rubric explains how your written work will be evaluated in four categories: Content, Organization, Style, and Grammar/Mechanics. Individual writing assignments may require additional standards, which will be clearly explained on the assignment sheet.

Course Requirements:Each student will complete a journal, blog posts, three formal essays, and two digital projects. There will be reading assignments every night.

Literacy Narrative                   10%
Reading Responses                 5%
Rhetorical Analysis                15%
Midterm Project                     20%
Project Pitch                           10%
Final Project                            20%
Participation                           20%


Policies: You must arrive to class on time and avoid leaving early unless there are serious extenuating circumstances. Please contact me if you will be absent and find a classmate to share their notes with you. Late journal entries and blog posts will not be accepted under any circumstances. However, extensions for essays and digital projects will be considered on an individual basis. Please come see me for help – I welcome you to visit my office hours to speak with you anytime!        

Submission of Assignments or Projects: All assignments will be submitted online on our course blog. A tag and category will be provided and must be used to receive credit for your work. All citations should be in MLA format. Please use OWL at Purdue for guidance in formatting your citations.

Classroom Policies: The use of cell phones and headphones is prohibited unless explicitly stated in class. Remove your headphones before entering the room and put your phone on silent. You will be using a computer in class at least one day a week. You are not to use this time to check social media, sports scores, gossip blogs, or anything other than our course work.

Please respect our time together and use the computers to complete your assignments to the best of your ability…you are paying to be in this class and learn after all…


Diversity Statement

Stevenson University commits itself to diversity as it relates to awareness, education, respect, and practice at every level of the organization. The University embraces people of all backgrounds, defined by, but not limited to, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical ability, learning styles, and political perspectives. The University believes its core values are strengthened when all of its members have voice and representation. The resulting inclusive organizational climate promotes the development of broad-minded members of the University who positively influence their local and global communities.

Standards of Academic Integrity

Stevenson University expects all members of its community to behave with integrity. Honesty and integrity provide the clearest path to knowledge, understanding, and truth – the highest goals of an academic institution. For students, integrity is fundamental to the development of intellect, character, and the personal and professional ethics that will govern their lives and shape their careers. Stevenson University embraces and operates in a manner consistent with the definitions and principles of Academic Integrity as set forth by the International Center for Academic Integrity. Students are expected to model the values of academic integrity (honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage) in all aspects of this course.

Students will be asked to assent to and to uphold the University Honor Pledge:

I pledge on my honor that I have neither given nor received

unauthorized assistance on this assignment/exam.”

Suspected violations of the Academic Integrity Policy will be reported and investigated as outlined in the Policy Manual, Volume V.

If you are unsure what counts as plagiarism – for instance if you cut and paste part of a paper, buy an essay online, have someone help you write your paper, or borrow a paper from someone else – this STILL counts as plagiarism. Instead of cheating, come ask me, or a tutor, or a librarian for help!!!



Disability Services
Stevenson University will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) facilitates equal access for every student who self-identifies as having a disability. If you are a student with a disability who needs accommodations in this class, please contact the Director of Disability Services located in Garrison Hall South Room 138 or send an email to ODS@stevenson.edu. Once accommodations are authorized by ODS, please provide me (your instructor) with your approved accommodations memo as soon as possible. Accommodations are not retroactive.

This is the link to the University’s Office of Disability Services: http://www.stevenson.edu/academics/academic-resources/disability-support-services/

Academic Link
The John L. Stasiak Academic Link,
located on Owings Mills in the Center for Student Success (GHS 101), provides free tutoring for many classes. If you are having difficulty with or would benefit from discussing the material with an upper level peer, seek assistance early in the semester. Tutoring often makes a difference in a student’s grade. To view the tutoring schedule and sign up for an appointment, go to stevenson.go-redrock.com, visit the Link in person, or call 443-394-9300.

SU Library

The SU Library provides extensive electronic and print resources to support your coursework. Research Guides and databases can be found on the library home page, as well as brief tutorials to assist you in using these resources. A professional librarian is always available to help you find the best information sources for your needs. For more information about library services, please visit: http://stevenson.libguides.com/stevensonlibrary

Online Learning Resources

Atomic Learning (Hoonuit), available through Blackboard, is an online learning resource available to all Stevenson students that provides video tutorials for instruction on a wide variety of topics.

The Wellness Center

Stress is a normal part of being a student. However, if personal, emotional, or physical concerns are interfering with your ability to be successful at Stevenson, please call the Wellness Center at 443-352-4200 to make an appointment. More information about the Wellness Center can be found at: http://www.stevenson.edu/student-life/health-wellness/


SU Goal No. 1: Intellectual Development (ID)

The SU graduate will use inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, scientific reasoning, and quantitative skills to gather and evaluate evidence, to define and solve problems facing his or her communities, the nation, and the world, and to demonstrate an appreciation for the nature and value of the fine arts.

SU Goal No. 2: Communication (C)

The SU graduate will communicate logically, clearly, and precisely using written, oral, non-verbal, and electronic means to acquire, organize, present, and/or document ideas and information, reflecting an awareness of situation, audience, purpose, and diverse points of view.

SU Goal No. 3: Self, Societies, and the Natural World (SSNW)

The SU graduate will consider self, others, diverse societies and cultures, and the physical and natural worlds, while engaging with world problems, both contemporary and enduring.

SU Goal No. 4: Experiential Learning (EL)

The SU graduate will connect ideas and experiences from a variety of contexts, synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations.

SU Goal No. 5: Career Readiness (CR)

The SU graduate will demonstrate personal direction, professional know-how, and discipline expertise in preparation for entry into the workplace or graduate studies.

SU Goal No. 6: Ethics in Practice (EIP)

The SU graduate will practice integrity in the academic enterprise, professional settings, and personal relationships.

For more information about the SU learning outcomes and goals, please see the Stevenson catalog.