Class Notes


*In class free writing prompt:

  • think of something you want/ desire and think of how you could get it
  • (think of how this prompt relates to The Secret)
  • actualize- make real

*The “secret” is the law of attraction

  • law of attraction- whatever you put out into the world you will attract
  • thoughts become things– “your thoughts hold power” as Reem stated
  • reductive- reducing things/ oversimplifying; making things black & white
  • generic (adjective of genre)
  • conventions- things we usually do

Self-help texts are meant to help the individual self

  • means you need to identify the problem and then it can be remediated
  • remediate- to fix something

The solution is promised by the authors of self-help texts but what gives them the authority?

  • can either be “science” or expert testimonials as seen in The Secret
  • testimonials- attesting that something works


  • logos- use of logic/analysis to persuade the audience
  • pathos- use of emotions to persuade the audience
  • ethos- use of credibility to persuade the audience

*every text uses at least one of these^

  • credible- you are believable; a trusted source
  • generalization- when you take a particular example and make it the case for everyone
  • implicit- indirect
  • explicit- direct
  • paratext- text that surrounds the main text — includes the epigraph; this can be the front of a book, back of a book, and quotes used in a book
  • epigraph- quote at the beginning of the text
  • endorsement- a form of support or approval


  • Byrne claims expertise through personal narratives/ experiences and through older sources (eg: The Emerald Tablet)
  • The Secret is dedicated to you (the reader)– this shows benevolence; draws the reader into the book

***Homework– catch up on any readings and do the People’s Choice post before the next class on 2/11

***Make sure to read the Biographies section of The Secret

*Class notes for 2/11 will be done by Reem Saleh

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