Class Notes 02/16/21

         Beginning of class notes on the film and group assignment question were collected ahead of class via DROPBOX.

Dropbox link locations- Course profile> Course site> Schedule> Current date

**Each assignment has it’s own link found under the the description of the assignment which is found under the date asked by Professor for submission. You must use the correct link to submit each document. When you click the link request it will allow you to upload your document. Photographs are not accepted and must be converted to PDF via app or by manually scanning. (Ex: camscanner, adobe scan) Do not pay for apps or create profiles.

Renaming files > Fullname, Assignment Name  ( ex)    (CourtneyLagrange,TheSecretFilmNotes)   

Impressions of Film- 

The class had mixed reviews about the graphics and use of imagery to relay the message the author was sending. Some found it helpful to see the meanings of the message ,while others thought a few scenes were absurd. 

Scenes to keep in mind for next class 

  1. Lady visualizing the necklace she wanted while staring at her reflection and then having it. 
  2. Genie appearing and saying “Your wish is my command”.¬†¬†
  3. Two older women that have the same medical condition with different aspects of what life can be like with or without negative thoughts.
  4. Man that had the photo of the house he wanted and five years later he realizing he was living in that exact home. 
  5. Lady with breast cancer that had the two diagnostic images in the background of active cancer and when she was” healed” .¬†
  6. Scene with the elephant and how it is good not all things we want happen instantly. 

Questions covered in class from film assignment

#6) Is this vision realistic? Can individuals have ‚Äúanything‚ÄĚ they want? Is there a limit?

**Keep in mind the concept of “The good life”**

#12 ) What happens when there are competing desires (one person wants something, but this
conflicts with what someone else wants/desires)?

Example given : 2 Qualified individuals going for the same job position that both practice” The Law of Attraction” .


#11) If you get positive things by positive thinking, and you get negative things by negative
thinking, then what kind of responsibility does this place (perhaps unfairly?) on
individuals? Is this a kind of ‚Äúblame-the-victim‚ÄĚ ideology?

Example arguments given: 

Holocaust ( Did the whole community have negative thoughts?)

Victims of violent crimes ( Are they really to blame?) 


*Vocabulary to remember*

Efficacy( Noun) РThe ability to produce a desired or intended result , effectiveness. 

Parody( Noun or Verb)– ¬†an amusing imitation of a serious author’s style of writing.

Visualization (Noun)– The formation of a mental image of something.

Intention (Noun) Place focus on something. A thing intended; an aim or plan.

Undermine (Verb) РTo damage or weaken (someone or something), especially gradually or insidiously.

Agency(Noun)– thoughts and actions taken by people that express their individual power.

Bias(Noun)–¬†prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.


Books mentioned in class regarding self-help regarding overall health and well being. *NOT REQUIRED*

  1. Radical Remission by Kelly Turner
  2. The body keeps the score

                                           **Next class**

  • No new homework due.
  • Come prepared to discuss the book and the film. Try to have the approximate time stamps when referencing the film.¬†¬†
  • We will go over the website and it’s significance.
  • We will also go over parodies.¬†

02/18/21 class notes will be completed by Robby 








Class notes 2/11

Congratulations Crystal Pichardo you are the People’s Choice #1 winner!

Professor Belli: ” Thank you everyone for your participation in our first People’s Choice!”

For future People’s Choice posts: All choices need to be made in a comment to the Professor’s post on the People’s Choice for that week. Do not comment directly to the students post. You can find the link to a specific weeks People’s Choice on the schedule.

Recap on our last class 2/9

Some techniques authors use in self help texts:

  • Paratext: is a concept in literary interpretation. The main text of published authors (e.g. the story, non-fiction description, poems, etc.) is often surrounded by other material supplied by the authors, editors, printers, and publishers, which is known as the¬†paratext. Ex: The cover, table of contents, epigraph, chapters, etc.
  • Personal Narrative:¬† Use of first-person : A first-person narrative is a mode of storytelling or a peripheral narrator in which a storyteller recounts events from their own point of view using the first person i.e. “I” or “we”, etc.
  • Ethos-Pathos-Logos: Ethos¬†is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader.¬†Pathos¬†is an appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response.¬†Logos¬†is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason.

                                       Group work on The Secret (2o min)

           Whatever is not finished during group work complete for Home work

Definitions of words used in class:

Claim: state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.

Textual evidence: deals with facts in writing and the strategies used to figure out whether or not the information is factual. Textual evidence comes into play when an author presents a position or thesis and uses evidence to support the claims. That evidence can come in a number of different forms.

Implicit: Indirectly

Explicit: Directly

Elitism: the advocacy or existence of an elite as a dominating element in a system or society.

Connotation: an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning.

Denotation: the literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests.

Name drop: the act of trying to impress someone by saying the names of well-known people that you know or have met.

Pseudoscience: a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.
Incredulous: (of a person or their manner) unwilling or unable to believe something.
Magnanimous: generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or less powerful person.
Pedagogy: the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.
The book mentioned in The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes:

The Science of Getting Rich , Book by Wallace D. Wattles

Home Work due 2/16


*Make sure you actively/close ‚Äúread‚ÄĚ this film the same way you would for a written text (article, short story, novel). You should take notes as you watch the documentary, annotating it (looking up words you don‚Äôt know, taking notes, asking questions, noting down elements of fiction, writing down quotes‚Äďcited by the time (hour:minute:second), making claims). Bring these notes to class with you, and come ready to discuss specifics of the episode (including pieces of textual evidence).


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 ‚Äúsecret‚ÄĚ is the law of attraction

  • law of attraction- whatever you put out into the world you will attract
  • thoughts become things– ‚Äúyour thoughts hold power‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúscience‚ÄĚ 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

***HomeworkРcatch 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

Class Notes (2/4/2021)

2/9/2021- Crystal Pichardo

2/11/2021- David Vizcaino

2/16/2021- Courtney Lagrange 

2/18/2021- Robby Deleon

2/23/2021- Maria Gavino

2/25/2021- Reem Saleh

Crowd Sourcing-  the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet. (Definition is from google)

“Self help is a genre of books that has gotten a bad rep in the literature community because they see it as a quack”.¬†

Quack-  A sham

Low Brow-  Derogatory/ pejorative (insulting) not high cultured, no class.

The goal for the semester is too decipher between whether these books are a sham or helpful. We will read books, watch videos, movies, and use apps to learn about the genre, we also will be practicing some of the habits.

Polarizing-  to cause something, especially something that contains different people or opinions, to divide into two completely opposing groups. (Definition from 

*Self help is very polarizing because either people love it and feed into it or hate it and  believe that there is bigger issues to focus on.

*Self help is an extremely profitable industry, and is embedded and capitalism.

Capitalism-¬† an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Commodity –¬† Something that can exchange for equal value.

*Self help is a commodity. What is sold is if you use these self help techniques you in return became a “better person” who does “good things” that further benefits society.¬†

*Self help can cause a lot of skepticism because a lot of people are in it for the money and they can diminish the intensity of an intense issue. (Ex. Simplifying chronic health issues down to just meditating )

Elide- To leave something out or to gloss over it.

Rhetoric- How something presented.

Homework due Next Week (2/9/2021)

Read the beginning of The Secret up to the chapter powerful processes and read at least one extra chapter. (Be sure to annotate as you read.) Then respond with a blog post on open lab, this will be due at the start of next class.