Professor Belli | Spring 2022 | City Tech | ENG 3402: Topics in Literature

People’s Choice #2: Self-Help (Samuel Smiles)

Just like you did for The Secret, read through your classmates’ reading response blogs on Self-Help; with Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance and choose your favorite post. You can choose a post for any reason, but you always must clearly articulate your rationale for choosing it (e.g., why did you find it interesting, compelling, likeable, provocative, etc.?). This rationale can refer to content, style, creativity, etc. If, after reading everyone’s posts, you strongly feel that your post is your “favorite,” you can always vote for yourself, but you need to provide a rationale for doing so.

In order to register your vote (and get credit) for this week’s “People’s Choice,” “leave a reply” to this post, and in your comment, provide your chosen post, an excerpt from it + rationale for choosing it. Provide the title and author of the chosen post, along with a link to the post you are citing (please provide the link in the same comment: don’t make a separate one with just the link). Citing is really important (in this case, citing your classmate!), and this is a way of giving credit to other sources and putting yourself in dialogue with them.

Comments/votes are mandatory (regardless of whether you completed your own reading response post on Smiles’ Self-Help should be made by W 2/23. The person with the most votes will earn the coveted “People’s Choice” honor for this round of posts! I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why.


  1. Ashley

    I vote Olga Santos for this week’s “People’s Choice”. Her response was very thorough and well explained, this response was my favorite because she stated “This brings forth the discussion of the importance of not only success but of the journey towards it, including a person’s failure.” Failing was another example Samuel used for gaining self help, when failed at something it gives you different mindset and how to overcome it. I also found her response interesting because she noticed the style the author was writing in, and I didn’t notice until after reading her response. Throughout the text, I have noted that the author always starts a section with two quotes that are clues toward the topic being discussed

  2. Olga Santos

    Self-Help according to Samual Smiles by Hanna Taveras (
    I vote for Hanna because I liked the way she was able to perfectly describe what the author was trying to convey,” Sam had a different perception to self-help, he believed that individuals were the ones who were in control in their own lives. Samuel didn’t believe that accidents occur in someone’s life”. Samual was giving multiple examples of people succeeding and failing and would evaluate the effort put toward the results. Another reason why I vote for Hanna is that the text allowed her to reflect on how she has the power to make a change or be swallowed by negative thoughts. Thus, giving proof as to how striking this text is toward individuals in being able to start a new mindset toward failure and success.

  3. Hanna Taveras

    Self- Help (Samuel Smiles)- Sofia (
    I vote for Sofia due to the fact that she fully explained the concept of what Samuel Smiles wanted to interpret in this book. I agreed with he points she made in where he tried to educate us and make us see things through his perspective because he definitely changed mine going forward. She gave quotations and explained what she liked about it which I enjoyed reading and reminded us on how patience is something we lack as a society. Good job Sofia !!!

  4. simmone

    i vote Self-help by Ashey because I believe we both have the same idea about the chapters that we have read when she says that” He shared my views on success and failure, believing that how hard you tried to achieve success could lead to failure in other areas of your life” this is something I agree one and makes plenty sense to me. Another reason is because she got her point across with in a nice length paragraph not too long.

  5. Julie Lynch

    Self-Help (Samuel Smiles)- George A (
    I vote for George because he fully explained what Samuel interpret in the book. I agree with his points on how Samuel wanted people to know that failure can be used as a steppingstone to success. In my opinion I believed that all men and women were personally responsible for their own success or failure. George gave a lot of quotations, explained, and have chosen very good details in the chapters. He stated that working hard is very self-improvement. This shows that people who work hard can-do great things. He gave lots of paragraph which I enjoyed reading and letting people know how you can turn negative into something positive in your life. This was really educational George!!!

  6. Erick Bueno

    Self-help (Samuel Smiles) by

  7. Erick Bueno

    Self-help (Samuel Smiles) by Olga Santos


    I vote for Olgas blog on the Smiles reading for the “Peopls Choice Award”. Her response to the reading was very interesting because it allowed me to look at the readin from a different angle and better understand the assigned readings. “Overall, it emphasizes the power individual have toward their future and making changes where see fit” (Olga Santos “Self-Help” blog response to Smiles reading) this quote alone was able to give me another perception of what Smiles was trying to show the reader. Not only did the blog help me find another angle to understand the reading but I liked it because I also agreed with alot of what she was saying about the reading. As I read her blog I realized that I had thought the same thing while I had read the chapters. Everything from the “clues” that the author gave us at the beginning of chapters using quotes to the connection the chapters have with one another and how their topics correlate with each other in order to create a clear image of what the author is trying to show the reader. The idea of an individual having the determination and perseverance in order to produce the results they want in their life is something that I found in common as I read her blog and also something I saw throughout the text as well.

  8. Kashfi Siddique

    I vote for George’s blog on the Smiles for “Peoples Choice Award” because his response is outstanding and fascinating, He did pretty well on talking about failure is a key to success and he uses quotes to explain that all people is responsible for their own success. Also, he did pretty well on explaining that having positive thoughts is better having negative thoughts

  9. Elaina

    I vote for Julie for people’s choice. After looking through  everyones response I felt that I could understand Julie’s the most. The text Self-Help(Samuel Smile) is a really long reading, she was able to make the explanation very short but informative which makes it easier to understand.

  10. George A

    Self Help(Julie Lynch)-I vote for Julie’s Blog because of how similar our understanding is from his version of the secret. I agree with the idea for the most part that people’s success or failure is on them. In several chapters he does use this point as well in ways to show that self improvement is the best way to progress in life.

  11. Jill Belli

    Thanks everyone for your votes, and congrats to Olga, George, & Julie for being chosen as co-winners of this week’s People’s Choice 🙂

  12. Jill Belli

    Friendly reminders for your comments for People’s Choice:

    – include an excerpt (a direct quote) from the post you are choosing
    – include a link to the post you are choosing

    • dmondel

      I picked Self-Help by OLGA SANTOS because of the way it is structured, analyzed and also because it touched all chapters and gave evidence. “Throughout the text, I have noted that the author always starts a section with two quotes that are clues toward the topic being discussed” good point

      Self-Help – Self-Help Literature (

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