The Playbook of Persuasive Reasoning

Everyday Empowerment and Likeability

by Gavin F. Hurley (Ave Maria University)

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'The Playbook of Persuasive Reasoning: Everyday Empowerment and Likeability' provides an easy, practical guide to the strategies of persuasive reasoning, which Gavin Hurley argues is crucial to all effective communication.
Helping professionals and students to become better and more likeable communicators, this fundamental “playbook” outlines numerous eye-opening communicative maneuvers for readers of all levels and backgrounds. It offers a unique approach to argumentation and persuasion and moves away from the more conventional methods which are often overtechnical, unnecessarily complex or too science oriented. Hurley demonstrates how to successfully apply these strategies of cooperative argumentation to your life in order to succeed professionally, socially and cerebrally. This he argues, will allow you to empower your messaging and increase your social magnetism. 'The Playbook of Persuasive Reasoning' is a down-to-earth guide on effective rhetorical strategizing. It is written for everyday application, based on everyday examples, and embedded in everyday language.
Today, successful communication is a highly sought-after trait by international employers, clients, and customers alike. Gavin Hurley shows how a wide range of people can benefit from learning how to deliver more abstract material in an effective manner: both verbally and written. This guide is particularly appealing for professionals, including business managers, as well as academics and students, including public intellectuals. 'The Playbook of Persuasive Reasoning' is a useful book for anyone wanting to enrich their skills and strengthen their powers of communication in order to have a social and professional advantage.

List of Tables
Introduction: What is persuasive reasoning?
The advantage of reasoning
Artistic architecture
Chapter One Invention: the fundamentals of persuasive reasoning
Section one: gathering supplies
Section two: reasoning
Section three: evidence, examples, and counter-stances
Section four: writing tips and takeaways
Chapter Two Arrangement: positioning your influence
Section one: order
Section two: introducing your reasoning
Section three: arranging the body of your reasoning
Section four: ending your reasoning
Section five: placement of counter-stances
Section six: writing tips and takeaways
Chapter Three Style: clothing your reasoning
Section one: word choices
Section two: repetition
Section three: resemblance claims (the art of analogy)
Section four: phrasing your claims
Section five: writing tips and takeaways
Chapter Four Memory: persuasion as second skin
Section one: flexing forethought
Section two Imitatio: reading the world with purpose
Section three: final thoughts
Chapter Five Delivery: commanding attention
Section one: delivery fundamentals
Section two: peace and presence
Chapter Six Empowerment: living persuasive reasoning
Works cited
Further reading
Adapting to an audience
Invention, arrangement, style, and memory

Currently an Assistant Professor of Writing at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts, Dr. Gavin Hurley teaches courses in Ethical Reasoning as well as Persuasive Writing. He leads a knowledge-hungry student audience at Lasell College where he helps to build practical skills and professional acumen. 'The Playbook of Persuasive Reasoning' is formulated from his lectures and instruction notes from these courses. It is also in some ways inspired by his doctoral dissertation which examined 'The New Rhetoric,' a 20th-century practical reasoning guide written by Chiam Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca.
Dr. Hurley has taught persuasive writing and argumentation for eight years at several higher education institutions, including both public universities and private colleges. His focus has been on first-year communication courses, intermediate communication courses, and advanced communication courses. A specialist in the field of persuasive writing and reasoning, Gavin F. Hurley earned his PhD in Writing and Rhetoric from the University of Rhode Island. In addition to his PhD, he has a B.A. in Philosophy from Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, PA) and an M.A. in Writing Arts from Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ). He has also published numerous articles on rhetoric, persuasion, and argumentation in scholarly collections as well as in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he has presented numerous public talks at national venues on argument and persuasion.

Rhetoric, Argumentation, Practical Reasoning, Informal Reasoning, Informal Logic, Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Strategic Communications, Effective Speaking, Effective Writing, Professional Studies,

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

The Playbook of Persuasive Reasoning

Book Subtitle

Everyday Empowerment and Likeability





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm

Publication date

March 2018