Business English Rhetorical Devices Technical Editing Usability

Book Review

Book Review for Pre-Suasion: Channeling Attention for Change by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.

This is the introduction by Rebecca Greer to part one of Project 3 for EH603, option 2 - Book Review - with Dr. Joy Robinson.

Because this book falls in the business and communications categories, I will use: Sage Publishing guidelines on journal publications to format this project.

For the blog post, I used: Purdue Online Writing Lab: "Writing a Book Review."

Before I chose to review this book:

Pre-Suasion: Channeling Attention for Change is a non-fiction book that places in three categories: Language Arts and Disciplines, Communications and Social Skills, and Words, Language, & Grammar. The author, Robert Cialdini, is a New York Times Best Seller and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, who did his postdoctoral training at Columbia University, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is currently Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. With all of these accolades, the author immediately gains recognition and authority. Cialdini is also a New York Times bestseller, multiple times, and is published through Simon & Schuster.

The title incorporates clever design, optical allusion, and “construction” of a new word from the prefix, “pre,” and suffix, “suasion,” and acts as its own graphic design editorial review, persuading the reader to pick it up. The bright orange and yellow colors lend to stylistic choices that cannot be by accident, as these colors are oftentimes seen in “caution” and “construction” signs that are universally recognizable.

In its introduction, the author refers to the art of “pre-suasion” as an exact moment, an act, a “privileged moment for change.” While the book has the overall feel of a self-help book, it is actually an artfully researched, written, and conducted study on human interaction and the art of “persuading without meaning to persuade”—which is not a new concept, by Aristotelian examples, but the book helps shape the idea into a usable concept and practice for today.

While I read this book, for review:

I will watch out for recurring themes, examples, style, and authority of the author. Because he starts with shining accolades, I don’t think this will be hard. But even the smartest people can lose credibility, so I will evaluate the author’s writing on a persuasive level; there could wind up being some chilling irony!

When I’m ready to write the book review:

Because the author already has reviews from Harvard Business and this book deals with communication and business strategies, I’m using Sage Publishing journal submission requirements to write my review.

This book was published by Simon & Schuster, so there are no publication requirements. The author went through a professional literary agent and self-published with S&S’s associate publishing business, Archway Publishing. There are also no requirements for this company, regarding books.

After a thorough read-through, I plan to go back through the book again and outline key chapters, techniques, and “characters” if it uses them. Because this “pre-suasion” style is based off of rhetorical and hypothetical situations, examples will most likely be used. I will only use language that is inclusive of even those who have not read the book. Because this acts as an advertisement for the book, but not a full summary, I will focus on only the strongest language and communication techniques.

When I revise my draft for the final book review:

Most likely, my Three Column Format (TCF) edits will be editing down to reduce wordiness, repetition, or tone. I rarely make spelling mistakes and I spellcheck my drafts (and emails) so that’s less likely. I do like the comment on considering the audience. To edit for that, I’ll read aloud to make sure the summary does not sound too verbose or bland. Direct quotes are most likely going to be very useful in this type of project, because the author likes to coin phrases and uses specific language to repeat and teach methods of “pre-suasion.