Argument at UC Berkeley

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Economics & Business

Field: Economics
Interviewee: Professor Joseph Lough

“The most important part of argument in economics is using rigorous mathematical modeling to simplify the trends of society into one equation. Combined with intermittent narrative, this technique is sure to persuade. Additionally, most new economic theories are not really new at all, but rather changes on pre-existing theories. The purpose of any economic paper is to argue against something that already exists and propose a change.”

Recommended Model: Competition and Democracy


Field: Economics
Interviewee: Professor Martha Olney

“All academic economics papers always relate to positive economics questions. This means that papers are about questions such as “what is” and “what isn’t.” You focus on the empirical data and do not insert your own bias/opinions. The latter belongs in a blog or an op-ed. Graphs make things easy(er) to see and understand. They can help get a point across and tell a story.”

Recommended Model: Not the Power to Destroy – An Effects Theory of the Tax Power


Field: Economics
Interviewee: Brad Delock

“Be thorough. Don’t make a point and not see it to its end. If you bring something up as part of your argument, make sure you explain it completely. Otherwise, you lose credibility and the point, which may be valid, is worthless. Remember that an argument is not an explanation. Students often explain their opinion like it is fact, and while it is important to explain your position, you have to remember to argue. Recognize your opposition and point out the flaws in their argument. Provide clear evidence preferably from an unbiased source to support your argument.”

Recommended Model: FDR – Fala Speech


Field: Business
Interviewee: Brian Brown

“Be authentic. Be who you are…have a good product and let that do most of the talking. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. I am not a technical guy. I like the business side of things. However, I have worked in tech companies and had co-founders who were much more technically skilled than I was.”


Field: Business
Interviewee: J.Sherman

“Capture your reader. The everyday consumer has information constantly thrown at them. So make it short, sweet, and easy to read. Cater to your audience. There’s an XY matrix of the type of consumers out in the market. So know each group and figure out the best way to speak to each one of them. Data dump and then explain why. Use numbers to your advantage and demonstrate how many households have gone solar and the amount of money saved. Then add the personal touch of illustrating why so many people are saying yes to solar. Be transparent. Address the issues and pitfalls of the solar industry. Consumers are going to ask and therefore you want to know what needs to be improved upon and how to do that.”

Recommended Model: Solar Energy Revolution- A Massive Opportunity