How should PG&E respond to CPUC’s decision (Your recommendation)?

1. The basic format is recommendation, then arguments, then counterarguments. This is how most similar memos are structured in the workplace, where it is vital that your writing avoid “fluff” and get straight to the point. To that end…
2. Your recommendation should always be clearly stated within at least the first three sentences of your paper, preferably in the first sentence. Above all, avoid summarizing. You should assume that your intended audience is as familiar with the scenario and issue as you are, so you do not need to spend time explaining the purpose of your paper. Again, the most summary you should be providing is one or two short sentences reintroducing the topic to someone who is already familiar with the topic.
3. Along the same lines, don’t spend too long explaining where you got your data or facts. If there is a lot of data to work through, put the name of the relevant table(s) in parentheses (e.g. Exhibit A) at the end of the sentence talking about that data. You also do not need to go into too much detail about each step of your analysis, so long as you tell me what kind of analysis or decision-making rule you used and briefly explain why it is valid – that is, demonstrate that you understand the underlying economic concepts or logic.
4. By eliminating summary and keeping your explanations concise, you’ll have more room to include additional and more sophisticated arguments/counterarguments in your paper, and that is what will earn you the best scores. Having approximately three good arguments and approximately three appropriate counterarguments in your memo will almost certainly get you at least a 4 on the memo, barring a major flaw in your analysis or reasoning. To get a 5, you need to think a bit outside the box – consider secondary effects of your recommendation, or use more complex concepts/analysis discussed in class.

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