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Case study definition
Case study, a term which some of you may know from the "Case Study of Vanitas" anime and manga, is a thorough examination of a particular subject, such as a person, group, location, occasion, establishment, phenomena, etc. They are most frequently utilized in research of business, medicine, education and social behaviour. There are a different types of case studies that researchers might use:
• Collective case studies
• Descriptive case studies
• Explanatory case studies
• Exploratory case studies
• Instrumental case studies
• Intrinsic case studies
Case studies are usually much more sophisticated and professional than regular essays and courseworks, as they require a lot of verified data, are research-oriented and not necessarily designed to be read by the general public.
How to write a case study?
It very much depends on the topic of your case study, as a medical case study and a coffee business case study have completely different sources, outlines, target demographics, etc. But just for this example, let's outline a coffee roaster case study. Firstly, it's likely going to be a problem-solving case study, like most in the business and economics field are. Here are some tips for these types of case studies:
• Your case scenario should be precisely defined in terms of your unique assessment criteria.
• Determine the primary issues by analyzing the scenario. Think about how they connect to the main ideas and theories in your piece.
• Find and investigate any theories or methods that might be relevant to your case.
• Keep your audience in mind. Exactly who are your stakeholder(s)? If writing a case study on coffee roasters, it's probably gonna be suppliers, landlords, investors, customers, etc.
• Indicate the best solution(s) and how they should be implemented. Make sure your suggestions are grounded in pertinent theories and useful resources, as well as being realistic, practical, and attainable.
• Carefully proofread your case study. Keep in mind these four principles when editing: clarity, honesty, reality and relevance.
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All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study
What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.
What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?
While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.
Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.
The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.
Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:
Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.
Types of Case Studies
The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:
- Historical case studies are great to learn from. Historical events have a multitude of source info offering different perspectives. There are always modern parallels where these perspectives can be applied, compared, and thoroughly analyzed.
- Problem-oriented case studies are usually used for solving problems. These are often assigned as theoretical situations where you need to immerse yourself in the situation to examine it. Imagine you’re working for a startup and you’ve just noticed a significant flaw in your product’s design. Before taking it to the senior manager, you want to do a comprehensive study on the issue and provide solutions. On a greater scale, problem-oriented case studies are a vital part of relevant socio-economic discussions.
- Cumulative case studies collect information and offer comparisons. In business, case studies are often used to tell people about the value of a product.
- Critical case studies explore the causes and effects of a certain case.
- Illustrative case studies describe certain events, investigating outcomes and lessons learned.
Case Study Format
The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:
- Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. Write an overview of the field you’re researching. Make a thesis statement and sum up the results of your observation in a maximum of 2 sentences.
- Background. Provide background information and the most relevant facts. Isolate the issues.
- Case Evaluation. Isolate the sections of the study you want to focus on. In it, explain why something is working or is not working.
- Proposed Solutions. Offer realistic ways to solve what isn’t working or how to improve its current condition. Explain why these solutions work by offering testable evidence.
- Conclusion. Summarize the main points from the case evaluations and proposed solutions. 6. Recommendations. Talk about the strategy that you should choose. Explain why this choice is the most appropriate.
- Implementation. Explain how to put the specific strategies into action.
- References. Provide all the citations.
How to Write a Case Study
Let's discover how to write a case study.
Setting Up the Research
When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:
- Define your objective. Explain the reason why you’re presenting your subject. Figure out where you will feature your case study; whether it is written, on video, shown as an infographic, streamed as a podcast, etc.
- Determine who will be the right candidate for your case study. Get permission, quotes, and other features that will make your case study effective. Get in touch with your candidate to see if they approve of being part of your work. Study that candidate’s situation and note down what caused it.
- Identify which various consequences could result from the situation. Follow these guidelines on how to start a case study: surf the net to find some general information you might find useful.
- Make a list of credible sources and examine them. Seek out important facts and highlight problems. Always write down your ideas and make sure to brainstorm.
- Focus on several key issues – why they exist, and how they impact your research subject. Think of several unique solutions. Draw from class discussions, readings, and personal experience. When writing a case study, focus on the best solution and explore it in depth. After having all your research in place, writing a case study will be easy. You may first want to check the rubric and criteria of your assignment for the correct case study structure.
Read Also: 'CREDIBLE SOURCES: WHAT ARE THEY?'
Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:
- Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
- Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular study.
- Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to your decision-making.
- Recognize the global importance and contribution of your case.
- Construct a coherent summary and explanation of the study.
- Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills.
- Explain the interrelationships between the environment and nature.
- Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.
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Case Study Outline
Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.
- Statement of the issue: Alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character.
- Presentation of the problem: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there.
- Explanation of the terms: In the past, alcoholism was commonly referred to as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is now the more severe stage of this addiction in the disorder spectrum.
- Hypotheses: Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs.
- Importance of your story: How the information you present can help people with their addictions.
- Background of the story: Include an explanation of why you chose this topic.
- Presentation of analysis and data: Describe the criteria for choosing 30 candidates, the structure of the interview, and the outcomes.
- Strong argument 1: ex. X% of candidates dealing with anxiety and depression...
- Strong argument 2: ex. X amount of people started drinking by their mid-teens.
- Strong argument 3: ex. X% of respondents’ parents had issues with alcohol.
- Concluding statement: I have researched if alcoholism is a disease and found out that…
- Recommendations: Ways and actions for preventing alcohol use.
Writing a Case Study Draft
After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:
- Your draft should contain at least 4 sections: an introduction; a body where you should include background information, an explanation of why you decided to do this case study, and a presentation of your main findings; a conclusion where you present data; and references.
- In the introduction, you should set the pace very clearly. You can even raise a question or quote someone you interviewed in the research phase. It must provide adequate background information on the topic. The background may include analyses of previous studies on your topic. Include the aim of your case here as well. Think of it as a thesis statement. The aim must describe the purpose of your work—presenting the issues that you want to tackle. Include background information, such as photos or videos you used when doing the research.
- Describe your unique research process, whether it was through interviews, observations, academic journals, etc. The next point includes providing the results of your research. Tell the audience what you found out. Why is this important, and what could be learned from it? Discuss the real implications of the problem and its significance in the world.
- Include quotes and data (such as findings, percentages, and awards). This will add a personal touch and better credibility to the case you present. Explain what results you find during your interviews in regards to the problem and how it developed. Also, write about solutions which have already been proposed by other people who have already written about this case.
- At the end of your case study, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving them yourself.
Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study
Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :
With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.
Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.
Finalizing the Draft: Checklist
After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:
- Check that you follow the correct case study format, also in regards to text formatting.
- Check that your work is consistent with its referencing and citation style.
- Micro-editing — check for grammar and spelling issues.
- Macro-editing — does ‘the big picture’ come across to the reader? Is there enough raw data, such as real-life examples or personal experiences? Have you made your data collection process completely transparent? Does your analysis provide a clear conclusion, allowing for further research and practice?
Problems to avoid:
- Overgeneralization – Do not go into further research that deviates from the main problem.
- Failure to Document Limitations – Just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study, you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
- Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications – Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
Let's see how to create an awesome title page.
Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:
- A title that attracts some attention and describes your study
- The title should have the words “case study” in it
- The title should range between 5-9 words in length
- Your name and contact information
- Your finished paper should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this type of assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.
Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:
There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.
Citation Example in MLA Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.
Case Study Examples
To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.
Eastman Kodak Case Study
Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany
To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .
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Definition and Introduction
Case analysis is a problem-based teaching and learning method that involves critically analyzing complex scenarios within an organizational setting for the purpose of placing the student in a “real world” situation and applying reflection and critical thinking skills to contemplate appropriate solutions, decisions, or recommended courses of action. It is considered a more effective teaching technique than in-class role playing or simulation activities. The analytical process is often guided by questions provided by the instructor that ask students to contemplate relationships between the facts and critical incidents described in the case.
Cases generally include both descriptive and statistical elements and rely on students applying abductive reasoning to develop and argue for preferred or best outcomes [i.e., case scenarios rarely have a single correct or perfect answer based on the evidence provided]. Rather than emphasizing theories or concepts, case analysis assignments emphasize building a bridge of relevancy between abstract thinking and practical application and, by so doing, teaches the value of both within a specific area of professional practice.
Given this, the purpose of a case analysis paper is to present a structured and logically organized format for analyzing the case situation. It can be assigned to students individually or as a small group assignment and it may include an in-class presentation component. Case analysis is predominately taught in economics and business-related courses, but it is also a method of teaching and learning found in other applied social sciences disciplines, such as, social work, public relations, education, journalism, and public administration.
Ellet, William. The Case Study Handbook: A Student's Guide . Revised Edition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2018; Christoph Rasche and Achim Seisreiner. Guidelines for Business Case Analysis . University of Potsdam; Writing a Case Analysis . Writing Center, Baruch College; Volpe, Guglielmo. "Case Teaching in Economics: History, Practice and Evidence." Cogent Economics and Finance 3 (December 2015). doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/23322039.2015.1120977.
How to Approach Writing a Case Analysis Paper
The organization and structure of a case analysis paper can vary depending on the organizational setting, the situation, and how your professor wants you to approach the assignment. Nevertheless, preparing to write a case analysis paper involves several important steps. As Hawes notes, a case analysis assignment “...is useful in developing the ability to get to the heart of a problem, analyze it thoroughly, and to indicate the appropriate solution as well as how it should be implemented” [p.48]. This statement encapsulates how you should approach preparing to write a case analysis paper.
Before you begin to write your paper, consider the following analytical procedures:
- Review the case to get an overview of the situation . A case can be only a few pages in length, however, it is most often very lengthy and contains a significant amount of detailed background information and statistics, with multilayered descriptions of the scenario, the roles and behaviors of various stakeholder groups, and situational events. Therefore, a quick reading of the case will help you gain an overall sense of the situation and illuminate the types of issues and problems that you will need to address in your paper. If your professor has provided questions intended to help frame your analysis, use them to guide your initial reading of the case.
- Read the case thoroughly . After gaining a general overview of the case, carefully read the content again with the purpose of understanding key circumstances, events, and behaviors among stakeholder groups. Look for information or data that appears contradictory, extraneous, or misleading. At this point, you should be taking notes as you read because this will help you develop a general outline of your paper. The aim is to obtain a complete understanding of the situation so that you can begin contemplating tentative answers to any questions your professor has provided or, if they have not provided, developing answers to your own questions about the case scenario and its connection to the course readings,lectures, and class discussions.
- Determine key stakeholder groups, issues, and events and the relationships they all have to each other . As you analyze the content, pay particular attention to identifying individuals, groups, or organizations described in the case and identify evidence of any problems or issues of concern that impact the situation in a negative way. Other things to look for include identifying any assumptions being made by or about each stakeholder, potential biased explanations or actions, explicit demands or ultimatums , and the underlying concerns that motivate these behaviors among stakeholders. The goal at this stage is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the situational and behavioral dynamics of the case and the explicit and implicit consequences of each of these actions.
- Identify the core problems . The next step in most case analysis assignments is to discern what the core [i.e., most damaging, detrimental, injurious] problems are within the organizational setting and to determine their implications. The purpose at this stage of preparing to write your analysis paper is to distinguish between the symptoms of core problems and the core problems themselves and to decide which of these must be addressed immediately and which problems do not appear critical but may escalate over time. Identify evidence from the case to support your decisions by determining what information or data is essential to addressing the core problems and what information is not relevant or is misleading.
- Explore alternative solutions . As noted, case analysis scenarios rarely have only one correct answer. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the process of analyzing the case and diagnosing core problems, while based on evidence, is a subjective process open to various avenues of interpretation. This means that you must consider alternative solutions or courses of action by critically examining strengths and weaknesses, risk factors, and the differences between short and long-term solutions. For each possible solution or course of action, consider the consequences they may have related to their implementation and how these recommendations might lead to new problems. Also, consider thinking about your recommended solutions or courses of action in relation to issues of fairness, equity, and inclusion.
- Decide on a final set of recommendations . The last stage in preparing to write a case analysis paper is to assert an opinion or viewpoint about the recommendations needed to help resolve the core problems as you see them and to make a persuasive argument for supporting this point of view. Prepare a clear rationale for your recommendations based on examining each element of your analysis. Anticipate possible obstacles that could derail their implementation. Consider any counter-arguments that could be made concerning the validity of your recommended actions. Finally, describe a set of criteria and measurable indicators that could be applied to evaluating the effectiveness of your implementation plan.
Use these steps as the framework for writing your paper. Remember that the more detailed you are in taking notes as you critically examine each element of the case, the more information you will have to draw from when you begin to write. This will save you time.
NOTE : If the process of preparing to write a case analysis paper is assigned as a student group project, consider having each member of the group analyze a specific element of the case, including drafting answers to the corresponding questions used by your professor to frame the analysis. This will help make the analytical process more efficient and ensure that the distribution of work is equitable. This can also facilitate who is responsible for drafting each part of the final case analysis paper and, if applicable, the in-class presentation.
Framework for Case Analysis . College of Management. University of Massachusetts; Hawes, Jon M. "Teaching is Not Telling: The Case Method as a Form of Interactive Learning." Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education 5 (Winter 2004): 47-54; Rasche, Christoph and Achim Seisreiner. Guidelines for Business Case Analysis . University of Potsdam; Writing a Case Study Analysis . University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center; Van Ness, Raymond K. A Guide to Case Analysis . School of Business. State University of New York, Albany; Writing a Case Analysis . Business School, University of New South Wales.
Structure and Writing Style
A case analysis paper should be detailed, concise, persuasive, clearly written, and professional in tone and in the use of language . As with other forms of college-level academic writing, declarative statements that convey information, provide a fact, or offer an explanation or any recommended courses of action should be based on evidence. If allowed by your professor, any external sources used to support your analysis, such as course readings, should be properly cited under a list of references. The organization and structure of case analysis papers can vary depending on your professor’s preferred format, but its structure generally follows the steps used for analyzing the case.
The introduction should provide a succinct but thorough descriptive overview of the main facts, issues, and core problems of the case . The introduction should also include a brief summary of the most relevant details about the situation and organizational setting. This includes defining the theoretical framework or conceptual model on which any questions were used to frame your analysis.
Following the rules of most college-level research papers, the introduction should then inform the reader how the paper will be organized. This includes describing the major sections of the paper and the order in which they will be presented. Unless you are told to do so by your professor, you do not need to preview your final recommendations in the introduction. U nlike most college-level research papers , the introduction does not include a statement about the significance of your findings because a case analysis assignment does not involve contributing new knowledge about a research problem.
Background analysis can vary depending on any guiding questions provided by your professor and the underlying concept or theory that the case is based upon. In general, however, this section of your paper should focus on:
- Providing an overarching analysis of problems identified from the case scenario, including identifying events that stakeholders find challenging or troublesome,
- Identifying assumptions made by each stakeholder and any apparent biases they may exhibit,
- Describing any demands or claims made by or forced upon key stakeholders, and
- Highlighting any issues of concern or complaints expressed by stakeholders in response to those demands or claims.
These aspects of the case are often in the form of behavioral responses expressed by individuals or groups within the organizational setting. However, note that problems in a case situation can also be reflected in data [or the lack thereof] and in the decision-making, operational, cultural, or institutional structure of the organization. Additionally, demands or claims can be either internal and external to the organization [e.g., a case analysis involving a president considering arms sales to Saudi Arabia could include managing internal demands from White House advisors as well as demands from members of Congress].
Throughout this section, present all relevant evidence from the case that supports your analysis. Do not simply claim there is a problem, an assumption, a demand, or a concern; tell the reader what part of the case informed how you identified these background elements.
Identification of Problems
In most case analysis assignments, there are problems, and then there are problems . Each problem can reflect a multitude of underlying symptoms that are detrimental to the interests of the organization. The purpose of identifying problems is to teach students how to differentiate between problems that vary in severity, impact, and relative importance. Given this, problems can be described in three general forms: those that must be addressed immediately, those that should be addressed but the impact is not severe, and those that do not require immediate attention and can be set aside for the time being.
All of the problems you identify from the case should be identified in this section of your paper, with a description based on evidence explaining the problem variances. If the assignment asks you to conduct research to further support your assessment of the problems, include this in your explanation. Remember to cite those sources in a list of references. Use specific evidence from the case and apply appropriate concepts, theories, and models discussed in class or in relevant course readings to highlight and explain the key problems [or problem] that you believe must be solved immediately and describe the underlying symptoms and why they are so critical.
This section is where you provide specific, realistic, and evidence-based solutions to the problems you have identified and make recommendations about how to alleviate the underlying symptomatic conditions impacting the organizational setting. For each solution, you must explain why it was chosen and provide clear evidence to support your reasoning. This can include, for example, course readings and class discussions as well as research resources, such as, books, journal articles, research reports, or government documents. In some cases, your professor may encourage you to include personal, anecdotal experiences as evidence to support why you chose a particular solution or set of solutions. Using anecdotal evidence helps promote reflective thinking about the process of determining what qualifies as a core problem and relevant solution .
Throughout this part of the paper, keep in mind the entire array of problems that must be addressed and describe in detail the solutions that might be implemented to resolve these problems.
Recommended Courses of Action
In some case analysis assignments, your professor may ask you to combine the alternative solutions section with your recommended courses of action. However, it is important to know the difference between the two. A solution refers to the answer to a problem. A course of action refers to a procedure or deliberate sequence of activities adopted to proactively confront a situation, often in the context of accomplishing a goal. In this context, proposed courses of action are based on your analysis of alternative solutions. Your description and justification for pursuing each course of action should represent the overall plan for implementing your recommendations.
For each course of action, you need to explain the rationale for your recommendation in a way that confronts challenges, explains risks, and anticipates any counter-arguments from stakeholders. Do this by considering the strengths and weaknesses of each course of action framed in relation to how the action is expected to resolve the core problems presented, the possible ways the action may affect remaining problems, and how the recommended action will be perceived by each stakeholder.
In addition, you should describe the criteria needed to measure how well the implementation of these actions is working and explain which individuals or groups are responsible for ensuring your recommendations are successful. In addition, always consider the law of unintended consequences. Outline difficulties that may arise in implementing each course of action and describe how implementing the proposed courses of action [either individually or collectively] may lead to new problems [both large and small].
Throughout this section, you must consider the costs and benefits of recommending your courses of action in relation to uncertainties or missing information and the negative consequences of success.
The conclusion should be brief and introspective. Unlike a research paper, the conclusion in a case analysis paper does not include a summary of key findings and their significance, a statement about how the study contributed to existing knowledge, or indicate opportunities for future research.
Begin by synthesizing the core problems presented in the case and the relevance of your recommended solutions. This can include an explanation of what you have learned about the case in the context of your answers to the questions provided by your professor. The conclusion is also where you link what you learned from analyzing the case with the course readings or class discussions. This can further demonstrate your understanding of the relationships between the practical case situation and the theoretical and abstract content of assigned readings and other course content.
Problems to Avoid
The literature on case analysis assignments often includes examples of difficulties students have with applying methods of critical analysis and effectively reporting the results of their assessment of the situation. A common reason cited by scholars is that the application of this type of teaching and learning method is limited to applied fields of social and behavioral sciences and, as a result, writing a case analysis paper can be unfamiliar to most students entering college.
After you have drafted your paper, proofread the narrative flow and revise any of these common errors:
- Unnecessary detail in the background section . The background section should highlight the essential elements of the case based on your analysis. Focus on summarizing the facts and highlighting the key factors that become relevant in the other sections of the paper by eliminating any unnecessary information.
- Analysis relies too much on opinion . Your analysis is interpretive, but the narrative must be connected clearly to evidence from the case and any models and theories discussed in class or in course readings. Any positions or arguments you make should be supported by evidence.
- Analysis does not focus on the most important elements of the case . Your paper should provide a thorough overview of the case. However, the analysis should focus on providing evidence about what you identify are the key events, stakeholders, issues, and problems. Emphasize what you identify as the most critical aspects of the case to be developed throughout your analysis. Be thorough but succinct.
- Writing is too descriptive . A paper with too much descriptive information detracts from your analysis of the complexities of the case situation. Questions about what happened, where, when, and by whom should only be included as essential information leading to your examination of questions related to why, how, and for what purpose.
- Inadequate definition of a core problem and associated symptoms . A common error found in case analysis papers is recommending a solution or course of action without adequately defining or demonstrating that you understand the problem. Make sure you have clearly described the problem and its impact and scope within the organizational setting. Ensure that you have adequately described the root causes w hen describing the symptoms of the problem.
- Recommendations lack specificity . Identify any use of vague statements and indeterminate terminology, such as, “A particular experience” or “a large increase to the budget.” These statements cannot be measured and, as a result, there is no way to evaluate their successful implementation. Provide specific data and use direct language in describing recommended actions.
- Unrealistic, exaggerated, or unattainable recommendations . Review your recommendations to ensure that they are based on the situational facts of the case. Your recommended solutions and courses of action must be based on realistic assumptions and fit within the constraints of the situation. Also note that the case scenario has already happened, therefore, any speculation or arguments about what could have occurred if the circumstances were different should be revised or eliminated.
Bee, Lian Song et al. "Business Students' Perspectives on Case Method Coaching for Problem-Based Learning: Impacts on Student Engagement and Learning Performance in Higher Education." Education & Training 64 (2022): 416-432; The Case Analysis . Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors. Grand Valley State University; Georgallis, Panikos and Kayleigh Bruijn. "Sustainability Teaching using Case-Based Debates." Journal of International Education in Business 15 (2022): 147-163; Hawes, Jon M. "Teaching is Not Telling: The Case Method as a Form of Interactive Learning." Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education 5 (Winter 2004): 47-54; Georgallis, Panikos, and Kayleigh Bruijn. "Sustainability Teaching Using Case-based Debates." Journal of International Education in Business 15 (2022): 147-163; .Dean, Kathy Lund and Charles J. Fornaciari. "How to Create and Use Experiential Case-Based Exercises in a Management Classroom." Journal of Management Education 26 (October 2002): 586-603; Klebba, Joanne M. and Janet G. Hamilton. "Structured Case Analysis: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in a Marketing Case Course." Journal of Marketing Education 29 (August 2007): 132-137, 139; Klein, Norman. "The Case Discussion Method Revisited: Some Questions about Student Skills." Exchange: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal 6 (November 1981): 30-32; Mukherjee, Arup. "Effective Use of In-Class Mini Case Analysis for Discovery Learning in an Undergraduate MIS Course." The Journal of Computer Information Systems 40 (Spring 2000): 15-23; Pessoa, Silviaet al. "Scaffolding the Case Analysis in an Organizational Behavior Course: Making Analytical Language Explicit." Journal of Management Education 46 (2022): 226-251: Ramsey, V. J. and L. D. Dodge. "Case Analysis: A Structured Approach." Exchange: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal 6 (November 1981): 27-29; Schweitzer, Karen. "How to Write and Format a Business Case Study." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-write-and-format-a-business-case-study-466324 (accessed December 5, 2022); Reddy, C. D. "Teaching Research Methodology: Everything's a Case." Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods 18 (December 2020): 178-188; Volpe, Guglielmo. "Case Teaching in Economics: History, Practice and Evidence." Cogent Economics and Finance 3 (December 2015). doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/23322039.2015.1120977.
Ca se Study and Case Analysis Are Not the Same!
Confusion often exists between what it means to write a paper that uses a case study research design and writing a paper that analyzes a case; they are two different types of approaches to learning in the social and behavioral sciences. Professors as well as educational researchers contribute to this confusion because they often use the term "case study" when describing the subject of analysis for a case analysis paper. But you are not studying a case for the purpose of generating a comprehensive, multi-faceted understanding of a research problem. R ather, you are critically analyzing a specific scenario to argue logically for recommended solutions and courses of action that lead to optimal outcomes applicable to professional practice.
To avoid any confusion, here are twelve characteristics that delineate the differences between writing a paper using the case study research method and writing a case analysis paper:
- Case study is a method of in-depth research and rigorous inquiry ; case analysis is a reliable method of teaching and learning . A case study is a modality of research that investigates a phenomenon for the purpose of creating new knowledge, solving a problem, or testing a hypothesis using empirical evidence derived from the case being studied. Often, the results are used to generalize about a larger population or within a wider context. The writing adheres to the traditional standards of a scholarly research study. A case analysis is a pedagogical tool used to teach students how to reflect and think critically about a practical, real-life problem in an organizational setting.
- The researcher is responsible for identifying the case to study; a case analysis is assigned by your professor . As the researcher, you choose the case study to investigate in support of obtaining new knowledge and understanding about the research problem. The case in a case analysis assignment is almost always provided, and sometimes written, by your professor and either given to every student in class to analyze individually or to a small group of students, or students select a case to analyze from a predetermined list.
- A case study is indeterminate and boundless; a case analysis is predetermined and confined . A case study can be almost anything [see item 9 below] as long as it relates directly to examining the research problem. This relationship is the only limit to what a researcher can choose as the subject of their case study. The content of a case analysis is determined by your professor and its parameters are well-defined and limited to elucidating insights of practical value applied to practice.
- Case study is fact-based and describes actual events or situations; case analysis can be entirely fictional or adapted from an actual situation . The entire content of a case study must be grounded in reality to be a valid subject of investigation in an empirical research study. A case analysis only needs to set the stage for critically examining a situation in practice and, therefore, can be entirely fictional or adapted, all or in-part, from an actual situation.
- Research using a case study method must adhere to principles of intellectual honesty and academic integrity; a case analysis scenario can include misleading or false information . A case study paper must report research objectively and factually to ensure that any findings are understood to be logically correct and trustworthy. A case analysis scenario may include misleading or false information intended to deliberately distract from the central issues of the case. The purpose is to teach students how to sort through conflicting or useless information in order to come up with the preferred solution. Any use of misleading or false information in academic research is considered unethical.
- Case study is linked to a research problem; case analysis is linked to a practical situation or scenario . In the social sciences, the subject of an investigation is most often framed as a problem that must be researched in order to generate new knowledge leading to a solution. Case analysis narratives are grounded in real life scenarios for the purpose of examining the realities of decision-making behavior and processes within organizational settings. A case analysis assignments include a problem or set of problems to be analyzed. However, the goal is centered around the act of identifying and evaluating courses of action leading to best possible outcomes.
- The purpose of a case study is to create new knowledge through research; the purpose of a case analysis is to teach new understanding . Case studies are a choice of methodological design intended to create new knowledge about resolving a research problem. A case analysis is a mode of teaching and learning intended to create new understanding and an awareness of uncertainty applied to practice through acts of critical thinking and reflection.
- A case study seeks to identify the best possible solution to a research problem; case analysis can have an indeterminate set of solutions or outcomes . Your role in studying a case is to discover the most logical, evidence-based ways to address a research problem. A case analysis assignment rarely has a single correct answer because one of the goals is to force students to confront the real life dynamics of uncertainly, ambiguity, and missing or conflicting information within professional practice. Under these conditions, a perfect outcome or solution almost never exists.
- Case study is unbounded and relies on gathering external information; case analysis is a self-contained subject of analysis . The scope of a case study chosen as a method of research is bounded. However, the researcher is free to gather whatever information and data is necessary to investigate its relevance to understanding the research problem. For a case analysis assignment, your professor will often ask you to examine solutions or recommended courses of action based solely on facts and information from the case.
- Case study can be a person, place, object, issue, event, condition, or phenomenon; a case analysis is a carefully constructed synopsis of events, situations, and behaviors . The research problem dictates the type of case being studied and, therefore, the design can encompass almost anything tangible as long as it fulfills the objective of generating new knowledge and understanding. A case analysis is in the form of a narrative containing descriptions of facts, situations, processes, rules, and behaviors within a particular setting and under a specific set of circumstances.
- Case study can represent an open-ended subject of inquiry; a case analysis is a narrative about something that has happened in the past . A case study is not restricted by time and can encompass an event or issue with no temporal limit or end. For example, the current war in Ukraine can be used as a case study of how medical personnel help civilians during a large military conflict, even though circumstances around this event are still evolving. A case analysis can be used to elicit critical thinking about current or future situations in practice, but the case itself is a narrative about something finite and that has taken place in the past.
- Multiple case studies can be used in a research study; case analysis involves examining a single scenario . Case study research can use two or more cases to examine a problem, often for the purpose of conducting a comparative investigation intended to discover hidden relationships, document emerging trends, or determine variations among different examples. A case analysis assignment typically describes a stand-alone, self-contained situation and any comparisons among cases are conducted during in-class discussions and/or student presentations.
The Case Analysis . Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors. Grand Valley State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Ramsey, V. J. and L. D. Dodge. "Case Analysis: A Structured Approach." Exchange: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Journal 6 (November 1981): 27-29; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2017; Crowe, Sarah et al. “The Case Study Approach.” BMC Medical Research Methodology 11 (2011): doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-100; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing; 1994.
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Home » Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide
Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide
Table of Contents
A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination and analysis of a particular phenomenon or case, such as an individual, organization, community, event, or situation.
It is a qualitative research approach that aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the case being studied. Case studies typically involve multiple sources of data, including interviews, observations, documents, and artifacts, which are analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, and grounded theory. The findings of a case study are often used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.
Types of Case Study
Types and Methods of Case Study are as follows:
A single-case study is an in-depth analysis of a single case. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand a specific phenomenon in detail.
For Example , A researcher might conduct a single-case study on a particular individual to understand their experiences with a particular health condition or a specific organization to explore their management practices. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a single-case study are often used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.
A multiple-case study involves the analysis of several cases that are similar in nature. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to identify similarities and differences between the cases.
For Example, a researcher might conduct a multiple-case study on several companies to explore the factors that contribute to their success or failure. The researcher collects data from each case, compares and contrasts the findings, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as comparative analysis or pattern-matching. The findings of a multiple-case study can be used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.
Exploratory Case Study
An exploratory case study is used to explore a new or understudied phenomenon. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to generate hypotheses or theories about the phenomenon.
For Example, a researcher might conduct an exploratory case study on a new technology to understand its potential impact on society. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as grounded theory or content analysis. The findings of an exploratory case study can be used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.
Descriptive Case Study
A descriptive case study is used to describe a particular phenomenon in detail. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to provide a comprehensive account of the phenomenon.
For Example, a researcher might conduct a descriptive case study on a particular community to understand its social and economic characteristics. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a descriptive case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.
Instrumental Case Study
An instrumental case study is used to understand a particular phenomenon that is instrumental in achieving a particular goal. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand the role of the phenomenon in achieving the goal.
For Example, a researcher might conduct an instrumental case study on a particular policy to understand its impact on achieving a particular goal, such as reducing poverty. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of an instrumental case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.
Case Study Data Collection Methods
Here are some common data collection methods for case studies:
Interviews involve asking questions to individuals who have knowledge or experience relevant to the case study. Interviews can be structured (where the same questions are asked to all participants) or unstructured (where the interviewer follows up on the responses with further questions). Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing.
Observations involve watching and recording the behavior and activities of individuals or groups relevant to the case study. Observations can be participant (where the researcher actively participates in the activities) or non-participant (where the researcher observes from a distance). Observations can be recorded using notes, audio or video recordings, or photographs.
Documents can be used as a source of information for case studies. Documents can include reports, memos, emails, letters, and other written materials related to the case study. Documents can be collected from the case study participants or from public sources.
Surveys involve asking a set of questions to a sample of individuals relevant to the case study. Surveys can be administered in person, over the phone, through mail or email, or online. Surveys can be used to gather information on attitudes, opinions, or behaviors related to the case study.
Artifacts are physical objects relevant to the case study. Artifacts can include tools, equipment, products, or other objects that provide insights into the case study phenomenon.
How to conduct Case Study Research
Conducting a case study research involves several steps that need to be followed to ensure the quality and rigor of the study. Here are the steps to conduct case study research:
- Define the research questions: The first step in conducting a case study research is to define the research questions. The research questions should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the case study phenomenon under investigation.
- Select the case: The next step is to select the case or cases to be studied. The case should be relevant to the research questions and should provide rich and diverse data that can be used to answer the research questions.
- Collect data: Data can be collected using various methods, such as interviews, observations, documents, surveys, and artifacts. The data collection method should be selected based on the research questions and the nature of the case study phenomenon.
- Analyze the data: The data collected from the case study should be analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, or grounded theory. The analysis should be guided by the research questions and should aim to provide insights and conclusions relevant to the research questions.
- Draw conclusions: The conclusions drawn from the case study should be based on the data analysis and should be relevant to the research questions. The conclusions should be supported by evidence and should be clearly stated.
- Validate the findings: The findings of the case study should be validated by reviewing the data and the analysis with participants or other experts in the field. This helps to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings.
- Write the report: The final step is to write the report of the case study research. The report should provide a clear description of the case study phenomenon, the research questions, the data collection methods, the data analysis, the findings, and the conclusions. The report should be written in a clear and concise manner and should follow the guidelines for academic writing.
Examples of Case Study
Here are some examples of case study research:
- The Hawthorne Studies : Conducted between 1924 and 1932, the Hawthorne Studies were a series of case studies conducted by Elton Mayo and his colleagues to examine the impact of work environment on employee productivity. The studies were conducted at the Hawthorne Works plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago and included interviews, observations, and experiments.
- The Stanford Prison Experiment: Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment was a case study conducted by Philip Zimbardo to examine the psychological effects of power and authority. The study involved simulating a prison environment and assigning participants to the role of guards or prisoners. The study was controversial due to the ethical issues it raised.
- The Challenger Disaster: The Challenger Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. The study included interviews, observations, and analysis of data to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.
- The Enron Scandal: The Enron Scandal was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Enron Corporation’s bankruptcy in 2001. The study included interviews, analysis of financial data, and review of documents to identify the accounting practices, corporate culture, and ethical issues that led to the company’s downfall.
- The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster : The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011. The study included interviews, analysis of data, and review of documents to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.
Application of Case Study
Case studies have a wide range of applications across various fields and industries. Here are some examples:
Business and Management
Case studies are widely used in business and management to examine real-life situations and develop problem-solving skills. Case studies can help students and professionals to develop a deep understanding of business concepts, theories, and best practices.
Case studies are used in healthcare to examine patient care, treatment options, and outcomes. Case studies can help healthcare professionals to develop critical thinking skills, diagnose complex medical conditions, and develop effective treatment plans.
Case studies are used in education to examine teaching and learning practices. Case studies can help educators to develop effective teaching strategies, evaluate student progress, and identify areas for improvement.
Case studies are widely used in social sciences to examine human behavior, social phenomena, and cultural practices. Case studies can help researchers to develop theories, test hypotheses, and gain insights into complex social issues.
Law and Ethics
Case studies are used in law and ethics to examine legal and ethical dilemmas. Case studies can help lawyers, policymakers, and ethical professionals to develop critical thinking skills, analyze complex cases, and make informed decisions.
Purpose of Case Study
The purpose of a case study is to provide a detailed analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. A case study is a qualitative research method that involves the in-depth exploration and analysis of a particular case, which can be an individual, group, organization, event, or community.
The primary purpose of a case study is to generate a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the case, including its history, context, and dynamics. Case studies can help researchers to identify and examine the underlying factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and detailed understanding of the case, which can inform future research, practice, or policy.
Case studies can also serve other purposes, including:
- Illustrating a theory or concept: Case studies can be used to illustrate and explain theoretical concepts and frameworks, providing concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
- Developing hypotheses: Case studies can help to generate hypotheses about the causal relationships between different factors and outcomes, which can be tested through further research.
- Providing insight into complex issues: Case studies can provide insights into complex and multifaceted issues, which may be difficult to understand through other research methods.
- Informing practice or policy: Case studies can be used to inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.
Advantages of Case Study Research
There are several advantages of case study research, including:
- In-depth exploration: Case study research allows for a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. This can provide a comprehensive understanding of the case and its dynamics, which may not be possible through other research methods.
- Rich data: Case study research can generate rich and detailed data, including qualitative data such as interviews, observations, and documents. This can provide a nuanced understanding of the case and its complexity.
- Holistic perspective: Case study research allows for a holistic perspective of the case, taking into account the various factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the case.
- Theory development: Case study research can help to develop and refine theories and concepts by providing empirical evidence and concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
- Practical application: Case study research can inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.
- Contextualization: Case study research takes into account the specific context in which the case is situated, which can help to understand how the case is influenced by the social, cultural, and historical factors of its environment.
Limitations of Case Study Research
There are several limitations of case study research, including:
- Limited generalizability : Case studies are typically focused on a single case or a small number of cases, which limits the generalizability of the findings. The unique characteristics of the case may not be applicable to other contexts or populations, which may limit the external validity of the research.
- Biased sampling: Case studies may rely on purposive or convenience sampling, which can introduce bias into the sample selection process. This may limit the representativeness of the sample and the generalizability of the findings.
- Subjectivity: Case studies rely on the interpretation of the researcher, which can introduce subjectivity into the analysis. The researcher’s own biases, assumptions, and perspectives may influence the findings, which may limit the objectivity of the research.
- Limited control: Case studies are typically conducted in naturalistic settings, which limits the control that the researcher has over the environment and the variables being studied. This may limit the ability to establish causal relationships between variables.
- Time-consuming: Case studies can be time-consuming to conduct, as they typically involve a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific case. This may limit the feasibility of conducting multiple case studies or conducting case studies in a timely manner.
- Resource-intensive: Case studies may require significant resources, including time, funding, and expertise. This may limit the ability of researchers to conduct case studies in resource-constrained settings.
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Writing a case study
What is a case study.
A case study requires you to analyse a specific situation and discuss how its different elements relate to theory. The case can refer to a real-life or hypothetical event, organisation, individual or group of people and/or issue. Depending upon your assignment, you will be asked to develop solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.
Generally, a case study is either formatted as an essay or a report. If it is the latter, your assignment is often divided into sections with headings and subheadings to ensure easy access to key points of interest.
There are different approaches to case studies, so always check the specific instructions you have been given. There are two main types of case studies: descriptive and problem-solving .
Case study types accordion
Descriptive case studies.
- ask you to explore a specific event or issue to identify the key facts, what happened and who was/is involved.
- can be used to compare two instances of an event to illustrate how one is similar to the other.
- generally does not include solutions or recommendations as its main purpose is to help the reader or stakeholder to gain greater insight into the different dimensions of the event, etc. and/or to make an informed decision about the event, etc.
- In Nursing, you could be asked to select a medical clinic or hospital as your case study and then apply what you have studied in class about wound care approaches. You would then identify and apply the relevant theories of wound care management discussed in class to your case.
Problem-solving case studies
- ask you to critically examine an issue related to a specific individual or group, and then recommend and justify solutions to the issue, integrating theory and practice.
- In Business and Economics, you could be asked to describe a critical incident in the workplace. Your role as the manager is to apply your knowledge and skills of key intercultural communication concepts and theories in management to determine the causes of the conflict and propose relevant communication strategies to avoid and/or resolve it.
Tips for undertaking a problem-based case study View
Writing to your audience.
Your language expression should be persuasive and user-centred communication. To do this, you need to carefully research your audience, or your stakeholders . Your stakeholders are not only those people who will read your writing, but also people who will be impacted by any decisions or recommendations you choose to include. In other words, your audience may be varied with different needs and perspectives. This applies to both your case study as an assessment task and a report in your workplace.
Understanding your audience will help you to edit how you express your information, including tailoring your language expression, tone and style to meet the expectations of your stakeholders. For example, if your case study is written for the Minister of Health, then your tone will need to be formal, ensuring that any technical terms are clearly and concisely explained with concrete examples.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Who will read my case study and why?
- What are the stakeholders’ needs, preferences, expectations and goals?
- How can I write clearly and concisely for this particular audience?
- How will the stakeholders use my case study in their work?
- What are the relevant technical terms and have I explained them in clear and concise language?
Writing up your case study
If your case study is in the form of a report, you can divide it into 8 main sections, as outlined below. However, these vary depending on discipline-specific requirements and assessment criteria.
1. Executive Summary/Synopsis
- Introduce the topic area of the report.
- Outline the purpose of the case study.
- Outline the key issue(s) and finding(s) without the specific details.
- Identify the theory used.
- Summarise recommendations.
- Summarise the your task
- Briefly outline the case to identify its significance.
- State the report's aim(s).
- Provide the organisation of the main ideas in the report.
- Briefly describe the key problem and its significance (You usually do not need to provide details of findings or recommendations. However, it is best to first check your assessment task instructions.)
- presenting the central issue(s) under analysis,
- providing your reasoning for your choices such as supporting your findings with facts given in the case, the relevant theory and course concepts
- highlighting any underlying problems.
- Identify and justify your methodology and analytical tools.This might not be applicable to your assessment, so you will need to check your assessment instructions.
This section is often divided into sub-sections. Your headings and subheadings need to be informative and concise as they act as a guide for the reader to the contents of that section.
- Summarise the major problem(s).
- Identify alternative solutions to these major problem(s).
- Briefly outline each alternative solution where necessary and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages.
- Depending on your assessment criteria, you might need to refer to theory or professional practice here.
Note that as a case study is based on a specific situation, it is difficult to generalise your findings to other situations. Make sure that your discussion focuses on your case and what can be learnt from your specific case analysis for your stakeholders.
- Restate the purpose of the report
- Sum up the main points from the findings, discussion and recommendations.
- Restate the limitations if required.
- Choose which of the alternative solutions should be adopted.
- Briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problem/s.
- Remember to integrate theory and practice as discussed in your unit with respect to the case.
- If needed, suggest an action plan, including who should take action, when and what steps, and how to assess the action taken.
- If appropriate include a rough estimate of costs (both financial and time).
This section is sometimes divided into Recommendations and Implementation with details of the action plan placed in the Implementation section.
Recommendations should be written in a persuasive, audience-centred style that communicates your suggestions clearly, concisely and precisely .
- List in alphabetical order all the references cited in the report.
- Make sure to accurately format your references according to the specified referencing style for your unit.
8. Appendices (if any)
- Attach any original data that relates to your analysis and the case but which would have interrupted the flow of the main body.
Ivančević-Otanjac, M., & Milojević, I. (2015). Writing a case report in English. Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo , 143 (1-2), 116-118.
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How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools
It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the effectiveness of a product or service to potential and current customers to convince them to buy and keep business moving. One of the best methods for doing this is to share success stories that are relatable to prospects and customers based on their pain points, experiences, and overall needs.
That’s where case studies come in. Case studies are an essential part of a content marketing plan. These in-depth stories of customer experiences are some of the most effective at demonstrating the value of a product or service. Yet many marketers don’t use them, whether because of their regimented formats or the process of customer involvement and approval.
A case study is a powerful tool for showcasing your hard work and the success your customer achieved. But writing a great case study can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while. This guide will show you how to write an effective case study and provide real-world examples and templates that will keep readers engaged and support your business.
In this article, you’ll learn:
What is a case study?
How to write a case study, case study templates, case study examples, case study tools.
A case study is the detailed story of a customer’s experience with a product or service that demonstrates their success and often includes measurable outcomes. Case studies are used in a range of fields and for various reasons, from business to academic research. They’re especially impactful in marketing as brands work to convince and convert consumers with relatable, real-world stories of actual customer experiences.
The best case studies tell the story of a customer’s success, including the steps they took, the results they achieved, and the support they received from a brand along the way. To write a great case study, you need to:
- Celebrate the customer and make them — not a product or service — the star of the story.
- Craft the story with specific audiences or target segments in mind so that the story of one customer will be viewed as relatable and actionable for another customer.
- Write copy that is easy to read and engaging so that readers will gain the insights and messages intended.
- Follow a standardized format that includes all of the essentials a potential customer would find interesting and useful.
- Support all of the claims for success made in the story with data in the forms of hard numbers and customer statements.
Case studies are a type of review but more in depth, aiming to show — rather than just tell — the positive experiences that customers have with a brand. Notably, 89% of consumers read reviews before deciding to buy, and 79% view case study content as part of their purchasing process. When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.
Telling a brand story through the experience of a tried-and-true customer matters. The story is relatable to potential new customers as they imagine themselves in the shoes of the company or individual featured in the case study. Showcasing previous customers can help new ones see themselves engaging with your brand in the ways that are most meaningful to them.
Besides sharing the perspective of another customer, case studies stand out from other content marketing forms because they are based on evidence. Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.
Case studies are unique in that there’s a fairly standardized format for telling a customer’s story. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. It’s all about making sure that teams are clear on the goals for the case study — along with strategies for supporting content and channels — and understanding how the story fits within the framework of the company’s overall marketing goals.
Here are the basic steps to writing a good case study.
1. Identify your goal
Start by defining exactly who your case study will be designed to help. Case studies are about specific instances where a company works with a customer to achieve a goal. Identify which customers are likely to have these goals, as well as other needs the story should cover to appeal to them.
The answer is often found in one of the buyer personas that have been constructed as part of your larger marketing strategy. This can include anything from new leads generated by the marketing team to long-term customers that are being pressed for cross-sell opportunities. In all of these cases, demonstrating value through a relatable customer success story can be part of the solution to conversion.
2. Choose your client or subject
Who you highlight matters. Case studies tie brands together that might otherwise not cross paths. A writer will want to ensure that the highlighted customer aligns with their own company’s brand identity and offerings. Look for a customer with positive name recognition who has had great success with a product or service and is willing to be an advocate.
The client should also match up with the identified target audience. Whichever company or individual is selected should be a reflection of other potential customers who can see themselves in similar circumstances, having the same problems and possible solutions.
Some of the most compelling case studies feature customers who:
- Switch from one product or service to another while naming competitors that missed the mark.
- Experience measurable results that are relatable to others in a specific industry.
- Represent well-known brands and recognizable names that are likely to compel action.
- Advocate for a product or service as a champion and are well-versed in its advantages.
Whoever or whatever customer is selected, marketers must ensure they have the permission of the company involved before getting started. Some brands have strict review and approval procedures for any official marketing or promotional materials that include their name. Acquiring those approvals in advance will prevent any miscommunication or wasted effort if there is an issue with their legal or compliance teams.
3. Conduct research and compile data
Substantiating the claims made in a case study — either by the marketing team or customers themselves — adds validity to the story. To do this, include data and feedback from the client that defines what success looks like. This can be anything from demonstrating return on investment (ROI) to a specific metric the customer was striving to improve. Case studies should prove how an outcome was achieved and show tangible results that indicate to the customer that your solution is the right one.
This step could also include customer interviews. Make sure that the people being interviewed are key stakeholders in the purchase decision or deployment and use of the product or service that is being highlighted. Content writers should work off a set list of questions prepared in advance. It can be helpful to share these with the interviewees beforehand so they have time to consider and craft their responses. One of the best interview tactics to keep in mind is to ask questions where yes and no are not natural answers. This way, your subject will provide more open-ended responses that produce more meaningful content.
Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.
4. Choose the right format
There are a number of different ways to format a case study. Depending on what you hope to achieve, one style will be better than another. However, there are some common elements to include, such as:
- An engaging headline
- A subject and customer introduction
- The unique challenge or challenges the customer faced
- The solution the customer used to solve the problem
- The results achieved
- Data and statistics to back up claims of success
- A strong call to action (CTA) to engage with the vendor
It’s also important to note that while case studies are traditionally written as stories, they don’t have to be in a written format. Some companies choose to get more creative with their case studies and produce multimedia content, depending on their audience and objectives. Case study formats can include traditional print stories, interactive web or social content, data-heavy infographics, professionally shot videos, podcasts, and more.
5. Write your case study
We’ll go into more detail later about how exactly to write a case study, including templates and examples. Generally speaking, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your case study.
- Be clear and concise. Readers want to get to the point of the story quickly and easily, and they’ll be looking to see themselves reflected in the story right from the start.
- Provide a big picture. Always make sure to explain who the client is, their goals, and how they achieved success in a short introduction to engage the reader.
- Construct a clear narrative. Stick to the story from the perspective of the customer and what they needed to solve instead of just listing product features or benefits.
- Leverage graphics. Incorporating infographics, charts, and sidebars can be a more engaging and eye-catching way to share key statistics and data in readable ways.
- Offer the right amount of detail. Most case studies are one or two pages with clear sections that a reader can skim to find the information most important to them.
- Include data to support claims. Show real results — both facts and figures and customer quotes — to demonstrate credibility and prove the solution works.
6. Promote your story
Marketers have a number of options for distribution of a freshly minted case study. Many brands choose to publish case studies on their website and post them on social media. This can help support SEO and organic content strategies while also boosting company credibility and trust as visitors see that other businesses have used the product or service.
Marketers are always looking for quality content they can use for lead generation. Consider offering a case study as gated content behind a form on a landing page or as an offer in an email message. One great way to do this is to summarize the content and tease the full story available for download after the user takes an action.
Sales teams can also leverage case studies, so be sure they are aware that the assets exist once they’re published. Especially when it comes to larger B2B sales, companies often ask for examples of similar customer challenges that have been solved.
Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others.
Now that you’ve learned a bit about case studies and what they should include, you may be wondering how to start creating great customer story content. Here are a couple of templates you can use to structure your case study.
Template 1 — Challenge-solution-result format
- Start with an engaging title. This should be fewer than 70 characters long for SEO best practices. One of the best ways to approach the title is to include the customer’s name and a hint at the challenge they overcame in the end.
- Create an introduction. Lead with an explanation as to who the customer is, the need they had, and the opportunity they found with a specific product or solution. Writers can also suggest the success the customer experienced with the solution they chose.
- Present the challenge. This should be several paragraphs long and explain the problem the customer faced and the issues they were trying to solve. Details should tie into the company’s products and services naturally. This section needs to be the most relatable to the reader so they can picture themselves in a similar situation.
- Share the solution. Explain which product or service offered was the ideal fit for the customer and why. Feel free to delve into their experience setting up, purchasing, and onboarding the solution.
- Explain the results. Demonstrate the impact of the solution they chose by backing up their positive experience with data. Fill in with customer quotes and tangible, measurable results that show the effect of their choice.
- Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that invites readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to nurture them further in the marketing pipeline. What you ask of the reader should tie directly into the goals that were established for the case study in the first place.
Template 2 — Data-driven format
- Start with an engaging title. Be sure to include a statistic or data point in the first 70 characters. Again, it’s best to include the customer’s name as part of the title.
- Create an overview. Share the customer’s background and a short version of the challenge they faced. Present the reason a particular product or service was chosen, and feel free to include quotes from the customer about their selection process.
- Present data point 1. Isolate the first metric that the customer used to define success and explain how the product or solution helped to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
- Present data point 2. Isolate the second metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
- Present data point 3. Isolate the final metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
- Summarize the results. Reiterate the fact that the customer was able to achieve success thanks to a specific product or service. Include quotes and statements that reflect customer satisfaction and suggest they plan to continue using the solution.
- Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that asks readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to further nurture them in the marketing pipeline. Again, remember that this is where marketers can look to convert their content into action with the customer.
While templates are helpful, seeing a case study in action can also be a great way to learn. Here are some examples of how Adobe customers have experienced success.
One example is the Adobe and Juniper Networks case study , which puts the reader in the customer’s shoes. The beginning of the story quickly orients the reader so that they know exactly who the article is about and what they were trying to achieve. Solutions are outlined in a way that shows Adobe Experience Manager is the best choice and a natural fit for the customer. Along the way, quotes from the client are incorporated to help add validity to the statements. The results in the case study are conveyed with clear evidence of scale and volume using tangible data.
The story of Lenovo’s journey with Adobe is one that spans years of planning, implementation, and rollout. The Lenovo case study does a great job of consolidating all of this into a relatable journey that other enterprise organizations can see themselves taking, despite the project size. This case study also features descriptive headers and compelling visual elements that engage the reader and strengthen the content.
When it comes to using data to show customer results, this case study does an excellent job of conveying details and numbers in an easy-to-digest manner. Bullet points at the start break up the content while also helping the reader understand exactly what the case study will be about. Tata Consulting used Adobe to deliver elevated, engaging content experiences for a large telecommunications client of its own — an objective that’s relatable for a lot of companies.
Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others. They help marketers do their job and add credibility to a brand trying to promote its solutions by using the experiences and stories of real customers.
When you’re ready to get started with a case study:
- Think about a few goals you’d like to accomplish with your content.
- Make a list of successful clients that would be strong candidates for a case study.
- Reach out to the client to get their approval and conduct an interview.
- Gather the data to present an engaging and effective customer story.
Adobe can help
There are several Adobe products that can help you craft compelling case studies. Adobe Experience Platform helps you collect data and deliver great customer experiences across every channel. Once you’ve created your case studies, Experience Platform will help you deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time for maximum impact.
To learn more, watch the Adobe Experience Platform story .
Keep in mind that the best case studies are backed by data. That’s where Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Analytics come into play. With Real-Time CDP, you can gather the data you need to build a great case study and target specific customers to deliver the content to the right audience at the perfect moment.
Watch the Real-Time CDP overview video to learn more.
Finally, Adobe Analytics turns real-time data into real-time insights. It helps your business collect and synthesize data from multiple platforms to make more informed decisions and create the best case study possible.
Request a demo to learn more about Adobe Analytics.
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What Is a Case Study?
An in-depth study of one person, group, or event
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.
Verywell / Colleen Tighe
Benefits and Limitations
Types of case studies, how to write a case study.
A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.
The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.
While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .
A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.
One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:
- Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information
- Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases
- Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research
On the negative side, a case study:
- Cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
- Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
- May not be scientifically rigorous
- Can lead to bias
Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.
However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.
Case Study Examples
There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:
- Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
- Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
- Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language could be taught even after critical periods for language development had been missed. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.
Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.
This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.
There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:
- Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those living there.
- Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
- Explanatory case studies : These are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
- Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
- Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
- Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic cast study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.
The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.
The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.
There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.
Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.
Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.
Where to Find Data
There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:
- Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
- Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
- Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
- Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
- Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
- Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.
Section 1: A Case History
This section will have the following structure and content:
Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.
Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.
Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.
Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.
Section 2: Treatment Plan
This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.
- Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
- Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
- Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
- Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.
This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.
When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research.
In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?
Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:
- Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, their name or a pseudonym.
- Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
- Remember to use APA format when citing references .
A Word From Verywell
Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.
If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.
Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .
Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100
Gagnon, Yves-Chantal. The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.
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By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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ICITED 2023: Perspectives and Trends in Education and Technology pp 141–151 Cite as
Asking Higher Education Students to Write Research Case Studies—A Way to Develop Engagement and Critical Thinking
- Laura Tallone ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2394-3023 8 ,
- Sara Pascoal ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1046-0900 8 &
- Marco Furtado ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5297-1146 8
- Conference paper
- First Online: 22 October 2023
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST,volume 366)
The use of case studies in some higher education programmes has been well established since the 1950s, particularly in those related to management and the health sciences. In the humanities, however, though the case study is an essential form of scientific inquiry, its introduction in the classroom is not as frequent. Moreover, the standard pedagogical use of the case study usually consists of the presentation of a case, in order to encourage creative thinking and develop solution-seeking strategies to an already concluded description of a real or hypothetical scenario. This paper discusses the potential benefits of asking higher education students to write their own case studies, a practice introduced in 2020 in the course units of French/German/Spanish Culture for Business II, of the MA in Intercultural Studies for Business lectured at ISCAP (Porto Polytechnic). Because of its emphasis on interpretation, case study writing may help students develop their skills in data collection and analysis, powers of observation, and critical thinking. In addition, due to the characteristics of this text type, skills in storytelling and creative writing may also be enhanced. After reviewing the pertinent literature on the subject, the authors illustrate some of the advantages of this teaching method by going through some actual examples of short case studies written by their students and already published.
- Qualitative research
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- Critical thinking
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Tallone, L., Pascoal, S., Furtado, M. (2023). Asking Higher Education Students to Write Research Case Studies—A Way to Develop Engagement and Critical Thinking. In: Mesquita, A., Abreu, A., Carvalho, J.V., Santana, C., de Mello, C.H.P. (eds) Perspectives and Trends in Education and Technology. ICITED 2023. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 366. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-5414-8_15
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-5414-8_15
Published : 22 October 2023
Publisher Name : Springer, Singapore
Print ISBN : 978-981-99-5413-1
Online ISBN : 978-981-99-5414-8
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How to Write a Case Study [+ Design Tips]
By Ronita Mohan , Aug 26, 2021
You need an impactful medium to share your business successes with potential customers and partners. The best way to showcase your brand is by designing a case study.
Case studies are a method of research and storytelling. They help readers gain a better understanding of a subject or process.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to write a case report that markets your business, as well as some design tips.
Don’t know how to start designing case studies? Create a case study with Venngage’s templates. No design experience required.
START CREATING FOR FREE
Click to jump ahead:
Case study defined, what is the purpose of a case study, what is the format of a case study, how do you write a business case study, case study design tips, case study faqs.
A case study is used in business, psychology, epidemiology, as well as the medical and scientific fields. These reports are also used for social and political work.
Case studies are defined as documents that examine a person, groups of people, events, operations and processes.
For marketing purposes, a case analysis can be a document that outlines problems faced by a customer. It also shares the solutions a brand provided to solve them, such as in the case report below.
USE THIS CASE STUDY TEMPLATE
Case studies usually share success stories for a business partnership or client. But case reports can also be used to analyze a process that went wrong.
This type of study will outline the need for improvements and suggest next steps. As a result, these case studies are not shared externally.
You can look at some case study examples for inspiration to design your report. Read on to learn about the importance of case studies and how to write them.
Related: What is a Case Study? [+6 Types of Case Studies]
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Case studies are effective marketing tools that build trust and act as social proof for your brand.
Customers are more likely to choose your company if they know that other businesses like theirs have also benefited.
More importantly, when a customer participates in creating a case report with a brand, they endorse the company and their experience with it.
In other words, a business report , like the example below, acts as a recommendation to anyone on the fence about working with your brand or using your products.
CREATE THIS REPORT TEMPLATE
Related: Report Design Ideas to ENGAGE Readers [10+ Tips & Templates]
A case study can be of varying lengths. It can also take a variety of forms, such as a simple two-page document or a Venngage business infographic like the one below.
Most business case studies feature the following five sections.
Related: What is an Infographic? Examples, Templates & Design Tips
- About the company
When creating a case study for marketing, it is best to include a small section about the company. This section can be short, sharing highlights about the company’s goals and missions.
Venngage’s case study templates offer a variety of options for customizing your report.
Overview of the case study
This is a key section of a case study. What is the study about? What was the reason for conducting it? What are the expected results?
The overview doesn’t have to be very long. Two or three paragraphs that sum up what a reader can expect from the report will suffice.
Case study research
You want to show the kind of research, strategy, and approach adopted for your case study. This is the section where you can showcase your process while conducting the analysis, like in this template.
Results of the case study
By far the most important aspect of a case study is the results section. You can choose to share your findings in a few paragraphs.
Alternatively, go down a more visual route by using data visualizations to showcase your results. You can use different types of charts and graphs or use a single number or donut chart.
This case study template is a great example of how to highlight results.
This is also a good section to include a testimonial or quote from your client as social proof.
Related: How to Choose the Best Types of Charts
Conclusion of the case report
You can choose to add a separate conclusion to your case study following the results section. This is where you sum up the process you used in the analysis.
Also, share why the process or campaign was effective and how your brand achieved these results.
Writing a case study requires research and revision. You should have a single objective decided before you start writing.
Case studies in marketing, like the below example, are meant to highlight your company’s successes. Choosing a client to showcase is also an important step in the writing process.
Below, we share the top steps to complete when writing a case study to promote your business.
Determine your objective
Before you start writing case studies, decide what the main objective for this exercise is. Case reports don’t have the potential to go viral, nor are they shareable on social media.
But a case study is an effective tool for converting prospects into customers. They can also encourage business partners to take that final step and sign on the dotted line.
You need to approach your case analysis differently than all other content. This is why you need to have an objective for undergoing the process of writing a case study.
For example, this report shows how the fictional company Toy Crates used the services of Ad Factory to significantly increase its sales.
The main objective of your case study is to highlight your business processes. You should also show the benefits of using your product. But there needs to be a relatable angle for whoever is reading your study.
Possible angles for a case study can be:
- Audience growth
- Launch of a new type of product
- Entry into a new market
- Improvements in conversion rates
- Increased revenue
- Increased traffic or social media impressions
- Technology or software adoption
This case study focuses on lead generation. The report showcases the efforts behind boosting the client’s lead generation program and the successes achieved.
Once you determine the best objective for your analysis, you can move onto the next step. Look for a client that best showcases positive aspects of your company.
Choose the right client
You need a particular type of client as the subject of your case study. This client will be a loyal customer. They should be willing to participate in the study. The client should also align with the objective of your study.
Pick a customer who knows your product inside and out. They should not be someone who used your product once and had success with it.
You want to showcase consistent and high-quality results over a period of time. In this example, the fictional Ad Factory also showcased Loot Box as a client that had success with their brand.
USE THIS CASE REPORT TEMPLATE
You also want to choose customers who have had success directly from using your product. If a brand has seen overall growth and your product was just part of that success, it won’t make for a compelling case study.
Contacting your client for the case study
The customer you choose for your case study should know what the process entails.
Be open in your communication about what you need to put together the case report. This could be communicated through calls, email conversations, or a project management tool.
Set a deadline and share a project timeline so the client knows what the process will look like. Let them know what documentation or statistics you will need for them before you start writing.
Offer something in exchange for participating in the case study. These could be product discounts, a temporary upgrade, a mention in your newsletter, social media, or increased brand awareness.
USE THIS CASE REPORT TEMPLATE
It is imperative that you let the customer know how their information and data will be used. Tell them if you’re posting the case analysis to your blog, sharing it on YouTube, or with your email subscribers.
Some clients may not want their professional information shared with large audiences, so clarify this step of the process first.
Related: 40+ Timeline Template Examples and Design Tips
Research your case study
Once your client agrees to participate in the case analysis, you can begin researching. Remember the objective of your case study and research the subject accordingly.
For example, we wanted to show how infographics help businesses grow their audience. We contacted our user, ChadSan , who had seen massive growth after adding infographics to their marketing campaigns.
We put our findings into a research infographic along with quotes from the client, charts and graphs.
To do this, we researched the content ChadSan created before and compared their traffic to when they started using infographics.
It’s also important to look at the industry your client is in so you have an idea of what success looks like in that sector.
Conducting interviews with clients is a good way to get information for your case report.
You can hold interviews via video call, which you should record to double-check later or conduct the interview via email.
Email interviews might require follow-ups if you need further clarification on particular questions.
Asking the right questions is crucial during the research phase. You don’t want ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer. You need qualified information and data to build out a case study, like the one below.
USE THIS CASE REPORT TEMPLATE
For example, we asked our contact at ChadSan for her experience using infographics in her marketing. We also asked about her main challenges, why she had chosen Venngage and the benefits of using Venngage.
This is also the stage when you can ask for concrete examples of how your product benefited your client.
We asked ChadSan to share some examples of the infographics they had created using our templates. This helped show our product in use, further social proof of the advantages of using Venngage infographics.
Create the case study outline
With the client interview completed, gather the data you have and start writing the outline for the case report. Remember the case study format we shared earlier when you’re preparing the outline.
This will help you design a case study that is memorable, like this example.
For a case study blog post, you should prepare the following:
- Overview of the study
- The results, with charts
- Call to action
Write a few notes for each point that you can elaborate on in the next writing stage. By following this process, you can build out a case study like this example.
Draft your case report
The outline is your starting point for drafting the case report. Like any other piece of content you create, a case study needs to be engaging. It also needs a beginning, a middle and an end.
Use classic marketing storytelling approaches when writing case studies. Introduce your characters (the client), the conflict (the business problem), the resolution (the benefits of your product).
By using this technique, you can write a case study like this example.
Conclude with an analysis of your success and a testimonial recommending your product and brand.
Finalize your case study
Revise your study and ask one or two colleagues to glance over it to catch any mistakes you may have missed.
You should send the report to the client you’re showcasing for their approval. When you and the client are satisfied with the case study, an infographic study like the one below is ready to be published.
Share a link to the case study with the client to promote on their platforms. You can share the case report on your social channels, with partners and to your email subscribers.
Now that you know how to write your case report, here are some tips on case study design. Improving the aesthetics and usability of your study will make it memorable to read. In the long run, the study will help boost brand awareness.
Use a case study template
Make the case study design process easier by using a template. Venngage offers a variety of customizable case study templates , like this one, to make any study attractive and engaging.
Choose a template from Venngage’s library and edit it to fit your needs. Change the text, upload visuals or choose images from our stock photo integration. Pick icons from the 40,000+ icons available to better reflect your story.
With Venngage for Business , you can get priority support while designing your study.
You can also access real-time collaboration features so you can design your case study with team members.
Incorporate white space
A great way to make your case study engaging is to incorporate one important rule of design: use plenty of white space.
White space is all the blank areas around your text and visuals. This space gives your information room to breathe and makes it easier for readers to absorb your story.
Take a look at this template for inspiration. There is plenty of room around each element. This makes the study easier to navigate.
Write short paragraphs of two or three lines and use bullet points to create more space around your text. Leave room around your visuals, as well, so users can move through the sections easily.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Design Thinking
Visualize data for your case study
Case studies include a great deal of information but that doesn’t mean they need to be packed full of text. Visuals are a great way to catch the eye and keep users interested in your report.
Statistics are a key element of case reports but numbers on their own can get lost. Instead, visualize your data using Venngage’s chart maker and graph maker .
Design pie charts, bar graphs, donut charts, line and area graphs, or maps to visualize numerous types of data for your case studies, like in this example.
Related: How to Tell a Story With Data: A Guide for Beginners
Add branding to case reports
Branding is an important facet of case reports. Anybody reading the study should know which companies were involved, both the client and your brand.
Add recognizable brand elements such as your logo and the client’s logo. Use your brand colors and brand fonts throughout your case study design.
Ensure that your design adheres to your brand guidelines , including your brand voice.
Take a look at this case study infographic Venngage created with Baptist Care. We incorporated both our logos in the infographic. We also used the brand colors and fonts of both companies.
You can easily add your branding to case report templates using Venngage’s My Brand Kit tool. Input your website and the Autobrand feature will apply your branding across all your designs.
What subjects are covered in a case study?
Depending on the field of study, case reports can examine a variety of subjects, including:
- a group of people
- an organization or business
For example, case studies in psychology may be focused on a person or groups of people. Medical case reports might study events or groups of patients.
Businesses can examine other organizations, as in this example, or events.
What are the characteristics of a case study?
Case studies are characterized by the units or subjects they examine. These units need to be studied in totality. Every aspect of the person, organization or event needs to be included.
Reports should also be qualitative as well as quantitative. This means that case study research describes problems and solutions.
It also backs those assumptions up with data. Both aspects must be included in the analysis, as in this example.
How can you design a case study with Venngage?
Venngage makes it easy to design case studies by offering numerous editable templates. Create an account with Venngage and browse the library for a template.
Customize the template, like the one below, in the easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. Add text, pick colors , icons, add photos and charts and graphs.
Upload photos with Venngage. Drag and drop images into the Venngage editor and customize your reports in seconds.
Use a case study to highlight your brand’s successes
A case study can be a powerful marketing tool that showcases the advantages of using your product.
By highlighting real clients and their successes, you can provide social proof to potential customers and partners.
Designing case studies has never been easier. Use Venngage’s templates to create engaging reports to impress your audiences and help you grow your client base.
How to write a case study that will help you convert more clients
Courting new clients can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of agency or freelance work. But there’s one tool that...
Courting new clients can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of agency or freelance work. But there’s one tool that can help ease and expedite that process: showcasing your work through case studies. Case studies are the most trusted form of marketing content according to 60% of clients, customers, and consumers, far surpassing visual content (34%) or blog posts (31%) according to a recent survey conducted by Marketing research firm Ascend2 .
With case studies, you have the chance to demonstrate your skills and emphasize the outcomes of your work. In effect, you’re drawing a line between your work and the results, whether that’s measured in terms of engagement, revenue or another impact. And what you get is instant credibility. It’s like being vouched for — not with a testimonial or recommendation, but with examples and evidence.
Still, it’s important to present this evidence in a way that’s appealing and memorable to your prospective clients, ensuring that they both take the time to look at it and keep it in mind as they shop around.
Here’s how to write a case study that will help you attract new clients and grow your business.
What is a case study?
A case study in marketing is an in-depth example of how a product or service has helped past clients. It usually explains the process in detail from start to finish and shows measurable results.
A case study is normally laid out as follows:
Visuals are often included showcasing the product or service, and the results are usually displayed in a graph or other illustration. When successfully executed, the result is a story that lets prospective clients imagine what it would be like to work with you and convinces them you’re the best match for their needs.
What is the purpose of a case study for marketing?
Case studies are powerful tools for those looking to grow their business by attracting new clients, especially in the B2B space. When a business is shopping around for a marketing agency, a set of compelling case studies on hand can ultimately be the deciding factor in choosing one agency partner over another.
Unlike standalone samples that show off top-tier work, a great case study incorporates storytelling, allowing prospects to see how your agency is different in terms of the quality of your work and your processes. And for marketers who are performance-driven, it offers a glimpse at potential outcomes and ROI.
A case study can be a particularly important tool for individuals who are fielding agencies. When you give them strong reasons to put you at the top of the stack, it makes their jobs easier, and it makes them look good, too.
How to write a good case study
First, you’ll want to identify 1) who your audience is and 2) what you’re trying to demonstrate before choosing the right client and project to feature in a case study.
Next, gather all of the background on the project that you’ll need in order to paint a compelling picture. Now, it’s easy enough to start plugging the information at hand into your case study outline.
A case study can be made up largely of images or video, but typically, they also contain a few hundred to a few thousand words of text. Your needs might vary; you know your business and your audience best. The most important thing to consider is how to attract and hold your potential client’s attention. Remember: No one wants to spend valuable time consuming overly long, self-important reports.
Therefore, case studies should be no more than a few pages in length and should contain some visual elements (like photos or charts) to break up the text. They’re usually sectioned off for easier reading — and though the headers of each section might vary, they should align roughly with the elements below.
Here are the four essential parts to include when writing a case study:
1. Introduce the client or customer
Case studies always start with an introduction to the client or customer. The reader of the case study will want to understand if this example is directly relatable to their company and business needs. That doesn’t mean that the client featured in your case study needs to be identical to the prospective client who’s reading it, but they might have a few things in common, such as size, industry or budget. An engaging headline and intro serve as a useful “hook,” which makes the reader want to keep reading.
2. Explain the project’s objectives
Why did the case study’s client or customer approach you? They likely had a problem they needed to solve or a goal they were hoping to achieve. Further details, such as aspirations and challenges, that inform how the project developed could be introduced here.
3. Describe your product or service
This is where you’ll explain how you created the final product or carried out your service in order to solve the client’s problem or meet their goals. Be sure to explain your rationale: Why was this the right product or service for them in particular, at this time? Include your process step by step.
4. Report the results
Finally, you have the chance to share the data that backs up why your instincts were correct. Here are some questions to address in this section:
Why did you choose these KPIs?
What process was used to measure the results?
What length of time was assessed?
Were there any other unexpected positive outcomes?
Help the reader stay engaged with graphics and charts. Tie the results back to the original objectives in order to paint the greater story arc. A testimonial from the client about their experience and results can be a great way to close.
[Related: How to generate leads in Wix Marketplace ]
Pro tips for writing a good case study
Following the steps outlined above can help you create a compelling case study, but there are a few additional tips to keep in mind that will take your work to the next level and can help your case study stand out from others that follow this standard recipe.
1. Make your client the hero of the story
It’s important that your prospective clients can see themselves in your case studies. Therefore, they shouldn’t be all about your work and how great your team is, which is likely to come across as promotional. (Besides, in a well-written case study, those elements will shine through anyway.) The hero of the story is your client: What drove them to find you in the first place? How did they feel once they realized you were successfully helping them resolve their original challenge? This is the heart of good storytelling. Explain the experience from their point of view.
2. Customize your case studies
As with all client engagement and marketing efforts, it’s important to understand your audience. This way, you can be sure to share case studies that address all of their questions, concerns, hopes and needs. (This might ultimately entail creating a small suite of case studies to resonate with your various lead types.) For example, if you’re targeting mom-and-pop shops, you might lose them with a case study featuring a huge global corporation.
3. Rely on eye-catching visuals and strong writing
Don’t forget the importance of eye-catching graphic elements and well-crafted copy. These aspects are vital to a solid case study — and what sets it apart from a dry and boring business report. Draw in your audience first, then drive your message home. Think of this as yet another chance to show off your skills.
4. Add concrete data and relevant metrics
As stated earlier, it’s not only important to showcase your awesome skills — it’s imperative to prove the results of that work. The more you can lean on measurable metrics to showcase how your work benefited previous clients and campaigns, the more obvious it will be that you’re the best choice as a business and creative partner.
Time to write a case study
Take some time to analyze some case study templates or examples online. See if you can dig up any case studies by other agencies in your niche, taking note of how you could take things up a notch or differentiate yourself from them. After all, just as with any marketing collateral, the goal isn’t to look like everyone else but to showcase what makes your brand unique.
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- December 1, 2022
- Academic Advice
How To Write a Research Paper: The Ultimate Guide ￼
Regardless of the degree or program, you enroll in, writing research papers is inevitable. The process can seem daunting due to the time and effort it takes. But with the proper approach, you’ll make it.
This article will guide you on how to write a research paper perfectly, including how to write a thesis statement for a research paper, how to write a conclusion for a research paper, etc. More specifically, there are nine steps you need to follow to pave the way to a successfully written research paper.
But before that, let’s learn what a research paper is.
What Is a Research Paper?
A research paper can be considered an extended version of an essay. The research paper aims to present your interpretation, argument, or evaluation. In contrast to essays, research papers are more complex and require deep research on a particular matter. Research papers are characterized by the inclusivity of the presentation of other scientists’ opinions.
A research paper is more than a summary, collection of other sources, or literature review. At its core, the research paper analyzes and argues your point of view, further backed up by other studies.
Completing a research paper is a challenging task. But, with our help, you can start and build your way to a good end. Let’s get started!
How To Write a Research Paper
Writing a research paper sounds easy; you pick the topic, develop your argument, research what other studies have said, and conclude it. Those are the general rules. But writing a successful research paper requires you to be more attentive, consistent, and detailed.
The following steps will guide you through a more detailed process of writing a research paper.
Get familiar with the assignment
Writing a research paper takes more than just listening to the instruction while your professor explains. Because many students are not cautious enough to carefully listen and analyze every given step, they end up with a poorly graded assignment or, in the worst case, even fail.
Spend some time reading every instruction, and when in doubt, ask questions! Professors are always open to answering any questions you might have.
Choose a topic for your research paper
Deciding on a topic is usually time-consuming since there are so many topics available. If you need help deciding on a topic, think about what you are passionate about, but always remember to stay within the lines of the instructions. When choosing a topic, keep the following in mind:
- Choose a topic relevant to the length of the paper: If your professor has instructed a longer paper than usual, keep your topic broad, for example, “Internships.” On the other hand, if it’s shorter, try to narrow your topic to something more specific such as “Internship’s impact on interpersonal skills.”
- Consider topics that allow you to discuss or analyze rather than summarize: If you’re writing anything literature related, focus on how, for example, a particular scene leads to a specific theme. Avoid choosing a topic that plainly describes scenes or characters.
- Find a topic with many previous studies available: Since research papers mainly focus on your research, you must ensure plenty of studies can support your arguments.
Do the research and take notes
Now it’s time to research what different scholars have written about the topic. Since this step requires a lot of reading and comprehension, it’s crucial to know how to read scholarly articles effectively and efficiently. The pieces you will go through will be lengthy, and sometimes only a few parts within those papers will be helpful. That’s why it is essential to skim and scan.
Secondly, find reliable sources. Visit sites such as Google Scholar, and focus on peer-reviewed articles since they contain information that has been reviewed and evaluated.
Next, keep track of what you have read so far. It’s vital to save everything you have read and consider influential in one place. Instead of going back and forth between different sites, you can have everything in one place. You can bookmark the sources or link those sources to a document. That will save you valuable time when you start writing.
And remember: always stay focused and within your topic area.
Formulate your thesis statement
Research until you reach your own opinion or argument on the topic, otherwise known as a thesis statement. A thesis statement is an introductory statement that puts forward your explanation or point within the paper. When formulating a thesis statement, remember the following:
- Don’t be vague.
- Make a strong statement.
- Make it arguable.
Checking in with your professor after you have developed a clear, persuasive thesis statement can be helpful. Ask them whether they agree your thesis statement is the right one. And if you get a positive answer, you’re ready for the next step.
Create an outline for your research paper
Even if it’s not required by your instructor, creating an outline will help you greatly in the long run. A structure will simplify the writing process, regardless of length or complexity. It should contain detailed information for the arrangement of each paragraph and identify the smaller components per each paragraph in order, such as the introductory sentence and the supporting evidence.
The outline will create a visual board and help you define what to include and where. And most importantly, in this part, you can identify possible mistakes and not have them in your drafts.
Write your first draft
And now you’ve made it to the real deal. The work you’ve done till this point matters a lot. If you succeed in having a good topic, a strong thesis with backup evidence, and an already structured paper, half of the job is already done—you just have to fill in the blanks at this point.
As you first start writing, remember that this is the first draft. Trust your memory and avoid going between sources and your paper. This way, you can prevent plagiarism and be original instead. Start with the introduction and the body, and work through a conclusion.
Introductions to research papers are always unique. It is the part where you set up the topic and hook your reader. Additionally, you must provide background to the existing research, position your approach, and put forward the thesis statement. Furthermore, you need to explain why your topic deserves immediate attention.
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An introduction highlights all you’ve gathered from your research. While it may seem fine to write the introduction first, we suggest you focus on the body of the paper first. Then you’ll find it simple to build a clear summary.
This is the longest part of the research paper. You are required to support your thesis and build the argument, followed by citations and analysis.
Place the paragraphs in a logical arrangement so each key point flows naturally to the next one. Similarly, organize the sentences in each paragraph in an organic structure. If you have carefully arranged your notes and created an outline, your thoughts will automatically fall into place when you write your draft.
After introducing your topic and arguing your points, the conclusion will bring everything together. Focus on developing a stimulating and informative conclusion. Make it possible for readers to understand it independently from the rest of the paper.
These are some of the suggestions that will lead to a well-written conclusion:
- Provide a clear summary
- Emphasize issues raised and possible solutions
Write your second draft
Usually, the first draft is followed by a second one. However, before proceeding with the process, highlight the errors and points you would prefer to avoid including in the final draft. With the help of a second draft, you will be able to notice mistakes and create a definitive outline for the final draft. Furthermore, you can communicate your ideas more clearly and effectively by creating multiple drafts.
Cite sources and prepare a bibliography
Citations are what characterize the research paper. The importance of citations lies in reliability: citing sources will make your writing more reliable. But how do you cite correctly? The problem is that there is more than just a set of rules. If your professor has set no rules, you can ask them. After being given the right instructions on what citation style to use, do plenty of research and make sure to cite correctly.
Edit, edit, and edit some more
Now it’s time to strive for perfection. Start editing with a fresh perspective. Firstly, focus on the content. It would be beneficial to create a checklist you can follow. You can produce a list that follows the instructions of your professor. If everything checks right, you can submit it. Otherwise, you’ll need to work toward perfecting the paper. Here are some things you need to check:
- Are you within the lines of the assignment?
- Have you achieved the right length?
- Do sentences communicate your ideas?
- Is the supporting evidence conducted correctly?
It is also crucial to edit for grammar. Plenty of online tools, such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor, can help you during the process. You can also ask your peers to check it after you’ve done your part. Their fresh perspective will pick up on many things you might have missed.
The Bottom Line
Writing a research paper is one of the essential parts of academics. The process might seem straightforward, but there are many steps you should carefully follow. And remember: always stay on track with your progress; otherwise, you will get lost in tasks.
We hope by the time you have read this guide, you’ve been able to pick up the essential parts. But if you haven’t, you can go through it again.
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Case Study Research Paper: A Step-By-Step Guide
Case study research is a useful tool for investing specific situations and trends in different disciplines. Many researchers consider this study method useful when testing theoretical models and applying them in real-world settings. An example of case study research is when an anthropologist was to live among a tribe in a remote location. Their observations may not produce quantitative data. However, they can also be useful in a scientific field.
Case study research design is mostly used in educational, social, business, and clinical research. This research method involves an up-close, detailed, and in-depth examination of a specific case. The reputation of this research method has been growing over the years as an effective methodology for investigating and understanding complex real-world issues.
Case study research design and methods have developed substantially through their applications in different disciplines. Progress and change have stemmed from the parallel influences of historical approaches to the preferences, interpretations, and perspectives of individual researchers.
What is Case Study Research?
Perhaps, you’ve been asked to do a case study. Maybe you’re asking, what is a case study research? That’s because this is the first time you have been asked to do one.
Well, case study definition in research means a detailed study of a particular subject. Such research requires more knowledge and time than writing a paper for college. This subject can be a person, a place, a group, an organization, a phenomenon, or an event. The case study is a research method in which qualitative methods are involved in the design. However, quantitative methods can be used in some cases.
When is Case Study Research Used?
Our paper writers claim that this research method is ideal for researchers that want to compare, describe, understand, and evaluate various aspects of a problem. Essentially, it is used when trying to gain contextual, concrete, and in-depth knowledge of a specific subject in a real-world setting. It enables a person to explore key meanings, characteristics, and implications of a case.
Perhaps, to understand the application of this study method better, it’s important to ask, what is a case study in research? Well, a case study is a particular subject or situation to be studied. It can also be defined as the unit to be analyzed. When asked to define case study research, a student can give an example of a specific patient treated by a doctor. In business, a case study example can be the strategy of a particular firm.
Case study research methodology can be used when writing a dissertation or thesis. That’s because they make a project manageable and focused when they do not have resources or time for large-scale research. A student can use a single case study when exploring a subject in detail or conduct several case studies to illuminate and compare different aspects of a research problem.
Examples of Case Study Research Questions
Perhaps, you’re wondering about research questions that can be answered using a case study research method. Well, there are many situations where a person can research case study based on the problem they want to solve. Here are examples of research questions for case studies:
- How are narratives about history used by populist politicians to gain support?
- How can active learning strategies be implemented by teachers in mixed-level classrooms?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using wind farms in rural areas?
- How do viral marketing strategies change the relationship between consumers and companies?
- How does the gig economy work differ by race, age, and gender?
These case study research questions examples can provide useful information when used properly in case studies. Nevertheless, students should take the time to learn what they are expected to do when doing their research using case studies.
How to Write a Case Study Research Paper
Writing a case study is a process with several steps. But, a case study qualitative research can even be about an examination of the specific goal or challenge of a business or a person and how they accomplished or overcome it. The focus and length of a case study can vary greatly depending on the details that concern the initial problem and the applied solution.
Professionally, case studies focus on telling the story of successful partnerships in businesses. Such a partnership can involve a client and a vendor. A case study can also be a brief snapshot of the health of a client since they start working with a doctor. It can also be a success story of the growth of a client.
Nevertheless, a case study uses metrics that have been agreed up by the involved parties. For instance, success can be highlighted or measured using the number of leads generated by the client, revenue gained, or customers closed. These are important key performance indicators of the services offered by a company in action. Nevertheless, this research is a process with several steps to follow. Here’s how to do case study research step-by-step:
- Determine the objective of the case study. In the corporate world, case studies focus on demonstrating services’ value. However, a case study can focus on the objectives of different clients. Therefore, the first step in the process of writing a case study research paper should be to determine the goal or objective of the study subject. In simple terms, this is what the client will have done by the end of this piece. This can be complying with regulations, lowering the costs of doing business, or becoming more profitable.
- Establish the medium of your case study. This step entails determining the medium to use when creating the case study. Simply put, this is how you want to tell the story. For instance, you can use an infographic or different media channels to promote the final piece. The used medium is the reason why there are different types of case study research. They include video case study, infographic case study, written case study, and podcast case study.
- Find the right candidate for your case study. This entails seeking permission, planning, and getting quotes. You must also learn more about the subject of your research before you start writing. Contact the subject of your case study before you start researching and writing about them.
- Draft a release form and send it to your subject. After the candidate approves your request to research and write about them. Create and send a release form. This tells the subject more about the information you need from them. Make sure that you are asking your case study candidate the right questions.
- Write and format your case study. Analyze the information you get from the candidate and research further. Once you have all the necessary information, write your case study research paper. Include a title, subtitle, information about the subject, challenges and objectives, the implemented solution, and how it helped, as well as, results, supporting quotes and visuals, plans, and a call to action.
- Publish and then promote the case study. If you did a video case study you can publish it on YouTube and promote it on other platforms. If you did an infographic case study, you can publish it on Pinterest and promote it on a blog.
A case study is not exciting content to produce. However, it’s an effective way to generate useful information. When done properly, a case study can produce information that can be used to enhance the performance of a business or organization. Follow our blog and learn how to craft a research paper abstract.
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Case Study Research Method in Psychology
Saul Mcleod, PhD
BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester
Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
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Olivia Guy-Evans, MSc
Associate Editor for Simply Psychology
BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Psychology of Education
Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.
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Case studies are in-depth investigations of a person, group, event, or community. Typically, data is gathered from various sources and by using several different methods (e.g., observations & interviews).
The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e., the patient’s personal history). In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual.
The information is mainly biographical and relates to events in the individual’s past (i.e., retrospective), as well as to significant events which are currently occurring in his or her everyday life.
The case study is not itself a research method, but researchers select methods of data collection and analysis that will generate material suitable for case studies.
Case studies are widely used in psychology, and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud, including Anna O and Little Hans .
Freud (1909a, 1909b) conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses.
Even today, case histories are one of the main methods of investigation in abnormal psychology and psychiatry.
This makes it clear that the case study is a method that should only be used by a psychologist, therapist, or psychiatrist, i.e., someone with a professional qualification.
There is an ethical issue of competence. Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical (i.e., abnormal) behavior or atypical development.
The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior. This comes from interviews and other sources, such as observation.
The client also reports detail of events from his or her point of view. The researcher then writes up the information from both sources above as the case study and interprets the information.
The research may also continue for an extended period of time, so processes and developments can be studied as they happen.
Amongst the sources of data the psychologist is likely to turn to when carrying out a case study are observations of a person’s daily routine, unstructured interviews with the participant herself (and with people who know her), diaries, personal notes (e.g., letters, photographs, notes) or official document (e.g., case notes, clinical notes, appraisal reports).
The case study method often involves simply observing what happens to or reconstructing ‘the case history’ of a single participant or group of individuals (such as a school class or a specific social group), i.e., the idiographic approach .
The interview is also an extremely effective procedure for obtaining information about an individual, and it may be used to collect comments from the person’s friends, parents, employer, workmates, and others who have a good knowledge of the person, as well as to obtain facts from the person him or herself.
Most of this information is likely to be qualitative (i.e., verbal description rather than measurement), but the psychologist might collect numerical data as well.
The data collected can be analyzed using different theories (e.g., grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, text interpretation, e.g., thematic coding).
All the approaches mentioned here use preconceived categories in the analysis, and they are ideographic in their approach, i.e., they focus on the individual case without reference to a comparison group.
Interpreting the information means the researcher decides what to include or leave out. A good case study should always clarify which information is the factual description and which is an inference or the researcher’s opinion.
- Provides detailed (rich qualitative) information.
- Provides insight for further research.
- Permitting investigation of otherwise impractical (or unethical) situations.
Case studies allow a researcher to investigate a topic in far more detail than might be possible if they were trying to deal with a large number of research participants (nomothetic approach) with the aim of ‘averaging’.
Because of their in-depth, multi-sided approach, case studies often shed light on aspects of human thinking and behavior that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways.
Research that only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension of experience, which is important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.
Case studies are often used in exploratory research. They can help us generate new ideas (that might be tested by other methods). They are an important way of illustrating theories and can help show how different aspects of a person’s life are related to each other.
The method is, therefore, important for psychologists who adopt a holistic point of view (i.e., humanistic psychologists ).
- Lacking scientific rigor and providing little basis for generalization of results to the wider population.
- Researchers’ own subjective feeling may influence the case study (researcher bias).
- Difficult to replicate.
- Time-consuming and expensive.
- The volume of data, together with the time restrictions in place, impacted the depth of analysis that was possible within the available resources.
Because a case study deals with only one person/event/group, we can never be sure if the case study investigated is representative of the wider body of “similar” instances. This means the conclusions drawn from a particular case may not be transferable to other settings.
Because case studies are based on the analysis of qualitative (i.e., descriptive) data , a lot depends on the psychologist’s interpretation of the information she has acquired.
This means that there is a lot of scope for observer bias , and it could be that the subjective opinions of the psychologist intrude in the assessment of what the data means.
For example, Freud has been criticized for producing case studies in which the information was sometimes distorted to fit particular behavioral theories (e.g., Little Hans ).
This is also true of Money’s interpretation of the Bruce/Brenda case study (Diamond, 1997) when he ignored evidence that went against his theory.
Diamond, M., & Sigmundson, K. (1997). Sex Reassignment at Birth: Long-term Review and Clinical Implications. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine , 151(3), 298-304
Freud, S. (1909a). Analysis of a phobia of a five year old boy. In The Pelican Freud Library (1977), Vol 8, Case Histories 1, pages 169-306
Freud, S. (1909b). Bemerkungen über einen Fall von Zwangsneurose (Der “Rattenmann”). Jb. psychoanal. psychopathol. Forsch ., I, p. 357-421; GW, VII, p. 379-463; Notes upon a case of obsessional neurosis, SE , 10: 151-318.
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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide
A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.
Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.
This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.
Table of contents
Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.
Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:
- Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
- Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
- Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.
Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.
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There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.
You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.
You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.
Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:
- A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
- A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.
Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.
Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.
- Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
- Are there any heated debates you can address?
- Do you have a unique take on your topic?
- Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?
In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”
A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.
The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.
You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.
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A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.
A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.
Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:
- Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
- Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
- Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.
You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.
Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.
Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.
George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.
It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.
You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.
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The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.
What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.
Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?
How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.
The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.
One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:
- topic sentences against the thesis statement;
- topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
- and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.
Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.
Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.
You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.
You should not :
- Offer new arguments or essential information
- Take up any more space than necessary
- Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)
There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.
- Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
- Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
- Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
- If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.
The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.
- Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
- Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
- Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.
Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:
- each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
- no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
- all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.
Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .
Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading or create an APA title page .
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Checklist: Research paper
I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.
My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.
My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .
My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .
Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .
Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.
I have used appropriate transitions to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.
My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.
My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.
My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.
I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.
I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .
I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).
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Writing A Case Study
Types Of Case Study
Understand the Basic Types of Case Study Here
Published on: Jun 22, 2019
Last updated on: Oct 17, 2023
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A case study is an effective research method that specifically studies a single case over a period of time. Writing a case study is a very useful form of study in the educational process.
If students have real-life examples, it can help them learn more and synthesize information in a more effective manner. Such writing projects are one of the best ways of learning in a classroom.
A case study also has different types and forms. As a rule of thumb, all of them require a detailed and convincing answer based on a thorough analysis.
So, in this article, we are going to discuss the different types of case study research methods in detail.
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What is a Case Study?
Case studies are a type of research methodology. They examine subjects, projects or organizations to tell stories and try conclusions about them based on evidence gathered during the process.
It allows you not only explore new avenues but also get insight into what drives any subject’s decisions and actions. Case studies are a great way for first-year students to develop their research skills.
A case study focuses on a single project for an extended period of time, which allows students to explore the topic in depth.
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What are the Types of Case Study?
There are 6 types of case studies used for different purposes. The main purpose of case studies is to analyze problems within the boundaries of a specific organization, environment, or situation.
According to design, case studies can be divided into the following categories:
Illustrative Case Study
Exploratory case study, cumulative case study, critical instance case study, descriptive case study, intrinsic case study.
Refer to the following section for a detailed description of each type of case study with examples.
An illustrative case study is used to examine a familiar case in order to help others to understand it. It is one of the main types of case studies in research methodology and is primarily descriptive.
In this type of case study, usually, one or two instances are utilized to explain what a situation is like.
Type of Case Study Research Design
An exploratory case study is a primary project conducted before a large-scale investigation. These types of case studies are very popular in the social sciences like political science and primarily focus on real-life contexts and situations.
Typically, these are used to identify research questions and methods for a large and complex study. The main purpose of an exploratory case study is to help identify situations for the further research process.
A cumulative case study is one of the main types of case studies in qualitative research. It is used to collect information from different sources at different times.
The aim of this case study is to summarize the past studies without spending additional cost and time on new investigations. So, it is a form of data analysis.
Critical instances case studies are used to determine the cause and consequence of an event.
The main reason for this type of case study is to investigate one or more sources with unique interest and sometimes with no interest in general. A critical case study can also be used to question a universal assertion.
When you have a hypothesis, you can design a descriptive study. This type of report starts with describing what you are studying. It aims is to find connections between the subject being studied and a theory.
After making these connections, the study can be concluded. The results of the descriptive case study will usually suggest how to develop a theory further.
A descriptive report would use the quantitative data as a starting point for more in-depth research.
Intrinsic studies are more common in psychology. This type of case study can also be conducted in healthcare or social work. So, if you were looking for types of case study in sociology, or type of case study in social research, this is it.
The focus of intrinsic studies is on a unique individual. These types can sometimes study groups close to the researcher as well.
The aim of such studies is not only to understand the subject better, but also their history and how they interact with everything around them. Basically, studying the subject with the perspective of their suroundings is what is needed for this type of case study.
Here is a PDF example to help you learn more about different types of case studies.
Types of Case Study PDF
Now you know the different types of case study methods in research. Make sure you follow the right case study format for great results.
Remember each type is defined in general terms but keep in mind that many aspects of a case study such as data collection and analysis, qualitative research questions, etc. are dependent on the researcher and what the study is looking to address.
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Types of Subjects of Case Study
In general, there are six types of case studies and 5 types of subjects they address. Every case study whether exploratory, critical, or cumulative, fits into the following subject categories.
This type of study focuses on one subject or individual and can use several research methods to determine the outcome.
This type of study takes into account a group of individuals. This could be a group of friends, coworkers, or family.
The main focus of this type of study is the place. It also takes into account how and why people use the place.
This study focuses on an organization or company. This could also include the company employees or people who work in an event at the organization.
This type of study focuses on a specific event. It could be societal or cultural and examines how it affects the surroundings.
Review some case study examples online before starting working on a specific type of case study. These examples will help you understand how a specific case study is conducted.
Case studies are being used more and more in colleges and universities to help students understand how a hypothetical event can influence a person, group, or organization in real life.
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Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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- Writing a case report...
Writing a case report in 10 steps
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- Peer review
- Victoria Stokes , foundation year 2 doctor, trauma and orthopaedics, Basildon Hospital ,
- Caroline Fertleman , paediatrics consultant, The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust
Victoria Stokes and Caroline Fertleman explain how to turn an interesting case or unusual presentation into an educational report
It is common practice in medicine that when we come across an interesting case with an unusual presentation or a surprise twist, we must tell the rest of the medical world. This is how we continue our lifelong learning and aid faster diagnosis and treatment for patients.
It usually falls to the junior to write up the case, so here are a few simple tips to get you started.
Begin by sitting down with your medical team to discuss the interesting aspects of the case and the learning points to highlight. Ideally, a registrar or middle grade will mentor you and give you guidance. Another junior doctor or medical student may also be keen to be involved. Allocate jobs to split the workload, set a deadline and work timeframe, and discuss the order in which the authors will be listed. All listed authors should contribute substantially, with the person doing most of the work put first and the guarantor (usually the most senior team member) at the end.
Gain permission and written consent to write up the case from the patient or parents, if your patient is a child, and keep a copy because you will need it later for submission to journals.
Gather all the information from the medical notes and the hospital’s electronic systems, including copies of blood results and imaging, as medical notes often disappear when the patient is discharged and are notoriously difficult to find again. Remember to anonymise the data according to your local hospital policy.
Write up the case emphasising the interesting points of the presentation, investigations leading to diagnosis, and management of the disease/pathology. Get input on the case from all members of the team, highlighting their involvement. Also include the prognosis of the patient, if known, as the reader will want to know the outcome.
Coming up with a title
Discuss a title with your supervisor and other members of the team, as this provides the focus for your article. The title should be concise and interesting but should also enable people to find it in medical literature search engines. Also think about how you will present your case study—for example, a poster presentation or scientific paper—and consider potential journals or conferences, as you may need to write in a particular style or format.
Research the disease/pathology that is the focus of your article and write a background paragraph or two, highlighting the relevance of your case report in relation to this. If you are struggling, seek the opinion of a specialist who may know of relevant articles or texts. Another good resource is your hospital library, where staff are often more than happy to help with literature searches.
How your case is different
Move on to explore how the case presented differently to the admitting team. Alternatively, if your report is focused on management, explore the difficulties the team came across and alternative options for treatment.
Finish by explaining why your case report adds to the medical literature and highlight any learning points.
Writing an abstract
The abstract should be no longer than 100-200 words and should highlight all your key points concisely. This can be harder than writing the full article and needs special care as it will be used to judge whether your case is accepted for presentation or publication.
Discuss with your supervisor or team about options for presenting or publishing your case report. At the very least, you should present your article locally within a departmental or team meeting or at a hospital grand round. Well done!
Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ’s policy on declaration of interests and declare that we have no competing interests.