How to Write A Case Study
Once you’re in college, professors and instructors won’t hesitate to pull you in writing tasks they haven’t even discussed yet. They will assume you would know how to write it or you will take initiative and teach yourself. Among the challenging writing assignments they will require students to write is a case study . So you ask yourself, how to write a case study? Well, for one, it’s not easy. It requires a lot of time and attention. If you are tasked to write a case study, expect that it will take at least a month before it’s finished. Why? Because the data gathering process doesn’t occur overnight, there is a strict timeline you need to dedicate before you can proceed with your case study analysis, whether it’s a medical case study or a business case study.
What is a case study?
Before knowing how to write a case study, there needs to be an understanding as to what a case study really is. A case study is a research design that thoroughly examines a person, place, event, phenomenon, or other types of subjects to determine key themes or results that may help predict future trends or provide more clarity on the research problem.
A case study usually only involves one subject, however, it can also be a comparative study involving two or more subjects closely related to each other to determine the relationship between them.
How to write a case study will also vary with the type of subject and the method employed in the study. It will be easy to identify the data gathering method you will use with your case study once you have decided your subject, whether it’s a person or a group of people, incident or event, phenomenon, or a place. Furthermore, the methodology of a case study can be a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm. It solely depends on the subject and method the research chooses to employ.
If you are among the many students who are completely unaware of how to write a case study, then allow this article to shed some light on the matter. Let this step-by-step guide assist you in how to write a case study:
1. Choose a subject.
Identify the research problem with your chosen subject of analysis to determine if it’s worth the research. See if your chosen subject presents more in-depth analysis and if it presents solutions to previous underlying problems. As a researcher, you must present yourself with a hypothesis you want to prove or disprove, so be sure you choose a subject that will be helpful to your research process and won’t leave you confused in the middle of it all. It will also be helpful for other researchers if the subject of your case study can offer new directions for future research.
2. Collate sources to support your case study.
It’s vital to have enough previously published studies or articles related to your topic, subject, and hypothesis to support your case study. How to write a case study does not only depend on your words but also those of previous researchers who similarly took on a similar subject. This process will not only be helpful to your case study, but also to you as the researcher. Help yourself by reading and evaluating your sources you have gathered - having enough knowledge and information about your subject will make the research and writing process easier as you go further into the case study.
3. Data gathering.
Don’t tread lightly in this part of the process on how to write a case study. Data gathering will shape and form the entirety of your case study analysis. As previously mentioned, you will have to allot most of your time in this process because you want to ensure your case study is genuine and valid. Ensure that you document every possible stage of data gathering along with the information necessary to the scope and limitations of your case study. Ultimately, the case study will rely on the data to make it as reliable as possible.
4. Make an outline.
You can’t start writing any writing project, especially a case study, without writing an effective outline to guide the entire paper. The outline will help you determine which parts will need the most attention or where your ideas fit the best. A case study is a research paper so normally it will have the following components:
- Introduction . Present your research problem and subject, then make a short summary of your thesis statement. Provide a short overview of what your case study will discuss, your hypothesis, the significance of the study, and scope and limitations. The introduction presents to be a way for you to be clear and concise about what and why you chose your subject and research problem and avoid getting discredited by readers, especially your professor.
- Background of the study/Literature review . Here is where all the sources you collected will play a role in the overall case study. You can strengthen your paper by providing credible information to support your hypothesis. It will overall build the foundation for your paper and will help you establish the relevance of your case study.
- Method . In this section, you explain why you chose your subject and what data gathering strategy you will use to document your subject. The strategy will vary in each subject type, so you have to justify why the strategy you applied is the appropriate strategy to address the research problem of your case study.
- Discussion . Once you have accomplished the data gathering process and you have all the necessary information to wrap up your case study, then you’re ready to proceed. Discuss the results of the data gathering and explain how it proves or disproves your hypothesis. You can’t control your findings so present it as it is and provide solutions for your research problem.
- Conclusion . Reiterate your case study’s research problem, thesis statement, and hypothesis. Summarize your conclusion in a clear and understandable language, and synthesize your findings and how it differs from other research. Explain the necessity of your case study, and how it helps fill the gaps of past research. You can also recommend further action in relation to the subject for other researchers who would like to pursue a similar study.
5. Write, edit, and proofread.
You can begin your writing process with a rough draft. It’s okay to start with fragmented thoughts first just as long as you know what to write in each component of your case study. Once you have your outline settled it will be easier to write the rest of your paper. Write your case study and make sure everything is coherent.
When you’re done writing, it doesn’t stop there. How to write a case study doesn’t end with jotting down the final word of the conclusion and ending with a period. It ends when you’re confident with the overall quality of your case study, including its content and any technicalities. After writing, you can proceed to re-reading your paper and editing any parts that don’t make sense to you as a reader. Consider your readers in the editing part, make sure you don’t leave them confused because you have a missing sentence or a clause you forgot to include, especially if that part contains critical information. Reread your paper and analyze it as much as you can, until you’re absolutely certain your case study is sensible and will fit your professor’s standards.
Once you’re done editing, you can proceed to proofread your case study. Avoid editing your content in this part because this is solely for correcting any technical mistakes, including ungrammatical sentences, misspelled words, or awkward punctuations. Both editing and proofreading are essential to secure the case study’s quality before submission. If you’re still unsure about whether it’s in its best condition, then you can ask colleagues or classmates to proofread it for you. But once you’re confident enough, then you can proceed to submit it to your professor - or let it sit if it’s not the time for submissions, then reread it again before the deadline.
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Writing assistance for college students
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