If you are in the social sciences and business field, chances are your professor has asked you to write a case study. Surely, you have read and written case study analyses. But analyzing a case study is not quite the same as writing a case study. Learning how to write a case study is time consuming because you thoroughly have to examine the subject, systematically write your observations, and analyze your findings. You need to be knowledgeable of different theories and apply them to your study. Indeed, writing a case study involves knowing how to evaluate your sources, having analytical skills, as well as knowing how to make a PowerPoint presentation afterwards. To write a successful case study, you must be thorough and turn every stone before writing their case study. You can still make writing a case study easier. Just keep reading!
What is a case study?
Generally speaking, a case study is an analysis of persons, groups, institutions, decisions, policies, events, periods, or other systems. It is a descriptive and explanatory analysis of any of the things mentioned. Case studies are based on quantitative evidence gathered through in-depth investigation and analysis. Its ultimate goal is to explore the causes of underlying principles. As a research methodology, it enables academics to have a deeper understanding of phenomena concerning their field.
How to write a case study?
The Four Types of Case Studies
There are four ways to write a case study. These are:
- Illustrative. The goal of this type of case study is to describe events.
- Exploratory. This type of case study is investigative—it aims to understand the causes of a phenomenon or, for instance, a decision.
- Cumulative. In this type of case study, the researcher analyzes and compares collective information to gain a deeper understanding of a subject.
- Critical. The goal of a critical case study is to examine the cause and effect of an event or phenomenon.
Key steps on writing a case study
- PICK A CASE. The subject of your case study depends on your course (law, marketing, sociology, and the likes). You have to conduct research about the case and make sure that you understand every aspect of it in order for you to create your set of research questions or a problem statement. For instance, you may choose to write about a legal case. You can analyze the decision or the verdict to the case, provide a new insight to the case to challenge that decision, or determine the validity of the decision. For cases which do not have verdict yet, you may choose to push a well-supported analysis to develop a set of course of action to resolve the case. In cases of sociological situations, you may study a specific behavior of a community toward an element (e.g. new law, etc.). Case studies are actually a tool for research that most researchers use regardless of the type of dissertation or thesis.
- GATHER YOUR DATA. The research process you did in searching an appropriate case study is different fro the research process you need to implement when researching more information about your chosen case. In this step, published materials are now a part of your research. It is important to learn how to evaluate sources to determine its validity regardless if the source is primary (interviews, original surveys, etc.) or secondary (peer-reviewed journals, dissertations, news articles, etc.). The key is to question every aspect of your case study and to provide answers to every questions you have in order to acquire a vast understanding about your subject. Just keep in mind that whatever question you have is also a question that your panelist or professor will have once they read your paper.
- PROCEED WITH WRITING. Do not attempt to begin writing without meeting the first two steps, it will just consume more time as you go back and forth through your materials. Once you have your notes and excerpts from your sources ready, you can begin your case with writing an effective outline. An outline will make the actual writing easier as you can have an instant overview of your work as well as a guide once you begin writing. Begin with presenting a clear picture of the case for your readers to have enough knowledge and basis as they proceed to reading your analysis. Once you are satisfied with the overview, you can now begin laying down every key point of your case study which you can and should use your heading. Remember that the most important part of your case study is the analysis. Allot more focus on the analytic part of the paper rather than the information you gathered. You can always provide an appendix where you list down recommended readings.
- CITE ALL OF YOUR SOURCES. Regardless which academic style you are using, you need to make sure that all information you got from outside soures are cited. Trust us, the last thing you need is a case of plagiarism waiting for you instead of an excellent grade.
- GET EXTRA HELP. Case studies require a lot of time and attention, so if you need a little help from professionals. Feel free to contact us anytime. Acquiring professional help or ghostwriting services will not diminish the quality of your paper because your rules will prevail. But, be cautious of various online ghostwriting services providers out there because you may not get a fully customized paper. The rule of thumb is if you cannot provide your instructions, find a different website.
What are the elements of a case study?
Although case studies may differ purpose and type, all case studies contain the same major elements. Plan your schedule and research based on these elements.
This section, as in all other types of essays, is where you introduce your topic and provide your readers with background information. Learn how to write a good introduction here.
Describes your study’s purpose and the specific questions you aim to answer. This should give your reader a better grasp of what to expect from your case study.
This section details the process of the entire case study. Talk about your methodology and the circumstances in which you gathered data.
Describes you’re the findings of your data collection. Specifically, this section should discuss the main themes extracted from your data collection.
This section tackles the insight that can be gained from the subject of the case study.
Based on your case study’s findings and discussion, provide a proposal for future action to solve or address a similar situation.
What are the characteristics of a compelling case study?
As you have already guessed, writing case studies is tedious and process-oriented. It can be likened to a more systematic descriptive essay writing, which requires great attention to detail, otherwise you risk losing credibility. Your case study assignment will test your research skills, analytical skills, and writing skills, so your case study must be seamless from beginning to end. How do you write a good case study, you ask? Here’s what your case study should be like:
A good case study starts with a compelling and relevant topic.
Naturally, your topic should fit the type of case study you’re being asked to write. You can come up with a great case study topic by conducting an extensive research of the topic. As you read through previous case studies and articles, take note of the questions that come up. These could be the foundation of your research questions.
Narrow down your questions to a specific problem that you are (1) interested in and (2) can conduct research on.
A good case study clearly identifies the problem.
There is nothing worse than weeding through an entire case study not knowing the problem it is tackling. Remember that a case study is not a mystery thriller—don’t make your readers guess the problem. Identify it clearly from the beginning and make sure that you consistently address this problem all the way to the Recommendations.
A good case study asks the right questions.
The quality of your discussion, and overall case study, depends on the data you find. In turn, the quality of data you gather depends on the type of questions you ask during the data collection process. Mix in a good amount of well-constructed open-ended interview questions. This will spark a discussion which would pave the way for more insightful findings.
A good case study does not attempt to solve universal problems.
A case study delves into the specifics of a phenomenon. So, your case study will be addressing a specific problem. Although presenting a generalized discussion or finding. All organizations face unique problems, so there is no universal solution to any problem. The most you can offer through your case study is insight based on the situation of your case study.
A good case study should be short and concise.
A case study is, in its essence, a report. So, it is only right that it follows report writing standards. You can check out these tips for successful report writing to give you a better idea on how to write a report. Research shows that shorter and well-organized case studies are preferred. When writing a case study, you should be straightforward. Avoid flowery language. Identify the situation and discuss details about the issue. Include your analysis of the situation along with the results.
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