The case study is an amazing research opportunity to conduct an in-depth study on a person, group or event. It allows the researcher to analyze every aspect of the subject’s life and history to understand specific behavioral patterns. That helps the researcher to come up with a logical and practical solution for the existing problem.
Case studies are prominent in psychology, education, social science, medicine, anthropology, and political science. The overall learning and knowledge gained from one case are generalized in other cases. The supporting evidence and research data help in the further progress of individuals, society, and organizations.
Writing a case study is a regular academic writing activity for school and college students. Usually, students are presented with a real-life situation. Where they need to offer practical solutions, for the existing problems, through logical research conclusions. And the first question pops up in their mind, how to write a case study?
We understand writing a case study can be challenging for some students! But it’s not that difficult. Our short guide on “how to write a case study” will explore every aspect of case study writing. This step-by-step guide will present the case study format, the methods to gather background information, tips for the case study writing process, and much more.
You will just love to start composing a case study paper yourself!
Table of Contents
Background Information Required To Write a Case Study
The prime objective of the case study is to analyze the problem and offer the proper solution. For this, it is important to understand why the problem exists, and that is why it is important to gather the background information. It helps the researcher to have a better understanding of the problem to answer the case study topics.
The background information can be from facts or figures from genuine sources and having clear and open communication with related people. This information can be in the form of charts, tables, graphs, photos, audio files, videos, and any other useful format for qualitative research. Researchers also conduct interviews, surveys, literature review, and anecdotes to gather evidence and relevant facts. Everything You Need to Know About a Case Study Format!
What is Thesis Statement in Case Studies
The thesis statement is the prime idea and a brief explanation of your case study. It identifies the research topic, offers insight into the critical points discussed in the paper, and is written to grab the reader’s attention. The thesis is always placed at the end of the first paragraph, also known as the introduction. A good thesis statement generates the reader’s interest in your paper.
A good statement is one complete sentence that expresses your opinion strongly. It helps you narrow down the topics and establish the direction of an entire case study. The good thesis also points towards a conclusion and takes a stand to justify the discussion.
Your thesis statement is not a statement of fact, so usually, it’s arguable, not factual. Unless your research is based on the factual issue and you offer real solutions based on the facts.
In short, the thesis is the powerhouse of your case study, and it motivates the reader to go through an entire essay. At the same time, the thesis offers you the direction where your entire paper is going while you work on it.
What Does a Case Study Look Like
Usually, there are eight main sections in the case study. However, it also depends upon the type of research you are conducting and specific guidelines from your tutors. This is how the case study looks like:
1. Synopsis or Executive Summary
This section will explain what you will examine in the case study. Outline the issues and the findings without specifying details. Here you also mention the theories and methods you used to reach a specific conclusion. Your thesis statement also comes in this section.
2. Findings & Background
Here you identify the problem found in the case by analyzing the issues, supporting your findings with facts, and providing background information. This section is usually divided into sub-sections.
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Here you discuss the major issues and problems and offer alternative solutions. You need to briefly outline each alternative explanations and evaluate its advantages and disadvantages. You don’t need to refer to a theory or coursebook in this section.
Here you sum up the major points from your findings and discussion. You need to offer realistic ways of what isn’t working and improve its current situation to set a great example.
This section is used to propose which alternative solutions should be adopted. You need to justify your choice by explaining how it can solve the major problem. You need to write this part in a forceful style and persuade the readers that what you are recommending is correct. You also need to integrate theory and coursebook in this section.
In this part, you need to explain how to put the strategy into action, what should be done, and by whom and when. You can also include the rough estimate of costs and time required for the actionable plan.
Here you need to provide all the references with proper citations of previous research or blog post on the same topic. You can use the citation format suggested by your tutors; if not, use the APA method.
8. Appendices (If Any)
Here you can attach the original data that relates to your case study research. However, tutors usually don’t want students to write this section.
Best Tips For The Case Study Writing Process
Now you have a good overview of the case study and understand the initial challenge and format of the case study paper. Now it’s time to understand the writing process to compose a good case study. Here we provide the best tips on writing a case study.
1. Set Up Your Research
Your research should come first when you start writing a case study. Gather information from different sources and analyze other points of view to offer a more creative solution. Writing a case study, including research, may take some time. To get the best out of your research, follow the tips given below:
- Define Your Objective: Explain why you selected the particular subject or topic. Analyze the best way to feature your case study, will it be in written form, video form, info-graphics, or streamed as a podcast. However, students are asked to present their case studies in written form.
- Determine the Right Case Study Questions or Candidate: You need to take the permission of the people to be a part of your case study. Analyze quotes and other features to make a compelling case study. If you are researching, the person gets their approval to participate in your project.
- Examine Credible Sources: Gather the essential facts from authentic sources and highlight problems or existing assumptions. It’s better to write down your ideas after serious brainstorming to offer a good introduction.
- Focus on Various Key Issues: Find out why the problems exist and impact your research subject. Offer various unique solutions you got from discussions, readings, and personal experiences. Write the best solution in your case study in detail; when you have all the research work appropriately assembled, it will easily help you write the case study.
2. The Rubric & Research Questions
Always check the rubric and criteria of your case study to compose a correct body structure. However, your tutor might be looking for some different criteria; every case study rubric has the same standards as given below:
- Properly identify the theories, concepts, and practices in the discipline. Make an introduction identify your research questions.
- Evaluate the relevant theories and principles associated with your specific study.
- Recognize legal and ethical principles and apply them in your decision-making.
- Recognize the more significant importance and contribution of your case.
- Build a coherent summary and explain your study effectively.
- Utilize analytical and critical skills while doing the research.
- Explain the interrelationship between the environment and nature.
- Integrate the theory and practice of the subject within the analysis.
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3. Case Study Outline
Now make the rough draft of your case study. The case study has the following structure broadly:
- Statement of the issue.
- Presentation of the problem
- Explanation of the terms
- Importance of your case study
- Background of the story
- Presentation of the analysis and data
- Your arguments must be based on facts and evidence for future research
- Concluding Statement
4. Writing a Case Study Draft
Once you complete your research and case study outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In the draft, you need to develop and write your case study with the help of the data you have collected through research, interviews, and other analysis processes you have gone through. Follow these rules for your draft:
- Your draft should have four sections that include – an introduction, the body where you will present the background information, your explanation on why you decide to select the particular topic or pain point, and presentation of your key findings that include conclusion where you present the data and references.
- In the introduction part, you can set the pace very clearly. Try to raise a question or quote someone you interviewed while researching. It must present pertinent background information about the topic. The background may also include the analysis of previous studies on your topic. Write the objective of your case here as well and consider it as a thesis statement. It should describe the purpose of your work, presenting the issues you want to tackle. Also include photos and videos in the background information you used in your research.
- Describe your unique research method and how you conducted interviews, researched academic journals, and made observations, etc. It should be followed by the results of your research and present your findings to the readers. Demonstrate the importance of your findings and what you have learned from them. Discuss the real implication of the particular issue and its significance in the world.
- Include quotes and data to add the personal touch and credibility to your case study. Explain the results you found during interviews regarding the problems and how they developed. Also, present the solutions to the problem already presented by the other people about this case.
- At the conclusion section of your case study, you should suggest the best possible solution, and what further action should be taken but don’t stress solving it yourself.
5. Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Study
It does not matter if your case study is a story, but it should be based on solid evidence and archival records. Utilize as much factual data as possible to illustrate your point and new knowledge. Lack of correct data will make your case study weak, and readers will fail to relate to the issue. Let’s say, for example:
- With Data: The higher consumption of alcohol affects 15 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most mental issue in the country.
- Without Data: Many people are consuming a higher level of alcohol every year.
If you include the information from credible sources, your study will appear more relevant to your target audience. There is a possibility of using terms, and the sources you are using are complex for other cultures to understand. You can use Appendix or Notes in this case and for your tutors.
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6. Finalize the Draft: Checklist
Once you finish with your case study draft, polish it more with the help of these “ask yourself” questions and try to analyze how to end your study with the help of following points:
- Check for the correct case study format, text, and formatting.
- Check that your work is consistent with referencing and citation style.
- Check for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Check that you have presented enough raw data in the form of real-life examples and personal experiences. Analyze whether you can offer a proper conclusion, triggering further research.
You must avoid these things in your study:
- Overgeneralization: Try to avoid further research, which can deviate you from the main problem or issue.
- Failure to Document Limitations: As you clearly stated the limitations of the general research study, you must explain the limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
- Failed to Extrapolate All Possible Implications: As you don’t want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you need to consider all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.
7. Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
Your title page depends upon the prescribed citation format. Your title page must include:
- Describe your study effectively to catch the reader’s eye.
- Your title page should consist of the word “case study” in it.
- Make the title range between 5-9 words in length.
- It should include your name and contact information.
- Your finished paper should have 500-1500 words, and try to avoid fluff in your case study writing.
You need to add the “citations” in some case studies if you cite someone else’s study. You need to understand how to cite a case study, and it’s similar to the research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite depending upon the particular style you need. Some of the most common forms of citations are:
- MLA: The Modern Language Association is famous for establishing values and acknowledges the sources used in the paper. This citation style uses convenient two-part parenthetical documentation to cite sources: Citations in the text of a paper are according to the alphabetical Works Cited list that appears at the end of the paper.
- APA: It stands for “American Psychological Association,” which offers academic papers writing style and format. Usually cite the sources within the field of behavioral and social sciences.
- Chicago: The Chicago Manual of Style is another citation style for American English published in 1906 by the University of Chicago Press.
8. Conclude Your Case Study
Writing a conclusion is one of the best methods of understanding what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It offers you to have an in-depth glance at real-life problems and is open for further exploration. This insight helps readers to look at such situations from a different perspective. Explore A Definitive Guide On What Is A Case Study!
Types of Case Study
The goal of writing a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, a person, or anything. There are a few regular types of case studies, but it all depends on the topic. The most common fields where case studies are needed are listed here:
- Historical case studies offer an excellent opportunity to learn from. Historical events present multidimensional information offering different perspectives. Modern parallels are always there
- Imagine 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 study the issue in detail and provide solutions. Problem-oriented case studies are vital for relevant socio-economic discussions on a grander scale.
- 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 focus on exploring the causes and effects of a specific case.
- Illustrative case studies study certain events and investigate results and results.
How to Write a Short and Simple Case Study
The main purpose of the case study is to make readers aware of the situation where the problem is present. Presenting the background information of the situation and also offers logical suggestions. A good writer can successfully provide a similar experience that the writer had gone through while explaining the situation. Here we have provided a few steps to write a simple and short case study.
1. Explain the Situation
Provide a clear understanding to your readers about the situation you are conducting a case study. You can pose the problem and start writing by sharing the quotes that intimate the situation.
You can even start by framing a question in front of your readers. This will set the entire tone of your paper, and your readers will surely like to read the entire paper to find the solution.
2. Provide Background
The background is the information you have to find out, which describes why there is a problem. It may include facts and figures from genuine sources.
The background information you have gathered may be in the form of charts, graphs, photos, videos, and more. Here you can also provide the information that readers can use to come to their own conclusion.
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3. Present the Solution
This section presents the solution and the thought process that leads to the specific solution(s). This will help readers get the information on the solution that was implemented. You can also include your opinion and speculations here.
This section briefly explains the processes and critical elements used to derive the solution. Always be clear about the objective of the solution. You want to slow down the problems, reduce or eliminate the whole problem.
4. Evaluate the Response to the Solution
If your case study is for the current situation, you may not have the time to determine the overall effect o the solution. If the solution has been placed some time back, you have an opportunity to gather and review facts. You can include a summary of how well the solution is working and got positive results.
5. Tell the Complete Story
The case study is all about telling the story to your audiences about the research problem and how it was fixed. The focus should be on the evidence of the problem and what approach you take to offer the solution. Your writing style should make the reader understand the problem analysis, which was also part of your research. And the result is a short and simple case study in your own words that educates and entertains the readers. Get The Complete Guide On Case Study Method Here!
How to Make a Case Study Paper
Well, you can follow the steps given in this article above to make the case study paper. However, many students get confused with case studies and case study papers. Both are the same, and when you are writing a case study, you are also creating a case study paper. We are again listing the important steps to make a case study paper for your convenience.
- Read and examine the case properly, take notes, make reference list, gather relevant facts, and underline key issues.
- Focus on identifying at least five key problems, why they exist, how they impact, and the prime reasons for the issues to provide more depth.
- Offer the possible solution that makes sense or if any changes are required. This can be achieved through course reading, discussion, outside research, and your overall observation.
- Select the best solution while considering its pros and cons. Moreover, your solution should be realistic and practical for implementation.
How to Write a Case Study On a Person
Usually, the case study on the person is conducted in psychology, education, business, and social norms. The motive is the same, to analyze the specific behavior in psychology. To understand the reasons for disinterest in studies and devise specific strategies. To study the productivity factor in business and helps in onboarding process for sales teams and finally analyzing the particular behavior that can be harmful to society.
When every case study works on the same basic methods, similar procedures may also apply to write a case study on a person. And, here we go:
- Explain why you selected the particular person for your case study, and present the new experiences you have gathered that offer the new understanding to upgrade the person’s situation.
- Mention the person’s background, including his relationships with others, specific events, and other data in discussion section that offer validity to your study. This will help readers understand the significance of your experiences that make them worthy of study.
- Tell the readers using compelling story how you have conducted the research and analyzed the particular problem with the person. You should examine a few problems that make the person the valid subject for the case study.
- Come up with practical solutions and present one of the best that will help improve the person’s specific situation in your final draft
We hope the case study writing tips presented here will surely help you create a great case study report. And a good case study is based on how efficiently you have done the in-depth analysis. If you are still in a dilemma and have further questions regarding the case study essay, feel free to contact EduEsaay.com.
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