Knowing how to write a good essay is great, but it will only get you so far. Being a student, you face new academic writing formats every day. For example, now they’ve given you the assignment to do a case study, and you don’t even know what that is, let alone how to write a case study paper! Don’t worry. Today we share with you our best case study tips along with a short and simple case study guide, so buckle up.
What Is a Case Study
Before diving into the details of how to create a case study, let’s first sort out the definition. What is a case study analysis? It is both a type of paper and a way to do research that focuses on and describes in detail a particular subject, person, situation, organization, problem, phenomenon – which is the case that you study.
A case study is a great way to find a solution to a concrete problem or to test out a theory in the field. How long does it take crops to respond to new farming methods? How do students from different backgrounds perform under pressure? Will the employee retention improve if the company decides to include healthy meals into benefits? Here are just a few of the problems that could be the subject of a case study.
How to Do a Case Study
Before giving you any tips on how to write case studies, it’s only fair we should give you some idea of the entire process. How do you manage a project like that?
- First, identify a problem and select your case – in either order. Sometimes an interesting case presents itself and you work from there, and sometimes you have a particular problem in mind and have to look for a suitable case or design the experiment yourself.
- Build a theoretical base for your research and decide on your research methods. A case study is highly practical, but you must be armed with knowledge and be sure of what you are doing.
- Conduct the experiment/collect data/study the case. Now you apply your chosen research methods to the select material: observe, measure, interview, amass evidence.
- Do the write-up. Now you analyze and describe the data to elicit new information. You will find the detailed guidelines for writing a case study analysis in the following sections of this post.
If this sounds too much for you, don’t forget that you can always ask for a personalized case study writing help from our experienced academic writers!
Case Study Format in Academia
Case study format is often used in business for outreach and advertising (success story). Case studies are also a great way for students to see how the theory works in real life on concrete examples, so textbooks in Law, Medicine, and Management often include a case study section. However, we will only look into a case study as a research design and an academic paper.
Components of a Case Study
What makes a case study different from any other research is its practicality and narrow focus. That is why the key components of a good case study are the following:
- The Problem. Address one real-life problem. Do not disperse your efforts trying to solve all problems in one paper.
- The Solution applied. Again, don’t lose focus and chose which solution you want to test.
- The Results achieved: problem solved, the solution proved ineffective, new challenges were discovered along the way.
Case Study Structure
A case study paper is an overview of the work you’ve done. It’s best to start writing when your experiment or research is complete and you can lay out the results before your readers. The particular parts of the paper might depend on the specific aspects of the case, but the general structure usually includes the following:
- Introduction. Here you introduce the case, provide the necessary background information, and give a review of any previous studies. Don’t forget to include the thesis statement.
- Aims. This is the purpose of your study. What do you want to achieve? What problem to solve? Which particular questions to answer?
- Methods. What are the circumstances of your study and how do you plan to carry it out?
- Results. What you’ve found out through your observations?
- Discussion. What can be learned from your study? What is its significance?
- Recommendations. Proposals for courses of action in a situation similar to the one studied or for future research.
How to Solve Case Study
For some courses (Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Agriculture, etc.), you might be asked to solve a case study. This is a different type of assignment. For this, you are usually assigned a case as a decision-making challenge and a short time to prepare a solution. Such tasks are aimed to prepare students to act quickly in real-life scenarios. Here are the steps you should take:
- Read the case carefully. Immerse yourself into the situation, take in all the details, make notes if needed.
- Define the main problem. Some cases involve many issues and challenges, but your task is to find one underlying problem.
- Weigh all available solutions and select the best alternative. You should keep in mind that the number of relevant solutions might be limited for this particular case.
- Suggest a detailed roadmap for the implementation of your solution.
Now is the time to write a report. It should include:
- Executive summary – briefly describe the case and your solution.
- Problem statement – describe the major issue.
- Available alternatives – discuss viable alternatives with arguments for and against each one.
- Conclusion – show the reasoning behind your solution and why other alternatives were rejected. Don’t forget to include your implementation plan.
How to Start a Case Study Write-Up
Let’s suppose you have already studied the case and collected your data. Now it’s time for the report. How do you start?
(Note, that if you haven’t been assigned with a case, and you feel stuck choosing one, you can look at the examples of case study topics for inspiration.)
- Make a case study outline using the structure from the above: case study introduction with the statement of the problem, followed by the aims, and methods.
- Do not start with writing an abstract. It is a summary of your paper, including, the solution, and the results. Therefore, it should be written last, even though that it occupies the very first paragraph after the title.
Now let’s look into the detailed analysis of your results.
How to Write a Case Analysis
For the majority of students, the main difficulty of this assignment is lack of experience. They don’t know how to write a case study analysis. Their paper goes smoothly while they build the theoretical framework and collect data, but the analysis becomes a real stumbling block.
The reason for this is that how to analyze a case study properly depends on the type of research you are doing, so there is no one cookie-cut guide.
The are several rules of thumb, however. Look at the data and try to answer the following questions:
- Did your study achieve what it set out to achieve? Was the initial problem solved? Was the sought-after knowledge obtained? Was the experiment successful?
- If your results are not what you’ve expected, why it is so? Was there any other way to perform the study? Would it be more effective?
- Maybe your results are different because of the new information you’ve discovered during your study. What are the implications of this new information? Does it advance knowledge in the field? Does it pose any questions worth further investigations?
The case analysis format also differs depending on the type of your research. It can be written in a narrative style or as standard scientific paper with chapters and sections. The important thing is to include all aspects of the case to create as full a picture as possible while sticking with only the relevant facts. Whichever format gives you the best possibility for such a balance is suitable.
Still Not Sure How To Write A Case Study Assignment?
Now that we’ve gone through all case study steps and looked into how to make a case study report, you must know what to do. If not, studying examples of writing by other students is always a good way to learn. We have an excellent collection of case study examples for students of different academic levels. Check it out and soak in the collective wisdom.
Don’t forget that we are here for you and always happy to help you with anything to do with writing!