What Is a Case Study: Useful Tips and Examples
There the best candidate for a case study definition is a paper that has elaborated research strategies. The tactics are then employed in an investigation of a phenomenon in a real-life setting. The results of the examination are then correctly documented, and the data is then interpreted. Lastly, the author should conclude the study and offer recommendations. This article should delve deep into a subject, its causes, and the fundamental principles.
There are several types of case studies. The one you need to write depends on the goals you want to achieve. Therefore, it is essential to know the different subdivisions of this type of writing before you decide which approach best fits your aims. The various forms of case studies include the following.
- The critical instance case studies. This type requires an examination of the causes and effects of a specific situation. You are not required to make generalized conclusions from your study. Instead, give your interpretation of the particular problem within that specific context.
- Exploratory case studies. They are otherwise known as pilot case studies. They are simply compressed research carried out before a full-scale investigation can be carried out. These types of papers are used to give the full investigation more specific questions to answer while it is being carried out. Also, they can help identify the appropriate methodology to employ during the study.
- Illustrative case studies. These are descriptive. These papers study the sampled phenomenon to show the prevalence of some big-picture scenarios. Consequently, the author strives to make the audience understand the implications of a much larger situation through the examination of one or two instances.
- Cumulative case studies. The purpose of these writings is to combine the data collected from different situations at different times. The rationale is that carrying out repetitive studies of a similar phenomenon is time-consuming and costly. Hence, aggregating data from past studies can still inform a more general outlook of the same issue.
Now that you know what is a case study and the different forms it can take, you should learn how to write it.
How to Write a Case Study from Scratch
So, how to write a case study? Well, several key sections go into writing case studies. The following items can be used to show the standard case study template.
This first part addresses the scope your research intends to cover. Therefore, put forward the intentions of your investigation. Describe the issue you aim to examine and elaborate on its significance. Talk about the problem in terms of how your research will fill knowledge gaps in the subject area being covered.
Tell your reader why they should care about the issue you are studying. Also, inform them of what you knew about the issue before you began your research. You can use a previous study to show how some researchers have failed to satisfy the knowledge gap and why you will succeed. If you are the first to deal with this issue, tell your reader why you want to do it in the first place. Unless you are conducting a complex issue, this section should not go beyond a few paragraphs.
The Literature Review Section
This part should expand on the contextual information on the subject you are addressing in your article. Give the reader a historical perspective of the problem by discussing studies that revolve around it. Any of the published research you will use in this section must be relevant in helping your reader understand the issue. For instance, studies that are similar in terms of the goals of your study are viable. If the study happens to be the same, explain to your audience why repeating it is vital.
Elaborate on how the literature you have reviewed relates to each other in terms of how they inform your study. That is, published works that support your approach to examining the problem and if the research questions they answered are feasible. If the studies you are reviewing used different research methodologies from the one you have used, explain how your approach is beneficial.
Point out any missing pieces in the knowledge the literature being reviewed provides. Then, elaborate on how your research will compensate for these holes in understanding. Identify a need for further studies to be carried out around the subject. Remember, this part is supposed to show the reader how you fully understand the domain of the issue.
The Research Methodology
The case study research methods you use are contingent on the nature of what you are studying. Therefore, there are different considerations to make for each subject.
- Are you studying a phenomenon? Investigate the causes and effects of a circumstance, happening, or fact.
- Are you studying a person? Use this section to elaborate on this person’s significance in terms of advancing knowledge about the problem you have chosen.
- Are you studying a place? Expound on the implication of this place about a problem. Also, include information on how you have determined it is significant.
- Are you studying an event? Here, you can test a hypothesis or provide insight into a broader issue. Explain how you identified this event and why you concluded it is feasible for your study.
A Discussion of the Results
A discussion section in a standard case study format should ideally interpret the key results of the study and draw some conclusions from it. You first need to give your results before you can start doing a case study analysis. You can also show they relate to other similar studies. It is also essential to give alternate explanations for the findings you have.
Remember that you are out there to add on to the existing body of knowledge and not to make some universal assertion. Thus, offer a different perspective is applicable. You need to acknowledge the various constraints you came across in your study. Finally, recommend areas where further studies can be conducted. However, maintain relevancy to your chosen problem.
Your summary should be clear and concise. Synthesize your results to show how they point to some critical insight about your chosen problem. Start by presenting your chief point and how it is derived from your findings and interpretation. Give the context of this issue and why your study needed to be done. This section should show the reader how the details of the problem provide valuable insight towards understanding the big picture.
Now that we have covered the elements that go into a typical case study sample, it is time to address how you would go about the writing process.
How to Do a Case Study Brilliantly
When you dive into how to do a case study, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Since the aim of the paper is to delve deep into a specific question, authors must eventually provide a new understanding of it. So, you need first to ask yourself how your study will fill some knowledge gap present in the field you are investigating. This will, in turn, help you choose a viable case study problem to examine.
Before you choose a problem, determine the type of study and the design you will implement in your investigation. If your instructor has provided the problem, identify the concepts of the topic statement to craft a relevant topic. Find relevant literature that can help you figure out how you can approach this issue.
If you have a list of problems to choose from, go with what you find interesting. If you are on your own in identifying an issue to investigate, do some self-introspection and figure out what you want to learn about. If you have no discernible area of interest, you can check out the following case study examples of topics you can consider.
Assuming you are supposed to tackle a medical case study, you should revolve around what you would want to specialize in. You can have a variety of areas to choose from like mental health, pharmacology, evaluation of surgical or medical procedures in use, and many more.
If your field requires a nursing case study, you can choose to talk about specific afflictions or conditions that you can have a chance to study. Generally, this paper would be written when some practical knowledge of the discipline is being learned by a student. Therefore, seek topics that you can study where you are doing your practicum.
A case study psychology subject offers plenty of freedom to the author in terms of selecting a topic. You can tackle a specific psychological disorder and the therapies that treat them. You can also focus on famous figures in the field of psychology. The branches of psychology, along with human development, can offer excellent sources of ideas for topics.
If you are still in doubt about your capability to handle this type of writing, let us help you out. Check out our free samples today and learn how to tackle this kind of task.