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If you are a sociology, anthropology, psychology, or medical student, then you might be aware of what a case study is. This research approach is utilized to examine a certain individual, team, or situation. In this blog, you will learn how to write a case study effectively, including case study format and how to do effective research and properly cite sources.
Additionally, we will discuss several case study formats and provide examples so that you get a clear idea of what case studies are all about.
What is a case study?
A case study is a type of research design that looks into issues and suggests solutions. Case studies can be used everywhere, from academic research studies to corporate promotional materials used to promote an idea.
Why do we need a case study?
In contrast to the individual perspective that you obtain from a survey or interview, case studies help in collecting a variety of viewpoints. The motive of one particular person is not clear and might be influenced by some personal opinions. Case studies increase the chance of understanding the topic at hand and lower the possibility of bias.
They can be used as the starting point for a class discussion or as a task for a single person or a small group of people. Several groups can be given the same case, and each group may provide a different set of solutions, which helps in identifying what works best in that specific case.
Difference between a research paper and a case study
Case studies are more effective than research papers in grabbing the reader’s attention to a specific issue. Students must pay special attention to details and analyze problems thoroughly while using a variety of research techniques. If you study law or medicine, for instance, case studies might be used to evaluate court proceedings or a patient’s medical history.
Case studies have a strong narrative component because they focus on specific cases involving an individual or a group of individuals. This research methodology is quite beneficial because it is very useful and can provide a lot of practical information. The average case study is 500 to 900 words long, which is much smaller than the length of a research article.
The format of a case study is quite similar to storytelling. It features a protagonist or primary character, for a case study it can be a difficulty you are trying to overcome. The three-act structure can be used in your case study. You can include an introduction, rising action, a turning point where change occurs, falling action, and a resolution to it.
You can apply the following general formula in your case study:
Problem (Act I) > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.
Case study format
The case study format consists of eight parts:
- Executive summary: What will you be adding to the case study? Give a summary of the area of study in your essay. Write a thesis statement and, in no more than two sentences, summarise your observations.
- Background: Give the most exact facts and historical context. Separate the problems and provide details.
- Case evaluation: Separate the parts of the research you want to concentrate on. Describe why something works or doesn’t work in it.
- Proposed suggestions: Offer practical solutions to the problem at hand or suggestions for how to make the situation better. Offer testable data to demonstrate why these strategies are effective.
- Conclusion: Summarize the key takeaways from the case analyses and suggested fixes.
- Suggestions: Discuss the approach that you have to take to solve the problem. Describe why this option is the best one.
- Implementation: Describe how to implement the plan of action.
- References: Give all the references.
Writing a case study draft
It’s time to concentrate on the draft after you have completed your case study research and prepared the plan. You must compose your case study in a draft utilizing the information you gathered throughout your research, the interviews you conducted, and the analysis procedures that were carried out.
For the draft, follow these guidelines:
An introduction, a body with background information, an explanation of why you chose to conduct this case study, a presentation of your key results; a conclusion with data; and references should all be included in your draft.
You need to establish the pace very clearly in the introduction. You can even bring up a concern or use a statement from a subject you spoke with during the research stage.
Case studies must include sufficient background data on the subject. The background could contain evaluations of earlier research on your subject. Include the purpose of your argument as well. This could be your thesis statement.
The goal is to outline the problems you hope to solve. Include background material from your research, such as images or videos.
Describe the special methods you used for your research, such as interviews, observations, academic publications, etc. include the results of your study in the next section. Inform the audience of what you discovered. What will you gain from it and why it is important? Talk about the issue’s actual ramifications and global relevance.
- A case study looks into issues and suggests solutions. Case studies have a wide range of applications, from academic research studies to corporate promotional materials. This makes the case study a perfect way to elaborate on a problem and its solutions.
- The case study format is a structure used to draft case studies effectively. By following the right format you will be able to cover all your research and provide a practical solution to the problem you are writing about.
- Draft a case study using background data, interviews, observations, and information from academic publications. This will help you in avoiding information bombarding and get your point across easily.
Did you find this blog informative? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Click here to contact us for more information on the case study format. We would be happy to assist you with your queries.
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Q1. What is another term for a case study?
Ans- There are many other terms for case studies like the dossier, chronicle, report, etc.
Q2. What are the limitations of a case study?
Ans- Limitations of a case study are as given below
- It can have influencing factors within the data. Every person has their own unconscious bias and such opinions might change the meaning of your case study.
- It takes longer to analyze the data.
- It can be an inefficient process.
- It requires a small sample size to be effective.
- It is a labor-intensive method of data collection.
Q3. How do you identify a problem in a case study?
Ans- There are four steps to identify a problem in a case study-
- Listen to the case prompt and take notes.
- Engage the interviewer and ask key questions.
- Formulate your hypothesis on the problem.
- State the problem, get feedback and refine it if necessary.