Writing a case study is one of those assignments you will definitely encounter as you journey through your college education. But before you face them, are you ready to score the best you should? If the answer is “No,” then you need to read this article so that you can come to terms with what you need to know on how to write case study.
What is case study?
Before delving into the finer details of what it takes to do an exceptional case study analysis, it is important to define what a case study is in general and in specific fields of study. This section will give you the broader definition of case studies and also look at its application in other areas such as science, history, and literature.
A case study can be defined as a systematic account of activities, events, groups of persons, or problems so as to apply that knowledge to draw accurate conclusions, conclusions, and come up with the lessons that arise from them. The study can either include real life or hypothetical situations.
A case study, whether is hypothetical or real life, will have the following features:
- It has enough information to so that the readers can take the situations under discussion with the gravity they deserve
- It covers a real-life situation but with pseudo names
- It has various parts that conclude with a problem and a point to discuss
A definition from literature
In the field of literature, a case study is an evaluation report that contains information that is available in literature that corresponds to the field you are studying. It describes, summarizes, evaluates, and clarifies the piece of literature. This kind of study transcends the mere pursuit for info and referenced descriptions.
In such a study, your main intention is to give readers all the relevant information and thoughts about the topic you are discussing in the light of their strength and shortcomings.
- Definition in history
In history, a case study will provide a reader with an account of how a group of people has developed throughout history in the context of their struggles and the lessons that can be learned from them.
In the field of science, a case study can assume the shape of analyzing problems that are facing a community of people, for instance at the workplace, and a deeper analysis of possible solutions to those problems.
How to write a case study
After getting an accurate understanding of what a case study is, it is now time to take a broader look at how to present a case study. This section will give you finer details on how to do a case study. We shall look at the three main areas that include: the outline; interview questions and; conclusion.
The outline of your case study will allow you to structure your ideas and thoughts so that your presentation can flow logically and coherently. The outline will have the following parts:
In your introduction, you will point the reader to the major challenges and problems in your study. Your introduction should also contain the thesis of your study. The ideal length of your thesis should be between one and two sentences.
The intro should also contain the background information to orient the reader into what you will be discussing in depth. It needs to have the pertinent facts and issues regarding the study.
You should also demonstrate to your readers that you have fully researched the challenges in your study.
Your study needs to spell out every possible alternative and give an explanation for why you have accepted or rejected some alternatives. Also, tell your readers the reasons for your inability to incorporate some alternatives at that particular time.
Your study has to provide a solution or solutions that are definite and feasible. Afterward, you should give an explanation for choosing this solution and give concrete proof for it.
- External research
- Your experiences as a person
- Internal research you have gathered from your classroom discussions and studies
- Recommendations: Here, you need to come up with and suggest any strategy that will help in the implementation of your remedy. Where you find it necessary, you can suggest an additional course of action to fix the problems. However, your recommendation has to specify a definite course of action and the people who will play different roles in fulfilling the plan.
Asking the right question is one of the surest ways that will enable you to create a case study. The question will enable you to see the prevailing issues more clearly and hence come up with corresponding solutions. To get to the root of all problems, do not ask closed questions that will require the interviewee to give a “Yes” or “No” answer. On the contrary, ask questions that will prompt them to go on explaining their answers. You should frame your questions with words such as “Could you please explain to us…could you tell me how this issue has been affecting your…”
The conclusion of your case study is another pillar in the process of how to make a case study. Your study’s concluding section will provide your readers with the following:
- The main findings of your project and how they help to resolve the problems at hand
- A proposal for additional research if you had not presented it in the previous sections
- Rephrasing of your primary argument
- A restating of the gravity and relevance of the case study
- Your final thoughts on the evidence you have provided in relation to the study’s main problem
How to cite a case study
One of the main pillars of a good case study is the way you make citations for your work. This section will show you how to cite a case study in APA case study format.
Even though the APA is a popular formatting style in qualitative research, it does not have strict citing instructions for case studies. You are therefore required to cite as per the kind of publications you find the information in them.
For instance, if you are citing online sources, you can reference the original print source or include the URL of the site. If you are referencing a textbook, you need to include the author’s name, year of publication, book title and the publisher’s name and location. For in-text referencing, the APA case study format allows you to use the author-date format. That is how you need to reference your case study if you are using the APA formatting style.
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