How to Write a Comprehensive Case Study: A Full Guide
Facing a need to write a case study, one can feel quite confused. There is plenty of advice about creating a case study telling whole different stories. This exact piece of text will shed light on the difference between academic and marketing case studies and provide an ultimate guide on creating a proper case study. Brace for impact!
What is a Case Study
In general, creating a case study, one performs an investigation of a specific event, person, thing, or phenomenon. Imagine Sherlock Holmes scrutinizing his 247 types of tobacco ashes with a microscope, scientific journals, and scientists’ books? If he writes the results down on the paper, not downloads them on his built-in brain memory card, it would be a case study. It is often a part of a more comprehensive study like a dissertation or research paper.
There are many different case study types as this method applies to several practice areas such as marketing, medicine, education, and others. Then how do they vary? They pursue different goals.
A marketing case study tends to show how a company has reached specific goals for a client. The academic one aims to showcase a student’s ability to work with the information in a particular field of expertise. The main difference is in the person reading it: a university professor will not buy students’ services in any way when the company’s prospects will.
All the advice for corporate marketing managers on writing a case study will concentrate on a selling presentation and storytelling. Simultaneously, an academic case study is about proper information processing and logical conclusions.
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Case Study Definition
In a few words, a case study is the most practical piece of academic writing. It is a research method that lies in implementing a theoretical ground on a factual occasion. Creating an academic case study means reviewing a real event, thing, phenomenon, or person within a theoretical context. A case study has a relatively small volume compared to a thesis or a dissertation and can be a preparation for them or a part of them.
How to Start a Case Study
Now we know what we’re talking about. The text below will describe the ways of writing an academic case study assignment. And after we have everything to start, there’s a question: how to start?
As the wise men say, start from the very beginning. The beginning here is choosing a topic. Most students select the topics they’re interested in, but sometimes one wants to explore new horizons. You may pay your attention to previously unrevealed issues to make your case study more valuable.
However, there’s nothing of a failure in picking the widely reviewed theme. In this case, you’ll need to carefully get acquainted with as many of these reviews as possible.
After choosing the topic, try to understand why it is essential and what problem it can solve. For example, a case study of the SpongeBob impact on the animated series market in Eastern Europe may look a bit far-fetched from the first sight. But this study can come in handy for the animation industry in Eastern Europe or propose a new look at the sector for animation studios in other regions.
The following checklist would be a good starting point while determining the significance of your work:
- It should identify new or unique problems.
- It can discuss new insights on the existing issue.
- It might also challenge and even change the common vision of a question or a theory.
- It should open new directions for further investigation of this issue.
Be ready to decide what exactly you aim to achieve with this study. Depending on this, you will have to pick a type of case study. There are 4 ways to convey the research in a case study assignment:
This kind depicts descriptive studies using one or several examples to demonstrate the problem. Mostly, it acquaints readers with the topic. To have a better understanding of what illustration writing is, read one more blog we have on our platform.
This type stands for more extensive and profound research to identify questions and assessment types before the major study occurs.
This is about the collection of data from past studies to analyze previous views on the problem.
This type is about researching several sources to determine the topic’s causes and effects.
This part is one of the most important. The collected data will be the basis of your case study, so you should have a meticulous attitude toward this process. There are a variety of research methods and research tools for the data collection on the subject. You should pay attention to the sources of the information. Feel free to check its uniqueness and significance.
Qualitative data is crucial in creating a broader picture of the issue under consideration. Quantitative data is most often collected only to support the solutions with concrete numbers. The most common though effective ways to gather data from various sources and analyze your case are the following:
- Point out the main issues of the case.
- Examine similar cases to gain a proper understanding of the issue.
- Examine the background information of the chosen subject.
- Find and discuss the underlying causes of the issue.
- Make a draft of various solutions for the problem.
- Shortlist the best solution for the case.
Find out more about quantitative research in one of our blogs. It will help you prepare a good data collection.
How to Perform a Case Study
It would be a pleasure to provide you with the ultimate structure of a case study, but it severely depends on your guidelines. The structural elements usually include an introduction, methods, findings, discussion, recommendations, implementation, executive summary, and conclusion.
Create an Outline
As for many other academic writings, creating an outline for the case study will only benefit the final result. These simple tips will help you to build a strong outline:
- Create an outline draft with typical sections and subsections.
- Choose the format that is the most suitable for your purposes. (Perhaps it can be something more unconventional like a mind map or other graphical scheme).
- Gather your major points and the most important data pieces and fit their content into your outline.
Don’t Forget to Write It
Having chosen the topic of a case study, decided its type, collected all needed data, and formed its outline, you have almost done it. Do not forget about writing an abstract. It is a short summary that is crucial for your work. The last thing is to transform your thoughts about it into words and dispense the data through these words in the clearest way. As the case study is the text, it should be readable and understandable.
Highlighting the topic from different perspectives will make your case study look more academically significant. Do not forget to develop your ideas, backing them with literary sources with a proper citation.
The main thing is to cover the topic in a complicated way with coherent conclusions and logical argumentation. Use as much information about the subject as possible to provide a new look at the issue. Keep in mind that the correct causes and effects depiction of the issue will be an excellent trait of your case study.
A case study is an integral part of various college courses. Whereas many students don’t understand how to write a case study that will bring a good grade, you now know the essential tips to advance your next case study writing. Choosing a case study research should now be easy.
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