A case study is something you should not simply write, but also solve. The information provided in such kind of paper should be a response to the existing problem. Except for defining and analyzing the issue, it is also important to find all possible ways out. Present them to the reader in your text.
The Goal of a Case Study
A case study is usually accomplished to earn the trust of your clients/patients. If you are still a student, it is done to prepare you for further challenges associated with your profession. You might be ahead of the competition when it comes to accounting, nursing, or writing, but your clients or readers expect a proof. That is when the need to work on a case study appears.
Good examples of the possible work can chronicle the positive influence your business possesses on current or past clients. Thus, we recommend having a look at free online samples of case studies before starting to write the paper on your own.
Two Approaches to Writing a Case Study
There are two specific methods used to prepare a case study. The first one is the analytical approach. The second one is the problem-oriented technique.
Type 1. When you deal with the analytical approach to solving a case study, you must understand what and why took place. A deep analysis of the situation is required. It is not important to work out the definition or suggest solutions to the existing problems. It’s all about analysis.
Type 2. When we speak about the problem-oriented method, a case study serves as the analysis tool applied to state and describe the basic problems as well as offer possible solutions.
While the problem-oriented method is a bit more popular, let’s dedicate more time to studying this type.
Problem-oriented Method Specifics
Any successful case study worth an “A” should analyze and examine the real-life problem which is relevant for the modern society. The issue has to be solved in the most beneficial way. A case study has to:
- Relate the theory to practice on the example of the given situation. Include the example which is up-to-date and proved. The readers should receive enough information to agree with the author. E.g. the author may use the ideas and knowledge gained during the coursework writing process. Then, he must apply his skills to the practical situation at hand in the paper.
- The answer to main questions – define the problems.
- Select the basic points of your project.
- Find and provide solutions to these problems.
- Tell about the best solution.
- Include detailed information on how the solution has to be implemented.
By the way, note that the case refers to the real-life situation while a case study is the analysis of such situation in the shape of academic or scientific paper.
Steps to Writing a Case Study
If you want to write a case study without any barriers, it is important to collect enough information to use as the supportive points for your suggested solutions. Also, it is crucial to know the steps by heart.
A typical case study usually includes eight sections.
Synopsis (a.k.a. summary)
- It is a really brief review which describes the problem and necessity to solve it.
- Create a plan/outline to understand what should be included in your paper and what the order should be.
- Tell more about the area of research to your readers – it might be a review of the chosen organization (medical or legal entity, etc.)
- State specific theory which will be later applied
- The information should involve the essential questions and a full picture of the essential contents of the research
- Pay attention to any assumptions that you make. Sometimes, the author cannot possess all the required information, so he is allowed to make some forecasts and guesses on his own. “It has been assumed that…” and similar phrases should be used then to let your reader understand that this piece of information is not 100% accurate
- Make a list of all problems discovered during your work on the case study. Every specific analysis of the separate problem has to be followed by the facts along with the course concepts and selected theory. It is important to find out the underlying issues like in the sample: cross-cultural conflict may be the only cause of the underlying problem of dominating and discriminative ruling system of the target company
- The section is usually divided into several smaller sections; each of them stands for explaining another problem
- Take some time to demonstrate and test the most critical problems. Summarize them
- Define possible solutions to the basic problems. Mind that there might be several solutions to a single problem from time to time
- In short, outline each existing solution and then examine it regarding its pros and cons
- There is no need to turn to your coursework or theory in this section of your case study
- Include the description of the results mentioned in the findings and discussion sections
- Right, unlike other school or college essays, a case study has more sections after the concluding paragraph. First, decide which of the offered ways out should be adopted in the given situation
- In short, provide credible information to defend your point of view and explain to your readers how it might solve the problem
- You have to write this section in a forceful style meaning recommendations must be persuasive enough to ensure your audience
- In this part, an integration of theory and coursework may take place
- Of course, you have to provide information once the solution was implemented to prove whether the chosen method is really effective.
- Make a list of what has to be done, by whom, and when it should be implemented
- If it makes sense, include an approximate results/calculations of costs in both, financial and time sense
- Just as any academic paper, a case study must have a full bibliography included at the end
- Use all possible sources that are relevant to your topic during the entire writing process, but don’t forget to cite them properly. Also, make a list of sources you use – each time you add a quote or some statistics, put it on the list
- You may read more information on creating annotated bibliography here
Appendices (if any)
- Note any unique information that is connected with your analysis but which would have interrupted the logical flow of the paper’s body
A Guide to Writing a Business Case Study
We have discussed the components of the medical/law/social science case study. This sort of work is also popular among business people. Thus, let’s discuss the way your business case study should look.
- Identify the Suitable Candidate
Writing about your previous articles and researches demands more than selecting a patient and telling the story. Three things every author needs are permission, citations, and an outline. You should look for the candidates with the following features:
- Knowledge of product/service based on valuable facts. The person must be able to discuss the product’s value.
- Noticeable results. The person should be able to share his own experience and provide information which may encourage other readers to become your clients.
- Well-known people and brand names. Having brand recognition can lead to 24.4X as much growth as companies without it.
- Switchers. Try to make your competitor’s customers like your product so that they move to your company sooner or later.
- Reach Out and Help Project Participants
Having right people on board is possible only through opened communication in a friendly atmosphere. It involves sharing information like personal experience, skills, knowledge, and expectations. It will help to come up with the specific timeline.
The best way is to kick off the process by sending an email to each potential participant with the details like the right to use the brand name, share personal information with the third party, results, etc.
Do not forget to include the following elements in this stage:
- Case study release form (first, it is important to provide the basic information on your organization)
- Success story letter (it may be an email; work on your plan to include it in this letter)
- The acceptance (make sure to receive the approval from the target person)
- The questionnaire or poll (come up with the set of corresponding questions)
- The interview (the series of custom questions is required)
- The draft review (you have to check your writing at least twice)
- The final approval (once you scan and edit all information)
- Are You Asking the right Questions?
To get the desired answers, you have to set up questions logically. Try to make them more specific than general. Each section should lead to the particular solution to mention it later in the case study. Think about:
- Your project’s goals
- Analysis of the possible organization’s challenges
- What makes your readers believe that your product/service is better than your rival’s
- What did your decision-making process look like
- Applicable ways for your product
The problem can be solved only through properly stated questions. "The Golden Rule of Interviewing" is something you may need to understand the nature of interviewing.
Make the client tell more about his own business or existing problem. Why does he or she need this information? Why is this person important for your case study? Such facts will help to identify the solution more accurately.
It is important to guide your clients through the entire decision-making process. Provide help with filling out various forms. This process turns into implementation stage where the solution is used in practice. Don’t start writing an introduction before the result is obtained.
The solution will help to understand how the customer is using the product, its benefits, and further actions.
Finally, in the results section, the author must uncover impressive measurable outcomes with the help of specific figures. It is crucial to interpret each number to your readers properly. The questions in this section might include:
- How is the product/service helping clients save time and increase productivity?
- In what ways your competitive advantage is built?
- How much have you raised metrics known as X, Y, and Z?
- Make a Layout
When the time comes to turn the entire information into the written content, it is hard to write down even an introduction. Often, students and business people get lost at this point even though the previous stages were completed successfully.
The most important thing is that there is no universal structure of introduction, body, and conclusion for your case study paper. Unlike a regular school essay or college research paper, a case study may have many different shapes. For instance, you can support your paper with facts only, or you can demonstrate your findings and results with the help of visual elements. Visual content is extremely popular among business people.
Now that we have discussed how the text of the scientific case study can be divided, it’s time to find out how a business case study can be structured.
- Title: Keep it brief. It can be provided with the help of the most compelling achievement.
- Executive Summary: Do not include more than 3 sentences as the review of the study. Include up to three bullet points to show the metrics responsible for success.
- About: Make an introduction to the people or organization. Here is a valuable tip: use information posted on the person’s or company’s LinkedIn profile or official website.
- Challenges: The section should not include more than 3 paragraphs that tell about the client’s challenges and goals, prior to using your offer. This action also involves objectives set by the client.
- How You Helped: As a mentor in the story, you should take the time to explain your role in finding the solution to the problem. It implies that you have already provided the possible ways out.
- Results: Once again, the section should not contain more than three paragraphs. To provide readers with analysis of your work and understand whether the solution was effective, ask your participants to provide different testimonials. This specific feedback is a good proof of your competence. Include numbers to quantify your contributions.
- Extra Visuals or Citations: The last page should include a bibliography, so it is obvious that certain amount of resources have to be used throughout the case study paper. 2-3 good quotes would be enough to describe and support the problem or solution.
Now that you know how to write a case study at both scientific and business level, you may try doing it on your own. If you have any troubles with any of the sections or entire content, it is better to order professional case study paper from the trusted website.