A Case Study: What Is It and How Do You Deal with It?
A case study is a learning method based on discussing, analyzing, and solving different situations. It is mostly used in social, economic, and business sciences.
When you’re a student studying these sciences, you will probably be asked to research a modeled case. But when you start a career, you will be required to solve real problems, which is more interesting but more difficult too. That’s why professors in colleges and universities get really serious when it comes to doing a case study. And that’s why you should think about such a home assignment seriously too.
Types of Case Studies
Classifying the goals of the investigator, there are the following types of case study:
- Exploratory case studies are typically performed before a more significant research begins. They are rather brief and succinct. The goal of such a case study is to outline the key problems of the research and come up with the most reasonable and appropriate research methods and types of measurement. You should be careful, though, because the results of the investigation may delude you by looking more complete and solid than they are to serve as general conclusions.
- As the name suggests, the purpose of an illustrative case study is to illustrate something. This type describes a subject of the case study research and shows examples in order to demonstrate how the subject functions in a certain situation. If you were required to introduce something to the reader and give rather a general idea about the subject than specific details, an illustrative case study is what you need.
- Critical instance.
Critical instance case studies investigate the subject either for the goal of studying a case of unique interest without the need to generalize the results or for the goal of questioning an overly generalized statement or idea. It is good for solving a cause and effect question.
- The objectives here are to gather reports about the subject, which have been done in different places at different times in the past, and analyze them, compiling all the information in a new report. Usually, it is done to avoid spending resources on a new investigation, which may appear to show the same results.
How to Write a Case Study?
It all starts with identifying a case you are investigating. This can be a situation, a person, or a group. In accordance with a case study definition, you need to choose a small number of individuals, a small area, or a short period of time as the subject for your research. However, some exceptions (like in a cumulative type) are possible.
As a researcher, you can choose a single- or a multiple-case design. This depends on whether your subject can be replicated or not. If it can, you should obviously stick to a multiple-case design. A single-case design can be applied when the subject is not or is very unlikely to be replicated, for example, if you investigate the causes and effects of a particular natural disaster. This would be represented as a historical case study analyzing the reasons it has happened, the consequences it has brought, and possibly the lesson people have learned.
Also learn how to write a medical case study?
A case study is presented in the form of a report. Considering the fact that the subject is not generalized and is rather unique, this report should be very detailed, so you should be very attentive. Here are a few tips to help you through:
- Plan the process.
Read your task and understand every part of it. What is required from you? Define the background of the situation, understand the problems, realize what you already know and what you need to find out, imagine how you will structure it, etc. You need to get a general idea of how your paper will be organized and how you are going to organize your work on it.
- Choose a methodology and tools wisely.
When the case is clear and you have defined the problems you are willing to solve, you should think of the ways you are going to solve them. What methods will be best to use and what methodology is best to adopt? If you are unsure how to answer these questions, you have to ask your instructor or professor for advice. Also, note that there may appear new problems and questions relating to your subject to solve in the process of your study. Be prepared for that.
- Give numbers and real facts.
Whatever paper you are writing, if your aim is to show your competence and understanding of the subject, you need to provide the reader with facts they can easily find and prove themselves. These can be results of some research, statistical data, etc. Make sure to use such visual proofs as diagrams, charts, tables, and pictures to make your report powerful.
- Be specific.
After you have allowed the reader to envision the results, you need to explain things in detail, helping the reader understand how you have come to such results. This is just about the time to remember your audience. Who is it going to be? Are they already familiar with the subject to some extent, are they unaware, or are they specialists? If the latter, you don’t have to be that specific or else you are risking to look too annoying. If the audience has no idea about the topic at all, you should give enough explanations and remarks or else you are risking to be misunderstood.
- Apply correct formatting.
As usual, you must always watch the formatting of your paper. It is important not only because you just need to follow the requirements but also because the proper formatting makes it easier for the reader to read and comprehend the text. Simply adding some visual material isn’t enough. Apart from using headers and lists, you have to break the text into short paragraphs. No one enjoys reading one single huge fragment, so the shorter paragraphs are, the better. Also, you can highlight important pieces, using bold and italic fonts.