Whether you’re a university student or a researcher, case studies are an inherent part of the curriculum. Therefore, the ability to write a case study following the university guidelines is a key factor in doing different types of research studies. So, following up with the detailed study of a specific subject related to a person, group, place, event, etc. is a case study. Further, determining the types of case studies, there are four main types, including social, educational, clinical, and business research.
Basics of a Case Study
In usual terms, a case study can be written using either the qualitative methods or quantitative methods. The main purpose of knowing how to do a case study is describing, comparing, or evaluating the aspects of a research topic. Usually, the need to do a case study arises when a student has to gain in-depth knowledge on a specific topic. To write a case study is to, in turn, explore the implications of the case concerned. While writing a research paper, there arises a need to either read through one case study and, at times, conduct multiple studies for the comparative studies.
So, keeping in mind all the parameters needed to write a case study, here is a detailed guide with specific examples.
How to Write the Case Study: 5 Easy Steps
Know that you know what is a case study and when to write one, follow these five easy steps to write the case study as per the guidelines and demands of a research paper, thesis, etc.
Step 1# Select a Specific Case
The first step in writing a case study is the selection of a specific case. The first step in this course is the development of problem statement and research questions. With all these things in hand, you can get started with finding a specific case in concern and get on with the research part. Know while selecting a case study, understand the key aspects that a potential study should:-
- provide deep insights into the subject
- pose questions on existing assumptions and theories
- Make use of practical approaches to resolve a problem
- form direction for a new and prospect research
You have to make the final choice in determining the case that you’ll take in hand. Here are the examples of an outlying and representative case study to help you choose one.
Example of an outlying case study
In the 1960s, the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, was discovered to possess extremely low rates of heart condition compared to the US average. It became a crucial case study for understanding previously neglected causes of a heart condition.
Example of a representative case study
In the 1920s, two sociologists used Muncie, Indiana, as a case study of a typical American city that supposedly exemplified the changing culture of the US at the time.
Step 2# Identify the Related Angles
After selecting a specific case, the next up is to identify the related angles. To every study that you conduct, many compelling angles must be present in the research paper. While learning to write a case study, make sure that you get a good hold of all the angles. Follow a thumb rule that is: “The more compelling your case angle, the better information it outsources, in turn making your study more engaging.” Now, the key aspects of finding the angles of your case study are to get creative while searching the elements of the case study.
Step 3# Create a Theoretical Framework
The third step in knowing how to write a case study is to create a theoretical framework. Since a case study presents concrete research details than a general implication, it is crucial to connect it to a theory. As per the nature of a case study, also connecting it to a theoretical framework will provide you a combined study that:-
- Exemplifies a theory of the case under investigation
- Expands a theory by revealing new findings and concepts
- Challenges a theory by exploring various assumptions
To form a theoretical framework, you need to review the related sources and identify the key concepts that form the basis of analysis and interpretation.
Step 4# Collect Data and Illustrate Key Points
The fourth point is to collect data and illustrate the derived key points for writing a case study. For the collection, there are many research methods that you can use. The prime sources for the collection include interviews, observations, research reports, and other secondary sources such as newspaper reports, photographic and official records, etc. With the information gained from all the different sources, the final derivation will be a thorough understanding of the topic.
Step 5# Describe and Analyze the Case
The final step in learning how to write a case study is to gather all the relevant information that describes the case in concern. Then, the next step is to analyze the entire case and write the study with all the key pointers. Following up with writing the case study, there is a specific structure to proceed with. The structure of a case study must have separate sections for the methods, results, and discussions used for the implications. No matter which type of case study you consider for your findings, make sure that you provide a detailed study of each step. Use the funnel process, that is, look at the bigger picture and then run through the neck to release the final theories at last.
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