How to write a case study?
How to write a case study is something that a lot of students, researchers and marketing professionals worry about.
Here, The Business English Blog explains what a case study is, how it is different from a research paper, or a white paper, how to write an impressive case study and what are the components of an effective case study.
What is a case study?
Case study is a research approach that studies real-life situations or real-life problems and finds practical solutions to solve that problem.
It is used for academic purposes for finding solutions for real-life issues or it is created as a promotional tool for marketing purposes.
Writing a case study involves in-depth research of an issue, finding different solutions for solving the issue, and the practical application of the discovered solutions to solve the issue.
Difference with a research paper or a whitepaper
A research paper is written to turn the readers’ attention to a specific issue, while a whitepaper is a detailed study of a specific real-life situation.
At the same time, a case study is a much deeper analysis with the understanding of the issue at hand, researching on finding solutions, and applying the solutions to solve the issue.
How to write an impressive case study?
If you are a professional, a researcher or a student, it is important for you to know how to write a case study.
Let’s walk you through the process of writing a case study.
Identify your goal – Before you get into writing a case study, you need to be clear about your goal or objective.
What do you want your readers to know? What problems or solutions to problems are you trying to unravel?
It is all right if you have more than one goal or objective.
While it is always best not to have more than five goals for a case study.
Generally, case studies are written on,
· understanding a problem and finding its solutions
· to measure or identify impact of an action
· to prove or disprove a commonly held view or assumption
Write a case statement – You need to do a thorough research on the question you are striving to answer.
Write a clear statement about the question in such a way that even a stranger should easily understand what the question is.
Bring out the relevant points that would substantiate your goal or objective.
If you can produce a distinctive angle to the question, it would go a long way in establishing your credentials as a researcher.
Do literature review – Any researcher would know the importance of literature review in a research work.
While writing a case study too, you need to do a comprehensive literature review, to point out everything related to the subject that is already out in the public domain.
Read books and reports on the topic, look out for videos, discussions, and debates about it, do direct interviews with people involved in the subject and collect information from the experts in the field.
Collect data – Now that you have set a goal, written a case statement and did literature review, now is the time to collect some real data and analyze it.
Compile your data and try to make inferences out of it.
Present the data in a consumable form, as in graphs, diagrams, and tables.
Data that reveals more about the subject of your research and that proves your solutions to the problem at hand must be included.
Write the case study – Now that you have everything by your side ready, you can start the process of actual writing of the case study.
Based on the comprehensive ability of your readers and the complexity of the subject, you can choose the writing style.
It is always sensible to use simple words in writing your case study unless you are writing the case study on a literary subject.
Components of a good case study
A case study that explains how a problem has been solved must have the following components.
Executive summary – The first part of the case study is the executive summary, where you must explain about the background of the issue under study, make the case statement and state the observation of the case study in 2-3 sentences.
Evaluation of the question – Here, you must explain the problem under the study, including why the problem exists, what are its implications, how the solution of the problem can help and what are the expected end results.
Proposed solutions – This is the main part of the case study and here you must explain in detail the solutions you propose for solving the problem and explain how this solution works by providing testable evidence.
Implementation – Explain how the solutions can be implemented through realistic methods.
Outcomes – Once the solutions are implemented, what are the expected outcomes is to be explained in this section.
Conclusion – You need to summarize the whole case study in the conclusion part, including the explanation of the problem, how your solutions will help, how it can be implemented and what are the expected outcomes.
References – You have done extensive research for your case study, and you must acknowledge the sources of data and information of your case study in the references part.
Hope this article on how to write a case study will help you in producing professionally researched and documented case studies.
You can find case study examples, design tips and templates from the website of Venngage.
Please visit The Business English Blog for more information on how to write various business English papers, articles, and other textual content.