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9 Essential Steps On How To Prepare A Case Study

UserMark time12 March,2020

Let us begin with a question; what is common between the students pursuing law, nursing and management? Well, the students from all these disciplines are required to present accurate case study analysis in class. This means if you’re pursuing any of the subjects, then you must have a good grasp over how to write a case study.

Now, it’s quite possible that you’re not well-versed with writing an excellent case study paper. But you’ve got nothing to worry about because we’ve presented an elaborate process to produce a flawless case study. Let’s walk you through the process.

How To Write Case Study

An overview of how to write a flawless case study

Step 1: Decide on the topic of your case study

You need to think about what your case study research will focus on. Consider what you’ve discussed in class. Have you thought of coming up with questions during your reading?

You need to think about what your case study research will focus on. Consider what you’ve discussed in class. Have you thought of coming up with questions during your reading?

Start with your research and delve deeper into a particular problem.  Find out as many details about it, as you can from a variety of resources. Look up for information in journals, books, newspapers,websites, magazines, etc. As you go through each source, take proper notes.

Step 2: Find case studies that have been published on similar topics

Check out what has been written before, and read the important articles about the situation, you’ll discuss in your case study. You will find that there is an existing problem that requires a solution. You may find that you have to develop an interesting idea that might work for the case study format, you’ll follow.

Interact with your professors, head to the library, surf the web to read about the topic. You don't want to rehash the research that’s already been done. Review legal case studies examples and samples that are similar in style to get an idea about how to work on it.

Step 3: Select participants that you’ll interview for case study

Experts in a specific field of study or consumers who have used a service or a product, that is the subject of the study, will provide the most useful information.

Find knowledgeable people to interview. Make sure that these people are actively involved with the issue you’re discussing.

Decide whether you’ll interview an individual or group of individuals to serve as examples in your case study. It may be more useful to get the participants to gather as a group and provide their insight collectively. If the study emphasises on the personal subject matter, then you can consider conducting personal interviews.

Step 4: Conduct proper interviews

Ask similar questions to all subjects involved to make sure that you receive different perspectives, on a similar subject or service.

When you ask a question that doesn't allow someone to answer with a simple "yes" or a "no", you usually get more information. This way, you’ll get the person to tell you whatever it is that he/she knows and believes. So, it’s best to keep your questions open-ended. You can request data and materials from subjects as applicable to add credibility to your research.

Step 5: Gather and assess all the details

Collect and evaluate all relevant information, including documents, archival records, and observations. Organise all of your information in one place to ensure that you can access them easily, while writing the case study.

Also, you probably won’t be able to include everything. So, you need to think about how to sort through all those details and arrange it so that the case study seems legible to your readers. Before you get down to writing the paper, it’ll be better for you to create a case study outline so that the process of analysing the issue gets easier.

Step 6: Focus on the key problem areas that you would consider in your case

The readers need to have a clear understanding of the issue or the situation for which a solution is provided. You can discuss the problem posed in the study, in fine detail. You can start off with sharing quotes from someone associated with the situation.

This sets the tone for the readers to ponder over the issue while he/she reads the rest of the case study. This also builds their expectation that you will be presenting information that they find crucial to further understand the situation.

Step 7: Provide a background to the case study

Background information highlights why there is a problem in the first place. This will consist of facts and statistics from authoritative sources. You can incorporate tables, photos, graphs, charts, and anything that points to the problem is useful here.

In this part of the paper, you provide the reader with the details that they can use to come to their own conclusion. Like writing a mystery, you’re offering clues from which the reader can decide how to put the puzzle together.

A great case study doesn’t tell the readers what to think. It simply takes the reader through the thought process applied to reach a conclusion. It’s possible that the readers may come to their own conclusion. That’s alright because there may be more than one solution to the issue. The readers will have their own perspective as they read the background of the case study.

Step 8: Elaborate on the solution and evaluate it

After you’ve discussed the problem/issue, you need to focus on the solution and the thought processes that lead up to it. It leads the reader through the information to the solution that was implemented.

Briefly present the major elements that have been applied to derive the solution. Be clear about the objective of the solution. Was it to reduce, slow down or eliminate the problem?

If the case study is for a prevalent issue, there may not have been sufficient time to decipher the overall effect of the solution. If the solution has been there for quite some time, then you’ll get a scope to collect and review facts and impressions. Brief details of how well the solution is implemented would be incorporated in this part.

Step 9: Include references and appendices

Just like you would in case of any other academic paper, include a reference for your sources. And if you have any information that’s related to the study but would’ve interrupted the flow of the body, you can include it in the in-text appendix section.  

You may have phrases or terms that would be hard for other cultures to decipher. If this is the case, include the information in the appendix.

Key Takeaways

1.Building the case

  • Thoroughly go through the case in questions, highlight the key problems, note down relevant facts, covering 360 degree of the case.

2. Analyse in Details

  • Find out the key problem areas
  • Identify how they impact the organisation
  • How the problem got created?
  • Identify the models and the tools required to understand the problems
  • How they impacted service/ product /brand factors?
  • Identify the strategic shortcomings leading to the problem
  • Identify similar problems faced by other organisations
  • Sequence the chronology of events that followed because of problems
  • Identify the cost implication of the problem
  • Decide the angle in which the case needs to be addressed

3. Suggest Possible Solutions

Suggest possible solutions by citing evidences from research undertaken on the problem, possible solution scenarios for similar types of problems in similar companies. The solution should not be contradictory or hypothetical. It should be supplemented by ample number of examples and sound arguments. From all the possible solutions, select the most appropriate that fits the case.

Generally, it is a chronological sequence

  • Introduce the solution
  • Cite supporting arguments, facts and stats  for the solution
  • Establish validity of the arguments
  • Select the best solution out of the others.

4. Creating the Case Study draft

(a) Introduction- Here you discuss a little about the overview of the company, and introduce the problems and issues dealt in the case. You write your case thesis statement in oone or 2 lines which is a conclusive summary of your case analysis.

(b) Drafting the background- You elaborate on the background to the problems in detail in this part. Extensive coverage of background helps your audience see through your arguments more properly. Here you also need to introduce the research method you used in analysing the case and how you researched about the various problems dealt.

A case study is always written for someone, an organisation, some aggrieved parties or an individual.

You can carry out your case study research by identify the subject and targeting them with

  • A simple questionnaire for a screened sample
  • A one-on-one interview
  • E-mail conversations
  • Already existent data from valid sources online
  • And many more….

( c) Assessment

In this portion, you deal about the pros and cons, and assess how this case study helps in solving the problems. The scope of the case study analysis is generally stated in this portion.

( d) Suggesting Solutions

Here you place arguments, supported by facts and stats and zero in on the most suitable argument that can solve the problem in the case.

The facts, stats and arguments are generally taken from

  • Lecture notes,
  • Online research reference materials,
  • Different books ,
  • Journals,
  • Case studies of the company,
  •  and Case study research results.

Discuss the possible outcome of the solutions and recommend specific strategies employed in the process.

Final thoughts,

When you’re aiming to produce a flawless case study, you’ll have to make sure you follow the steps discussed above diligently. These steps will make sure you receive good grades on your case study, whether you’re nursing or management student.

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