How to Write a Case Study (Guide)

How to Write a Case Study (Guide)

Writing a case study requires a lot of strategic planning, preparation, and analysis. It doesn’t matter why you need it – for business, marketing, or academic purposes – but the whole project has to be done with due attention and delicacy.

By definition, a case study represents an intensive analysis of an individual unit (such as a person or community) stressing developmental factors in relation to the environment. To put it simply, a case study has the purpose to explain every single aspect of a given situation or phenomenon.

But in order to write it properly, you have to follow a very strict methodology. We will show you how to do it in a step-by-step manner.

Step 1: Prepare for Work

The first thing you need to do is prepare for the work by doing some research. We can divide this process into four stages to make it simpler:

  • Choose the case and think about it

You can’t write a case study without a case. Therefore, you should try to find an academic or business case that has the potential to shed light on a well-known situation or phenomenon. When you find a promising case, you should try to answer the basic research questions called 5W+H to find out more about it. Here’s what 5W+H really means: Who did what, where, when, why, and how?

Answering these questions will give you more than enough information to move on with the research.

  • Identify key problems

The point of writing a case study is to give solutions to practical problems and prevent them from happening all over again. This is exactly why you need to identify main research areas and detect key issues organizations or scholars might be dealing with. Most case studies include two to three key questions and focus on finding solutions to these problems.

  • Gather information

The last stage of the preparation process is information gathering. This is where you need to dig deep enough to find all case-related details. Concentrate on primary sources that are directly related to the case you are writing about. This includes business documents, historical resources, and similar.

On the other hand, secondary resources might also help you to create a more informative paper. These include periodical business reports, industry analysis, textbooks, and other supporting documents explaining the theoretical side of the phenomenon.

  • Create a concept

With all the information you’ve gathered so far, writing a concept should be relatively simple. You just need to divide the project into different units, make the corresponding notes, and stick to the plan throughout. However, we will discuss these units separately in the next chapter.

Step 2: Writing a Case Study

Now we need to discuss the most important part of the process, which is the actual writing of the case study. As usual, you need to write several units in order to make it meaningful and comprehensive. Let’s check out each phase separately.

  • Make an introduction

Every analysis or research paper begins with an introduction. This is where you have to present the problem briefly and explain how it jeopardizes the normal functioning of a team, an organization, or a process. Of course, you must state your research questions and help the readers learn what they can expect from your case study.

Another important detail is to present the methodology of work, its format, information sources, and other features relevant to the case study in general. Besides that, don’t forget to mention the outcome of your work and let the readers know about the results and conclusions.

  • Give some background information

What you also need to do is give some background information about the situation or concept you are writing about. This means you need to introduce your audience to the whole thing, describe the history of the problem, name relevant stakeholders, give information about previous studies in the related field, and so on.

Let’s say you are doing a case study about your company. In this case, you should discuss its hierarchy and organization, the number of employees, departments, internal processes, profits, and similar details that help readers to understand your work. It will also make things easier for you because you won’t have to waste time making digressions along the way.

  • Add in-depth problem explanation

While an introduction represents a concise overview of the problem, the body part of your case study is supposed to explain it much more thoroughly. You should get the readers acquainted with the key elements, stakeholders, and features. Always make sure to describe what went wrong or what worked well, creating a cornerstone for the next chapter.

  • Present the solution

This is the main part of the case study because you need to present your viewpoint and explain how the problem is or can be solved. What can be done differently? Is there a way to eliminate standard issues or simplify certain procedures? Whatever the answer might be, you need to discuss it in this chapter.

Step 3: Revise and Edit

The last stage of writing a case study is technical but extremely important. Namely, you should never neglect editing and proofreading because it’s the core component of creating an official document. This is the chance to make revisions and improve the quality of your work. Besides that, you can identify spelling and grammar mistakes on the go and make the paper flawless. Although it seems like a minor detail, it is actually crucial because it helps you to protect professional credibility.

Conclusion

Writing a case study is always a challenging process, but it can be much faster if you follow the state of the art research principles. It’s a strictly determined methodology that makes it easy to do background research, analyze materials, and come up with relevant conclusions.

In this post, we showed you how to write a perfect case study in a few simple steps. Have you ever used a methodology like this one? Do you have other ideas to share with us? Let us know in comments so we can discuss it together!

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