Importance of a Case Study
Aug 1, 2018 | coursework writing , case study , research paper , Writing
A case study is research method that involves an up-close, in-depth and detailed investigation of a subject of study and its related contextual position. They can be produced following a form of research. A case study helps in bringing the understanding of a complex issue or object. It can extend experience or add strength to the existing knowledge through previous research. Their contextual analysis revolves around a limited number of events or conditions and how they relate. The case study has been used by researchers for a long time and has been applied in different disciplines. It has been widely used in social sciences as a qualitative research method to investigate contemporary real-life situations and has provided a foundation of application of ideas and extension of methods.
It has been defined as an empirical inquiry that examines a contemporary phenomenon within the context of its real life. However, some people have disagreed with this research method arguing that the study of a small number of cases does not offer enough ground to establish reliability or generality of findings. Others have argued that a case study is only used when applied as an exploratory tool, yet most researchers continue using it successfully in carefully planned studies that concern real-life situations, problems, and issues.
Case studies will more often than not appear in journals or professional conferences instead of popular works. A case study may be an individual, organization, action, event existing in a given time and place. For instance, there are case studies of individuals and clinical practices. When the term “case” is used in a claim, an argument, or a proposition; it can be the subject of a litany of research methods. A case study will involve quantitative and qualitative methods of research.
Researchers, on the other hand, are always spoilt for choice when they are determining the tools to use in dealing with their research question. This is because there is an array of both qualitative and quantitative research tools. They can be based on in-depth case studies or desk-based literature reviews. When using case study, the researcher will get an in-depth investigation of a phenomenon, individual, or an event. They help in investigating and understanding the underlying principles in an occurrence within a real-life context.
- They are comprehensive Case studies enable a holistic review. A researcher can use a range of tools which he would otherwise not apply when using other stand-alone research techniques. This gives his time to develop an in-depth understanding of the topic and establish a credible platform to investigate the factors that affect a case study in extensive detail.
- Case studies reduce bias They give room to the diversity of perspectives as opposed to when one is using a single view of a person you get with a survey response or an interview. It eliminates chances of potential bias by giving an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the subject under investigation. Lack of bias dilutes the agenda of a given individual.
- Broad relevance One of the criticisms that case study method gets is that the findings cannot be generalized. However, when a case study is part of broader research can explore common problems in detail.
- Permissions The identity of the research participants is crucial in painting a real picture of whatever that is taking place. Many researchers have found out that participants are more comfortable in situation s where they are sure that the identity will remain anonymous. However, this presents a challenge given the comprehensive nature of the study. In-depth case studies will require one to seek confirmation that the leading research participant agrees that the material is accurate and anonymous. This enables the confidence on the part of the researcher as well as the participant. Gaining permission can take quite some time and could culminate to additional restatements of the published research.
- Time Case studies consume time. You have to plan for multiple interviews, waiting for the data to come in; coordinating focus groups can take quite a substantial, amount of time. For instance, if you are depending on a voluntary case study participant who is going on with his daily business, that might present a challenge. You can overcome these issues by offering incentives to your participants and then outline what you expect from each of them from the onset and sending deadline notifications in advance. This helps in receiving the data early enough.
- Decide and define the research questions
- Select your case studies and determine the techniques for data collection and analysis
- Prepare to engage in data collection
- Collect data in the field
- Cary out data evaluation and analysis
- Write your report
You have to decide on the questions you want to use in your research . They are a referral for the researcher as he seeks to provide answers to them. The researcher has to establish the focus of the student by coming up with questions that concern the problem or the situation being studied and to determine the purpose of the study. The case study here might involve a program, an entity, a person, or a group of people. Each object has a relationship that is connected to social, political, historical, and personal issues. This provides wide-ranging possibilities for questions and adds complexities to the case study.
The case study must answer questions that begin with “why” or “how.” These questions are directed to a limited number of events or conditions and their inter-relationships. One way that enables researchers to formulate these questions is by conducting a literature review. This allows them to establish what previous researchers found out, and they enable in formulating insightful questions necessary for the examination of the problem. Well defined questions from the onset direct one on where to get more evidence and also helps in determining analysis method for the study, The definition of case study purpose, the literature review and the early decision on the potential audience for the final report will help in providing guidance on how the study will be conducted and published.
The design phase of the case study research gives the researcher an opportunity to decide what the approach will be when it comes to selecting the single or multiple real-life cases for examination. It will also help in deciding the data gathering approaches and the instruments used. When working with multiple cases, each case is treated individually. The conclusion of the individual case can be used as information that contributes to the whole study.
Excellent case studies often select and carefully examine the existing choices in the research tools at disposal with the objective of raising the study validity. You can create boundaries when you do careful discrimination when you are carrying out the selection. One of the strengths of case study method is by the use of multiple techniques and sources in the process of gathering data. The researcher makes an early determination of the evidence he has to gather and the analysis method he will apply for him to answer the research questions. The data gathered may be largely qualitative but can also be quantitative. One can use surveys, interviews, observation, documentation review, or the collection of physical artifacts as tools of data collection. The researcher ought to distribute the data gathering tools systematically when collecting the evidence. The researcher must ensure that the research is constructed to achieve, internal validity, external validity, construct validity and reliability. This should be achieved during the design phase.
Case study often generates big amounts of data from multiple sources. As such, it is important to organize your data systematically to prevent cases of confusion or getting overwhelmed by the incoming data. This helps the researcher to maintain sight of the original research purpose and questions.
One can prepare databases to help in sorting, categorizing, storing, and retrieving data for analysis. Some of the best case studies carries out training for the researchers to establish clear protocols and procedures early enough before the fieldwork kicks off. They also conduct a pilot study well in advance to remove barriers and problems in the field. Once the training is done, the last step is to select a pilot site where each data gathering method is put to the test to uncover problem areas and correct them early.
The researcher must ensure that the evidence and the issue under investigation are have maintained their relationship. It is possible for the researcher to enter data into a database and physically store it. However, he has to document, classify, and cross-reference all evidence for it to be efficiently recalled for examination and sorting as the study continues.
The researcher must collect and store data comprehensively and systematically. This should be done in formats that are easy to reference and sort to enable him in identifying possible lines of inquiry. Successful case studies utilize field notes and databases in categorizing and referencing data, so that is it readily available for interpretation. Field notes take records of feelings, intuitive hunches; pose questions, document work in progress. Stories, testimonies, and illustrations are useful in later reports. Some techniques require the researcher to place information into arrays, matrices of categories, flow charts or other displays as well as tabulations of event frequency. If there is conflicting evidence, the researcher must probe the differences deeper and identify the source of conflict. The researcher must provide answers to the “how” and “why” research questions.
The researcher has to examine raw data using different interpretations. This enables him to draw linkages between the outcomes and the research object bearing in mind the research questions. The researcher must have an open mind during the data evaluation and analysis process. The researcher can strengthen the research findings and conclusion thanks to the multiple data collection methods and analysis techniques he had applied.
The kind of tactics used by the researcher during the analysis compels him to go beyond the initial impressions to improve chances of reliable and accurate findings.
- Preparing the report
Excellent case studies interpret data in ways that they make it easy to understand a problem hitherto complex. It allows the reader to question and examine the study and arrive at an understanding that the researcher was independence. The written report aims to convey to the reader a simplified experience of the issue that was once complex. With case studies, the reader can access the information publicly in ways that may lead him to utilize the experience in his real-life situation.
The report can be written in a manner that handles each case on its separate chapter or giving it a chronological recounting. The researchers at times use the report writing process to do a critical examination of the document to identify ways through which the report might be incomplete. The researcher can use the representative audience to carry out a review and present comments on the same. The comments are the premise upon which the revisions of the documents are made. Sometimes it is recommended to have a journalist in the review audience whereas others argue that the participants should review the document. Those are the steps used in a case study research.
With case studies, the researcher will get a more concrete and unbiased understanding of a given complex situation. This is achieved using a range of search tools. With a real-life view, the research can give leeway for the recommendation of practical solutions to challenges. Case studies are important, and the challenges involved can be surmounted planning, background research and an informed selection of all the participants. If the case study approach works for you, utilize it.
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The Importance of Case Analysis
Human beings learn better through examples and practical involvement in their study. In many instances, construction of theoretical information and making people understand the same becomes a hard nut to crack. As a result, many organizations have turned to the use of case studies as a mode of learning. Case studies are detailed explanations of specific events concerning an individual or organization. Applying a holistic approach, case studies provide real life experience on the subject of study to enhance understanding. Consequently, case studies have many benefits not only to learners but also to managers especially those in strategic management positions.
To begin with, case studies provide practical examples that can be used to explain how different problems can be solved. As a result, strategic managers will be able to get first hand information concerning various problems. On the same note, case studies help strategic managers to understand which policies have proved ineffective in various settings. This information is vital in ensuring that the same policies are not used because that might be a waste of time. Similarly, after going through enough case studies, managers gain experience which eliminates the element of trial and error in implementation of policies. This minimizes the wastage of resources and ensures that mistakes are not committed (Yow, 2000). It is important to note that inductive mode of learning has been depicted by research to be more effective compared to deductive learning. As a result, the practical mode of teaching is more effective than the logical building of theories. Consequently, case studies are crucial in enhancing learning among managers.
Events that occur in sports are identical and can sometimes be solved using the same strategies. Therefore, case studies provide a very good opportunity for strategic managers to understand how various strategies have performed in real life situations before applying them in solving their problems. The case study of Roy the Young Athletes Development Officer provides practical experience of how to deal with children. It is vital to note that managers require analytical skills for strategic management (Rotella, 1998). In this regard, case studies come in handy because they usually have a problem that should be solved at the end. By solving the case study questions, managers are able to enhance their analytical skills which increase efficiency in their performance. Additionally, case studies pose complex problems to be solved which calls for advanced problem solving skills. This adequately prepares managers for their roles which involve solving complex problems in their organizations.
The use of the T-Ball case study is also common in training of various sports officers. This is usually used to make the learners understand that there are times when one is required to make individual decisions and not just follow what has been done before. In this scenario, case studies are used to enhance the ability of managers to identify problems within their organizations (George & Bennett, 2005). In addition, case studies will enhance critical thinking of managers and thus increase their effectiveness. Furthermore, case studies provide an opportunity of managers to evaluate the approaches used before and identify their loopholes or strong points. Managers can then use the information gained to enhance their management style and thus increase their output (Rotella, 1998). Moreover, case studies have complicated events to be solved which increases confidence of managers and ability to deal decisively with ambiguity.
George, A. L. & Bennett, A. A. (2005). Case Studies and Theory development in the Social Sciences . Cambridge: MIT Press.
Rotella, R. J. (1998). Case Studies in Sport Psychology . Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Yow, D. A. (2000). Strategic Planning for Collegiate Athletics . Binghamton: Haworth.
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All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study
What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.
What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?
While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.
Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.
The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.
Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:
Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.
Types of Case Studies
The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:
- Historical case studies are great to learn from. Historical events have a multitude of source info offering different perspectives. There are always modern parallels where these perspectives can be applied, compared, and thoroughly analyzed.
- Problem-oriented case studies are usually used for solving problems. These are often assigned as theoretical situations where you need to immerse yourself in the situation to examine it. Imagine you’re working for a startup and you’ve just noticed a significant flaw in your product’s design. Before taking it to the senior manager, you want to do a comprehensive study on the issue and provide solutions. On a greater scale, problem-oriented case studies are a vital part of relevant socio-economic discussions.
- Cumulative case studies collect information and offer comparisons. In business, case studies are often used to tell people about the value of a product.
- Critical case studies explore the causes and effects of a certain case.
- Illustrative case studies describe certain events, investigating outcomes and lessons learned.
Case Study Format
The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:
- Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. Write an overview of the field you’re researching. Make a thesis statement and sum up the results of your observation in a maximum of 2 sentences.
- Background. Provide background information and the most relevant facts. Isolate the issues.
- Case Evaluation. Isolate the sections of the study you want to focus on. In it, explain why something is working or is not working.
- Proposed Solutions. Offer realistic ways to solve what isn’t working or how to improve its current condition. Explain why these solutions work by offering testable evidence.
- Conclusion. Summarize the main points from the case evaluations and proposed solutions. 6. Recommendations. Talk about the strategy that you should choose. Explain why this choice is the most appropriate.
- Implementation. Explain how to put the specific strategies into action.
- References. Provide all the citations.
How to Write a Case Study
Let's discover how to write a case study.
Setting Up the Research
When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:
- Define your objective. Explain the reason why you’re presenting your subject. Figure out where you will feature your case study; whether it is written, on video, shown as an infographic, streamed as a podcast, etc.
- Determine who will be the right candidate for your case study. Get permission, quotes, and other features that will make your case study effective. Get in touch with your candidate to see if they approve of being part of your work. Study that candidate’s situation and note down what caused it.
- Identify which various consequences could result from the situation. Follow these guidelines on how to start a case study: surf the net to find some general information you might find useful.
- Make a list of credible sources and examine them. Seek out important facts and highlight problems. Always write down your ideas and make sure to brainstorm.
- Focus on several key issues – why they exist, and how they impact your research subject. Think of several unique solutions. Draw from class discussions, readings, and personal experience. When writing a case study, focus on the best solution and explore it in depth. After having all your research in place, writing a case study will be easy. You may first want to check the rubric and criteria of your assignment for the correct case study structure.
Read Also: 'CREDIBLE SOURCES: WHAT ARE THEY?'
Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:
- Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
- Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular study.
- Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to your decision-making.
- Recognize the global importance and contribution of your case.
- Construct a coherent summary and explanation of the study.
- Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills.
- Explain the interrelationships between the environment and nature.
- Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.
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Case Study Outline
Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.
- Statement of the issue: Alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character.
- Presentation of the problem: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there.
- Explanation of the terms: In the past, alcoholism was commonly referred to as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is now the more severe stage of this addiction in the disorder spectrum.
- Hypotheses: Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs.
- Importance of your story: How the information you present can help people with their addictions.
- Background of the story: Include an explanation of why you chose this topic.
- Presentation of analysis and data: Describe the criteria for choosing 30 candidates, the structure of the interview, and the outcomes.
- Strong argument 1: ex. X% of candidates dealing with anxiety and depression...
- Strong argument 2: ex. X amount of people started drinking by their mid-teens.
- Strong argument 3: ex. X% of respondents’ parents had issues with alcohol.
- Concluding statement: I have researched if alcoholism is a disease and found out that…
- Recommendations: Ways and actions for preventing alcohol use.
Writing a Case Study Draft
After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:
- Your draft should contain at least 4 sections: an introduction; a body where you should include background information, an explanation of why you decided to do this case study, and a presentation of your main findings; a conclusion where you present data; and references.
- In the introduction, you should set the pace very clearly. You can even raise a question or quote someone you interviewed in the research phase. It must provide adequate background information on the topic. The background may include analyses of previous studies on your topic. Include the aim of your case here as well. Think of it as a thesis statement. The aim must describe the purpose of your work—presenting the issues that you want to tackle. Include background information, such as photos or videos you used when doing the research.
- Describe your unique research process, whether it was through interviews, observations, academic journals, etc. The next point includes providing the results of your research. Tell the audience what you found out. Why is this important, and what could be learned from it? Discuss the real implications of the problem and its significance in the world.
- Include quotes and data (such as findings, percentages, and awards). This will add a personal touch and better credibility to the case you present. Explain what results you find during your interviews in regards to the problem and how it developed. Also, write about solutions which have already been proposed by other people who have already written about this case.
- At the end of your case study, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving them yourself.
Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study
Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :
With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.
Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.
Finalizing the Draft: Checklist
After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:
- Check that you follow the correct case study format, also in regards to text formatting.
- Check that your work is consistent with its referencing and citation style.
- Micro-editing — check for grammar and spelling issues.
- Macro-editing — does ‘the big picture’ come across to the reader? Is there enough raw data, such as real-life examples or personal experiences? Have you made your data collection process completely transparent? Does your analysis provide a clear conclusion, allowing for further research and practice?
Problems to avoid:
- Overgeneralization – Do not go into further research that deviates from the main problem.
- Failure to Document Limitations – Just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study, you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
- Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications – Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
Let's see how to create an awesome title page.
Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:
- A title that attracts some attention and describes your study
- The title should have the words “case study” in it
- The title should range between 5-9 words in length
- Your name and contact information
- Your finished paper should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this type of assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.
Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:
There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.
Citation Example in MLA Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.
Case Study Examples
To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.
Eastman Kodak Case Study
Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany
To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .
Get Help Form Qualified Writers
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Other assessments: Case studies
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“For knowledge you will use in the real world - in business, for example, or in engineering or medicine - the "what" [to think] isn't sufficient. You must know how to apply the knowledge to the real world.” William Ellet, The Case Study Handbook
Case study assignments are common in some disciplines. Their main purpose is to show that you can relate theory to real-life situations. You also need to be able to recommend practical solutions to real-life problems.
This page is dedicated to writing case studies for undergraduate assignments, it does not tackle case studies as a research method/approach.
What is a case study?
A case study is an assignment where you analyse a specific case (organisation, group, person, event, issue) and explain how the elements and complexities of that case relate to theory . You will sometimes have to come up with solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.
You may be asked to write a case study as an essay, as part of a longer assignment or as a report.
Examples of cases
An organisation. For example a company, a business, a school, a sports club, a health body.
A group. For example a class of pupils, an individual team within an organisation, a project group, a sports club.
An individual. For example a patient, a client, a specific student/pupil, a manager/leader.
An event. For example a sporting occasion, a cultural event, a news story, an historical event.
An issue. For example a dilemma, problem, critical event, change of practice.
Analysing a case
What are you being asked to do.
It is important be sure about the purpose of analysing the case before you begin. Refer back to your assignment brief and make sure you are clear about this. It could be:
- To answer a specific question using examples from the case to support your argument
- To explore what happened and why (no recommendations needed)
- To make recommendations or identify solutions
- To write a plan that takes the issues into consideration
Examining the case
In order to be thoroughly familiar with the case you are going to need to read through* the case several times during the analysis process. Start by simply reading it without asking too many questions in your mind. Get a feel for it as a whole. After that, you will need to read through it several times to identify the following:
- What are the facts? List information you are sure about.
- What happened/is happening? List definite actions that occurred/are occurring.
- Who was/is involved? List people by job role and what their involvement was/is.
You will now need to read additional material to help you analyse. In business, for example, you will perhaps want to read the financial statements for the company you are investigating; in nursing, the background of the treatment for the disorder from which “your” patient is suffering.
* Sometimes cases are presented to you as videos to watch. In which case you are going to have to watch it many times!
You may have to ask yourself which theoretical approaches that you have covered in your course are relevant to the particular case you have before you. In some instances this may be obvious but in others it may be less so. A theoretical approach is useful as it can give you specific questions to answer ; specific things to look for. For example, in business, this may take the form of a SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) or you may look at the Porter's Five Forces model. There are similar models in other disciplines which you may have been introduced to already - or the brief may tell you which to use.
No obvious theoretical approach?
If you have not been provided with a theoretical approach don't worry. You can still ask questions. For example:
What is this case study about in general? What is the big picture - the main issue that this case study is an example of?
What specific issues are associated with it? What makes this case interesting?
What do I already know about these issues?
How do they link with the theories we have studied? (See below)
What alternative approaches to dealing with the issues would be appropriate?
If an alternative approach were used, what impact might it have?
Linking to theory
The most crucial element about a case study is your ability to link the real world example to theory. This gives you more insight into both because
- The real life example will mean you can see how theory works in practice .
- Theory can help you see why things happened as they did and help you come up with alternative approaches and find solutions/make recommendations.
Real life is complex and messy. Do not expect it to nicely fit into theories which are by their very nature best guesses (albeit well researched) and generalisations. However, you will have been given the case specifically because it does relate to some theories you have learned or need to be aware of.
So you need to:
- Look back through your lecture notes and reading lists to see if anything seems to fit with the case.
- Search for research that relates to the issues you identified during your analysis. Note these will not necessarily be labelled as 'theories'. Claims made in research papers can all be described as theories.
Now consider some or all of the questions below:
- Do the facts and issues raised in the case support any theories?
- Do the fact and issues raised in the case invalidate or undermine any theories?
- Can any of the theories explain why issues arose?
- Can any of the theories back up the actions taken?
- Can any of the theories suggest alternative courses of action?
- Do you think any of these alternatives would work best in your case? Why?
Armed with the answers to many of these questions, you are ready to start writing up your case study.
Writing up your case study
The most common ways to write up a case study are as essays or reports . The main differences between the two will be how you structure your work.
Structuring a case study essay
Case study essays usually have to answer a specific question using examples from your case study. They are written in continuous prose (a series of paragraphs with no subheadings). They should be structured much like any other essay with an introduction, main body and conclusion.
This needs to have three things:
- An introduction to your case (you don't need to rewrite it, just summarise it giving the important parts for your essay).
- A position statement (your answer to the overall question).
- An indication of how the rest of the essay is structured.
These do not have to be in that particular order but they do all need to be included.
Generally you will organise this thematically . Each paragraph needs to make a point and then use information from your case to illustrate and back up that point . You will also bring in theory (other reading) to strengthen your argument. It is acceptable to start with the example from your case and then show how this links to theory and the conclusion this leads you to; however, it is best if you first let your reader know the point you are making, as then they are not having to second guess this until the end of the paragraph.
Each point in your main body should be leading back to the position statement you made in the introduction.
What are the main lessons you learned from the case study? How well did the theory fit with the real world example? Have you been asked to provide solutions or recommendations? If so, give them here.
Include all the sources you have cited in your essay.
Structuring a case study report
These can vary between disciplines so check your assignment guidance. A typical case study would include:
Table of contents
See our MS Word pages or our MS Office Software SkillsGuide for instructions on how to create these automatically.
Executive summary - optional, check if required
Give an overview of your whole report including main approaches, findings and recommendations. This is a bit like the abstract of a journal article.
- Context (Background)
- Purpose - what is the case study trying to achieve?
- Approach - are you using any particular theoretical tools or research approaches?
- Identification of issues and problems
- Links to theories that help you explain the case
- Explanation of causes or implications of the issues identified
- Possible solutions (if required, check your instructions)
These depends on what you were asked to do but could include:
- Main lessons learned
- Best solutions and reasons why
- Recommendations (may have their own section)
- Action plan (may have its own section)
- Include all the sources you have cited in the report.
Appendices if required
Recommended books and ebooks from our collection, related books and ebooks from our collection.
Recommended external resources
- Writing a case study From Monash University
- Writing a case study analysis From The University of Arizona
- Case studies From the University of South Australia - includes useful sample case studies
- Writing a case study PDF to download from the University of Bedfordshire
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How to Write a Case Study
A lot of social and financial studies involve completing a case study. Though this academic work might seem pretty easy at first sight, there are a lot of specifics that one should consider before starting. For example, one should be acquainted with the design of a case study and its general formatting rules in order to create a high-quality piece.
Definition and Types
A case study is a written assignment that is centered around a problem, its analysis, and the suggestion of solutions. Commonly such cases are based on real subjects and events but can vary in circumstances and terms depending on the needs of the discipline or topic. In order to create an excellent case study, one should pay attention to detail and suggest the best options on how to solve the problem based on related works and studies on the topic.
So, you can see that a person who starts writing a case study must analyze the problem and conduct in-depth research to find the necessary supportive base for their suggestions.
There are a few different types of such a project that students may face.
Such studies are aimed to describe the case and make it understandable for a reader who might not be familiar with the topic of the research.
This type of study is more like a preparation step for in-depth research or investigation. Such studies come in handy when one needs to identify what questions to explore, what subjects to focus on, and what data collection methods to pick.
Such cases are great for cause and effect studies as they are exploring a few situations or phenomena with the purpose of criticizing generalized assumptions.
Unlike the previous type, a cumulative study collects information from various sources in order to generalize the situation or phenomena.
Steps of Writing
The writing process of such a study is similar to any other type of assignment as it consists of steps like preparation, research, writing, and editing. However, it also has specifics that might cause difficulties, especially if you are writing such a piece for the first time. Let’s find out what one should pay attention to and what the best tips on writing a case study are.
Step 1. Preparation and Research
There are a lot of things that you should do before you start writing your paper. Here are a few steps to take before diving into the writing process:
- Choose a case (a situation, problem, phenomena) to study if you are not assigned one by your teacher or professor.
- Choose the methods and instruments of data collection and analysis.
- Find existing works on the topic of your research. Search for related case studies, articles, and reports. There might be a lot of material to work with or there might be not enough. Choose wisely and make sure you have enough information to explore different points of view and avoid being biased.
An expert tip: Case studies can be set around people, organizations, programs, practices, services, and even whole systems or regimes. Make sure to choose the case that is able to provide essential insights and perspectives as well as enough material to build a counterpoint.
In order to create a great piece, you will need to collect and analyze information on the topic as well as to conduct qualitative research. The best sources of information for your case study are:
- Documents: archives, articles, records, reports.
- First-hand evidence: interviews, tests, observations.
- Additional theoretical data: other case studies, books, journals, etc.
When researching theoretical or supporting information for your work, pay attention not only to the source of it but also its relevance (be sure to use the latest data to avoid using outdated information).
Step 2. Drafting
Once all the data that you need for your work is collected and organized, it’s time to start writing the first draft of your case study. As any other academic paper, this type of work consists of an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. A case study has the main body divided into a few blocks; thus, the structure of it looks something like the following:
The abstract is a brief summary of the work, research, and the results as well as its importance and purpose. It’s essential to put the most important points into your abstract such as what question was posed, what methods and instruments were used, and what results you have achieved.
Make your abstract short and informative, keep it less than a page, and make sure to check what type of abstract is required by your learning institution – narrative or structured one – as they have their specifics. A structured abstract is not composed as a narrative one (which is basically a summary of your work) but answers particular questions instead. For example, you might be asked to explain what the significance of your study is or what your goal was.
This is the part that most students know how to write as they face it in every assignment. The introduction’s purpose is to provide background information on the field of study and introduce it to the reader.
This is where you can put some theoretical material that you have collected through your research – similar cases, historical background, or other related material.
Tip: Be sure to check the recommendations of your learning institution as some require including a separate chapter named Background to present necessary background information.
Describe the case and provide primary data that you have collected in the Presentation chapter. Here you can put your raw data and describe the study in detail.
Outcomes (Solution and Recommendation)
This part is dedicated to the results of your case study as well as suggestions on how to solve the problem or recommendations for further research.
The summary of the work and final words on the topic.
Put all the works and sources that you are using through your work. Use only credible sources. Remember that Wikipedia is not a credible source, but it has a lot of references that you might check out and find useful.
Step 3. Editing
The final step of your writing is, of course, proofreading and editing. There are probably a lot of blank spaces that you need to fill in. So, make sure you leave enough time before your deadline. If you are searching for a professional service that can proofread and edit for you, you should definitely turn to our team as we can make your case study sound very professional and polished.
When proofreading, pay attention to the evidence that you use and if there is enough information to make a proper conclusion and suggestions. Use as many real-life examples and first-hand data as possible. If you can, perform interviews and surveys in order to get unbiased results.
Be sure to polish the grammar (check for the typos if there are any) and punctuation as well as the style and formatting of your work. They should match the requirements of your learning institution, especially the word count and the structure of the paragraph.
Topic Examples for a Case Study
Here are a few topic examples for you.
- How the appearance of the teacher influences the education process.
- The correlation between the development of social media and mental disorders.
- Managing religion education and evolution studies in schools.
- Schools meals and students’ health.
- The role of office eating culture in obesity problem.
- The influence of video games on violence prevention.
- The influence of online chats on buyer’s behavior.
Make sure to choose the topic that resonates with you as they are the best and the most interesting to work with.
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- Importance of Case Study in Education
What is a case study? Case study is a research method which allows a person to understand why and how to investigate questions. Here, researcher has no control over variables especially in the situations when the case is current. In a studied case, there are many factors that affect the phenomenon and can be described only by the case study. In educational research, case study can be used for many purposes as it allows the capacity to describe different factors and interaction with each other in real contexts. It offers various learning opportunities and experiences by influencing different practice of theories.
For researchers, it is considered as the valuable data source in terms of diversity and complexity of educational purposes and settings. It plays a significant role in putting theories into the regular practice. It is always important for the student to understand the clarity in nature and focus of case study.
Important fact – Case study research method helps in the investigation of educational settings by offering suggestions for practice to the researchers.
Why Use Cases? Most of the students are beginners rather than balanced reasoners. It results in the better learning with examples when compared with the basic principles like logical development. Therefore, the use of case studies makes it an effective classroom technique.
Most of the case assignments expect to get answers with an open-ended question and some require open-ended problem with multiple potential solutions. It mainly ranges from one-paragraph answer to full developed and group action plan, decision or proposal.
What are the Common Case Elements? Most of the full blown cases contains elements including a description of the problem’s context (an industry, law or a family), supporting data that mainly ranges from data tables to quoted statements, link to URL’s, supporting documents, testimony, audio, video or images.
Important fact – The assignments of case studies can be done in group and individually so that students can find the solutions easily and reduce their work load.
What are the benefits of using case studies in class? Case studies are proved very beneficial to the students especially when they are used inside the classroom. Students can actively engage in finding out the principles by abstracting from the examples. Moreover, they can develop skills like problem solving, coping with ambiguities, analytical/ quantitative/qualitative tools depending on the case and decision making in complex situations.
What is the scope of case studies? A business person can also invest in case studies to increase their conversions. This will helps in producing and generating communication and interaction with the customers. They are highly effective as it comes in the form of stories. In a business, your shared stories create pictures through imaginations; evoke emotions and helps in providing a sticky power to your presentation.
Important fact – Three major parts of a case study consider starting with a problem, outline different available solutions, offer proven results exhibits that the product/service is a optimal solution for the problem.
Why Case Studies are Important? There are some reasons which define the importance of case studies like:
1. Niche-Specific – Case studies are often considered as targeted and niche-specific. It results in providing assurance to the case studies with the target market or goals. There are very less chances if the case study will miss the relevance mark.
2. Position your subject as Authoritative – Sometime, factual claims and statistics are less trusted. Case studies are built on the basis of researched conclusions which will help you to prove your subject authoritative. The production of insightful and thought provoking case studies helps you to become leader in your niche or subject.
3. Explain How Problems are solved – Case studies are centered towards a problem and a solution. As it is completely based on the stories or situations, you can easily analyze the solution of the problem mentioned in the study. Case studies are the experimented form, therefore generates the solutions and answers. Moreover, it serves as the foundation for the “why”.
4. Provide Social proof – In terms of proof, customers have become demanding in this technology age. Solutions in a case study are always based on the face value. With the evolvement of internet and social media, customers can easily access information and additional resources. A research has been conducted which shows that more than half of the students got success in their education or academics.
5. Lead to Spinoff Content – Due to the time commitment, most of the case studies are limited in content. They are more efficient due to its high efficiency. After publishing a case study, you can then hone in on specific takeaways and use them as framework for spinoff content. This type of content took the form of newsletters, podcasts, blog post or video features.
6. Maximizing your Case Study Conversions – Case studies almost take months or weeks to develop. It is completed dependent on the data you are using, the source you are using it from, method of putting it together, creating a valuable case study in extreme intensive process. The creation and publishing of case study is not enough. It is also important to experience high returns and positive results.
An instructor should encourage students for following systematic approach in their analysis, but it is completely dependent on the objective of the course. For instance, it includes the questions based on the issues, goal and requirement of analysis , context of the problem, key facts to be considered, alternatives available to the decision makers, recommendations and the related reasons.
In the case analysis, an innovative approach suggests the role of the students with the part of people that are involved in the case. This will highly engage the students by forcing them to understand different perspectives of the characters of the case. Sometimes, the field trips and the videos can show the venue defined by the case and help students to visualize the situations that is important to analyze.
Case studies act highly effective if they are paired with some reading assignment by introducing or explaining the concept of analytical method applied to the case. During the case discussion, the importance is placed on the use of reading which is dependent on the complexities of method or the concept. If it is direct, then the focus of the discussion can be placed on the use of analytical results. In some case, the method is complex. Therefore, the instructor is required to influence and guide students through the interpretation and application of the results.
How to lead the discussion and evaluate performance? A research has been conducted which shows that the decision cases are more interesting than the descriptive ones. To start the discussion in the classroom, an instructor can easily start with the non-controversial question so that the students can answer readily. However, most of the discussion starts by forcing and influencing students to take a stand. There are some instructors who can ask students to do a formal open of the case by outlining the entire analysis while the other instructors chooses the discussion with the question to find the solutions of the problems.
To motivate the students for the completion of the assignment before their class and to stimulate the attentiveness of the students during their class allows the students to grade their participation with the quality and the quantity during the case discussion. It is important for the instructor to use possible and multiple students at a time. The large number of student’s engagement enables the instructors to divide them into groups by providing several minutes for the discussion in answering a question related to the case and let them ask to present the reasoning and answer of the group.
Here is the conclusion of the article which states that the case study plays a significant role in the education system for the students. Above mentioned are some factors which will help you in analyzing the use of the case study. If you still have any query, feel free to contact at https://www.ozassignments.com/contact-us /
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Oz assignments
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Case Study - Research Method
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These two Case Studies come from a National Center on Case Studies. I think that a case study approach is very useful in applying knowledge and this is what makes you learn it better. They may be a little daunting when you read them but I will help you go through them. Please ask for help so this topic becomes more enjoyable for you.
Psyc 255 Case Study paper
A case study is an intensive type of research that involves a process in which detailed information is collected
Advantages Of A Case Study : Pros And Cons?
A case study is a simple tool researchers can use to gather data. Within the textbook, a case study is described as a detailed analysis of a selected individual over a span of time (Newman, 2011, sec. 3.2). Case studies can be quite useful because they are simple, easy to conduct, and require less involvement to achieve a result. Oftentimes, the researcher will observe an individual and record data over a specific amount of time.
African Americans In Prison
An in-depth study of a particular situation rather than a sweeping statistical survey. Case study research is a method that was used to narrow down a very broad field of research into one easily researchable topic.
Nt1310 Unit 1 Case Study 1
Case studies are one of the first types of research to be used in the qualitative methodology and repeating the study several times will lead to the increased reliability of the study (Starman, 2013). This methodology is appropriate because it will allow for data collection results to be generalized based on the theoretical propositions and not the population (Harrison et al. 2017).
Race American Dream
“Case studies are stories. It presents a realistic, complex, and contextually rich situations and often involve a dilemma, conflict, or problem that one or more of the characters in the case must negotiate”,
Seung-Hui Cho And The Aftermath Of The Virginia Tech Massacre
A case study is “a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem” (University of Southern California, 2010). It can be used to analyze a person, place, event, or other subjects in order to help discover mitigating issues, misconceptions, failures, trends, or recommendations (USC, 2010). Case studies will be used to gain a better understanding of situations and topics to help others make better policies, procedures, and decisions (USC, 2010).
What I Learned About Research At An Introductory Level? Essay
In the reading of the book Methods in Behavioral Research, the author clearly defines the case study as “an observational method that provides a description of an individual” (Bates, 2012, pg. 121). The objectives of this course fitting to our syllabus were to familiarize us to the practices of psychological research, to advance our understanding of how research is completed and the methods used to do it, and to give us the capability to communicate knowledgeably about the ideas following the research procedure.
Bedside Nursing Handover
The authors used a descriptive case study which is a methodological approach that can use a number of different methods to conduct an instrumental investigation that is bounded by place and time. Case study research asks questions of ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ in a non controlled or non artificial environment to analyse existing, real life situations with all their complexity
Theoretical Foundations Of A Case Study Essay
Case study research can be defined as a pragmatic method that works to understand the meaning of lived experiences, events, and interactions for people in particular situations through real-life context (Morese & Richards, 2003). The case study approach can be used for the in-depth investigation of an issue or life event. Case studies can uncover beliefs, attitudes and perspectives of those involved. In this case both teachers and students. The ultimate goal of a case study is to illustrate the complexities
Essay Example Of Advanced Practice Nursing (ONP)
Research questions in case study design begin with ‘how and why’ (Yin, 2003) and determine the type of case study. The main function of the questions is to keep the researcher focused and on track (Zucker, 2001).The following questions fit the planned instrumental, and exploratory/descriptive single case study design:
Different Methods Of Running A Case Study
A case study is an in-depth study of one person; usually it takes into account almost every aspect of the client’s life or history, in order to analyze different patterns and behaviors. Case studies are used in multiple ways, sometimes a person will try to generalize the case to a larger population. This option is not used very often since findings have shown to be mostly subjective to the individual person. The other use of case studies is more for counseling purposes where the patient has a specific problem and they take the person’s history in order to solve it or create a treatment plan specifically for this person.
Sociological Research : Designs, Methods
In case study research, an investigator studies an individual or small group of individuals with an unusual condition or situation. Case studies are typically clinical in scope. The investigator (often a clinical sociologist) sometimes uses self‐report measures to acquire quantifiable data on the subject. A comprehensive case study, including a long‐term follow‐up, can last months or years.
Case Studies : A Case Study Approach Essay
A case study is a specific instance that is frequently designed to illustrate a more general principle (Nisbet and Watt, 1984). Hitchock and Hughes (1995) further suggest that the case study approach is particularly valuable when the researcher has little control over evens. Case studies strives to portray ‘what it like’ to be a particular situation, to catch up reality and ‘thick description’ (Geertz, 1973) of participants’ lives experiences of, thoughts about and feelings for a situation. They involve looking at a case or phenomenon in its real-life context, usually employing many types of data (Robson, 2002). It is important in case studies for events and situations to be allowed to speak for themselves, rather than to be largely interpreted, evaluated or judged by the researcher. In this respect the case study is akin to the television documentary. Case studies can make theoretical statements, but, like other forms of research and human sciences, these must be supported by the evidence presented.
Characteristics Of Ethnographic And Case Study Approach
Now, case studies are considered to be more of an in-depth study that uses many approaches and data sources of a solo case. Percy, Kostere, & Kostere, (2015, p. 19) stated that when we do a single case study, we do not mean a case study of one person, but instead we mean a study of a solo research/topic questions. From time to time there is a quantity of cases that are reported and studied together. The cases in a
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- The importance of case studies in social research
Like children in a sweetshop, researchers are often spoilt for choice when it comes to determining which tools to use to address a research question. This includes an array of quantitative and qualitative research tools, ranging from desk-based literature reviews to in-depth case studies. Given the time and cost restraints of many projects the more in-depth methods are often perceived as time consuming and frequently dismissed. Based on my experience, here are my thoughts on the value and challenges of including case studies in social research.
Case studies are an in-depth investigation of one particular individual, group, time-period or event. They encompass a range of qualitative and quantitative research tools to investigate underlying principles of an occurrence within a real-life context.
For example, last year, Changeworks was commissioned to undertake research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation with the purpose of exploring whether or not district heating in UK social housing is delivering against its affordability and sustainability goals. The project gave us the opportunity to use eight case studies to support a wider literature review, a social housing provider survey and stakeholder interviews.
- Comprehensive . The most significant benefit of case studies is that they enable a holistic review. Unlike standalone research techniques which give more of a snapshot, eg surveys, a case study offers the opportunity for a researcher to use a range of tools on one subject. This gives time and space to build a detailed understanding of the topic, establishing a sound platform from which to explore the factors influencing the case study in greater detail.
- Reducing bias . Case studies capture a range of perspectives, as opposed to the single view of an individual you get with a survey response or interview. This gives the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the subject in hand and reduces the potential for any bias, by diluting the agenda of a particular individual. The methodology for the district heating case studies included face-to-face interviews with up to five members of staff from relevant social housing departments and external organisations where third party management organisations were used. The methodology also featured in-depth technical and financial analysis and a focus group with residents from each of the case study schemes.
- Wider relevance . A common criticism of the case study is that the findings can’t be generalised. However, we’ve found when they’re part of broader research a case study can look to explore common problems in greater detail. In the district heating research we used the broader background research to identify areas of particular interest and then used the case studies to further investigate the causes and impacts. Furthermore, the case study participants were carefully selected to ensure a good spread of locations, technologies and management arrangements.
- Permissions . In social research, maintaining participants’ anonymity helps to provide a true picture of what is happening. Studies have shown that participants are more open with the research team in situations where they are confident that their identity will not be disclosed 1 . However maintaining anonymity can be challenging given the detailed nature of the case study. For in-depth case studies it may be appropriate to seek confirmation that the lead participant agrees that the material is anonymous and accurate, enabling confidence on both the part of the researcher and the participant. However the process of gaining permission can take time and result in additional iterations of the published research.
- Time . Case studies can be time consuming. Planning multiple interviews, waiting to receive data and possibly co-ordinating focus groups can take a considerable amount of time. Especially if you are relying on a case study participant who is often acting in a voluntary capacity and busy fulfilling their day to day tasks. Yet these issues can be overcome by offering participants incentives, outlining what is required from the participant at the outset and sending notification of deadlines well in advance.
I believe that case studies enable a researcher to gain a more detailed, un-biased understanding of a complex situation, through the use of a range of research tools. This real-life view, places the research organisation in a stronger position to confidently recommend practical solutions to challenges. While there are some difficulties associated with the delivery of case studies, these can be overcome through forward planning, background research and informed participant selection.
If you’re interested in commissioning a piece of research, or to discuss how research can help inform your project, please get in touch with me. You can also read our report to find out more about the case studies that featured in our latest district heating research.
Lauren Salmon Changeworks Researcher
- Ong, A. D. and Weiss, D. J. (2000), The Impact of Anonymity on Responses to Sensitive Questions1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30: 1691–1708. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02462.x
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What is the Impact and Importance of Case Study in Education?
Before we explain the significance of case study in education these days for high education, let us explain the first, ‘What is a case study? However, it consists of three major parts that you need to consider for writing. Starting with a problem, outline different available solutions, and offer proven results exhibits that the product or service is an optimum solution for the problem.
What is a Case Study in Education?
Well, a case study is a method of research regarding any specific questions, which allows a person to investigate why and how it happens. Based on education, a case study is that who can use the research for many purposes. It lets the student describe various factors and interaction with each other in authentic contexts. It offers multiple learning opportunities and experiences for scholars by influencing the diverse practice of theories.
Importance of Case Study in Education
It is also considered the source of valuable data regarding diversity and complexity of educational commitments and settings. It plays a vital role in putting theories into regular practice. It is always necessary for the student to realize the clarity in nature and focus of the case study. Considering the significance, Casestudyhelp.com brings the best Case Study Help Any Academic Level for students exerting for acquiring top grades.
What are the Advantages of Case Studies in Class ?
Case studies are assigned to higher classes students, which proved very beneficial to the students, especially in the classroom. Students can actively engage in the discovery of the principles by conceptualizing from the examples. Furthermore, they develop skills like
- Coping with ambiguities
- Analytical/ quantitative/qualitative tools according to the case and
- Decision making in complex situations
Method of a Writing Case Study at Casestudyhelp.com!
When teachers give students a Case Study Topic by a teacher, they have to attack each case with the following checklist or go for best and reasonable Case Study Help for Any Topic at casestudyhelp.com!
- Thoroughly read the case and formulate own opinions before sharing ideas with others in the class. You must identify the problems on your own, and offer solutions and best alternatives alongside. Before the study converses, you need to form your own outline and course of action.
- Focus on the three major parts of a case study considering the starting with a problem, outline different accessible solutions, offer predictable results that exhibit the product/service is an optimal solution for the problem.
- Prepare to engage in data collection, collecting data in the field, carry out data evaluation and analysis to write the report.
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