How to write a good case study

A case study will provide your reader with a detailed analysis of a single person or event. Specific formats for these studies can vary widely depending on the requirements of the assignment. These are based on real-life examples. In commerce, they may be called testimonials. In a college assignment, you base a case study on facts and relevant data.

When writing, use the following tips:

  • The case study should be applicable to your topic and provide meaningful contribution.
  • Tell the story from start to finish; don’t leave the reader dangling or wondering what the results were.
  • Is the study current, and if not, why? Explain to your reader why the facts are still applicable today.
  • Use formatting that’s easy to read and follow.
  • Make it interesting but don’t pad it with a lot of extraneous material that’s not necessary.
  • Use real data to back up your findings or claims related to the case study.
  • Give a strategy for what can be learned by including this particular study in your written work.

These may be explanatory, exploratory or descriptive in nature. The reasons for including them in your paper are:

  • Helps to explore the reasons or causes of an event or phenomenon.
  • Helps the reader to uncover underlying principles within the main topic of the paper.
  • Provides illumination into the framework of the persons, politics, events, decisions or actions which occurred.
  • It’s an investigation which uses real-life persons, events or results.

Once you have chosen the topic for your paper, you can then proceed to find the key case you will use as a study. When there are few available, the choice becomes easier. However, when sifting through dozens of potential cases, choose the one that most closely fits with the thesis statement of your paper.

What determines a good sample?

  • There is adequate detail and data available to explore many facets of the sample.
  • It has been written with clarity and formatted for easy understanding.
  • The frame of reference is clearly stated.
  • Case selection has been thorough and the subject and object are both clearly delineated.
  • Chronological order of events within the study sample were concisely organized and laid out for the reader to follow.
  • The study is completely and correctly referenced so that if only a portion of it was used in the paper, the reader can follow the reference to the original source for further research.