Though in fairness, case study has been an age old teaching methodology, but the relevance of case studies has not sacrificed its importance to newer teaching methods. A case study, simply put, is the documentation of a proposed problem with an analytical solution. This gives the reader an ample amount of opportunity to understand and logically resolve the problem proposed. In turn, this develops the problem solving and analytical mindset of a student.
Broadly classifying, there are four major types of case studies namely, illustrative (descriptive of events), exploratory (investigative), cumulative (collective information comparisons) and critical (examine particular subject with cause and effect outcomes). With minor differences, each one has almost the same method of execution.
The task of writing a gripping case study starts with choosing what type of case study you’ll be carrying out. This primarily depends upon the target audience the case study is intended for. Corporate chunks might choose illustrative case study method to showcase what has been done for a client; schools, educators and students may choose cumulative or critical case study method and people from the legal teams may demonstrate exploratory (investigative) case study method so as to provide factual evidence.
Now that you’ve selected the type of case study, comes the next part, research. A case study involves thorough and extensive research of the selected topic. Researching about your case study can be carried out in more than one way, and is often done in combination of studying existing cases on the topic, interviewing relevant people, visiting libraries and scanning the World Wide Web for all that you can find which is relevant to your case. A good case study which is as gripping as is educational mostly has a combination of these research methodologies.
The next part which is after obtaining the data is of writing the case study. Although researching is also of crucial significance when conducting a case study, yet writing your piece is undoubtedly the most important aspect which determines the quality of the case study.
- A good case study starts with the introduction, which introduces the audience to the problem that will be discussed in the later section of the case study.
- The next part of the case study includes the Background information. Things such as why, who, where, when are included in this section.
- After the audience has all the information they need to have to formulate a logical output, present your research data, and include citation and bibliographic references (if any). Present the thoughts of those whom you have interviewed, present previous case studies on the same topic if you’ve stumbled upon one while researching.
- This part consists of the conclusion. But don’t bother about giving a solution to the problem, if you have logically put up everything, the reader might have already formulated a solution. To add, you can quote one or some of your interviewees. Leave the reader with a full grasp of the problem.
After completing the writing part, it is crucially important to read, and re-read it until you’re satisfied with the output. Make changes, add or delete something if required. Proof read your case study thoroughly for grammatical and typing errors. Once done, you can relax and give yourself a good pat on your back.