Case studies are descriptions of research projects involving people, organizations, communities, or institutions, or with problems or things that have happened. It concentrates on one or a few examples, which might be an individual or a small group of cases (although it consists of many individuals, it can be considered as one culture-sharing group or a group of people working in one particular organization meaning considering one concrete entity). This kind of article describes a problem, offers solutions, and highlights areas that require more investigation.
The case study method is employed in research when a thorough examination of a topic, event, or phenomena is required, within the context of real-world occurrences. A case study investigates a topic or problem in depth by focusing on a particular case or by utilizing the case as a specific example. To investigate a case, one can utilize documentation, interviews, observations, and visuals.
1.Types of Case Studies
There are generally five types of case study and it is important to work out which type you have been tasked to write before you can begin to learn how to write a case study:
- Historical case studies focus on historical events and contain various information that provides different perspectives of the time period and applies them to current day parallels e.g., ‘Racism Amongst the French Aristocracy in the 1800’s’.
- Problem-oriented case studies aim to solve a real life or theoretical problem e.g., ‘Homelessness in New York’.
- Multiple/Collective/Cumulative case studies include the collection of information to provide comparisons, e.g., the value of a specific resource in different countries.
- Critical/intrinsic case studies investigate causes and effects of a case e.g., Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped.
- Illustrative/instrumental case studies describe particular events, the outcomes and what has been learned as a result.
2. Some hints concerning writing a case study
There are several tips that can help you come up with a great case study to satisfy your examiner.
- Write about a topic that you can connect to your thoughts well; and always be sure to select a context in which you feel at ease and can elaborate without trouble.
- Make sure to carefully describe the context while writing your case study so that your reader will comprehend when you begin to connect the issue with your ideas.
- Be realistic in your explanations, and be sure not to abandon the reader in the middle of them.
- Use a specific technique while writing your case study. You can choose to declare an idea and provide an illustration right away, or you can choose to describe the entire background before bringing the relationship into focus. This aids in making your work more organized.
3. Structure of a Case Study
A case study can be organized in a variety of intricate ways, but they always essentially fall into the following five categories: introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion. So now you know the fundamentals of case study writing, let’s go further into the general portions.
A) Introduction: The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:.
- What is being studied? Describe the research problem and the subject of analysis [the case] that you have selected to address it. Explain how they are related, and what aspects of the case will aid in expanding knowledge and comprehension of the situation.
- Why is this topic important to investigate? Explain the importance of the research challenge and why a case study approach and the topic of analysis that the paper is built around are appropriate for resolving it.
- What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Describe the context to assist the reader understand the subsequent, more in-depth literature study. Recap previous case study research that was relevant to the issue at hand and explain why it fell short of solving the issue. Describe the benefits of your case. If no earlier case studies have been utilized to address the research issue, describe why you have chosen this topic for study.
- How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Describe why your case study will be effective in fostering greater knowledge and comprehension of the research topic.
B) Background Information/Literature Review: The purpose of the literature review is to enable historical interpretation of the topic of analysis in connection to the research issue that the case is meant to solve. It also aims to provide background information. This entails gathering research that supports:
- Organize pertinent works according to how they aid in comprehending the case study under investigation.
- Describe the relationships between each work and the others being considered so that the reader can understand why this instance is relevant.
- Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study.
- Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies.
- Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research.
- Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill.
- Locate your own research within the context of existing literature.
C) Method/Findings: Describe why you chose your case, how it relates to the subject or problem, and the specific research techniques you used and why they are appropriate. Remember that case studies usually involve qualitative, not quantitative, data collecting techniques, such as focus groups, interviews, and primary and secondary sources of information. Additionally, make an effort to arrange the facts you have found in a reasonable manner, such as chronologically or according to concepts.
- If your subject of analysis is an incident or event. Analysis might either focus on a common or routine event or a rare or important one. The goal of researching a rare occurrence is to provide light on novel approaches to the larger research question or to test a theory.
- If your subject of analysis is a person. Justify your choice of this specific person for the study and list any experiences they have had that could help increase your knowledge of the research topic.
- If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that looks at a specific location implies a topic of analysis that is special or unique in some manner, and that this individuality may be exploited to develop new information or understanding about the research problem. If similar areas exist, it’s crucial to explain why a certain location was chosen as the case for the study.
- If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. In this sense, everything that can be observed or assumed to exist but is not completely understood might be included in a phenomena that serves as your topic of study. Human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political environment is typically the case in the social and behavioral sciences.
D) Discussion/Solutions: The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your analysis of the case study. The reader should be informed of your key results and why they are important. Be subjective and describe the constraints of your case studies. Conclude by offering some recommendations for additional research based on the case study’s constraints.
E) Conclusion: Explain to the reader why your case study and your key findings are important, restating your main hypothesis. Briefly summarize the earlier case studies you looked at and how you added to the body of knowledge. Finish by describing how your case study’s findings may be used in upcoming studies on the subject. The essence of your paper’s conclusion is to: 1) restate the entire premise supported by the case study findings; 2) clearly state the context, background, and significance of conducting the research problem using a case study method in relation to an issue, discussion, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place to succinctly and persuasively explain the importance of your research problem.
To conclude, case studies are helpful for giving an analysis of an occasion, a circumstance, a person, a location, or a situation. There are certain similarities between research papers, thus it’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by your academic advisor. Due to the numerous aspects and material that may be needed, case studies can be intimidating. However, by tackling each section separately and allotting enough time for preparation and research, you can create a fantastic case study.