How to Write a Case Study Paper

The purpose of a case study is provide a thorough analysis of a “case” regarding situations for certain categories. What is being studied usually depends on the class or subject the student is conducting the study for. Case studies can be written about individual people, companies or even different counties or cities. It really all depends on what subject the student wishes to analyze. A psychology student would most likely choose a case study about a person or a group of people, while a business student would choose a case study on a type of business or a certain company. A medical student could do a case study on drug trials for patients who have arthritis. Case studies can be done for any academic discipline, and any sub-discipline of a main academic subject. What matters is that you choose a topic for your case study that either relates to the subject field of your major, or relates to the class it is being written for. Remember that a case study is an analytical paper, involving heavy research and an application of theories to gain an in depth look at a person, company, section of government or whatever else you happen to be studying.

Steps to writing a case study:

  1. The first step to any paper is to choose your topic. For a case study paper it is important to do some research about the field of discipline you will be researching. Think about what kinds of questions you have been studying in class, or what sort of topic you think your professor would want you to focus on. With this in mind, you can narrow your choices down to a specific problem or subject within the field you are looking at.
  2. Once you have chosen your case study topic, the next step is to find as many resources as you can. Your sources can include journals, newspapers, magazine articles, statistics, interviews, books, records, etc. A case study provides a large amount of information so be sure to take notes and keep your material organized. Creating an outline is a helpful tool in this part of your writing process.
  3. Now that you have a multitude of sources, you have to choose your case site. This is deciding on a group, organization or type of person that you will be interviewing and studying to help solve the question you have identified. These can be workers, patients, volunteers, or any individual that can provide information about your study.
  4. Start your interview process. Now it is time to ask questions concerning your case study. Remember to keep your questions focused on your topic. How does the individual feel about the problem identified? What have they done to try and solve the problem? What do they think should be done about the problem? Try to stay away from yes and no questions. They won’t get you the detailed information you are looking for.
  5. Now that you have all your information, and have followed the steps needed for a case study, you can write your paper. Follow the basic format involved in writing a research paper.
  • Begin your paper with an introduction to your problem and the steps you will be taking to solve it. What sort of information will you be providing? Who or what groups or organizations will be involved in your study?
  • After your introduction is where you state any background information regarding your case. This is where you provide more detailed information on those involved in the case, a history of the organization involved and how they relate to your topic.  What makes these people and groups so relevant and important in your study? Have there been any previous studies regarding this problem?
  • The following sections will discuss your research methods and sources.  What did you learn from the interviews you conducted? Did any of them provide a possible answer to the problem you are studying? How do those people feel about the problem?
  • The conclusion to your paper should provide various possible solutions to the problem in question, without actually solving the problem. Your research was to provide new insight and speculation for solving the problem. Be sure to restate your original question, and refer to the interviews in your speculations. Make sure your paper ends with your final thoughts on the problem, how you think it might be solved, while still leaving some room for the reader to come to their own conclusions.

Published on  June 8th, 2016


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