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Where Can I Get Help Writing My Thesis Online?
You’ve spent years preparing for your master’s degree or PhD. You’ve read, studied and spent hours of time and energy writing papers. Now you’ve arrived at the culmination of all this effort: writing your thesis. There are plenty of compelling stories about the time and energy that students have spent drafting their dissertations and theses.
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What Is a Case Study?
When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.
Deep Dive into a Topic
At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.
As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.
Study a Pattern
One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.
During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.
As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.
Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.
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How to Write a Case Study
Most good empirical software engineering papers that contain a study follow the same structure for its presentation. As far as I know, this structure was not invented by a single researcher, but developed gradually over the course of many publications.
Professional readers expect your case study to follow this structure, too. The audience that really matters for your publication—your thesis supervisor, his PhD advisor or program committee members—all are professional readers.
The goal of this article is to describe this structure: the basic building blocks of thesis chapters or paper sections that make up case study presentations. It is meant as an introduction and thus necessarily skips details. For further reading, this article contains links at the end.
The typical structure comprises these sections:
- Research questions
Results & Interpretation
Threats to Validity.
As a reader, I expect each section to answer a specific set of questions. In the following, I describe the gist of each section, its set of questions and common mistakes.
To make the sections more tangible, I use part of a study from one of our papers . The study investigates inconsistencies in code clones.
This section states the questions that the study aims to answer and their rationale. It should contain:
- What the questions are. In my paper, RQ 1 is Are clones changed inconsistently? .
Why the research questions are relevant.
A frequent mistake is missing rationale. In such papers, the motivation behind the research question often remains unclear or unconvincing.
Some background on the example paper: code clones are duplicated pieces of source code in a software systems. Clones are typically created by copy & paste. They hinder software maintenance, since changes must often be made to all clone instances. If a clone gets forgotten during such a change, the code becomes inconsistent. This inconsistency can be a bug.
What I wanted to investigate with my study, was how big of a problem this is in practice. One the one hand, I had seen some instances of inconsistent clones that suspiciously looked like bugs. On the other hand, I had no idea how frequently this occurred, and if this really was problematic in practice. My study goal was to quantify this by analyzing clones (and their inconsistencies) in real systems.
The rationale of the first research question was to understand if inconsistent changes to clones happen at all, and how often. If they are very rare, they probably do not deserve further investigation (which is performed by the later research questions in the paper).
This section outlines the study objects (e.g. software systems), which the study analyzes to answer its research questions. It should contain:
- The names of the study objects and their characteristics (those properties that are relevant for the study). In the example, the study objects were the 5 systems that I searched for clones. The relevant characteristics comprise programming language, size, age, number of developers and a short description of their functionality.
Why (and maybe how) those objects were chosen. This is relevant, since choice can influence study result validity. For the example, a large number of study objects (and ideally their random selection from a large pool of potential study objects), would increase the generalizability of the study results.
In the clone paper, however, I needed to do interviews with the system’s developers for later questions. I thus had to rely on our industry contacts to get hold of these developers. This limited my choices and thus potentially affects generalizability of the results (which is mentioned in the threats to validity section).
A frequent mistake is to not mention why those objects were chosen and what the consequences of the choice are. As a reader, this makes me wonder if the selection was manipulated to better produce the answers the author was looking for.
If a study involves data from industry, the study object names are often anonymized (e.g. replaced by A , B , C , …). As a reader, I don’t care about this, since the names of proprietary industrial systems are meaningless to me anyway. For the authors, however, it makes it much easier to get clearance to publish these results.
This section describes how the study, using the information from the study objects, attempts to answer the research questions.
For the clone study, I computed the percentage of inconsistent clones among all clones. For this, I defined two sets:
- C : The set C of consistent clones. The clones in each clone group are consistent (i.e. contain no differences or only small ones, like renamed variables).
IC : Set of inconsistent clones , i.e. clone groups with substantial differences between clones, such as missing statements.
As the answer to the research question, I computed the inconsistent clone ratio as |C| / |IC|. Intuitively, it denotes the probability that a clone group in the system contains at least one inconsistency.
A common mistake is to interleave study design, procedure and implementation details.
This section describes the nitty gritty details required to implement the study design in reality. In principle, they could also be included directly in the description of the study design. However, it is easier for the reader to first understand the general idea, and then the details.
For the clone study, this section states detection parameters (like minimal clone length and number of allowed differences between clones). It also treats handling of false positives, generated code and overlapping clone groups.
This section describes the results and interprets them with respect to the research questions. Since there is often a lot of data, this section should guide the reader through the results. In studies with large amounts of data, it is often easier to read to separate description of the data from its interpretation.
In the example, the paper presents the results for each study object and then the aggregated ratio. On average, 52% of the clone groups contained inconsistencies. The paper thus answers the question positively: yes, clones are changed inconsistently.
A common mistake is to mix the results with the discussion. This makes it harder for the reader to separate backed-up results from speculation.
Interpretation of the results that go further than the research questions. This can, e.g., contain implications for software development.
The clone paper (based on the above presented and further questions) concludes, that clones are a threat to program correctness, implying that their proper management deserves more attention.
Threats to Validity
This section lists all threats, i.e. reasons why the study results could be wrong. Ideally, it then treats every single threat and describes what you did to make sure that this threat does not invalidate your study results.
Threats to validity are often classified into internal and external threats.
Internal threats are reasons why the results could be invalid for your study objects. In the example, the parameter values of the clone detector have a strong impact on the detected clones. The section states that we mitigated the threat through a pre-study we performed in order to validate the chosen parameter values.
(To be honest, this is a weak mitigation. What it really says is that we tinkered with the values until they felt good and then did the study. A stronger mitigation would be to also perform the study with different parameter values and investigate whether the general results still hold. Since this distracts from the main study, such back-up studies are often only described in a much abbreviated fashion in the threats section itself.)
External threats are reasons why the results encountered for the study objects might not be transferable to other objects. In the example, the way we chose the study objects (through our personal network) might bias our results. To mitigate this threat, we at least chose systems that had different characteristics, such as programming language, development contractor and age.
The most common mistake is to ignore threats entirely. Much better (but still improvable) is to state a threat without giving a mitigation or an estimation of its severity.
The case study structure described in this article can be used in two different decomposition styles. The most common one is described in this article. It orders by section first and by research question second:
- Research questions 1.1: RQ 1 … 1.2: RQ 2 …
Study Objects 2.1 For RQ 1: … 2.2 For RQ 2: …
Study Design 2.1 For RQ 1: … 2.2 For RQ 2: …
Is most frequent alternative, however, is to order by research question first and by section second:
- RQ 1 1.1 Research question 1 … 1.2 Study Objects for RQ 1 … 1.3 Study Design for RQ 1… …
RQ 2 2.1 Research question 2 … 2.2 Study Object for RQ 2 … 2.3 Study Design for RQ 2 … …
Both decomposition styles have advantages and drawbacks. I use these heuristics to select the decomposition level:
This is the case in the clone paper example. Research questions two and three ask whether the inconsistencies between clones are unintentional, and if so, whether they represent a fault. RQ n thus builds upon the results of RQ n-1 . Since the study sections share so much, describing them in isolation would create a lot of redundancy. They are thus easier to read all at once. Decomposition by study section facilitates this.
By research questions : when each study has its own study objects, design and procedure.
In this paper we wrote , the study objects, design and procedure of research questions one and three have nothing in common. Since there is little synergy between them, it is easier to read a complete study—from question to results interpretation—before reading the next one.
Apart from the above examples, there are mixed cases as well (where some RQs share objects and design, but others in the same paper don’t). For them, simply choose the decomposition style that feels right, but stick to it for the entire study description. Don’t mix decomposition styles, since this confuses the reader.
From my experience, you only really get to feel if a style feels right, once you write it down, often two times, once in each decomposition style. This is tedious, but pays off, since a suitable decomposition style strongly increases the readability of your study.
- Guidelines for conducting and reporting case study research in software engineering by Per Runeson & Martin Höst.
Case Study Research. Design and Methods by Robert K. Yin.
Thanks to Rainer Koschke and Stefan Wagner for literature suggestions and to Daniela Steidl for reading drafts of this.
Published by elmarjuergens.
Informatiker, Software-Analyst, Sprecher, Wein- und Biertrinker. View all posts by ElmarJuergens
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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
Crafting a case study is not easy. You might want to write one of high quality, but you don’t have the time or expertise. If you’re having trouble with your case study, help with essay request - we'll help. EssayPro writers have read and written countless case studies and are experts in endless disciplines. Request essay writing, editing, or proofreading assistance from our custom case study writing service , and all of your worries will be gone.
Don't Know Where to Start?
Crafting a case study is not easy. You might want to write one of high quality, but you don’t have the time or expertise. Request essay writing, editing, or proofreading assistance from our writing service.
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How to Write a Case Study | Examples & Methods
What is a case study?
A case study is a research approach that provides an in-depth examination of a particular phenomenon, event, organization, or individual. It involves analyzing and interpreting data to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject under investigation.
Case studies can be used in various disciplines, including business, social sciences, medicine ( clinical case report ), engineering, and education. The aim of a case study is to provide an in-depth exploration of a specific subject, often with the goal of generating new insights into the phenomena being studied.
When to write a case study
Case studies are often written to present the findings of an empirical investigation or to illustrate a particular point or theory. They are useful when researchers want to gain an in-depth understanding of a specific phenomenon or when they are interested in exploring new areas of inquiry.
Case studies are also useful when the subject of the research is rare or when the research question is complex and requires an in-depth examination. A case study can be a good fit for a thesis or dissertation as well.
Case study examples
Below are some examples of case studies with their research questions:
These examples demonstrate the diversity of research questions and case studies that can be explored. From studying small businesses in Ghana to the ethical issues in supply chains, case studies can be used to explore a wide range of phenomena.
Outlying cases vs. representative cases
An outlying case stud y refers to a case that is unusual or deviates significantly from the norm. An example of an outlying case study could be a small, family-run bed and breakfast that was able to survive and even thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, while other larger hotels struggled to stay afloat.
On the other hand, a representative case study refers to a case that is typical of the phenomenon being studied. An example of a representative case study could be a hotel chain that operates in multiple locations that faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as reduced demand for hotel rooms, increased safety and health protocols, and supply chain disruptions. The hotel chain case could be representative of the broader hospitality industry during the pandemic, and thus provides an insight into the typical challenges that businesses in the industry faced.
Steps for Writing a Case Study
As with any academic paper, writing a case study requires careful preparation and research before a single word of the document is ever written. Follow these basic steps to ensure that you don’t miss any crucial details when composing your case study.
Step 1: Select a case to analyze
After you have developed your statement of the problem and research question , the first step in writing a case study is to select a case that is representative of the phenomenon being investigated or that provides an outlier. For example, if a researcher wants to explore the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, they could select a representative case, such as a hotel chain that operates in multiple locations, or an outlying case, such as a small bed and breakfast that was able to pivot their business model to survive during the pandemic. Selecting the appropriate case is critical in ensuring the research question is adequately explored.
Step 2: Create a theoretical framework
Theoretical frameworks are used to guide the analysis and interpretation of data in a case study. The framework should provide a clear explanation of the key concepts, variables, and relationships that are relevant to the research question. The theoretical framework can be drawn from existing literature, or the researcher can develop their own framework based on the data collected. The theoretical framework should be developed early in the research process to guide the data collection and analysis.
To give your case analysis a strong theoretical grounding, be sure to include a literature review of references and sources relating to your topic and develop a clear theoretical framework. Your case study does not simply stand on its own but interacts with other studies related to your topic. Your case study can do one of the following:
- Demonstrate a theory by showing how it explains the case being investigated
- Broaden a theory by identifying additional concepts and ideas that can be incorporated to strengthen it
- Confront a theory via an outlier case that does not conform to established conclusions or assumptions
Step 3: Collect data for your case study
Data collection can involve a variety of research methods , including interviews, surveys, observations, and document analyses, and it can include both primary and secondary sources . It is essential to ensure that the data collected is relevant to the research question and that it is collected in a systematic and ethical manner. Data collection methods should be chosen based on the research question and the availability of data. It is essential to plan data collection carefully to ensure that the data collected is of high quality
Step 4: Describe the case and analyze the details
The final step is to describe the case in detail and analyze the data collected. This involves identifying patterns and themes that emerge from the data and drawing conclusions that are relevant to the research question. It is essential to ensure that the analysis is supported by the data and that any limitations or alternative explanations are acknowledged.
The manner in which you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard academic paper, with separate sections or chapters for the methods section , results section , and discussion section , while others are structured more like a standalone literature review.
Regardless of the topic you choose to pursue, writing a case study requires a systematic and rigorous approach to data collection and analysis. By following the steps outlined above and using examples from existing literature, researchers can create a comprehensive and insightful case study that contributes to the understanding of a particular phenomenon.
Preparing Your Case Study for Publication
After completing the draft of your case study, be sure to revise and edit your work for any mistakes, including grammatical errors , punctuation errors , spelling mistakes, and awkward sentence structure . Ensure that your case study is well-structured and that your arguments are well-supported with language that follows the conventions of academic writing . To ensure your work is polished for style and free of errors, get English editing services from Wordvice, including our paper editing services and manuscript editing services . Let our academic subject experts enhance the style and flow of your academic work so you can submit your case study with confidence.
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- What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods
What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods
Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 22, 2023.
A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.
A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .
Table of contents
When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case, other interesting articles.
A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.
Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.
You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.
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Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:
- Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
- Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
- Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
- Open up new directions for future research
TipIf your research is more practical in nature and aims to simultaneously investigate an issue as you solve it, consider conducting action research instead.
Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.
Example of an outlying case studyIn the 1960s the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania was discovered to have extremely low rates of heart disease compared to the US average. It became an important case study for understanding previously neglected causes of heart disease.
However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.
Example of a representative case studyIn the 1920s, two sociologists used Muncie, Indiana as a case study of a typical American city that supposedly exemplified the changing culture of the US at the time.
While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:
- Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
- Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
- Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions
To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.
There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.
Example of a mixed methods case studyFor a case study of a wind farm development in a rural area, you could collect quantitative data on employment rates and business revenue, collect qualitative data on local people’s perceptions and experiences, and analyze local and national media coverage of the development.
The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.
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In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.
How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .
Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).
In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.
If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Normal distribution
- Degrees of freedom
- Null hypothesis
- Discourse analysis
- Control groups
- Mixed methods research
- Non-probability sampling
- Quantitative research
- Ecological validity
- Rosenthal effect
- Implicit bias
- Cognitive bias
- Selection bias
- Negativity bias
- Status quo bias
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Writing a case study
What is a case study.
A case study requires you to analyse a specific situation and discuss how its different elements relate to theory. The case can refer to a real-life or hypothetical event, organisation, individual or group of people and/or issue. Depending upon your assignment, you will be asked to develop solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.
Generally, a case study is either formatted as an essay or a report. If it is the latter, your assignment is often divided into sections with headings and subheadings to ensure easy access to key points of interest.
There are different approaches to case studies, so always check the specific instructions you have been given. There are two main types of case studies: descriptive and problem-solving .
Case study types accordion
Descriptive case studies.
- ask you to explore a specific event or issue to identify the key facts, what happened and who was/is involved.
- can be used to compare two instances of an event to illustrate how one is similar to the other.
- generally does not include solutions or recommendations as its main purpose is to help the reader or stakeholder to gain greater insight into the different dimensions of the event, etc. and/or to make an informed decision about the event, etc.
- In Nursing, you could be asked to select a medical clinic or hospital as your case study and then apply what you have studied in class about wound care approaches. You would then identify and apply the relevant theories of wound care management discussed in class to your case.
Problem-solving case studies
- ask you to critically examine an issue related to a specific individual or group, and then recommend and justify solutions to the issue, integrating theory and practice.
- In Business and Economics, you could be asked to describe a critical incident in the workplace. Your role as the manager is to apply your knowledge and skills of key intercultural communication concepts and theories in management to determine the causes of the conflict and propose relevant communication strategies to avoid and/or resolve it.
Tips for undertaking a problem-based case study View
Writing to your audience.
Your language expression should be persuasive and user-centred communication. To do this, you need to carefully research your audience, or your stakeholders . Your stakeholders are not only those people who will read your writing, but also people who will be impacted by any decisions or recommendations you choose to include. In other words, your audience may be varied with different needs and perspectives. This applies to both your case study as an assessment task and a report in your workplace.
Understanding your audience will help you to edit how you express your information, including tailoring your language expression, tone and style to meet the expectations of your stakeholders. For example, if your case study is written for the Minister of Health, then your tone will need to be formal, ensuring that any technical terms are clearly and concisely explained with concrete examples.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Who will read my case study and why?
- What are the stakeholders’ needs, preferences, expectations and goals?
- How can I write clearly and concisely for this particular audience?
- How will the stakeholders use my case study in their work?
- What are the relevant technical terms and have I explained them in clear and concise language?
Writing up your case study
If your case study is in the form of a report, you can divide it into 8 main sections, as outlined below. However, these vary depending on discipline-specific requirements and assessment criteria.
1. Executive Summary/Synopsis
- Introduce the topic area of the report.
- Outline the purpose of the case study.
- Outline the key issue(s) and finding(s) without the specific details.
- Identify the theory used.
- Summarise recommendations.
- Summarise the your task
- Briefly outline the case to identify its significance.
- State the report's aim(s).
- Provide the organisation of the main ideas in the report.
- Briefly describe the key problem and its significance (You usually do not need to provide details of findings or recommendations. However, it is best to first check your assessment task instructions.)
- presenting the central issue(s) under analysis,
- providing your reasoning for your choices such as supporting your findings with facts given in the case, the relevant theory and course concepts
- highlighting any underlying problems.
- Identify and justify your methodology and analytical tools.This might not be applicable to your assessment, so you will need to check your assessment instructions.
This section is often divided into sub-sections. Your headings and subheadings need to be informative and concise as they act as a guide for the reader to the contents of that section.
- Summarise the major problem(s).
- Identify alternative solutions to these major problem(s).
- Briefly outline each alternative solution where necessary and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages.
- Depending on your assessment criteria, you might need to refer to theory or professional practice here.
Note that as a case study is based on a specific situation, it is difficult to generalise your findings to other situations. Make sure that your discussion focuses on your case and what can be learnt from your specific case analysis for your stakeholders.
- Restate the purpose of the report
- Sum up the main points from the findings, discussion and recommendations.
- Restate the limitations if required.
- Choose which of the alternative solutions should be adopted.
- Briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problem/s.
- Remember to integrate theory and practice as discussed in your unit with respect to the case.
- If needed, suggest an action plan, including who should take action, when and what steps, and how to assess the action taken.
- If appropriate include a rough estimate of costs (both financial and time).
This section is sometimes divided into Recommendations and Implementation with details of the action plan placed in the Implementation section.
Recommendations should be written in a persuasive, audience-centred style that communicates your suggestions clearly, concisely and precisely .
- List in alphabetical order all the references cited in the report.
- Make sure to accurately format your references according to the specified referencing style for your unit.
8. Appendices (if any)
- Attach any original data that relates to your analysis and the case but which would have interrupted the flow of the main body.
Ivančević-Otanjac, M., & Milojević, I. (2015). Writing a case report in English. Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo , 143 (1-2), 116-118.
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Buseco: report writing.
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Engineering: Lab report
This resource expands on the general report structure and provides useful tips and examples on how to turn practical work and lab experiments into a written lab report.
Engineering: Technical report
This resource expands on the general report structure and provides useful tips and examples on how to write a report for key stakeholders, using experimental and practical data.
This resource provides information about what reports look like in IT, and how you might consider structuring your IT report. It includes student samples for each possible section of an IT report, along with video and written feedback.
MNHS: Health sciences case report
This resource provides a guide to approaching and structuring a patient-based case report. It includes an annotated example with written feedback.
MNHS: Comparative report
This resource is designed to assist you in completing your Comparative Report [CR] for Integrating Science and Practice [iSAP] assessment tasks. It provides a guide to approaching and structuring your report and includes an annotated example with written feedback.
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- Case Study in Research
A case study in Research
A case study in research is a strategy and empirical investigation which includes an analysis of the real phenomenon. Many students pursuing master’s or PhD have certain questions such as how and when to do a case study.
In this article, our professional by providing the guideline about a case study is resolving the queries of students.
Before gaining knowledge about How to do case studies, you should first develop an understanding of what is a case study?
A Research case study is a detailed survey on a specific topic or subject. It can also refer to as an in-depth investigation perform for analyzing a particular situation. The researcher mainly uses case study design for conducting research in the field of education, science clinical field, etc.
It mainly includes the Qualitative method , but sometimes also includes quantitative methods . You can utilize case study design in such a situation where you intend to describe and compare different aspects of the research problem.
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How to do case studies in Research?
The 4 steps of doing a case study in research are:
Step 1: Need to choose a specific case
After writing a problem statement and designing research questions , you need to select a particular case. A characteristic of a good case study is that
- It provides new insight into the subject
- A good case study challenges assumptions and existing theories.
- An effective case provides practical courses of action for resolving issues.
- It provides a new direction for future research.
One important characteristic of the case study design is that it does not need any representative sample. In the context of the case study research design , the researcher mainly emphasizes unusual and neglected research problems.
Step 2:Putting Together a Theoretical Framework
Research Case studies mainly emphasize providing great detail. While making a selection of cases you should ensure that it has some link with existing theory related to the field. The case study research design will help you in increasing your knowledge about a specific topic.
The main aim of the case study design is to:
- Represent a theory by demonstrating the way it provides an explanation of the case under investigation.
- Expansion of a theory by introducing new theories and implementation of ideas.
- Challenging a theory by exploring an outlier case that does not fit with established beliefs.
Tip: You should conduct a literature review of sources relevant to topics and create a theoretical framework. It is a tactic that will help you in making sure that the case which you have selected has strong academic relevancy. You should address key concepts and hypotheses for guiding analysis and interpretation.
Step 3: Information-gathering strategies
You can use several techniques for the collection of information about the topic. The different techniques which you can utilize for gathering information about the specific case are survey, interview, observation, etc.
These are a technique that you can utilize for accumulating primary information about the case. You can gather secondary data about the case by reading books, newspapers, articles, etc.
Mixed method case study example In the context of the case study on the establishment of wind farms in rural areas, the researcher needs to collect qualitative data about employment rates and revenue earned by companies. An investigator by conducting a survey could accumulate information about local people’s views about the establishment of farms in their region. After that you can analyze the facts. The main objective of the case study to analyze the different aspects of case.
Step 3: Several methods for assessing the case that you can use
At the time of writing a case, you need to integrate different aspects which are essential to complete a picture. After that based on the type of research performed you need to report your finding.
In the case study, you need to write a separate section for methodology, discussion, and results.
You should write a case study in a narrative style. While writing a case study your aim should be to analyze the case from different aspects. Before start writing a case study, you should understand its meaning and importance.
The different techniques which you can utilize for analyzing the case include textual analysis, discourse analysis, etc.
While writing all types of cases you need to provide background detail of the case. After that, you need to link the same with existing literature and theory.
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When to do a case study?
A case study research design can be more suitable for gaining a deep understanding of something. It is by analyzing the different cases that researchers can identify important characteristics, implications, and meaning about whatever it may be they’re studying.
Making a selection of case studies for writing a thesis or dissertation is considering the best decision.
By utilizing the case study design you will be able to maintain the relevance of the research project. It will also help you in managing the research project, especially at that time when you have insufficient time and resources for performing study on a large scale.
The researcher can use a complex case study design for an in-depth analysis of one subject. You can utilize multiple cases for making comparisons and providing illustrations of the specific research problems.
Example of case study
Why do we do research using case studies?
In exploratory research, case studies are frequently used. They may be able to assist us in generating fresh ideas (that might be tested by other methods). They are a useful tool for presenting theories and for demonstrating how different parts of a person’s life are connected.
Gaining an in-depth understanding of a subject can be difficult, especially when the problem is complex. A good way to get around this difficulty may be through utilizing case studies as they can examine individual cases and go into detail about them.
One technique that has been found useful for gathering information on these subjects is called content analysis; it involves developing a system by which one could measure how often certain words or phrases occur within different documents related to the study’s topic area.
It has been summarized above that while gaining in-depth knowledge about something might seem daunting at first glance, there are ways of overcoming this obstacle such as by using case studies and other techniques like content analyses where more detailed examinations can take place based on specific topics being
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Find out how to a case study dissertation
Prof Martyn Denscombe, author of “The Good Research Guide, 6th edition”, gives expert advice on using a case study for your master’s dissertation. Quantitative and qualitative case studies can be a good basis for a master’s dissertation. There are two main examples for this. First, a case study provides a platform that allows you to study a situation in depth and produce the level of academic inquiry that is expected in a master’s degree. In the context of any master’s programme the dissertation operates as something of a showcase for a student’s abilities.
It can easily make the difference between getting a merit and a distinction in the final award of degree. It is important, therefore, to base the work on an approach that allows things to be explored in sufficient depth and detail to warrant a good grade. Second, case studies can be useful in a practical sense. It is possible to complete a case study in a relatively short period of intense study and so it is the kind of research that is feasible in terms of the kind of time constraints that face master’s students as they enter the final stages of their programme of study.
Added to which a case study can also be a rather convenient form of research, avoiding the time and costs of travel to multiple research sites. The use of case studies, then, would appear to be an attractive proposition. But it is not an approach that should be used naively without consideration of its limitations or potential pitfalls.
To be a good case study the research needs to consider certain key issues which, if they are not addressed, might considerably lower the value of the case study as part of a master’s degree. For instance, a good case study needs to:
Be crystal clear about the purpose for which the research is being conducted
Justify the selection of the particular case being studied
Describe how the chosen case compares with others of its type
Explain the basis on which any generalizations can be made from the findings
This is where The Good Research Guide, 6th edition becomes so valuable. It not only identifies the key points that need to be addressed in order to conduct a competent questionnaire survey, it gets right to the heart of the matter with plenty of practical guidance on how to deal with the issues. In a straightforward style, using plain language, this bestselling book covers a range of alternative strategies and methods for conducting small-scale social research projects and outlines some of the main ways in which the data can be analysed.
- Read Prof Martyn Denscombe’s advice on using a questionnaire survey for your postgraduate dissertation
How to Write a Case Study: A Breakdown of Requirements
It can take months to develop a case study. First, a topic must be chosen. Then the researcher must state his hypothesis, and make certain it lines up with the chosen topic. Then all the research must be completed. The case study can require both quantitative and qualitative research, as well as interviews with subjects. Once that is all done, it is time to write the case study.
Not all case studies are written the same. Depending on the size and topic of the study, it could be hundreds of pages long. Regardless of the size, the case study should have four main sections. These sections are:
3. Presentation of Findings
The introduction should set the stage for the case study, and state the thesis for the report. The intro must clearly articulate what the study's intention is, as well as how you plan on explaining and answering the thesis.
Again, remember that a case study is not a formal scientific research report that will only be read by scientists. The case study must be able to be read and understood by the layperson, and should read almost as a story, with a clear narrative.
As the reader reads the introduction, they should fully understand what the study is about, and why it is important. They should have a strong foundation for the background they will learn about in the next section.
The introduction should not be long. You must be able to introduce your topic in one or two paragraphs. Ideally, the introduction is one paragraph of about 3-5 sentences.
The background should detail what information brought the researcher to pose his hypothesis. It should clearly explain the subject or subjects, as well as their background information. And lastly, the background must give the reader a full understanding of the issue at hand, and what process will be taken with the study. Photos and videos are always helpful when applicable.
When writing the background, the researcher must explain the research methods used, and why. The type of research used will be dependent on the type of case study. The reader should have a clear idea why a particular type of research is good for the field and type of case study.
For example, a case study that is trying to determine what causes PTSD in veterans will heavily use interviews as a research method. Directly interviewing subjects garners invaluable research for the researcher. If possible, reference studies that prove this.
Again, as with the introduction, you do not want to write an extremely long background. It is important you provide the right amount of information, as you do not want to bore your readers with too much information, and you don't want them under-informed.
How much background information should a case study provide? What would happen if the case study had too much background info?
What would happen if the case study had too little background info?
The Presentation of Findings
While a case study might use scientific facts and information, a case study should not read as a scientific research journal or report. It should be easy to read and understand, and should follow the narrative determined in the first step.
The presentation of findings should clearly explain how the topic was researched, and summarize what the results are. Data should be summarized as simply as possible so that it is understandable by people without a scientific background. The researcher should describe what was learned from the interviews, and how the results answered the questions asked in the introduction.
When writing up the report, it is important to set the scene. The writer must clearly lay out all relevant facts and detail the most important points. While this section may be lengthy, you do not want to overwhelm the reader with too much information.
The final section of the study is the conclusion. The purpose of the study isn't necessarily to solve the problem, only to offer possible solutions. The final summary should be an end to the story.
Remember, the case study is about asking and answering questions. The conclusion should answer the question posed by the researcher, but also leave the reader with questions of his own. The researcher wants the reader to think about the questions posed in the study, and be free to come to their own conclusions as well.
When reading the conclusion, the reader should be able to have the following takeaways:
Was there a solution provided? If so, why was it chosen?
Was the solution supported with solid evidence?
Did the personal experiences and interviews support the solution?
The conclusion should also make any recommendations that are necessary. What needs to be done, and you exactly should do it? In the case of the vets with PTSD, once a cause is determined, who is responsible for making sure the needs of the veterans are met?
English Writing Standards For Case Studies
When writing the case study, it is important to follow standard academic and scientific rules when it comes to spelling and grammar.
Spelling and Grammar
It should go without saying that a thorough spell check should be done. Remember, many case studies will require words or terms that are not in standard online dictionaries, so it is imperative the correct spelling is used. If possible, the first draft of the case study should be reviewed and edited by someone other than yourself.
Case studies are normally written in the past tense, as the report is detailing an event or topic that has since passed. The report should be written using a very logical and clear tone. All case studies are scientific in nature and should be written as such.
The First Draft
You do not sit down and write the case study in one day. It is a long and detailed process, and it must be done carefully and with precision. When you sit down to first start writing, you will want to write in plain English, and detail the what, when and how.
When writing the first draft, note any relevant assumptions. Don't immediately jump to any conclusions; just take notes of any initial thoughts. You are not looking for solutions yet. In the first draft use direct quotes when needed, and be sure to identify and qualify all information used.
If there are any issues you do not understand, the first draft is where it should be identified. Make a note so you return to review later. Using a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets is very valuable during this stage of the writing process, and can help keep you and your information and data organized.
The Second Draft
To prepare the second draft, you will want to assemble everything you have written thus far. You want to reduce the amount of writing so that the writing is tightly written and cogent. Remember, you want your case study to be interesting to read.
When possible, you should consider adding images, tables, maps, or diagrams to the text to make it more interesting for the reader. If you use any of these, make sure you have permission to use them. You cannot take an image from the Internet and use it without permission.
Once you have completed the second draft, you are not finished! It is imperative you have someone review your work. This could be a coworker, friend, or trusted colleague. You want someone who will give you an honest review of your work, and is willing to give you feedback, whether positive or negative.
Remember, you cannot proofread enough! You do not want to risk all of your hard work and research, and end up with a final case study that has spelling or grammatical errors. One typo could greatly hurt your project and damage your reputation in your field.
All case studies should follow LIT – Logical – Inclusive – Thorough.
The case study obviously must be logical. There can be no guessing or estimating. This means that the report must state what was observed, but cannot include any opinion or assumptions that might come from such an observation.
For example, if a veteran subject arrives at an interview holding an empty liquor bottle and is slurring his words, that observation must be made. However, the researcher cannot make the inference that the subject was intoxicated. The report can only include the facts.
With the Genie case, researchers witnessed Genie hitting herself and practicing self-harm. It could be assumed that she did this when she was angry. However, this wasn't always the case. She would also hit herself when she was afraid, bored or apprehensive. It is essential that researchers not guess or infer.
In order for a report to be inclusive, it must contain ALL data and findings. The researcher cannot pick and choose which data or findings to use in the report.
Using the example above, if a veteran subject arrives for an interview holding an empty liquor bottle and is slurring his words; any and all additional information that can be garnered should be recorded. For instance, what the subject was wearing, what was his demeanor, was he able to speak and communicate, etc.
When observing a man who might be drunk, it can be easy to make assumptions. However, the researcher cannot allow personal biases or beliefs to sway the findings. Any and all relevant facts must be included, regardless of size or perceived importance. Remember, small details might not seem relevant at the time of the interview. But once it is time to catalog the findings, small details might become important.
The last tip is to be thorough. It is important to delve into every observation. The researcher shouldn't just write down what they see and move on. It is essential to detail as much as possible.
For example, when interviewing veteran subjects, there interview responses are not the only information that should be garnered from the interview. The interviewer should use all senses when detailing their subject.
How does the subject appear? Is he clean? How is he dressed?
How does his voice sound? Is he speaking clearly and making cohesive thoughts? Does his voice sound raspy? Does he speak with a whisper, or does he speak too loudly?
Does the subject smell? Is he wearing cologne, or can you smell that he hasn't bathed or washed his clothes? What do his clothes look like? Is he well dressed, or does he wear casual clothes?
What is the background of the subject? What are his current living arrangements? Does he have supportive family and friends? Is he a loner who doesn't have a solid support system? Is the subject working? If so, is he happy with the job? If he is not employed, why is that? What makes the subject unemployable?
Case Studies in Marketing
We have already determined that case studies are very valuable in the business world. This is particularly true in the marketing field, which includes advertising and public relations. While case studies are almost all the same, marketing case studies are usually more dependent on interviews and observations.
Well-Known Marketing Case Studies
DeBeers is a diamond company headquartered in Luxembourg, and based in South Africa. It is well known for its logo, "A diamond is forever", which has been voted the best advertising slogan of the 20 th century.
Many studies have been done about DeBeers, but none are as well known as their marketing case study, and how they positioned themselves to be the most successful and well-known diamond company in the world.
DeBeers developed the idea for a diamond engagement ring. They also invented the "eternity band", which is a ring that has diamonds going all around it, signifying that long is forever.
They also invented the three-stone ring, signifying the past, present and future. De Beers was the first company to attribute their products, diamonds to the idea of love and romance. They originated the idea that an engagement ring should cost two-months salary.
The two-month salary standard is particularly unique, in that it is totally subjective. A ring should mean the same whether the man makes $25,000 a year or $250,000. And yet, the standard sticks due to DeBeers incredible marketing skills.
The De Beers case study is one of the most famous studies when it comes to both advertising and marketing, and is used worldwide as the ultimate example of a successful ongoing marketing campaign.
Planning the Market Research
The most important parts of the marketing case study are:
1. The case study's questions
2. The study's propositions
3. How information and data will be analyzed
4. The logic behind what is being proposed
5. How the findings will be interpreted
The study's questions should be either "how" or "why" questions, and their definitions are the researchers first job. These questions will help determine the study's goals.
Not every case study has a proposition. If you are doing an exploratory study, you will not have propositions. Instead, you will have a stated purpose, which will determine whether your study is successful, or not.
How the information will be analyzed will depend on what the topic is. This would vary depending on whether it was a person, group, or organization. Event and place studies are done differently.
When setting up your research, you will want to follow case study protocol. The protocol should have the following sections:
1. An overview of the case study, including the objectives, topic and issues.
2. Procedures for gathering information and conducting interviews.
3. Questions that will be asked during interviews and data collection.
4. A guide for the final case study report.
When deciding upon which research methods to use, these are the most important:
1. Documents and archival records
2 . Interviews
3. Direct observations (and indirect when possible)
4. Indirect observations, or observations of subjects
5. Physical artifacts and tools
Documents could include almost anything, including letters, memos, newspaper articles, Internet articles, other case studies, or any other document germane to the study.
Developing the Case Study
Developing a marketing case study follows the same steps and procedures as most case studies. It begins with asking a question, "what is missing?"
1. What is the background of the case study? Who requested the study to be done and why? What industry is the study in, and where will the study take place? What marketing needs are you trying to address?
2. What is the problem that needs a solution? What is the situation, and what are the risks? What are you trying to prove?
3. What questions are required to analyze the problem? What questions might the reader of the study have?
4. What tools are required to analyze the problem? Is data analysis necessary? Can the study use just interviews and observations, or will it require additional information?
5. What is your current knowledge about the problem or situation? How much background information do you need to procure? How will you obtain this background info?
6. What other information do you need to know to successfully complete the study?
7. How do you plan to present the report? Will it be a simple written report, or will you add PowerPoint presentations or images or videos? When is the report due? Are you giving yourself enough time to complete the project?
Formulating the Marketing Case Study
1. What is the marketing problem? Most case studies begin with a problem that management or the marketing department is facing. You must fully understand the problem and what caused it. That is when you can start searching for a solution.
However, marketing case studies can be difficult to research. You must turn a marketing problem into a research problem. For example, if the problem is that sales are not growing, you must translate that to a research problem.
What could potential research problems be?
Research problems could be poor performance or poor expectations. You want a research problem because then you can find an answer. Management problems focus on actions, such as whether to advertise more, or change advertising strategies. Research problems focus on finding out how to solve the management problem.
Method of Inquiry
As with the research for most case studies, the scientific method is standard. It allows you to use existing knowledge as a starting point. The scientific method has the following steps:
1. Ask a question – formulate a problem
2. Do background research
3. Formulate a problem
4. Develop/construct a hypothesis
5. Make predictions based on the hypothesis
6. Do experiments to test the hypothesis
7 . Conduct the test/experiment
8 . Analyze and communicate the results
The above terminology is very similar to the research process. The main difference is that the scientific method is objective and the research process is subjective. Quantitative research is based on impartial analysis, and qualitative research is based on personal judgment.
After selecting the method of inquiry, it is time to decide on a research method. There are two main research methodologies, experimental research and non-experimental research.
Experimental research allows you to control the variables and to manipulate any of the variables that influence the study.
Non-experimental research allows you to observe, but not intervene. You just observe and then report your findings.
The design is the plan for how you will conduct the study, and how you will collect the data. The design is the scientific method you will use to obtain the information you are seeking.
There are many different ways to collect data, with the two most important being interviews and observation.
Interviews are when you ask people questions and get a response. These interviews can be done face-to-face, by telephone, the mail, email, or even the Internet. This category of research techniques is survey research. Interviews can be done in both experimental and non-experimental research.
Observation is watching a person or company's behavior. For example, by observing a persons buying behavior, you could predict how that person will make purchases in the future.
When using interviews or observation, it is required that you record your results. How you record the data will depend on which method you use. As with all case studies, using a research notebook is key, and will be the heart of the study.
When developing your case study, you won't usually examine an entire population; those are done by larger research projects. Your study will use a sample, which is a small representation of the population. When designing your sample, be prepared to answer the following questions:
1. From which type of population should the sample be chosen?
2. What is the process for the selection of the sample?
3. What will be the size of the sample?
There are two ways to select a sample from the general population; probability and non-probability sampling. Probability sampling uses random sampling of everyone in the population. Non-probability sampling uses the judgment of the researcher.
The last step of designing your sample is to determine the sample size. This can depend on cost and accuracy. Larger samples are better and more accurate, but they can also be costly.
Analysis of the Data
In order to use the data, it first must be analyzed. How you analyze the data should be decided upon as early in the process as possible, and will vary depending on the type of info you are collecting, and the form of measurement being used. As stated repeatedly, make sure you keep track of everything in the research notebook.
The Marketing Case Study Report
The final stage of the process is the marketing case study. The final study will include all of the information, as well as detail the process. It will also describe the results, conclusions, and any recommendations. It must have all the information needed so that the reader can understand the case study.
As with all case studies, it must be easy to read. You don't want to use info that is too technical; otherwise you could potentially overwhelm your reader. So make sure it is written in plain English, with scientific and technical terms kept to a minimum.
Using Your Case Study
Once you have your finished case study, you have many opportunities to get that case study in front of potential customers. Here is a list of the ways you can use your case study to help your company's marketing efforts.
1. Have a page on your website that is dedicated to case studies. The page should have a catchy name and list all of the company's case studies, beginning with the most recent. Next to each case study list its goals and results.
2. Put the case study on your home page. This will put your study front and center, and will be immediately visible when customers visit your web page. Make sure the link isn't hidden in an area rarely visited by guests. You can highlight the case study for a few weeks or months, or until you feel your study has received enough looks.
3. Write a blog post about your case study. Obviously you must have a blog for this to be successful. This is a great way to give your case study exposure, and it allows you to write the post directly addressing your audience's needs.
4 . Make a video from your case study. Videos are more popular than ever, and turning a lengthy case study into a brief video is a great way to get your case study in front of people who might not normally read a case study.
5. Use your case study on a landing page. You can pull quotes from the case study and use those on product pages. Again, this format works best when you use market segmentation.
6. Post about your case studies on social media. You can share links on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Write a little interesting tidbit, enough to capture your client's interest, and then place the link.
7 . Use your case study in your email marketing. This is most effective if your email list is segmented, and you can direct your case study to those most likely to be receptive to it.
8. Use your case studies in your newsletters. This can be especially effective if you use segmentation with your newsletters, so you can gear the case study to those most likely to read and value it.
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How to Write a Case Study
Last Updated: November 26, 2021
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 23 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 578,464 times. Learn more...
There are many different kinds of case studies. There are also various uses for writing case studies, from academic research purposes to provision of corporate proof points. There are approximately four types of case studies: illustrative (descriptive of events), exploratory (investigative), cumulative (collective information comparisons) and critical (examine particular subject with cause and effect outcomes).  X Research source After becoming familiar with the different types and styles of case study instructions and how each applies to your purposes, there are some steps that make writing flow smoothly and ensure the development and delivery of a uniform case study that can be used to prove a point or illustrate accomplishments.
- Whatever case study method you're employing, your purpose is to thoroughly analyze a situation (or "case") which could reveal factors or information otherwise ignored or unknown. These can be written about companies, whole countries, or even individuals. What's more, these can be written on more abstract things, like programs or practices. Really, if you can dream it, you can write a case study about it.  X Research source
- Start your research at the library and/or on the Internet to begin delving into a specific problem. Once you've narrowed down your search to a specific problem, find as much about it as you can from a variety of different sources. Look up information in books, journals, DVDs, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc. As you go through each one, take adequate notes so you can find the info later on!  X Research source
- Find out what has been written before, and read the important articles about your case's situation . When you do this, you may find there is an existing problem that needs solution, or you may find that you have to come up with an interesting idea that might or might not work in your case situation.
- Review sample case studies that are similar in style and scope to get an idea of composition and format, too.
Preparing the Interview
- Find knowledgeable people to interview. They don't necessarily have to be on your site, but they must be, actively or in the past, directly involved.
- Determine whether you will interview an individual or group of individuals to serve as examples in your case study. It may be beneficial for participants to gather as a group and provide insight collectively. If the study focuses on personal subject matter or medical issues, it may be better to conduct personal interviews.
- Gather as much information as possible about your subjects to ensure that you develop interviews and activities that will result in obtaining the most advantageous information to your study.
- When you are interviewing people, ask them questions that will help you understand their opinions. I.e., How do you feel about the situation? What can you tell me about how the site (or the situation) developed? What do you think should be different, if anything? You also need to ask questions that will give you facts that might not be available from an article--make your work different and purposeful.
- Make sure all your informants are aware of what you're doing. They need to be fully informed (and signing waivers in certain cases) and your questions need to be appropriate and not controversial.
- When you ask a question that doesn't let someone answer with a "yes" or a "no" you usually get more information. What you are trying to do is get the person to tell you whatever it is that he or she knows and thinks --even though you don't always know just what that is going to be before you ask the question. Keep your questions open-ended.
- Request data and materials from subjects as applicable to add credibility to your findings and future presentations of your case study. Clients can provide statistics about usage of a new tool or product and participants can provide photos and quotes that show evidence of findings that may support the case.
- You can't include it all. So, you need to think about how to sort through it, take out the excess, and arrange it so that the situation at the case site will be understandable to your readers. Before you can do this, you have to put all the information together where you can see it and analyze what is going on.
- This will allow you to concentrate on what material is the most important. You're bound to receive information from participants that should be included, but solely on the periphery. Organize your material to mirror this.
Writing Your Piece
- The introduction should very clearly set the stage. In a detective story, the crime happens right at the beginning and the detective has to put together the information to solve it for the rest of the story. In a case, you can start by raising a question. You could quote someone you interviewed.
- Make sure to include background information on your study site, why your interviewees are a good sample, and what makes your problem pressing to give your audience a panoramic view of the issue.  X Research source After you've clearly stated the problem at hand, of course.  X Research source Include photos or a video if it would benefit your work to be persuasive and personalized.
- After the reader has all the knowledge needed to understand the problem, present your data. Include customer quotes and data (percentages, awards and findings) if possible to add a personal touch and more credibility to the case presented. Describe for the reader what you learned in your interviews about the problem at this site, how it developed, what solutions have already been proposed and/or tried, and feelings and thoughts of those working or visiting there. You may have to do calculations or extra research yourself to back up any claims.
- At the end of your analysis, you should offer possible solutions, but don't worry about solving the case itself. You may find referring to some interviewees' statements will do the alluding for you. Let the reader leave with a full grasp of the problem, but trying to come up with their own desire to change it.  X Research source Feel free to leave the reader with a question, forcing them to think for themselves. If you have written a good case, they will have enough information to understand the situation and have a lively class discussion.
- You may have terms that would be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, include it in the appendix or in a Note for the Instructor .
- Go over your study section by section, but also as a whole. Each data point needs to fit into both it's place and the entirety of the work. If you can't find an appropriate place for something, stick it in the appendix.
- Have someone else proofread, too. Your mind may have become oblivious to the errors it has seen 100 times. Another set of eyes may also notice content that has been left open-ended or is otherwise confusing.
- If you are developing many case studies for the same purpose using the same general subjects, use a uniform template and/or design. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Be sure to ask open-ended questions while conducting interviews to foster a discussion. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Ask for permission to contact case study participants as you develop the written case study. You may discover that you need additional information as you analyze all data. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1290&guideid=60
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://www.essayforum.com/grammar-usage-13/to-write-case-study-366/
- ↑ https://www.universalclass.com/articles/business/the-process-of-writing-a-case-study.htm
- http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/casestudy/pop2a.cfm Colorado State University Case Study writing guides
- http://www.hoffmanmarcom.com/casestudy/howtowrite.php Hoffman Marketing and Communications case study overview
About This Article
To write a case study, start with an introduction that defines key terms, outlines the problem your case study addresses, and gives necessary background information. You can also include photos or a video if they will help your work to be more persuasive. Then, present your findings from the case study and explain your methodology, including how you used your data to come to your conclusions. In your conclusion, offer possible solutions or next steps for research, based on your results. To learn how to select participants for your case study, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Main Tips On How To Write Case Study Analysis
29 Apr 2022
❔What is a Case Study Analysis?
☝️Types of Case Studies
📃Case Study Examples
✏️Writing a Case Study Draft
📝How to Format a Case Study
✍️How to Write an Outline
📌How to Write a Case Study
📑Creating a Title Page and Citing
Many students struggle with how to do a case study analysis. Writing such an assignment is always daunting, as it requires you to analyze something and form conclusions based on your research.
It usually focuses on phenomena you can't study in a typical way. Therefore, when writing such a text, you have to prepare thoughtfully. In the PapersOwl article, you will find out what this academic writing is and how to write a case analysis.
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What is a Case Study Analysis?
A case study analysis is a form of writing that analyzes a specific situation, event, object, person, or even place. The said analysis should be written and structured to lead to a conclusion. Typically, you cannot analyze the subject of this essay via quantitative methods.
Note that such studies can be used in various fields and require the use of many theories that can give you a unique approach to the matter. For example, you can write a paper like this about social sciences, business, medicine, and many other fields. Each of these will require a particular approach.
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Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study
Like all papers share similarities, these two are no different. Hence, knowing these parallels and distinctions, you will be able to learn how to write a case study assignment correctly.
A case study introduction can present the topic but does not require a citation of other similar works or the writer's opinion. On the other hand, research papers do not need a complete introduction about the general topic, but need citation since you will be using other people's works.
In addition, a writer must present their thoughts and views about the case they research. Finally, the most significant difference is that the research papers make the readers focus on a specific issue. On the contrary, the case study goes more into the matter and shifts the focus to all the details.
Types of Case Studies
When it comes to writing case study analysis, there are five types you must learn to differentiate. That is important because whether you get such an assignment, you will have to understand the task first and then start with the writing.
Here are the types of case studies which you will encounter most often:
- Problem-oriented - this type focuses on real-life situations or theoretical issues and aims to solve them. For example, "World Hunger."
The second type is critical, also known as innate. The goal is to investigate a specific case, particularly its effects and what causes them - "Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped."
Historical case studies papers focus on events from our past. The text should contain information about a specific historical period of this type. Your goal will be to provide different perspectives of an event and parallel them to current-day issues. An example of such a topic is "Racism During Ancient Times - Roman Empire."
The illustrative or Instrumental type focuses on describing a particular event. Here you have to explain the event's outcome and what you have learned from it. A sample of such a topic is "The Effects of Dance Therapy in Depressed Adolescents."
Collective case studies are the fifth type. They include a collection of data about a specific case you will use to compare. E.g., "The Management Leadership at Work."
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Case Study Title Examples
When writing a case study analysis, titles usually point out that the text is a study. Thus, most of them contain "case study" in the header. Here are some case study analysis examples:
- Santander's Expansion in Canada: Case Study Analysis
- Case Study on the Effects of Art Therapy on Children with ADHD
- The National Health Service's Treatment of People with Learning Disabilities, Case Study Analysis
- Toxicological Case Study of The Mississippi River
- Reading Development in Remote Areas of Nigeria: A Case Study
- Case Study on the Growth of Veganism in Berlin
Writing a Case Study Draft
Creating a rough draft is the foremost step to take while writing such a paper. It is an essential step you must take, no matter how experienced you are. By doing it, you will be able to get more creative. In addition, you can explore options and decide on what to focus on more precisely, which will eventually result in a higher grade for your work.
So, sit down in a quiet place, bring an old-fashioned pen and paper, and start drafting ideas. Read them briefly while sipping on your tea and edit. After you have decided where your focus will lay, you have to develop these ideas and thoughts a bit more, then pick the best one.
How to Format a Case Study
Knowing how a case study analysis format should look is crucial. Therefore, you must know what the text structure should look like. The standard one contains about eight sections:
- Introduction/The Executive Summary: As the first part here, you have to hook the reader's attention, so the introduction of the case study is the most important part of the writing. Then present them with a brief overview of your case study analyses and their findings. Make sure to form a good thesis statement , as this is the pivotal point of your work.
- Literary Review/Background information: Similarly to other papers, in this part, you have to write your most important facts or findings while identifying the case issue.
- Method/Findings/Discussion: This section can be written separately based on how your text flows. Here you will have to explore more about the case and its findings. Allow yourself to go into more detail instead of just briefly covering them.
- Solutions/Recommendations/Implementation Part: You have to discuss the answers you came up with. Basically, you say why they are fit to solve the case and how you think they can be used in practice. Note that you must write only realistic and practical solutions for the problem. It's possible to write testable evidence that can support your recommendations.
- Conclusion: Here, you are supposed to cover your whole paper briefly and even repeat the thesis (rephrased). Make sure to highlight the critical points of your case study.
- References or Bibliography: This section must include the sources from which you collected data or whom you consulted. Usually, this part is on a separate page, and the listing should be according to your academic institution's requirements.
- Appendices (include only if applicable): It is usual for some parts of your materials to be too lengthy or unfit for the other sections of the case study. Therefore, you have to include them here. That can be pictures, raw data of statistics, graphs, notes, etc. The appendix section is strictly for subsidiary materials, do not put the most relevant ones here.
- Author Note: Remember that all educational institutions have their requirement for a case study format. The abovementioned is an example; thus, you may see a section or another is missing, or there are additional ones.
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How to Write a Case Study Outline
To write a case study outline, you have first to conduct research. The best way to do so is by accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar or by using old-fashioned books and published works. From there, you should understand how to structure and what key points to form your text. Then, construct your thesis statement around the idea you picked.
The outline for your case study paper is essential to your writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in order to present a comprehensive, well-structured paper. Furthermore, it allows your professor to evaluate your understanding of the subject, the correct formatting and structure, and to identify any potential issues with your paper. Having an outline serves as a guide for both you and your professor, making it easier to plan and write your paper . With the help of a well-crafted outline, your professor can navigate your paper more easily and spot any issues before they arise. Writing a case study paper can be daunting, but the outline helps make it easier.
A case study outline will most likely consist of the following sections and information:
- Case study title;
- Student’s name;
- Educational instructor's name;
- Course name.
- It briefly overviews your case study, thesis statement, and essential findings.
Main Body Paragraphs - usually three to five
- Literature Review/Background Information;
- Repeat a paraphrased version of your thesis;
- Summarize your case study key points;
- Finish with a statement that can recommend the audience to read further by giving them thoughts to contemplate and develop new ideas.
Reference List or Bibliography
- List all the sources of evidence used to create your case study in your educational organization's required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.).
How to Write a Case Study
The way to write a case study is by strictly following the main idea of your thesis. You already know that a study's main body consists of an introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion sections. Thus, all that is left is to focus on these parts and understand how to make them perfect.
- The Introduction/Summary: The introduction of a case study should start with a solid first sentence that will hook the reader. Afterward, you must explain the question you will be answering and why you are doing it. You should include some of the topic's relevant history and details here. Also, you should explain how your case study will enrich the available information. Also, briefly summarize your literature review, which your findings will use as a base. Try to finish positively and make the reader see the benefits of reading your work.
- Background Information/Literature Review: Structure and present the data from your academic sources . This section will show the reader how vital your work is and the basis for it.
- Method/Findings: This part aims to explain the case you selected, how it connects to the issue, and why you chose them. You can also add what methods you use. Here you must note that the data collection methods are qualitative, not quantitative, for case studies. That means the data is not random but well-structured and chronically taken from interviews, focus groups, and other sources.
- Discussion/Solutions: Restate your thesis but rephrase it, then draw your conclusions from what you have discovered via your research and link to your statement. Inform the audience of your main findings and define why the results are relevant to the field. Think about the following questions:
Were the results unexpected? Why/Why not?
How do your findings compare to previous similar case studies in your literature review?
Do your findings correlate to previous results, or do they contradict them?
Are your findings helpful in deepening the current understanding of the topic?
Next, explore possible alternative explanations or interpretations of your findings. Be subjective and explain your paper's limitations. End with some suggestions for further exploration based on the limits of your work.
- Conclusion: Inform the reader precisely why your case study and findings are relevant, and restate your thesis and main results. Give a summary of previous studies you reviewed and how you contributed to expanding current knowledge. The final should explain how your work can be helpful and implemented in future research.
Your instructor should have an excellent example they can show you, so feel free to ask. They will surely want to help you learn how to write a case study!
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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study
A case study in APA format for students can differ from one institution to another. So, knowing your college or school requirements is crucial before you start writing. Nonetheless, the general one should look like this:
- Title - A header no longer than nine words has "Case Study" and reflects the content and the idea behind it yet is engaging to read;
- Write your full name;
- The name of your course/class;
- Next is your professor or instructor name;
- The university/school name;
- The date of submission.
When citing in your paper, you must ensure it is done accurately and in your academic style. If you are unsure how to do it, research the requirements and google "How to do a case study analysis in Harvard", for example. Note that short citations can be in your text, but longer ones should be in the bibliography section.
Hruby, A. (2018). Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689. www.sciepub.com. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/254744
Case studies strive to analyze an event, location, case, or person. They can be similar to research papers, so you must pay close attention to the structure and what your professor has requested from you.
Finally, the process of writing can be overwhelming due to the many sections. However, if you take the process step by step and do your preparations properly, you will have an easy time writing the paper. You can also look for assistance online - many services offer to order case study online help . With the right kind of assistance, you can be sure that your paper is of high quality and is due on time!
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I am Dr. Paulus, an experienced academic writer. I am efficient, hardworking, and very flexible. As a student, I majored in History and Management but will be more than happy to work on any other subject. I write everything from scratch and do a unique research for every project.
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