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What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 20, 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.

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

Research bias

  • Rosenthal effect
  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Selection bias
  • Negativity bias
  • Status quo bias

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

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  • Group Presentations
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
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  • Leading a Class Discussion
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Works
  • Writing a Case Analysis Paper
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
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  • Acknowledgments

A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, condition, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate  key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study research paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or more subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.

Case Studies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper

General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in the Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a case study design.

However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:

  • The case represents an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
  • The case provides important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
  • The case challenges and offers a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in current practice. A case study analysis may offer an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
  • The case provides an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings so as to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
  • The case offers a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for an exploratory investigation that highlights the need for further research about the problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of east central Africa. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a rural village of Uganda can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community. This example of a case study could also point to the need for scholars to build new theoretical frameworks around the topic [e.g., applying feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation].

Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.

Structure and Writing Style

The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work.

In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.

I.  Introduction

As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:

  • What is being studied? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis [the case] you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
  • Why is this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.

Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.

II.  Literature Review

The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and  enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:

  • Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would involve summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
  • Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to investigate the research problem and the underlying research questions.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your use of a case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
  • Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in relation to explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.

III.  Method

In this section, you explain why you selected a particular case [i.e., subject of analysis] and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that constitutes your case study.

If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; and, c) what were the consequences of the event in relation to the research problem.

If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experiences they have had that provide an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of their experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using them as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem [e.g., why is one politician in a particular local election used to show an increase in voter turnout from any other candidate running in the election]. Note that these issues apply to a specific group of people used as a case study unit of analysis [e.g., a classroom of students].

If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, historical, cultural, economic, political], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, explain why you are studying Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research suggests Echo Park has more homeless veterans].

If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut off? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.

NOTE:   The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should clearly support investigation of the research problem and linked to key findings from your literature review. Be sure to cite any studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for examining the problem.

IV.  Discussion

The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your analysis of the case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is common to combine a description of the results with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:

Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.

Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.

Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings Remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations revealed by the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research if that is how the findings can be interpreted from your case.

Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .

Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.

V.  Conclusion

As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and any need for further research.

The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1) reiterate the main argument supported by the findings from your case study; 2) state clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.

Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in or the preferences of your professor, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented as it applies to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.

Problems to Avoid

Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were engaged with social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.

Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, 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. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood more in terms of managing access rather than preserving access to a scarce resource.

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. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis that leave the reader questioning the results.

Case Studies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009;  Kratochwill,  Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education .  Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.

Writing Tip

At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research

Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:

Misunderstanding 1 :  General, theoretical [context-independent] knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical [context-dependent] knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 :  One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 :  The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 :  The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 :  It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].

While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.

Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.

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Center for Teaching

Case studies.

Print Version

Case studies are stories that are used as a teaching tool to show the application of a theory or concept to real situations. Dependent on the goal they are meant to fulfill, cases can be fact-driven and deductive where there is a correct answer, or they can be context driven where multiple solutions are possible. Various disciplines have employed case studies, including humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, law, business, and medicine. Good cases generally have the following features: they tell a good story, are recent, include dialogue, create empathy with the main characters, are relevant to the reader, serve a teaching function, require a dilemma to be solved, and have generality.

Instructors can create their own cases or can find cases that already exist. The following are some things to keep in mind when creating a case:

  • What do you want students to learn from the discussion of the case?
  • What do they already know that applies to the case?
  • What are the issues that may be raised in discussion?
  • How will the case and discussion be introduced?
  • What preparation is expected of students? (Do they need to read the case ahead of time? Do research? Write anything?)
  • What directions do you need to provide students regarding what they are supposed to do and accomplish?
  • Do you need to divide students into groups or will they discuss as the whole class?
  • Are you going to use role-playing or facilitators or record keepers? If so, how?
  • What are the opening questions?
  • How much time is needed for students to discuss the case?
  • What concepts are to be applied/extracted during the discussion?
  • How will you evaluate students?

To find other cases that already exist, try the following websites:

  • The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science , University of Buffalo. SUNY-Buffalo maintains this set of links to other case studies on the web in disciplines ranging from engineering and ethics to sociology and business
  • A Journal of Teaching Cases in Public Administration and Public Policy , University of Washington

For more information:

  • World Association for Case Method Research and Application

Book Review :  Teaching and the Case Method , 3rd ed., vols. 1 and 2, by Louis Barnes, C. Roland (Chris) Christensen, and Abby Hansen. Harvard Business School Press, 1994; 333 pp. (vol 1), 412 pp. (vol 2).

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Home » Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide

Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide

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Case Study Research

A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination and analysis of a particular phenomenon or case, such as an individual, organization, community, event, or situation.

It is a qualitative research approach that aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the case being studied. Case studies typically involve multiple sources of data, including interviews, observations, documents, and artifacts, which are analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, and grounded theory. The findings of a case study are often used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.

Types of Case Study

Types and Methods of Case Study are as follows:

Single-Case Study

A single-case study is an in-depth analysis of a single case. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand a specific phenomenon in detail.

For Example , A researcher might conduct a single-case study on a particular individual to understand their experiences with a particular health condition or a specific organization to explore their management practices. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a single-case study are often used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.

Multiple-Case Study

A multiple-case study involves the analysis of several cases that are similar in nature. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to identify similarities and differences between the cases.

For Example, a researcher might conduct a multiple-case study on several companies to explore the factors that contribute to their success or failure. The researcher collects data from each case, compares and contrasts the findings, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as comparative analysis or pattern-matching. The findings of a multiple-case study can be used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.

Exploratory Case Study

An exploratory case study is used to explore a new or understudied phenomenon. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to generate hypotheses or theories about the phenomenon.

For Example, a researcher might conduct an exploratory case study on a new technology to understand its potential impact on society. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as grounded theory or content analysis. The findings of an exploratory case study can be used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.

Descriptive Case Study

A descriptive case study is used to describe a particular phenomenon in detail. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to provide a comprehensive account of the phenomenon.

For Example, a researcher might conduct a descriptive case study on a particular community to understand its social and economic characteristics. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a descriptive case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.

Instrumental Case Study

An instrumental case study is used to understand a particular phenomenon that is instrumental in achieving a particular goal. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand the role of the phenomenon in achieving the goal.

For Example, a researcher might conduct an instrumental case study on a particular policy to understand its impact on achieving a particular goal, such as reducing poverty. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of an instrumental case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.

Case Study Data Collection Methods

Here are some common data collection methods for case studies:

Interviews involve asking questions to individuals who have knowledge or experience relevant to the case study. Interviews can be structured (where the same questions are asked to all participants) or unstructured (where the interviewer follows up on the responses with further questions). Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing.

Observations

Observations involve watching and recording the behavior and activities of individuals or groups relevant to the case study. Observations can be participant (where the researcher actively participates in the activities) or non-participant (where the researcher observes from a distance). Observations can be recorded using notes, audio or video recordings, or photographs.

Documents can be used as a source of information for case studies. Documents can include reports, memos, emails, letters, and other written materials related to the case study. Documents can be collected from the case study participants or from public sources.

Surveys involve asking a set of questions to a sample of individuals relevant to the case study. Surveys can be administered in person, over the phone, through mail or email, or online. Surveys can be used to gather information on attitudes, opinions, or behaviors related to the case study.

Artifacts are physical objects relevant to the case study. Artifacts can include tools, equipment, products, or other objects that provide insights into the case study phenomenon.

How to conduct Case Study Research

Conducting a case study research involves several steps that need to be followed to ensure the quality and rigor of the study. Here are the steps to conduct case study research:

  • Define the research questions: The first step in conducting a case study research is to define the research questions. The research questions should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the case study phenomenon under investigation.
  • Select the case: The next step is to select the case or cases to be studied. The case should be relevant to the research questions and should provide rich and diverse data that can be used to answer the research questions.
  • Collect data: Data can be collected using various methods, such as interviews, observations, documents, surveys, and artifacts. The data collection method should be selected based on the research questions and the nature of the case study phenomenon.
  • Analyze the data: The data collected from the case study should be analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, or grounded theory. The analysis should be guided by the research questions and should aim to provide insights and conclusions relevant to the research questions.
  • Draw conclusions: The conclusions drawn from the case study should be based on the data analysis and should be relevant to the research questions. The conclusions should be supported by evidence and should be clearly stated.
  • Validate the findings: The findings of the case study should be validated by reviewing the data and the analysis with participants or other experts in the field. This helps to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings.
  • Write the report: The final step is to write the report of the case study research. The report should provide a clear description of the case study phenomenon, the research questions, the data collection methods, the data analysis, the findings, and the conclusions. The report should be written in a clear and concise manner and should follow the guidelines for academic writing.

Examples of Case Study

Here are some examples of case study research:

  • The Hawthorne Studies : Conducted between 1924 and 1932, the Hawthorne Studies were a series of case studies conducted by Elton Mayo and his colleagues to examine the impact of work environment on employee productivity. The studies were conducted at the Hawthorne Works plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago and included interviews, observations, and experiments.
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment was a case study conducted by Philip Zimbardo to examine the psychological effects of power and authority. The study involved simulating a prison environment and assigning participants to the role of guards or prisoners. The study was controversial due to the ethical issues it raised.
  • The Challenger Disaster: The Challenger Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. The study included interviews, observations, and analysis of data to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.
  • The Enron Scandal: The Enron Scandal was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Enron Corporation’s bankruptcy in 2001. The study included interviews, analysis of financial data, and review of documents to identify the accounting practices, corporate culture, and ethical issues that led to the company’s downfall.
  • The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster : The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011. The study included interviews, analysis of data, and review of documents to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.

Application of Case Study

Case studies have a wide range of applications across various fields and industries. Here are some examples:

Business and Management

Case studies are widely used in business and management to examine real-life situations and develop problem-solving skills. Case studies can help students and professionals to develop a deep understanding of business concepts, theories, and best practices.

Case studies are used in healthcare to examine patient care, treatment options, and outcomes. Case studies can help healthcare professionals to develop critical thinking skills, diagnose complex medical conditions, and develop effective treatment plans.

Case studies are used in education to examine teaching and learning practices. Case studies can help educators to develop effective teaching strategies, evaluate student progress, and identify areas for improvement.

Social Sciences

Case studies are widely used in social sciences to examine human behavior, social phenomena, and cultural practices. Case studies can help researchers to develop theories, test hypotheses, and gain insights into complex social issues.

Law and Ethics

Case studies are used in law and ethics to examine legal and ethical dilemmas. Case studies can help lawyers, policymakers, and ethical professionals to develop critical thinking skills, analyze complex cases, and make informed decisions.

Purpose of Case Study

The purpose of a case study is to provide a detailed analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. A case study is a qualitative research method that involves the in-depth exploration and analysis of a particular case, which can be an individual, group, organization, event, or community.

The primary purpose of a case study is to generate a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the case, including its history, context, and dynamics. Case studies can help researchers to identify and examine the underlying factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and detailed understanding of the case, which can inform future research, practice, or policy.

Case studies can also serve other purposes, including:

  • Illustrating a theory or concept: Case studies can be used to illustrate and explain theoretical concepts and frameworks, providing concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
  • Developing hypotheses: Case studies can help to generate hypotheses about the causal relationships between different factors and outcomes, which can be tested through further research.
  • Providing insight into complex issues: Case studies can provide insights into complex and multifaceted issues, which may be difficult to understand through other research methods.
  • Informing practice or policy: Case studies can be used to inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.

Advantages of Case Study Research

There are several advantages of case study research, including:

  • In-depth exploration: Case study research allows for a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. This can provide a comprehensive understanding of the case and its dynamics, which may not be possible through other research methods.
  • Rich data: Case study research can generate rich and detailed data, including qualitative data such as interviews, observations, and documents. This can provide a nuanced understanding of the case and its complexity.
  • Holistic perspective: Case study research allows for a holistic perspective of the case, taking into account the various factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the case.
  • Theory development: Case study research can help to develop and refine theories and concepts by providing empirical evidence and concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
  • Practical application: Case study research can inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.
  • Contextualization: Case study research takes into account the specific context in which the case is situated, which can help to understand how the case is influenced by the social, cultural, and historical factors of its environment.

Limitations of Case Study Research

There are several limitations of case study research, including:

  • Limited generalizability : Case studies are typically focused on a single case or a small number of cases, which limits the generalizability of the findings. The unique characteristics of the case may not be applicable to other contexts or populations, which may limit the external validity of the research.
  • Biased sampling: Case studies may rely on purposive or convenience sampling, which can introduce bias into the sample selection process. This may limit the representativeness of the sample and the generalizability of the findings.
  • Subjectivity: Case studies rely on the interpretation of the researcher, which can introduce subjectivity into the analysis. The researcher’s own biases, assumptions, and perspectives may influence the findings, which may limit the objectivity of the research.
  • Limited control: Case studies are typically conducted in naturalistic settings, which limits the control that the researcher has over the environment and the variables being studied. This may limit the ability to establish causal relationships between variables.
  • Time-consuming: Case studies can be time-consuming to conduct, as they typically involve a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific case. This may limit the feasibility of conducting multiple case studies or conducting case studies in a timely manner.
  • Resource-intensive: Case studies may require significant resources, including time, funding, and expertise. This may limit the ability of researchers to conduct case studies in resource-constrained settings.

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What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

  • Nitin Nohria

what is a university case study

Seven meta-skills that stick even if the cases fade from memory.

It’s been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study method excels in instilling meta-skills in students. This article explains the importance of seven such skills: preparation, discernment, bias recognition, judgement, collaboration, curiosity, and self-confidence.

During my decade as dean of Harvard Business School, I spent hundreds of hours talking with our alumni. To enliven these conversations, I relied on a favorite question: “What was the most important thing you learned from your time in our MBA program?”

  • Nitin Nohria is the George F. Baker Jr. Professor at Harvard Business School and the former dean of HBS.

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Other assessments: Case studies

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On this page:

“For knowledge you will use in the real world - in business, for example, or in engineering or medicine - the "what" [to think] isn't sufficient. You must know how to apply the knowledge to the real world.” William Ellet, The Case Study Handbook

Case study assignments are common in some disciplines. Their main purpose is to show that you can relate theory to real-life situations. You also need to be able to recommend practical solutions to real-life problems.

This page is dedicated to writing case studies for undergraduate assignments, it does not tackle case studies as a research method/approach.

What is a case study?

A case study is an assignment where you analyse a specific case (organisation, group, person, event, issue) and explain how the elements and complexities of that case relate to theory . You will sometimes have to come up with solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.

You may be asked to write a case study as an essay, as part of a longer assignment or as a report.

Examples of cases

icon of building

An organisation.  For example a company, a business, a school, a sports club, a health body.

icon of group

A group. For example a class of pupils, an individual team within an organisation, a project group, a sports club.

icon of one person

An individual.  For example a patient, a client, a specific student/pupil, a manager/leader.

icon of calendar

An event.  For example a sporting occasion, a cultural event, a news story, an historical event.

icon of exclamation mark in triangle

An issue.  For example a dilemma, problem, critical event, change of practice.

Analysing a case

What are you being asked to do.

It is important be sure about the purpose of analysing the case before you begin. Refer back to your assignment brief and make sure you are clear about this. It could be:

  • To answer a specific question using examples from the case to support your argument
  • To explore what happened and why (no recommendations needed)
  • To make recommendations or identify solutions
  • To write a plan that takes the issues into consideration

Examining the case

In order to be thoroughly familiar with the case you are going to need to read through* the case several times during the analysis process. Start by simply reading it without asking too many questions in your mind. Get a feel for it as a whole. After that, you will need to read through it several times to identify the following:

  • What are the facts? List information you are sure about.
  • What happened/is happening? List definite actions that occurred/are occurring.
  • Who was/is involved? List people by job role and what their involvement was/is.

You will now need to read additional material to help you analyse. In business, for example, you will perhaps want to read the financial statements for the company you are investigating; in nursing, the background of the treatment for the disorder from which “your” patient is suffering.

* Sometimes cases are presented to you as videos to watch. In which case you are going to have to watch it many times!

Theoretical approaches

You may have to ask yourself which theoretical approaches that you have covered in your course are relevant to the particular case you have before you. In some instances this may be obvious but in others it may be less so. A theoretical approach is useful as it can give you  specific questions to answer ; specific things to look for. For example, in business, this may take the form of a SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) or you may look at the Porter's Five Forces model. There are similar models in other disciplines which you may have been introduced to already - or the brief may tell you which to use.

No obvious theoretical approach?

If you have not been provided with a theoretical approach don't worry. You can still ask questions. For example: 

icon of full picture

What is this case study about in general? What is the big picture - the main issue that this case study is an example of?

icons of jigsaw pieces

What specific issues are associated with it? What makes this case interesting?

icon of thought

What do I already know about these issues?

icon of link

How do they link with the theories we have studied? (See below.)

icon showing alternative paths

What alternative approaches to dealing with the issues would be appropriate?

icon showing drop and ripplies

If an alternative approach were used, what impact might it have?

Linking to theory

The most crucial element about a case study is your ability to link the real world example to theory. This gives you more insight into both because

  • The real life example will mean you can see how theory works in practice .
  • Theory can help you see why things happened as they did and help you come up with alternative approaches and find solutions/make recommendations.

Real life is complex and messy. Do not expect it to nicely fit into theories which are by their very nature best guesses (albeit well researched) and generalisations. However, you will have been given the case specifically because it does relate to some theories you have learned or need to be aware of.

So you need to:

  • Look back through your lecture notes and reading lists to see if anything seems to fit with the case.
  • Search for research that relates to the issues you identified during your analysis. Note these will not necessarily be labelled as 'theories'. Claims made in research papers can all be described as theories. 

Now consider some or all of the questions below:

  • Do the facts and issues raised in the case support any theories?
  • Do the fact and issues raised in the case invalidate or undermine any theories?
  • Can any of the theories explain why issues arose?
  • Can any of the theories back up the actions taken?
  • Can any of the theories suggest alternative courses of action?
  • Do you think any of these alternatives would work best in your case? Why?

Armed with the answers to many of these questions, you are ready to start writing up your case study.

Writing up your case study

The most common ways to write up a case study are as essays or reports . The main differences between the two will be how you structure your work.

Structuring a case study essay

Case study essays usually have to answer a specific question using examples from your case study. They are written in continuous prose (a series of paragraphs with no subheadings). They should be structured much like any other essay with an introduction, main body and conclusion. 

Introduction

This needs to have three things:

  • An introduction to your case (you don't need to rewrite it, just summarise it giving the important parts for your essay).
  • A position statement (your answer to the overall question).
  • An indication of how the rest of the essay is structured.

These do not have to be in that particular order but they do all need to be included.

Generally you will organise this thematically . Each paragraph needs to make a point and then use information from your case to illustrate and back up that point . You will also bring in theory (other reading) to strengthen your argument. It is acceptable to start with the example from your case and then show how this links to theory and the conclusion this leads you to; however, it is best if you first let your reader know the point you are making, as then they are not having to second guess this until the end of the paragraph. 

Each point in your main body should be leading back to the position statement you made in the introduction.

What are the main lessons you learned from the case study? How well did the theory fit with the real world example? Have you been asked to provide solutions or recommendations? If so, give them here.

Reference list

Include all the sources you have cited in your essay.

Structuring a case study report

These can vary between disciplines so check your assignment guidance. A typical case study would include:

Table of contents

See our MS Word pages  or our MS Office Software SkillsGuide for instructions on how to create these automatically.

Executive summary - optional, check if required

Give an overview of your whole report including main approaches, findings and recommendations. This is a bit like the abstract of a journal article.

  • Context (Background)
  • Purpose - what is the case study trying to achieve? 
  • Approach - are you using any particular theoretical tools or research approaches?

Discussion/Analysis

  • Identification of issues and problems
  • Links to theories that help you explain the case
  • Explanation of causes or implications of the issues identified
  • Possible solutions (if required, check your instructions)

These depends on what you were asked to do but could include:

  • Main lessons learned
  • Best solutions and reasons why
  • Recommendations (may have their own section)
  • Action plan (may have its own section)
  • Include all the sources you have cited in the report.

Appendices if required

Recommended books and ebooks from our collection, related books and ebooks from our collection.

Cover Art

Recommended external resources

  • Writing a case study From Monash University
  • Writing a case study analysis From The University of Arizona
  • Case studies From the University of South Australia - includes useful sample case studies
  • Writing a case study PDF to download from the University of Bedfordshire
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What Is a Case Study?

Weighing the pros and cons of this method of research

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

what is a university case study

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

what is a university case study

Verywell / Colleen Tighe

  • Pros and Cons

What Types of Case Studies Are Out There?

Where do you find data for a case study, how do i write a psychology case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in many different fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The point of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, we got you—here are some rules of APA format to reference.  

At a Glance

A case study, or an in-depth study of a person, group, or event, can be a useful research tool when used wisely. In many cases, case studies are best used in situations where it would be difficult or impossible for you to conduct an experiment. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a lot of˜ information about a specific individual or group of people. However, it's important to be cautious of any bias we draw from them as they are highly subjective.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Case Studies?

A case study can have its strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult or impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

  • Allows researchers to capture information on the 'how,' 'what,' and 'why,' of something that's implemented
  • Gives researchers the chance to collect information on why one strategy might be chosen over another
  • Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research

On the other hand, a case study can have some drawbacks:

  • It cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
  • Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
  • It may not be scientifically rigorous
  • It can lead to bias

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they want to explore a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. Through their insights, researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

It's important to remember that the insights from case studies cannot be used to determine cause-and-effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

  • Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
  • Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
  • Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language learning was possible, even after missing critical periods for language development. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse denied her the opportunity to learn a language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might use:

  • Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those who live there.
  • Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
  • Explanatory case studies : These   are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
  • Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
  • Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
  • Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic case study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers use depends on the unique characteristics of the situation and the case itself.

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

  • Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
  • Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
  • Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
  • Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
  • Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
  • Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines you need to follow. If you are writing your case study for a professional publication, check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Here is a general outline of what should be included in a case study.

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

  • Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
  • Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
  • Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
  • Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Need More Tips?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

  • Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, use their name or a pseudonym.
  • Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
  • Remember to use APA format when citing references .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach .  BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011;11:100.

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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  • Case Study | Definition, Examples & Methods

Case Study | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on 5 May 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 30 January 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organisation, 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 analyse the case.

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

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.

If you find yourself aiming to simultaneously investigate and solve an issue, consider conducting action research . As its name suggests, action research conducts research and takes action at the same time, and is highly iterative and flexible. 

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience, or phenomenon.

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 .

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

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 analyse 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.

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McCombes, S. (2023, January 30). Case Study | Definition, Examples & Methods. Scribbr. Retrieved 15 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/research-methods/case-studies/

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What is a case study?

A case study is a type of research method. In case studies, the unit of analysis is a case . The case typically provides a detailed account of a situation that usually focuses on a conflict or complexity that one might encounter in the workplace.

  • Case studies help explain the process by which a unit (a person, department, business, organization, industry, country, etc.) deals with the issue or problem confronting it, and offers possible solutions that can be applied to other units facing similar situations.
  • The information presented in case studies is usually qualitative in nature - gathered through methods such as interview, observation, and document collection.
  • There are different types of case study, including  intrinsic, instrumental, naturalistic,  and  pragmatic.

This research guide will assist you in finding individual case studies, as well as providing information on designing case studies. If you need assistance locating information, please Ask a Librarian .

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What is the Case Study Method?

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Overview Dropdown up

Overview dropdown down, celebrating 100 years of the case method at hbs.

The 2021-2022 academic year marks the 100-year anniversary of the introduction of the case method at Harvard Business School. Today, the HBS case method is employed in the HBS MBA program, in Executive Education programs, and in dozens of other business schools around the world. As Dean Srikant Datar's says, the case method has withstood the test of time.

Case Discussion Preparation Details Expand All Collapse All

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what is a university case study

How Cases Unfold In the Classroom

How cases unfold in the classroom dropdown up, how cases unfold in the classroom dropdown down, preparation guidelines expand all collapse all, read the professor's assignment or discussion questions read the professor's assignment or discussion questions dropdown down, read the first few paragraphs and then skim the case read the first few paragraphs and then skim the case dropdown down, reread the case, underline text, and make margin notes reread the case, underline text, and make margin notes dropdown down, note the key problems on a pad of paper and go through the case again note the key problems on a pad of paper and go through the case again dropdown down, how to prepare for case discussions dropdown up, how to prepare for case discussions dropdown down, read the professor's assignment or discussion questions, read the first few paragraphs and then skim the case, reread the case, underline text, and make margin notes, note the key problems on a pad of paper and go through the case again, case study best practices expand all collapse all, prepare prepare dropdown down, discuss discuss dropdown down, participate participate dropdown down, relate relate dropdown down, apply apply dropdown down, note note dropdown down, understand understand dropdown down, case study best practices dropdown up, case study best practices dropdown down, participate, what can i expect on the first day dropdown down.

Most programs begin with registration, followed by an opening session and a dinner. If your travel plans necessitate late arrival, please be sure to notify us so that alternate registration arrangements can be made for you. Please note the following about registration:

HBS campus programs – Registration takes place in the Chao Center.

India programs – Registration takes place outside the classroom.

Other off-campus programs – Registration takes place in the designated facility.

What happens in class if nobody talks? Dropdown down

Professors are here to push everyone to learn, but not to embarrass anyone. If the class is quiet, they'll often ask a participant with experience in the industry in which the case is set to speak first. This is done well in advance so that person can come to class prepared to share. Trust the process. The more open you are, the more willing you’ll be to engage, and the more alive the classroom will become.

Does everyone take part in "role-playing"? Dropdown down

Professors often encourage participants to take opposing sides and then debate the issues, often taking the perspective of the case protagonists or key decision makers in the case.

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5 Benefits of Learning Through the Case Study Method

Harvard Business School MBA students learning through the case study method

  • 28 Nov 2023

While several factors make HBS Online unique —including a global Community and real-world outcomes —active learning through the case study method rises to the top.

In a 2023 City Square Associates survey, 74 percent of HBS Online learners who also took a course from another provider said HBS Online’s case method and real-world examples were better by comparison.

Here’s a primer on the case method, five benefits you could gain, and how to experience it for yourself.

Access your free e-book today.

What Is the Harvard Business School Case Study Method?

The case study method , or case method , is a learning technique in which you’re presented with a real-world business challenge and asked how you’d solve it. After working through it yourself and with peers, you’re told how the scenario played out.

HBS pioneered the case method in 1922. Shortly before, in 1921, the first case was written.

“How do you go into an ambiguous situation and get to the bottom of it?” says HBS Professor Jan Rivkin, former senior associate dean and chair of HBS's master of business administration (MBA) program, in a video about the case method . “That skill—the skill of figuring out a course of inquiry to choose a course of action—that skill is as relevant today as it was in 1921.”

Originally developed for the in-person MBA classroom, HBS Online adapted the case method into an engaging, interactive online learning experience in 2014.

In HBS Online courses , you learn about each case from the business professional who experienced it. After reviewing their videos, you’re prompted to take their perspective and explain how you’d handle their situation.

You then get to read peers’ responses, “star” them, and comment to further the discussion. Afterward, you learn how the professional handled it and their key takeaways.

HBS Online’s adaptation of the case method incorporates the famed HBS “cold call,” in which you’re called on at random to make a decision without time to prepare.

“Learning came to life!” said Sheneka Balogun , chief administration officer and chief of staff at LeMoyne-Owen College, of her experience taking the Credential of Readiness (CORe) program . “The videos from the professors, the interactive cold calls where you were randomly selected to participate, and the case studies that enhanced and often captured the essence of objectives and learning goals were all embedded in each module. This made learning fun, engaging, and student-friendly.”

If you’re considering taking a course that leverages the case study method, here are five benefits you could experience.

5 Benefits of Learning Through Case Studies

1. take new perspectives.

The case method prompts you to consider a scenario from another person’s perspective. To work through the situation and come up with a solution, you must consider their circumstances, limitations, risk tolerance, stakeholders, resources, and potential consequences to assess how to respond.

Taking on new perspectives not only can help you navigate your own challenges but also others’. Putting yourself in someone else’s situation to understand their motivations and needs can go a long way when collaborating with stakeholders.

2. Hone Your Decision-Making Skills

Another skill you can build is the ability to make decisions effectively . The case study method forces you to use limited information to decide how to handle a problem—just like in the real world.

Throughout your career, you’ll need to make difficult decisions with incomplete or imperfect information—and sometimes, you won’t feel qualified to do so. Learning through the case method allows you to practice this skill in a low-stakes environment. When facing a real challenge, you’ll be better prepared to think quickly, collaborate with others, and present and defend your solution.

3. Become More Open-Minded

As you collaborate with peers on responses, it becomes clear that not everyone solves problems the same way. Exposing yourself to various approaches and perspectives can help you become a more open-minded professional.

When you’re part of a diverse group of learners from around the world, your experiences, cultures, and backgrounds contribute to a range of opinions on each case.

On the HBS Online course platform, you’re prompted to view and comment on others’ responses, and discussion is encouraged. This practice of considering others’ perspectives can make you more receptive in your career.

“You’d be surprised at how much you can learn from your peers,” said Ratnaditya Jonnalagadda , a software engineer who took CORe.

In addition to interacting with peers in the course platform, Jonnalagadda was part of the HBS Online Community , where he networked with other professionals and continued discussions sparked by course content.

“You get to understand your peers better, and students share examples of businesses implementing a concept from a module you just learned,” Jonnalagadda said. “It’s a very good way to cement the concepts in one's mind.”

4. Enhance Your Curiosity

One byproduct of taking on different perspectives is that it enables you to picture yourself in various roles, industries, and business functions.

“Each case offers an opportunity for students to see what resonates with them, what excites them, what bores them, which role they could imagine inhabiting in their careers,” says former HBS Dean Nitin Nohria in the Harvard Business Review . “Cases stimulate curiosity about the range of opportunities in the world and the many ways that students can make a difference as leaders.”

Through the case method, you can “try on” roles you may not have considered and feel more prepared to change or advance your career .

5. Build Your Self-Confidence

Finally, learning through the case study method can build your confidence. Each time you assume a business leader’s perspective, aim to solve a new challenge, and express and defend your opinions and decisions to peers, you prepare to do the same in your career.

According to a 2022 City Square Associates survey , 84 percent of HBS Online learners report feeling more confident making business decisions after taking a course.

“Self-confidence is difficult to teach or coach, but the case study method seems to instill it in people,” Nohria says in the Harvard Business Review . “There may well be other ways of learning these meta-skills, such as the repeated experience gained through practice or guidance from a gifted coach. However, under the direction of a masterful teacher, the case method can engage students and help them develop powerful meta-skills like no other form of teaching.”

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How to Experience the Case Study Method

If the case method seems like a good fit for your learning style, experience it for yourself by taking an HBS Online course. Offerings span seven subject areas, including:

  • Business essentials
  • Leadership and management
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Finance and accounting
  • Business in society

No matter which course or credential program you choose, you’ll examine case studies from real business professionals, work through their challenges alongside peers, and gain valuable insights to apply to your career.

Are you interested in discovering how HBS Online can help advance your career? Explore our course catalog and download our free guide —complete with interactive workbook sections—to determine if online learning is right for you and which course to take.

what is a university case study

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What Is A Case Study In University

Have you ever wondered what exactly a case study is when you hear it mentioned in a university setting? Well, you’re not alone! In this article, we will demystify the concept of a case study and explore its significance in the academic world. So, get ready to uncover the ins and outs of this intriguing method used in universities to gain a better understanding of real-life situations and enhance critical thinking skills. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover what makes a case study in university so unique and valuable.

Table of Contents

Definition of a Case Study

A case study is a research method commonly used in universities to analyze a particular subject or phenomenon in depth. It involves an in-depth examination and investigation of a specific case or scenario, often focusing on real-life situations. Case studies are designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and dynamics within a particular context. They can help students apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations and enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Types of Case Studies

There are different types of case studies employed in university settings, each serving a specific purpose and requiring a unique approach.

Historical Case Studies: These case studies focus on examining past events, actions, or decisions to understand their impact on the present or future. Historical case studies often involve extensive research, analysis, and interpretation of primary and secondary sources to provide insights into the development and consequences of a particular event.

Descriptive Case Studies: Descriptive case studies aim to provide a detailed description and analysis of a particular individual, group, organization, or situation. They focus on outlining the characteristics, behaviors, and attributes of the subject of study. Descriptive case studies are often used to gather information and create a comprehensive profile of the subject.

Exploratory Case Studies: Exploratory case studies are conducted when there is limited existing literature or knowledge on a specific topic. They are exploratory in nature, aiming to gather preliminary data and insights to guide future research. Exploratory case studies involve a flexible and open-ended approach, allowing for the discovery of new perspectives and ideas.

Key Components of Case Studies

Case studies typically consist of several key components that contribute to their comprehensive analysis and presentation. These components include:

Introduction: The introduction provides an overview of the case study, including its purpose, significance, and scope. It sets the stage for the subsequent sections of the study.

Background Information: This section includes relevant background information about the subject of the case study, such as its history, context, and relevant theoretical frameworks or concepts.

Methodology: The methodology outlines the specific approach used to conduct the case study, including data collection methods, data analysis techniques, and any ethical considerations.

Findings: The findings section presents the main observations, results, and analysis derived from the study. It includes the analysis of collected data and connects them to the objectives and research questions of the case study.

Discussion: In the discussion section, the findings are interpreted and analyzed in the context of existing literature and theories. This section allows for deeper insights and reflections on the implications and significance of the case study.

Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes the main findings, highlights the key takeaways from the study, and offers recommendations, if applicable. It reinforces the purpose of the case study and its contribution to the field of study.

Purpose of Case Studies

Case studies serve multiple purposes in university learning, offering numerous benefits to both students and educators. Some of the key purposes of case studies include:

Enhanced Critical Thinking: Case studies promote critical thinking by challenging students to analyze, evaluate, and interpret complex real-world situations. They encourage students to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios and consider alternative perspectives.

Developing Problem-Solving Skills: By engaging in case studies, students develop their problem-solving skills through the examination of real-life problems, identifying relevant facts, considering multiple solutions, and evaluating their effectiveness.

Practical Application of Theory: Case studies provide a platform for students to apply theoretical concepts and frameworks to real-world situations. It allows them to see how theories and models can be adapted and utilized in practical contexts, enhancing their understanding and applicability.

Importance of Case Studies in University Learning

Case studies play a crucial role in university learning, offering a range of benefits to students across various disciplines. Here are some key reasons why case studies are important in university education:

Enhanced Critical Thinking

Case studies are designed to stimulate critical thinking skills by presenting complex and multifaceted scenarios. Through the analysis and interpretation of real-life situations, students are encouraged to think critically, evaluate evidence, identify patterns, and make informed judgments. This process fosters a deeper understanding of the subjects studied and develops students’ ability to think critically and analytically.

Developing Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is a fundamental skill across disciplines, and case studies provide an excellent opportunity for students to develop and refine these skills. By engaging in case studies, students are exposed to real-world problems, allowing them to practice problem identification, gather relevant information, analyze and evaluate potential solutions, and make informed decisions. This process equips students with valuable problem-solving skills that can be applied in various professional settings.

Practical Application of Theory

Theoretical knowledge becomes more meaningful and relevant when it is applied to practical contexts, and case studies provide precisely this opportunity. By applying theoretical concepts and frameworks to real-life situations, students can see the practical implications and applications of their learning. This practical application enhances their understanding of theories and models and helps bridge the gap between academia and the real world.

Types of Case Studies in University

Universities employ various types of case studies to cater to the specific needs and goals of different disciplines and research areas. Here are three common types of case studies used in university settings:

Historical Case Studies

Historical case studies focus on investigating past events, decisions, or actions to understand their impact on the present. These case studies often involve extensive research and analysis of primary and secondary sources, including historical documents, interviews, and archival records. Historical case studies allow students to delve into the intricacies of historical events or phenomena and gain a deeper understanding of their implications.

Descriptive Case Studies

Descriptive case studies aim to provide a detailed description and analysis of a particular individual, group, organization, or situation. These case studies often involve the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data through methods such as interviews, observations, surveys, or document analysis. Descriptive case studies enable students to develop a comprehensive profile of the subject under study, capturing its intricacies and nuances.

Exploratory Case Studies

Exploratory case studies are conducted when there is limited existing literature or knowledge on a specific topic. These case studies adopt an open-ended and flexible approach to gather preliminary data and insights that can guide future research. Exploratory case studies often involve qualitative research methods, such as interviews, focus groups, or observations. They allow students to explore new perspectives, ideas, and potential areas of research.

Process of Conducting a Case Study in University

Conducting a case study in a university setting involves a systematic approach that includes several key steps. The process typically encompasses the following stages:

Selection of a Suitable Case

The first step in conducting a case study is to select a suitable case or subject of analysis. This involves identifying a specific topic, problem, phenomenon, or individual that aligns with the research objectives and learning outcomes. The chosen case should be relevant, interesting, and significant within the context of the subject area.

Data Collection Methods

Once the case has been selected, the next step is to determine the appropriate data collection methods. Data collection methods can include interviews, surveys, observations, document analysis, or a combination of approaches. The selection of data collection methods should be based on the research objectives, the nature of the case, and the availability and feasibility of data collection techniques.

Data Analysis Techniques

After gathering the necessary data, the next step is to analyze the collected information. Data analysis techniques can vary depending on the nature of the data and the research objectives. Qualitative data analysis methods, such as thematic analysis or content analysis, may be employed for textual data, while quantitative data analysis methods, such as statistical analysis or regression analysis, may be used for numerical data. The chosen data analysis techniques should align with the research questions and objectives of the case study.

Steps Involved in Writing a Case Study in University

Writing a case study in a university setting requires careful planning and organization. The following steps outline the process of writing a comprehensive case study:

Conducting Background Research

Before writing a case study, it is essential to conduct thorough background research on the chosen topic or subject. This research helps gather relevant information, familiarize oneself with existing literature and theories, and understand the context and significance of the case. Background research lays the foundation for the subsequent stages of the case study.

Identifying Key Problems

Once the background research is complete, the next step is to identify the key problems or issues that the case study aims to address. This involves critically analyzing the case and identifying the salient points and challenges within it. The identification of key problems sets the stage for the subsequent data collection and analysis.

Collecting Relevant Data

To support the analysis and discussion, relevant data must be collected. Data collection methods can include interviews, surveys, observations, or document analysis, depending on the nature of the case and the research objectives. It is crucial to ensure the data collected aligns with the research questions and objectives of the case study.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Once the data is collected, it needs to be analyzed and interpreted to draw meaningful conclusions. This involves applying appropriate data analysis techniques, such as thematic analysis or quantitative analysis, to organize and make sense of the data. The analysis and interpretation should be conducted in a systematic and rigorous manner to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings.

Formulating Recommendations

Based on the analysis and interpretation of the data, recommendations and solutions can be formulated. These recommendations should address the identified problems or challenges and provide practical and feasible suggestions for improvement or resolution. Recommendations should be supported by evidence from the data collected and should align with the objectives and scope of the case study.

Tips for Effective Case Study Writing in University

Writing a case study in a university setting can be a challenging task. To ensure the effectiveness and quality of the case study, the following tips can be beneficial:

Clearly Define the Objective

Before diving into the writing process, it is crucial to clearly define the objective of the case study. The objective should outline the purpose and scope of the case study and guide the subsequent stages of data collection, analysis, and discussion. Clearly defining the objective helps maintain focus and coherence throughout the case study.

Structuring the Case Study

A well-structured case study is essential for effective communication of ideas and findings. The case study should include an introduction, background information, methodology, findings, discussion, and conclusion sections. Each section should be clearly defined and organized to ensure a logical flow of information and easy understanding for the reader.

Use of Supporting Evidence

To strengthen the credibility and validity of the case study, it is important to use supporting evidence throughout the analysis and discussion. Relevant data, quotes, examples, or references should be incorporated to support the key points and arguments. The use of supporting evidence enhances the persuasiveness and reliability of the case study.

Discussing Limitations

No research study is without limitations, and it is crucial to acknowledge and discuss any limitations inherent in the case study. This includes addressing potential biases, limitations in data collection methods, or any other constraints that may have affected the study’s findings. Discussing limitations demonstrates a critical and reflective approach to the research process.

Presenting a Balanced Perspective

When presenting the findings and analysis, it is important to present a balanced perspective. This involves acknowledging multiple viewpoints, considering alternative explanations, and discussing any contradictory evidence. Presenting a balanced perspective adds depth and complexity to the case study, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Examples of Case Studies in University

Case studies can be found in various disciplines within universities. Here are some examples of case studies in different fields:

Business and Management

In business and management studies, case studies are often used to analyze real-world business problems, organizational challenges, or strategic decision-making processes. These case studies may focus on specific companies, industries, or management theories, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills to practical business scenarios.

Social Sciences

Case studies are widely used in the social sciences to examine various social phenomena, behaviors, or cultural practices. They can explore topics such as immigration, poverty, gender, or education. Social science case studies often involve qualitative research methods, such as interviews or observations, to gain insights into the complexities of human behavior and society.

Health Sciences

In the health sciences, case studies are commonly used to examine medical conditions, patient experiences, or healthcare delivery systems. These case studies can analyze individual patient cases, public health issues, or the impact of medical interventions. Health sciences case studies often incorporate a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Benefits and Limitations of Case Studies in University

While case studies offer numerous benefits to university learning, they also have their limitations. Here are some benefits and limitations associated with case studies:

Realistic and Contextual Learning

Case studies provide students with the opportunity to engage with real-world problems and challenges. This promotes realistic and contextual learning, allowing students to bridge the gap between theory and practice and develop a deeper understanding of complex concepts and theories.

In-depth Understanding

Due to their comprehensive and detailed nature, case studies facilitate in-depth understanding of specific subjects or phenomena. By exploring the intricacies and nuances of a case, students gain a deeper appreciation of the complexities involved and develop a more holistic understanding of the subject matter.

Time-consuming Process

Case studies can be time-consuming, both in terms of data collection and analysis. Gathering relevant data, conducting interviews or observations, and analyzing the collected information requires considerable time and effort. This time-consuming process can be challenging, especially when students have multiple academic commitments.

Potential Bias and Subjectivity

Case studies are subject to potential bias and subjectivity, as they rely on the interpretation and analysis of data by individuals. Researchers’ personal biases, preconceived notions, or expectations can unintentionally influence the analysis and findings. It is essential to address and mitigate these potential biases to ensure the integrity and objectivity of the case study.

Comparison with Other Research Methods in University

While case studies offer a unique and comprehensive approach to research in university settings, they can be contrasted with other research methods. Here are some comparisons between case studies and other commonly used research methods:

Experimental Research

Experimental research involves manipulating variables and conducting controlled experiments to test hypotheses. Unlike case studies, experimental research aims to establish causation and generalize findings to larger populations. Experimental research often occurs in controlled laboratory settings and focuses on quantitative data collection and statistical analysis.

Surveys involve gathering data from a large sample of individuals through the administration of questionnaires or interviews. Surveys aim to collect data on specific variables or characteristics, providing broad insights into a population or group. Surveys are often used to study attitudes, opinions, behaviors, or demographic characteristics.

Interviews involve collecting qualitative data through structured or semi-structured interviews with individuals or groups. Interviews allow for an in-depth exploration of perspectives, experiences, or opinions, providing rich and nuanced data. Interviews are particularly useful when studying complex social or psychological phenomena.

Observational Studies

Observational studies involve systematically observing and recording behaviors, actions, or events in a natural setting. These studies aim to gain insights into real-world contexts and behaviors. Observational studies can be conducted in a participant or non-participant manner and focus on collecting qualitative or quantitative data.

Case studies are an integral part of university learning, providing students with opportunities to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and practical application skills. The university learning environment offers various types of case studies that cater to different disciplines and research areas. Conducting a case study involves a systematic approach, including the selection of a suitable case, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques. Writing a case study requires careful planning, clear objectives, and effective organization. Although case studies have limitations, such as potential bias and time-consuming processes, they offer in-depth and contextual learning experiences. By comparing case studies with other research methods, students can further understand the unique advantages and limitations of this research approach. Overall, case studies provide students with a valuable opportunity to bridge theory and practice and develop a comprehensive understanding of the subjects they study.

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Writing a Case Study

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What is a case study?

A Map of the world with hands holding a pen.

A Case study is: 

  • An in-depth research design that primarily uses a qualitative methodology but sometimes​​ includes quantitative methodology.
  • Used to examine an identifiable problem confirmed through research.
  • Used to investigate an individual, group of people, organization, or event.
  • Used to mostly answer "how" and "why" questions.

What are the different types of case studies?

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Note: These are the primary case studies. As you continue to research and learn

about case studies you will begin to find a robust list of different types. 

Who are your case study participants?

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What is triangulation ? 

Validity and credibility are an essential part of the case study. Therefore, the researcher should include triangulation to ensure trustworthiness while accurately reflecting what the researcher seeks to investigate.

Triangulation image with examples

How to write a Case Study?

When developing a case study, there are different ways you could present the information, but remember to include the five parts for your case study.

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Moore v. United States: A Supreme Court case that could upend the tax code

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The definition of income —what it is and how it’s taxed—is a core issue of a Supreme Court case that could have far-reaching effects for taxpayers.

Moore v. United States, argued before the court in December, concerns the taxation of unrealized income. A finding on whether the plaintiffs, Charles and Kathleen Moore, must pay taxes on their profits as partial owners of a multinational corporation, could lead future courts to strike down other parts of the U.S. tax code. A ruling is expected this spring or summer.

Sloan Speck , associate professor of law specializing in taxation and tax policy, offers his take on the potential repercussions of the Moore v. U.S. ruling.

Sloan Speck

Associate Professor Sloan Speck

What’s at stake in this case?

First is a structural threat to the entire income tax system as we know it. Moore is setting a stage for future litigation that may have concrete stakes for ordinary taxpayers.

Second, Congress historically has defined income by statute. Congress generally taxes only realized income—where something has happened, such as a sale, to fix and identify that income. This statutory realization requirement has had a simplifying effect on how the income tax system has operated.

In Moore, the question is whether there is a realization requirement under the U.S. Constitution. If the court says there is a constitutional realization requirement or leaves that question open, which I think is extraordinarily likely, that raises a question about how the realization requirement actually operates. Is it a clear rule, or is it more like a legal standard—something that is fuzzy, hard to apply, and requires being resolved after the fact through litigation?

I think it’s a standard, and one that would, to some extent, flip income tax on its head by giving certain taxpayers a new weapon they could use to invalidate different provisions of the income tax law. And the narrow facts in Moore really give no sense of how far taxpayers could take a constitutional realization requirement.

The final stakes for Moore are with respect to wealth taxes. It's well-known that the Biden administration proposed a billionaire tax early on that has not gone anywhere, but it would have explicitly taxed unrealized gains each year and imposed a 20% minimum tax for all people with a net worth in excess of $100 million. Moore is a proxy fight about whether that provision works, and it's an effort to foreclose billionaire taxes before they are enacted and prevent future litigation over those instruments.

What are realized gains?

Realization hasn't ever been clearly defined, but it's fairly intuitive. So the basic case is: I own a piece of property that I sell to another person and get cash back. I can pay the tax that's due on that sale, and I recognize that income as the difference between the cash I have in my pocket and what I paid for the asset to begin with. It works for shares of stock and personal-use property like automobiles and your home.

But there are lots of harder questions about realization. The Moores are taxpayers who own a significant stake in a foreign corporation that's incorporated in India, and the U.S. doesn't tax foreign corporations. While the Moores owned the company, it earned money. Like a lot of corporations, it reinvested that money back into the business and never paid out any of its earnings in dividends. The Moores never got cash in their pockets with respect to their stock, but they’re better off—they’ve made money—because they own part of a successful company.

Their argument is that there was never realization. And that’s the question we're concerned with: Has there been realization because the corporation earned money, or do the Moores actually have to receive those earnings as cash in their pockets?

What would a winning verdict for the Moores mean?

It could undermine big chunks of the Internal Revenue Code. The best example that came up in Supreme Court oral arguments are the partnership tax rules. A lot of people, from high earners down, are partners in a partnership. A lot of small businesses and real estate ventures are partnerships. And the way the partnership tax rules work today is that, if the partnership earns income, the partners pay tax on that income whether they get cash or not.

And for many partners, they don’t get cash. Instead, these partners reinvest their earnings back into the business. That’s the business deal. If there is a constitutional realization requirement, then it could be unclear what rules apply to these very common business arrangements. There would be a lot of uncertainty about how to file taxes for a bunch of small businesses.

In Moore, the government essentially argues that none of this partnership income would be taxable, which is hard on federal revenues but easier on small businesses. Another possibility, however, is that these partnerships could become taxable like corporations, where there would be two levels of tax paid by the partnership and then the partners. 

That would be really bad for all of these businesses. It would dislocate the entire sector because everybody's made their business deals on the assumption you can plow your earnings back in and your partners pay the tax. If suddenly the partnership is paying tax, that's going to materially change what partnership businesses look like, and it will be extremely hard on those business operators and owners.

Finally, there are a bunch of other provisions that are effectively anti-abuse rules that operate on non-realization principles. If those anti-abuse rules were to fall, high earners would be able to avoid paying taxes even more so than they already do. And if the government needs revenue, it will need to look to middle earners. That could cause a shift and who pays what and how much.

What is the most likely ruling?

It doesn't really matter whether the Moores win or lose —that's not the important thing to watch. The outcome of this case is much less significant than the rationale the court provides and the language of the opinions, which is going to shape what happens going forward.

Like the overwhelming majority of Supreme Court decisions, this decision is likely to be bipartisan. So we should expect the opinion to be a heavy compromise between what the liberal and conservative justices want.

It’s been clear for a while that there would be litigation supported by conservative advocacy groups that would target different aspects of income tax. And the Moores were chosen. They stepped forward as a vehicle for advancing questions that have been raised among conservative commentators and advocacy groups for more than a decade.

This is not a surprising case, and its outcome is just one point on a larger arc. It’s the first step and what will probably be a long and difficult path for the government in defending current income tax law.

Even if the decision itself is not destabilizing, it will affect what Congress and the Treasury Department do because they know they will need to defend rules on this basis going forward. And that will shape the income tax law, probably in a way that shifts the burden of the income tax toward middle-income households and away from higher earners.

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Transparent, dynamic, and democratic AI – University of Waterloo case study

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News and features

University of bristol response to high court appeal judgment.

what is a university case study

14 February 2024

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “Natasha’s death is a tragedy - I am deeply sorry for the Abrahart family’s loss.

“At Bristol, we care profoundly for all our students and their mental health and wellbeing is a priority and is at the heart of everything we do. We continue to develop and improve our services and safeguards to support our students who need help.

“In appealing, we were seeking clarity for the Higher Education sector around the application of the Equality Act when staff do not know a student has a disability, or when it has yet to be diagnosed. We will work with colleagues across the sector as we consider the judgment.

“I am grateful to our dedicated colleagues who work tirelessly to support all our students and to those who specifically supported Natasha which included a referral to the NHS. Higher Education staff across the country share our deep concern about the increase of mental health issues amongst young people, and with that rise comes the increasing importance that staff, students, and their families are clear on what support universities can and should provide, and that students receive appropriate specialist care under the NHS should they need it.

“In 2022 Bristol became one of the first universities to receive the University Mental Health Charter Award, which recognises the continued hard work of our staff and students in terms of taking a strong, structured approach towards improving mental health and wellbeing across our university. We know there is always more to do, and we will keep working to achieve the best for everyone in our community.”

Background information

The family of Natasha Abrahart, a 20-year-old Physics student who very sadly took her own life in April 2018, brought a civil action against the University of Bristol. A judgment, handed down on 20 May 2022 by His Honour Judge Ralton at Bristol County Court, found the University was not negligent, but deemed the adjustments made by the University for Natasha’s academic assessment were insufficient.

After carefully considering the judgment and its implications for the higher education sector, the University sought leave from the High Court to appeal the judge's finding that the University was in breach of the Equality Act. The Abrahart family appealed the judge’s finding that the University was not in breach of its Duty of Care. The appeals were heard by the High Court in December 2023, with the judgment delivered Wednesday 14 February 2024.

The University of Bristol’s approach to mental health and wellbeing

At Bristol, we are committed to a whole university approach to mental health and wellbeing. This includes the provision of appropriate, accessible services and interventions, as well as the creation of an environment and culture that enables students and staff to maintain their wellbeing.

We work with our students to promote good physical and mental health, and to support those who need help. To reflect this, mental health and wellbeing is at the heart of decision making across the University. In recognition of this work, we were one of the first to receive the University Mental Health Charter Award in December 2022.

The University’s Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, developed in partnership with external advisors, staff and students, is available on the University’s website at:  https://www.bristol.ac.uk/university/media/strategies/student-mental-health-wellbeing-strategy.pdf

Key measures in our whole institution approach

  • Providing models of support to meet student needs, such as establishing the Residential Life Service, who offer support 24 hours a day in halls of residence; creating the Student Wellbeing Service which works with schools and faculties to support students not in residences; and ‘one at a time’ counselling which has reduced waiting times for therapeutic support.
  • Bolstering our Student Health Service by increasing our Mental Health Nurse team who work alongside GPs and local NHS services.
  • Strengthening support for our students during their transition into University, including refining our ‘opt-in’ approach for students to share their emergency contacts with the University and working with UCAS to develop a sector-wide approach to early disclosure of mental health issues.
  • Being the first university to launch a Science of Happiness course, now running as a credit-bearing optional unit. This draws on the latest results in psychology and neuroscience to get to the root of what happiness is and how to achieve it, as well as teaching tangible practices which students can apply in their everyday lives.
  • Having a team of school-based Personal and Senior Tutors to support students with academic and pastoral issues.
  • Creating a strong focus on employability with a view to supporting our students during their second challenging transition – moving from student life to the workforce after graduation.
  • Reviewing our policies and communications in difficult areas such as withdrawal and fitness-to-study, ensuring students are appropriately supported by the University, their parents, and others during such challenging events.
  • Enhancing our provision for underrepresented groups, as well as those who need more support, through staff training and partnerships with external organisations - this includes LGBT+ students and Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority students.
  • Strengthening partnerships with external providers such as the NHS, Public Health England and the charitable sector so students in difficulty can be referred and treated promptly.
  • Working in partnership with the NHS, Bristol City Council and UWE to develop a shared student liaison service, an NHS-led service which will provide support to students from both universities.

Support for disabled students

  • Providing study support, advice and guidance to students through our Disability Services team. 
  • Creating a new suite of guidance and advice for staff to support disabled students’ learning and assessment, including guidance on inclusive approaches to presentations and group work.
  • Improving our use of information sharing to ensure academic colleagues can see and provide students’ reasonable adjustments.
  • Developing a new role of Assistant Director of Student Disability to drive the institution’s ongoing work.
  • Developing a School Disability Coordinator Network to share best practice
  • Increasing our inclusive teaching and assessment practices.

Further information

Support available to students

To seek support within the University, we encourage students to access our services:

  • Students can  request wellbeing support  by completing a simple Wellbeing Access form, by emailing  [email protected]  or calling 0117 456 9860 (open 24 hours)
  • Multifaith Chaplaincy : call 0117 954 6600 or email  [email protected]
  • Students' Health Service : 0117 330 2720
  • Students with disabilities can request study support through our Disability Services team.

Students may not always be sure about what kind of support they need – to explore what might be helpful, please complete the form, telephone or email Wellbeing Access who will be happy to help.

Out of hours and outside the university, the following services are available 24/7:

  • NHS 111 : for out of hours GP support
  • Togetherall  (formerly Big White Wall): provides peer and professional support
  • Bristol Mindline : a confidential freephone helpline if you or someone you know is in distress 0808 808 0330
  • The Samaritans : freephone number 116123 available for anyone in distress
  • The student-run  Nightline service  can also be contacted 8pm to 8am every term time night on 0117 926 6266

The Students’ Union also supports a network of wellbeing and peer support groups listed here:  Bristol SU | Wellbeing

The Daily

New study uncovers why gene is believed to be responsible for ALS and dementia

Researchers at  Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine  have discovered why a gene that, when mutated, is a common cause of two debilitating brain diseases: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). 

The study found that the protein generated by this mutant gene, C9ORF72, influences the immune system by regulating the production of Interleukin 17A (IL-17A), a potent inflammatory molecule.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive paralysis due to the loss of neurons in the central nervous system. ALS patients often have pre-existing autoimmune disease and inflammation of the brain that worsens as muscle function declines.

what is a university case study

Aaron Burberry , an assistant professor of pathology at the School of Medicine and the study’s principal investigator, discovered in mouse models with the C9ORF72 mutation—which affects roughly 10% of ALS patients—brain inflammation decreased and mobility improved when the IL-17A gene was blocked.

Burberry and his research team also discovered that another molecule found in the gut (CD80) contributes to inflammation in response to elevations of IL-17A in the brain. Their research was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal  Science Translational Medicine.

“Our research indicates that IL-17A blockade may be quickly repurposed to treat ALS patients to slow down the progression of their disease or possibly stop ALS from ever occurring,” Burberry said.

Treatments that block IL-17A have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. These comparable therapies may help ALS patients stop or perhaps reverse the disease’s progression.

“For people living with a neurodegenerative disease,” Burberry said, “our work offers hope for a future where quality-of-life and cognition can be maintained long after their diagnosis.” 

Burberry will next investigate the mechanisms by which C9ORF72 inhibits IL-17A in lymphoid cells and identify the elements of the gut microbiome that are causing inflammation in the brain.

For more information, contact Patty Zamora at [email protected] .

Amid rising measles cases, a new generation of doctors is being taught how to spot the disease

A recent outbreak that began in December 2023 has led to 23 cases of measles.

Over the last several years, isolated outbreaks of measles have been popping up across the United States.

Most recently, between Dec. 1, 2023, and Jan. 23, 2024, there have been 23 confirmed cases of measles with infections reported in Pennsylvania ,   New Jersey ,   Delaware   and the   Washington, D.C. area .

Emergency medicine physicians and departments have to relearn how to rapidly detect and diagnose a disease that many have never had to treat before, only learning about it in school.

MORE: Measles outbreaks are occurring in some pockets of the US. Here's why doctors are concerned

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 because most Americans are vaccinated, and doctors told ABC News they and their colleagues may not even consider the disease as a possible diagnosis if a child comes in with a rash and a fever.

"The contemporary emergency physician or those in emergency departments, would they able to recognize measles initially the first time? And the answer is probably not," Dr. Nicholas Cozzi, EMS medical director at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, told ABC News.

The state of measles in the U.S.

Measles is a very contagious disease with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying every individual infected by the virus can spread it to up to 10 close contacts if they are unprotected including not wearing a mask or not being vaccinated.

The incubation period of measles from exposure to early symptoms averages 11 to 12 days with first signs including a fever that can peak from 103 F to 105 F, cough, and conjunctivitis.

PHOTO: How to spot measles

Next, the measles rash will follow, which lasts five to six days. It will begin at the hairline and then proceed downward to the hands and feet. The rash will typically fade in order of appearance with severe lesions maybe peeling off in scales, the CDC said .

About   one in five people   in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized. Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than age 5 including ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and even death, according to the CDC.

The first measles vaccine, a single-dose vaccine, was introduced in the U.S. in 1963.   In the decade prior , there were three to four million cases annually, which led to 48,000 hospitalizations and 400 to 500 deaths.

The CDC currently recommends people receive two vaccine doses, the first at 12 to 15 months and the second between 4 and 6 years old. One dose is 93% effective, and two doses are 97% effective.

Although hospitalizations and deaths due to measles have dropped dramatically, vaccination rates have been lagging and outbreaks have popped up in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated pockets of the U.S.

MORE: MMR vaccine rates are lagging amid a rise in measles cases. Experts blame a discredited study.

"What we've seen due to the rise of international travel and international migration, as well as global declining immunization rates, is the resurgence of a once eradicated -- at the least in the United States -- disease, and that is measles," Cozzi said.

Doctors not recognizing measles

Despite measles being a once common childhood disease, most medical students, and even some emergency room doctors, have never seen measles or can recognize symptoms.

Doctors may remember what a textbook case of measles looks like but may also not be familiar with what a patient looks like in the early stages.

"Every medical student learns about measles during school, but that's very different than seeing it on a daily basis and kind of understanding the ins and outs of the disease," Dr. Keri Cohn, medical director of bioresponse and a pediatric emergency room physician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told ABC News.

"And so, the vast majority of physicians in the emergency room that I work with has never seen measles before," she continued. "And that is something that we've had to really kind of remind people, 'This is how it presents; these are the things that you're looking for.'"

Although Cohn has worked with measles cases before, due to past international work, she said she was surprised to be treating measles patients in Philadelphia.

PHOTO: Stock photo of a person with a measles-like rash.

Prior to the most recent outbreak in her city, which began in December, measles was not top of her list of possible diagnoses when a child visited the emergency room with certain symptoms.

"It is true that when a child comes in with fever and rash in Philadelphia, I'm not usually thinking about measles, and of course, in the setting of this outbreak, that has really changed the way that our physicians have thought about patients coming in with those symptoms," Cohn said.

Teaching a new generation about measles

To make sure emergency room doctors are prepared in case they encounter a measles patient, hospitals have been developing response plans.

At Cohn's hospital in Philadelphia, the bioersponse program had partnered with infection prevention and control, to develop a robust response.

"So the model is ... we bring a large group of experts together in all different facets throughout the hospital system to kind of address the needs of the families, the patients, the physicians, the staff who are working against this outbreak," she said.

Cohn has also worked to remind health care staff to take appropriate precautions such as making sure the patient is isolated and that staff entering the isolation room where N95s or a respirator with similar effectiveness.

MORE: Measles outbreak that sickened 85 children declared over in Ohio

In Cozzi's case, he recently co-authored a paper in a recent issue of the   Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians, which includes reminders of what early-stage cases of measles look like and guidance on what information needs to be shared within hours of suspected cases.

"We wanted every emergency physician across the country to understand what measles looks like, how it presents, the life-threatening causes of it, why we're seeing a resurgence, as well as the somewhat most of the deadly outcomes associated with it," he said.

He also encouraged health care workers, both in and outside the U.S., to consider measles if a child arrives at a hospital or a clinic with a fever and a rash.

"If we don't think of it, we're not going to diagnose it," Cozzi said. "If it's not on top of our mind, we're not going to consider it."

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is a Case Study?

    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.

  2. Writing a Case Study

    A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, condition, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with g...

  3. Case Studies

    Case studies are stories that are used as a teaching tool to show the application of a theory or concept to real situations. Dependent on the goal they are meant to fulfill, cases can be fact-driven and deductive where there is a correct answer, or they can be context driven where multiple solutions are possible.

  4. Case study

    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 ...

  5. Case Study

    Defnition: A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination and analysis of a particular phenomenon or case, such as an individual, organization, community, event, or situation. It is a qualitative research approach that aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the case being studied.

  6. Do Your Students Know How to Analyze a Case—Really?

    Give students an opportunity to practice the case analysis methodology via an ungraded sample case study. Designate groups of five to seven students to discuss the case and the six steps in breakout sessions (in class or via Zoom). Ensure case analyses are weighted heavily as a grading component. We suggest 30-50 percent of the overall course ...

  7. Case Studies

    According to the book Understanding Case Study Research, case studies are "small scale research with meaning" that generally involve the following: The study of a particular case, or a number of cases. That the case will be complex and bounded. That it will be studied in its context. That the analysis undertaken will seek to be holistic.

  8. What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

    What the Case Study Method Really Teaches. Summary. It's been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study ...

  9. Case Study Methodology of Qualitative Research: Key Attributes and

    A case study is one of the most commonly used methodologies of social research. This article attempts to look into the various dimensions of a case study research strategy, the different epistemological strands which determine the particular case study type and approach adopted in the field, discusses the factors which can enhance the effectiveness of a case study research, and the debate ...

  10. Case studies

    A case study is an assignment where you analyse a specific case (organisation, group, person, event, issue) and explain how the elements and complexities of that case relate to theory. You will sometimes have to come up with solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.

  11. Case Study

    Case Study - Qualitative & Quantitative Research Support - LibGuides at Northcentral University Writing a Case Study What is a case study? A Case study is: An in-depth research design that primarily uses a qualitative methodology but sometimes includes quantitative methodology. Used to examine an identifiable problem confirmed through research.

  12. What Is a Case, and What Is a Case Study?

    Résumé. Case study is a common methodology in the social sciences (management, psychology, science of education, political science, sociology). A lot of methodological papers have been dedicated to case study but, paradoxically, the question "what is a case?" has been less studied.

  13. Writing a Case Study Analysis

    A case study analysis requires you to investigate a business problem, examine the alternative solutions, and propose the most effective solution using supporting evidence. Preparing the Case Before you begin writing, follow these guidelines to help you prepare and understand the case study: Read and Examine the Case Thoroughly

  14. Case Study: Definition, Examples, Types, and How to Write

    A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in many different fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

  15. What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?

    What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for? JOHN GERRING Boston University his paper aims to clarify the meaning, and explain the utility, of the case study method, a method often practiced but little understood. A "case study," I argue, is best defined as an intensive study of a single unit with an aim to generalize across a larger set of units.

  16. Case Study

    A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organisation, 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.

  17. Cases

    The Case Analysis Coach is an interactive tutorial on reading and analyzing a case study. The Case Study Handbook covers key skills students need to read, understand, discuss and write about cases. The Case Study Handbook is also available as individual chapters to help your students focus on specific skills.

  18. What is a Case Study? Definition & Examples

    A case study is an in-depth investigation of a single person, group, event, or community. This research method involves intensively analyzing a subject to understand its complexity and context. The richness of a case study comes from its ability to capture detailed, qualitative data that can offer insights into a process or subject matter that ...

  19. What is a Case Study?

    Case Study Research What is a case study? A case study is a type of research method. In case studies, the unit of analysis is a case. The case typically provides a detailed account of a situation that usually focuses on a conflict or complexity that one might encounter in the workplace.

  20. What is the Case Study Method?

    Overview Simply put, the case method is a discussion of real-life situations that business executives have faced. On average, you'll attend three to four different classes a day, for a total of about six hours of class time (schedules vary). To prepare, you'll work through problems with your peers. Read More

  21. 5 Benefits of the Case Study Method

    The case study method, or case method, is a learning technique in which you're presented with a real-world business challenge and asked how you'd solve it. After working through it yourself and with peers, you're told how the scenario played out. HBS pioneered the case method in 1922. Shortly before, in 1921, the first case was written.

  22. What Is A Case Study In University

    What Is A Case Study In University Zac Have you ever wondered what exactly a case study is when you hear it mentioned in a university setting? Well, you're not alone! In this article, we will demystify the concept of a case study and explore its significance in the academic world.

  23. Case Study

    A Case study is: An in-depth research design that primarily uses a qualitative methodology but sometimes includes quantitative methodology. Used to examine an identifiable problem confirmed through research. Used to investigate an individual, group of people, organization, or event. Used to mostly answer "how" and "why" questions.

  24. Moore v. United States: A Supreme Court case that could upend the tax

    The definition of income —what it is and how it's taxed—is a core issue of a Supreme Court case that could have far-reaching effects for taxpayers.. Moore v. United States, argued before the court in December, concerns the taxation of unrealized income. A finding on whether the plaintiffs, Charles and Kathleen Moore, must pay taxes on their profits as partial owners of a multinational ...

  25. Transparent, dynamic, and democratic AI

    Researchers at the University of Waterloo are racing to release open-source AI models that will help global medical teams improve diagnosis, ICU planning, and risk planning. HPE provides the agility to complete their life-saving work at pace.

  26. February : High Court appeal judgment

    Further information. Support available to students. To seek support within the University, we encourage students to access our services: Students can request wellbeing support by completing a simple Wellbeing Access form, by emailing [email protected] or calling 0117 456 9860 (open 24 hours); Multifaith Chaplaincy: call 0117 954 6600 or email [email protected]

  27. New study uncovers why gene is believed to be responsible for ALS and

    Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered why a gene that, when mutated, is a common cause of two debilitating brain diseases: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The study found that the protein generated by this mutant gene, C9ORF72, influences the immune system by regulating the production of Interleukin 17A (IL-17A ...

  28. School of Graduate Studies

    Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Join us for the third annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition at Case Western Reserve University on Friday, February 16, from 12:40 to 3:15pm EST in the Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom! Developed by the University of Queensland and now held at over 900 institutions across more than 80 countries, 3MT celebrates the exciting research conducted by ...

  29. Amid rising measles cases, a new generation of doctors is being taught

    In Cozzi's case, he recently co-authored a paper in a recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians, which includes reminders of what early-stage cases of measles ...