Case studies are employed by scholars and researchers in order to find, confirm or modify their comprehension of given regularities or principles. In the fields of business studies, political sciences, sociology and psychology, case studies are used as a necessary stage of the analysis of a definite problem.
Writing a case study requires a lot of efforts, good preparation and comprehensive knowledge. Depending on the assignment and the subject, the topics can vary, but in all cases one should have some field work in order to carry out a good piece of research. The following instructions can only assist you to accomplish your task. Consider them as introductory steps to the real process of writing.
How to write a case study – 7 essential tips
1. Define your topic and task
This includes communication with your instructor. You should always keep in mind that a well-defined topic will help you to have your job done earlier and easier. Hence, the topic has to be: narrow (instead of general), indicate the time and place of the research, use technical language, i.e. special terms.
2. Plan your research
It is very important to plan how to do your fieldwork; i.e. do some interviews with people, work with archives or documentations at the place, and so on. Thus, you should know the right time (date) when you will be doing the research, its time framework (for how long), and the place/s. If you are writing in the field of sociology, then you have to do two different types of interviews: the first one is quantitative, and the other one is qualitative. Quantitative interview aims at collecting general information and comparing attitudes of different groups (based on age, gender, interests, education, etc.). Qualitative interview is an in-depth interview, which is a means for gathering important information. For example, life stories; they are full of details which can show a personal view on a given process, event, and so forth. The questions for both types of interviews should be prepared prior to your field work.
3. Set forth your working hypothesis
This will be theoretical framework of the paper. How would you interpret the process that you have to analyze? What factors and determinants exert influence on it? Here you should refer to some renowned scholars or theories. Whenever you are writing a college assignment or a diploma thesis, the hypothesis always comes first.
4. Do your fieldwork
Actually this is a whole process consisting of several stages. First, you need to ask for permission to do fieldwork (for instance, in high-school). Then you need to find respondents or people to communicate with. Once the interviews or other type of work are done, you have to inform people or the institution/company about the results of your research. At any rate, in your paper you must, at least, mention the name of the institution and give all credits to the people who deserve them.
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5. Interpret the results
Gather all data and analyze them according to your hypothesis. Now, you can add other assumptions which have not been mentioned in the introduction part. You should establish some relations, ratio, and causal chains in order to explain a given process better.
6. Attach photos, videos, audio records
Everything which can prove that you have really carried out your field work will be of use. Select your photos according to their value and message. Always ask the respondents if they agree to publish their photos somewhere.
7. Publish the information in a peer-reviewed journal in your field of research, thus the results of your research will be easily disseminated.
Upon reading the above tips you definitely know more about how to write a case study. We recommend to be well-prepared and have a thorough plan prior to starting the work on the case study, otherwise the results will not be satisfying.