Simple tips for students on writing a case study essay

Case studies are pieces of writing that focus intensely on some discrete entity, whether that’s an individual, a group, a legal case, or a business. They’re related to real-world events and are used to help generate multi-dimensional research.

Complex issues or scenarios are often given the case study treatment: it’s a way of going into great detail about a specific case – usually, one that is in some way distinctive or abnormal. Essay writers often find themselves being told not to rely on case studies for evidence because of this ‘outlier’ aspect they are associated with. However, case studies have their place, and when used correctly they can add a great deal to essays and papers.

There are two major types of case studies in use today – the Analytical Approach and the Problem-Orientated Approach. Analytical approaches use case studies as a way to interrogate something that has occurred, whereas a Problem-Orientated case study will identify problems that already exist and then suggest solutions. As always, check with your relevant academic advisor if it isn’t clear from the outset which one you are working with.

Now, let’s cover some simple tips and strategies for writing a stellar case study.

To suggest or not to suggest?

Problems. We can see them everywhere; however, whether we speak up and offer suggestions or not is dependent on the context. For a case study, it’s vital to understand what your examiner is looking for. Do they want an analytic dissection or do they want solutions?

Once you have understood this aspect of your assignment things should be easier. My essay writer top tip is to always seek clarification from your instructor or lecturer. They want you to do well and you won’t be admonished for asking questions. Overall, it’s fine to get help with a case study.

Analytical Case Studies

Analytical case studies do not require solutions. They are pieces of work that elucidate the problems of the case. Once the problems are spread out for everyone to see, another group of people could use that document as part of their problem-solving logic.

Problem-Solving Case Studies

The key to a problem-solving case study is in the solutions. The theoretical underpinnings of the subject need to be applied in such a way that they present and argue for (or against) solutions. A simple way to break down the essay is this: locate and identify the range of problems, choose one, suggest multiple solutions, and then recommend the best solution of the bunch.

Once this is done you need to detail, using real-world examples and data, how the solution should be implemented. Essay writers online insist that accessing data for case studies is best using national statistics body’s websites or those belonging to academic institutions.

The Structure of Case Studies

It’s widely accepted that there are eight sections within a case study. These apply whether or not you’re writing an analytical or problem-orientated study.

To begin, you will need an executive summary. Executive summaries are similar to introductions, but they include a shorter version of the conclusion too. In this section you need to outline the reason for the case study and provide a summary of the research as well as a broader picture of the problems at hand with a nod to the theoretical frameworks that underpin the project as a whole.

After this stage comes the analysis section which deals with the data in the case study. This data could be quantitative or qualitative, including interviews or surveys, as well as financial reports and statistics.

The presentation of the data and the analysis are followed by a discussion. In short, the discussion situates the discourse within major problems – this is also the place for solutions to be brought up and evaluated. But this is not the time for recommendations. In your conclusion, you are re-iterating the points made earlier in the paper. It’s similar to the executive summary, but it should go into more detail.

After this, you need to make recommendations. This section requires persuasive writing skills, you must explain the solutions and go about explaining their implementation.

All essays require bibliography: this section comes last and is filled with your references and citations. You can include sections for papers not directly cited but that are useful in building the larger picture.

Finally, appendices are likely to feature in a case study. The appendix is where original data that’s used in the study gets published, so readers can check your work and understand your conclusions.

Hopefully, this guide to case studies has been informative. Remember to be clear on whether you’re writing an analytical or a problem-orientated paper before embarking on this journey.