The executive summary is an overview of what your report will contain, written in a concise manner while providing real-life context.
Despite the fact that the executive summary should appear at the beginning of your case studies, it shouldn't be written until you've completed the entire report because if you write it before you finish the report, this summary may not be completely accurate.
Key problem statement
In this section of your case study, you will briefly describe the problem that you hope to solve by conducting the study. You will have the opportunity to elaborate on the problem that you're focusing on as you get into the breadth of the report.
This part of the case study isn't as brief as the other two, and it goes into more detail about the problem at hand. Your problem exploration must include why the identified problem needs to be solved as well as the urgency of solving it.
Additionally, it must include justification for conducting the problem-solving, as the benefits must outweigh the efforts and costs.
This case study section will also be lengthier than the first two. It must include how you propose going about rectifying the problem. The "recommended solution" section must also include potential obstacles that you might experience, as well as how these will be managed.
Furthermore, you will need to list alternative solutions and explain the reason the chosen solution is best. Charts can enhance your report and make it easier to read, and provide as much proof to substantiate your claim as possible.
Overview of monetary consideration
An overview of monetary consideration is essential for all case studies, as it will be used to convince all involved parties why your project should be funded. You must successfully convince them that the cost is worth the investment it will require. It's important that you stress the necessity for this particular case study and explain the expected outcome.
In the execution times of case studies, you explain how long you predict it will take to implement your study. The shorter the time it will take to implement your plan, the more apt it is to be approved. However, be sure to provide a reasonable timeline, taking into consideration any additional time that might be needed due to obstacles.
Always include a conclusion in your case study. This is where you will briefly wrap up your entire proposal, stressing the benefits of completing the data collection and data analysis in order to rectify your problem.
2. Make it clear and comprehensive
You want to write your case studies with as much clarity as possible so that every aspect of the report is understood. Be sure to double-check your grammar, spelling, punctuation, and more, as you don't want to submit a poorly-written document.
Not only would a poorly-written case study fail to prove that what you are trying to achieve is important, but it would also increase the chances that your report will be tossed aside and not taken seriously.
3. Don't rush through the process
Writing the perfect case study takes time and patience. Rushing could result in your forgetting to include information that is crucial to your entire study. Don't waste your time creating a study that simply isn't ready. Take the necessary time to perform all the research necessary to write the best case study possible.
Depending on the case study, conducting case study research could mean using qualitative methods, quantitative methods, or both. Qualitative research questions focus on non-numerical data, such as how people feel, their beliefs, their experiences, and so on.
Meanwhile, quantitative research questions focus on numerical or statistical data collection to explain causal links or get an in-depth picture.
It is also important to collect insightful and constructive feedback. This will help you better understand the outcome as well as any changes you need to make to future case studies. Consider using formal and informal ways to collect feedback to ensure that you get a range of opinions and perspectives.
4. Be confident in your theory development
While writing your case study or conducting your formal experimental investigation, you should have confidence in yourself and what you're proposing in your report. If you took the time to gather all the pertinent data collected to complete the report, don't second-guess yourself or doubt your abilities. If you believe your report will be amazing, then it likely will be.
5. Case studies and all qualitative research are long
It's expected that multiple case studies are going to be incredibly boring, and there is no way around this. However, it doesn't mean you can choose your language carefully in order to keep your audience as engaged as possible.
If your audience loses interest in your case study at the beginning, for whatever reason, then this increases the likelihood that your case study will not be funded.
Case study examples
If you want to learn more about how to write a case study, it might be beneficial to take a look at a few case study examples. Below are a few interesting case study examples you may want to take a closer look at.
- Phineas Gage by John Martin Marlow: One of the most famous case studies comes from the medical field, and it is about the story of Phineas Gage, a man who had a railroad spike driven through his head in 1848. As he was working on a railroad, an explosive charge went off prematurely, sending a railroad rod through his head. Even though he survived this incident, he lost his left eye. However, Phineas Gage was studied extensively over the years because his experiences had a significant, lasting impact on his personality. This served as a case study because his injury showed different parts of the brain have different functions.
- Kitty Genovese and the bystander effect: This is a tragic case study that discusses the murder of Kitty Genovese, a woman attacked and murdered in Queens, New York City. Shockingly, while numerous neighbors watched the scene, nobody called for help because they assumed someone else would. This case study helped to define the bystander effect, which is when a person fails to intervene during an emergency because other people are around.
- Henry Molaison and the study of memory: Henry Molaison lost his memory and suffered from debilitating amnesia. He suffered from childhood epilepsy, and medical professionals attempted to remove the part of his brain that was causing his seizures. He had a portion of his brain removed, but it completely took away his ability to hold memories. Even though he went on to live until the age of 82, he was always forced to live in the present moment, as he was completely unable to form new memories.
Case study FAQs
When should you do a case study?
There are several scenarios when conducting a case study can be beneficial. Case studies are often used when there's a "why" or "how" question that needs to be answered. Case studies are also beneficial when trying to understand a complex phenomenon, there's limited research on a topic, or when you're looking for practical solutions to a problem.
How can case study results be used to make business decisions?
You can use the results from a case study to make future business decisions if you find yourself in a similar situation. As you assess the results of a case study, you can identify best practices, evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention, generate new and creative ideas, or get a better understanding of customer needs.
How are case studies different from other research methodologies?
When compared to other research methodologies, such as experimental or qualitative research methodology, a case study does not require a representative sample. For example, if you are performing quantitative research, you have a lot of subjects that expand your sample size. If you are performing experimental research, you may have a random sample in front of you. A case study is usually designed to deliberately focus on unusual situations, which allows it to shed new light on a specific business research problem.
Writing multiple case studies for your business
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the idea of writing a case study and it seems completely foreign, then you aren't alone. Writing a case study for a business is a very big deal, but fortunately, there is help available because an example of a case study doesn't always help.
Mailchimp, a well-known marketing company that provides comprehensive marketing support for all sorts of businesses, can assist you with your case study, or you can review one of their own recently published examples.
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