How to structure a case study?

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Complete Case Study in 4 Easy Steps

Case studies- It’s a process of doing research on something in order to illustrate a thesis or principle. Case studies are a written for academic purposes or for the provision of corporate proof points.

There are 4 types of case studies

Illustrative Case Study

These are descriptive case studies which utilize one or two specimens of an event to describe a situation. They serve concepts to the reader and give readers common language about the topic.

Exploratory Case Study

This case study investigates distinct phenomenon characterized by a lack of detailed research especially a formulated hypothesis that can be tested by a particular or specific research environment that curbs the choice of methodology

Cumulative Case Study

Cumulative case study analyses accumulated information from several sites collected over different time periods. A collection of past stories that allows for greater generalization without additional cost or time vested on new, possibly repeated stories.

Critical Case Study

These investigate one or more sites to examine a condition or situation of unique interest with little to no interest in generalization or to call into question a highly generalized or universal assertion.  This approach is useful for answering cause and effect questions.

Based on this classification categorize your topic and work on it.

Every case study has a different method but the basic method is same. If your basic isn’t strong then your entire case study would fall apart.

Follow these guidelines to draw up a proper case study:

1) Getting Started

Determine which case study type suits your proposed audience

Chose the appropriate audience that goes well with your case study format. Examine your facts and draft them under the appropriate case study category, and whatever the case you are working on you should thoroughly analyze the situation which could reveal facts or information. Case studies can be written on the company, individual or on the whole country. It could be a practice or programs.

Determine the topic of your study 

Choose your topic- opt what angle you are going to view it from or Hypothesis. Afterwards, determine your source.
The most common resources are books and the web. Find out as much as you can about it from different sources. Look up magazines, newspapers, journals, DVD etc.

 Search for previous case studies.

  • When researching about your subject refer old case studies in the same
  • Find out what was written previously and read the relevant articles about your case.
  •  Review sample case studies that are similar.

2) Preparing the interviewSelect Participants for Your Case Study

  • Sources provide the best information. Find knowledgeable people to interview. They don’t necessarily have to be on site, they can be active in the past or directly involved. Decide whether you are going to interview an individual or a group. Gather as much information as you can about your subjects and

Frame questions and decide how you are going to act

  • It’s not necessary to interview has to be with an individual it can be with the group also. You can conduct the interview by either meeting your lead outside (personal interview), having a telephonic interview or through an email.
  • When you are interviewing people ask them questions that are going to help you understand their viewpoints. Don’t frame question which will force the responder to give an expected answer. Ask questions that will help you gather more information.
  • When framing questions there should be a logical flow.
  • Be polite with the

Set up interviews with subject experts (Managers, accountants, clients etc)

Make sure all of the people being surveyed know what you are doing.

3) Obtaining data
Ask all sorts of questions related to the topic because it will give you different perspectives on a similar subject or service. Keep your questions open-ended. Don’t let the interviewee answer in ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Ask or request for data and materials on your subject as it is relevant to add credit ability to your findings and future presentations.

Collect and analyze all applicable data

This includes documents, observations, and artifacts. Organize everything at one place so that you don’t have a problem accessing them while working on your case study. You can’t include all, so sort out -what will be applicable and can be considered to be part of your case study and arrange it according to the case.

Formulate the problem in one or two sentences

After collecting information you need to frame your sentences to form a statement. Organize your material and include information on the basis of their relevance, appropriateness, and weight.

4) Writing your piece

Develop and write your case by using the collected data throughout groundwork
Include four sections in your case study: Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Literature Gap, Methodology, Sample, and Conclusion.

The Introduction should be very clear. You can start off with a question in the beginning or you can quote someone whom you interviewed.

Include background information on your study site, people whom you interviewed and why are they good samples and what makes your problem an important issue, it is to give the audience a wider and detailed view of the issue. Include photos and or video it would benefit you.

At the end in your conclusion, provide solutions and do not worry about the conclusion. Feel free to leave the reader with questions and forcing them to think them. If you have done good work they have enough data to understand and have a discussion about it.
Add references or appendices- Bibliography

If you have any information that you did not include before because it would spoil the flow, include it now. You may have information or terms that are hard for others to understand then include it in the appendix or note for the instructor.

Edit and proofreading
Now that your paper is formulated, read it 4-5 times and correct grammatical errors. Keep an eye on the flow and transition. Have someone else proofread because your mind might miss the mistakes that it has seen a lot of times. Give it to someone else because another set of eyes will have a fresh perspective. They might point out if the content has been left-handed open or otherwise confusing.

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