80X – this is the mark of popularity case-study enjoys as a teaching tool in the world of higher education. At par with teachers and universities throughout the globe, this definite approach turns most effective for grooming students over –
- Observational power and data interpretation skill
- ‘How-tos’ of applying academic wisdom in practical situations
- Essential ‘soft skills’ such as productive communication, being a team player, leadership, operational management
- Value-oriented ways to delve deeper into the specific subject and self-assess own actual progress into it
So, as a higher studies student, are you realizing the importance of this specific assignment type?
As opine, some famed scholars – learning how to write a case study with perfection ‘prepare’ a student to decode every significant ‘hacks’ of structuring commendable thesis/research papers in the future.
However, the prime issue that crops up in the context of learners undertaking a case-study assignment is their lack of ‘know-how’ over rightfully structuring & writing it. Professors and academic counselors upheld –
- Vagueness of idea
- Informational Overload
- Negligence in rightfully connecting findings and own analysis of that
- Usage of informal terms and way-too complex language
- Insufficient data, absence of real-time examples and ‘rooms’ of doubt
- Through-out an inconsistent tone
- Ambiguous research techniques
as some of the most common problems displayed in the case-study analysis(s) student present.
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What if you, too, commit the likewise mistakes while writing your paper? Well, if you can invest time and attention to ‘what gets said’ below, then chances of such blunders are sure to minimize.
It is documented in a unique break-up style (so that you find it easiest to remember while ‘at work’), and represents some of the smartest points to explore and realize how to write a case study – irrespective of the subject you study.
All charged-up to know? Let the ride start –
# 1) Select An Appealing and Unique Topic
What is a case study? In the sleekest of sense, an empirical investigation of a certain aspect/notion/practice with regards to its relevant practical contexts. And doing that with success asks for input of ultimate labor, research, and persistence from a student.
Thus, as a principle-
- Always pick a topic or study angle that you find engaging and not a ‘choice’ of your teacher. Remember losing interest or slacking down during mid-way of the study is the last thing to happen for the best interest of your assignment.
If confused over which particular filed of your subject actually stimulates you, then as handy tips –
- Delve into the social media or current issues of prestigious tabloids and magazines and check which aspects of your study field are ‘in buzz.’
- Ponder over the latest issues discussed most in class
- Request for a 1:1 talk with your teacher and communicate own thoughts to the one; be sure to clarify every question coming up in your mind as the discussion goes on; this ultimately aids you to choose and focus over one particular phenomenon
- Once selected, read (articles, essays, books, blogs, and whatever you can imagine!) as much as possible over the topic and explore great media perspectives (films, documentaries, celebrity talk shows) upon it; moreover, go through the noteworthy case-studies done about it. A combined effect of these three often aids a student to spot a study angle or problem of the topic never ‘talked’ before and thereby devise a most unique ‘case’ to study
- Be sure to talk with peers as well about your selection and learn theirs – two case-studies over one same idea will not do any good for you or your batchmate, right?
# 2 Develop Your Very Own Research Style
Indispensable if you desire not to hinder but fly through your own assignment. Your teacher might suggest certain techniques of studying, and you must weigh them. But remember, in the end, it is you who will ‘do the work’ and produce a noteworthy paper.
So, determine your ‘comfort zone’ and devote the totality of their potentialities towards it. However, do not forget to utilize some universally valid advice of teachers. Like –
- It is very well accepted that you find ‘Googling’, exploring online journals, archives of ‘Scribd’, ‘Goodreads’ etc. and downloading e-books’ own suitable method of studying. But, also, make sure to go through as many of ‘actual’ books your teacher has highly recommended. No harm in ‘hiking’ a bit more quality of own paper’s content, correct?
- Then again, you may have planned to purely focus over opinion-polls, e-mails, and mass-questionnaires as tools of data mining. Nevertheless, why not give a try to the strategy of a face-to-face interview with relevant well-known personalities, your teacher is putting so much weight?
- Besides, your plan to resort to statistics, concrete numbers, graphs, and circumstantial evidence (s) as the case’s data deserves all the kudos. However, including some famous quotes, related historical consequences, and past archival records – as suggested by the faculty, will only be for the betterment of your assignment.
All-in-all, use the ‘best’ of all the ways lying in front – but only that ones you can grasp.
# 3 Select the Right Approach
Remember the afore-mentioned issue of ‘inconsistency’ teachers find in case-studies submitted?
That happens primarily because students often fail to pursue the correct execution-style applicable to the broader subject field. And end-up mixing one approach with the other – creating nothing but an analytical hotchpotch.
Essentially there exist 4 definite styles of ‘doing’ a case-study:
- Exploratory – Focusing on a purely investigatory strategy of progress and used primarily for legal case-studies and where the need is to showcase fact-based proof
- Cumulative – A technique to compare the data and facts collected and thus arrive on the most feasible conclusion; top choice for academic and pediatric purposes
- Illustrative – The ultimate ‘hack’ to structure an effective corporate case-study; in a story-telling way you describe certain significant events and the essential impact of particular models, infrastructures and phenomenon upon people/clients
- Critical – Scrutiny of involved people/organizations/thoughts and structuring of the ‘case’ on an entirely cause & effect results of such probes; a favorite in the realm of medical and social studies
The application of these 4 styles is not limited to only the genres given as an example. They are just for clearing the idea.
Give proper thought over the texture of each and select only that which emerges fittest for your topic. Just guarantee your selected approach maintains the uniformity of your paper.
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# 4 Follow The International Rule of Structuring
And why? Because to ensure format-wise, your assignment does not miss a single mark!
Now, what is this rule? The frameworks put forward by University of New South Wales and Monash University are globally recognized as the optimum to this end. And in general practice, teachers follow ‘the best’ of both these structures. And thus guide how to write a case study.
Curious to know what’s that model? Well, a standard case-study contains eight vital sections of –
Where you represent
- The prime aim of doing the study and the core issues involved
- A brief description of the entity (people/firm/paradigms) engaged
- The specific theoretical approach you will implement
- Sneak-peek into your findings and very own assumptions – do not disclose any detail here
The distinctive segment of the paper where you can–
- Show personal dedication towards research
- Depict potentiality in finding unique and exclusive facts
- Add all the more integrity and logic to the ‘work done.’
And, as for accomplishing each of these, important is that you include in here:
- All crucial background information about the study subject
- The vitality of the problem you are highlighting for the study genre; input both of practical facts and famous theories to create a pressing impression of the issue raised upon the reader
- The data found in the most detailed format; and how it aided you to interpret the chosen angle/problem better
- Reason for selecting some particular interviewees and their contribution in your fact-finding
- Relevancy of research tools you have chosen and their resulting feasibility for your database
- A 360-degree presentation of the specific aspect you are addressing and its development over time
- Number(s) and nature of solution already tested for your issue and associated viewpoints of associated researchers
Now to demonstrate your proficiency over rightfully interpreting the case. The teacher will be convinced about that only if you –
- Highlight the root cause that led to the birth of the very problem or idea or event which is now your case
- Give a crystal-clear, easily understandable and summarized statement of what this case is; best practice is to go for 1-2 sentences
- Depict feasible solutions for every problem arising while doing the case-study – always better to provide multiple solutions for one single problem; it messages the faculty about the mark of your understanding of the case
- Include own assessment of each such ‘way-out’ both from the positive and negative ends
- ‘Talk’ least about concepts and stress more upon the study’s real-time implementations and aspects
Well, highlight the most compelling points as present in the above two sections. As a ground-rule, avoid ‘clutter’ – that is an explanation, notes, coursework details, of any form here.
Time to provide your evaluation of the study done until now. It is also the part where you convince the reader about the viability of own ‘take’ on the case. Try to –
- Pick 2-3 most workable solutions amidst the multiple presented for problems in the ‘Discussion’ section
- Clearly explain your logic behind selecting them and how they emerge best for the problem addressed
- Synchronize whatever theory you have utilized with the suitable practical findings; it doubles up acceptance of solutions you are suggesting
- Maintain an overall influential tone – to thus give all the more leverage to own assessment
- Not highlight any final resolution to be ‘best’ for the case; instead, provide space for the reader to think, question, and construct own ‘way-outs’. However, to do this, the content of your paper must be of cutting-edge standard – both by quality and quantity
As the researcher of the ‘case’ and writer of the study, it is your duty to aware readers of the paths to undertake for deploying your suggested solutions. Follow the hacks of –
- Answering questions like ‘what technique to follow’, ‘who are the right persons’ and ‘when is the right time.’
- Championing one single pathway and what particular benefits it can bring to the problems in question; Learn what? This one single tactic increases the scope for your assignment to fetch a high score by 84X.
- Where relevant, including the total cost of implementation – in terms of time & resources
Not properly cited and thus lacking in integrity – this remains one consistent complain of teachers while checking case-studies.
So, after putting in all the labor over researching and devising your analysis, do not ‘slack down’ upon acknowledging all the sources, you have resorted to.
It is not necessary to include them all and thus create a random jumble. But do ‘put in’ those, which have been most resourceful for your data finding and helped best for making your own analysis.
Best practice in this aspect is to pursue citation styles put forward by APA, MLA or Harvard.
In the meanwhile, go through amazing research paper topics.
There will come up many mind-engaging and one-of-a-kind visual information during the ‘Finding’ stage, that your mind will long to include in the assignment and thus ‘impress’ the faculty.
However, get alert that inclusion of way too many tables, pie-charts, figures, and graphs ‘in the middle’ of paper’s content often disturbs the reader’s attention.
But again, unique data that you have found and based own assessment upon must feature in your assignment
What’s the way out then? The Appendices section – to come at the end of your study. Use this segment to attach all the original records found, and best is to follow the approach defined by the University of Southern California.
# 5 Never Miss These Best Practices Of –
- Creating a sound link between the ground-work of the research and your ultimate analysis. Upheld 1-2 core consequences of this investigation that drove you to shape own assessment – instead presenting a vague idea of all the effects.
- Providing all the vital contents, but not making your assignment ‘too heavy to digest’. What you require is to rightfully sort out the ‘bulks’ of text and data gathered. The sole ways of doing that are two. Chronologically arrange all such information and go through them as much as possible. Repeated exploration by a specific pattern automatically lets you realize ‘what’s must include’ and ‘what’s excess to leave out.’
- Framing open-ended questions. This hack always results in gaining way more than information from interviews and surveys than you have thought and even obtaining personal viewpoints of survey participants or interviewees over the ‘case.’
- Trying to gain first-hand data from these people – like experiences, classified statistics, graphics about one or more of the issues raised within the study. Each such record heightens the reliability mark of your ‘Finding’ and ‘Discussion.’
- Following a quality template format while writing the analysis. The example model provided by the University of Wisconsin stands best to this end.
- Using a language that is even understandable by a common man. The teacher is going to score you for your skill of choosing a unique ‘case’ and proficiency in analyzing it. And not for the ornamental language that eventually makes your paper a ‘chore’ to read.
Wish you find a concrete ‘case’ and succeed in doing a concrete study.
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