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Case Study Reflective Essay Examples

What is a case study ?

A case study is a description of a real life problem or situation which requires you to analyse the main issues involved.  These issues need to be discussed and related to the academic literature and/or research findings on the topic and conclusions then drawn about why the situation  occurred and how  best to respond to it.

Why do we write case study responses?

A case study is a way to apply the theoretical knowledge gained from the academic literature to real life situations that you may encounter in your work. 

Writing a case study response enables you to

  • analyse the issues in a real life situation,
  • apply the knowledge gained from your academic reading and research and
  • draw conclusions about how to respond as a professional to that situation. 

How to write a case study response

Before you start writing, you need to carefully read the case study and make a note of the main issues and problems involved as well as the main stakeholders (persons or groups of persons who have an interest in the case).                                                  

A case study response would include the following elements:

Introduction

Introduce the main purpose of the case study and briefly outline the overall problem to be solved. 

Description

Write a brief description of the case under discussion giving an outline of the main issues involved.  Always assume that your reader knows nothing of the assignment task and provide  enough information to give a context for your discussion of the issues. 

Discussion

Discuss the issues raised one by one, using information gained from your research of the academic literature. 

Your discussion may include:

  • an outline of the issue and its implications for or relationship to different  stakeholders
  • how that issue links to theories or research in the academic literature
  • suggested solutions or ideas
  • evaluation of the solutions or ideas for this particular case

Conclusion / Recommendations

Finally, sum up the conclusions that you have come to and give recommendations to resolve the case.  Give reasons for your recommendations. 

Checklist for a case study response

Have I:

  • Carefully read the case and noted the main issues and stakeholders in the case?
  • Written a brief description of the case to give your readers a context for the main issues?
  • Discussed each issue with reference to the academic literature?
  • Evaluated the solutions or ideas for each issue to find the ones most suitable?
  • Made final recommendations of how to resolve the case?
  • Used a well structured introduction, body and conclusion?
  • Cited and referenced all of the work by other people?
  • Used correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, clear presentation and appropriate reference style?

Further information

Monash University – How to write the case study

University of New South Wales – Writing a Case Study Report in Engineering

Take your notes and use those to write your final draft. Here are some tips:

Introduction: Either start with a vivid description of the place, your experience, or a summary of what you are reflecting about. End with your thesis idea. Sometimes you may want to put a question first and then the answer

Example Thesis: Why was I feeling so peaceful while walking down this beach? I realized it was because the beach had always been a place of rest to me.

Body: Each of the questions you've answered can be a paragraph in the body of your essay. Take your notes and expand them. Add more details and examples from your experience and your life story.

Conclusion: Explain and expand on your thesis idea. Tell how this experience taught you something new or how it helped you to understand something. Another way to conclude is to suggest where you might like to go from this point in thinking about your thesis idea.

Example Conclusion: I sent my photo of "For Rhonda" to my friend along with a text letting her know how much I appreciate her help in letting me know that we can always find places to relax and renew in the midst of our busy lives. Now, I want to find a way to help Rhonda have a day off of her own, and I'm hoping someday we can take a trip to the beach together.

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