What is a Case Study? Definition and Method
Many students don’t know how to write a case study and find it a very difficult assignment even before getting started. Of course, it can be quite a challenging task but with the help of various recommendations and case study examples, you will be able to complete the assignment in a blink of an eye!
A case study is a task, which aims to teach the student how to analyze the causes and consequences of an event or activity by creating its role model. Such assignments show how complexities may influence various decisions and that is what makes case studies so important.
In most of the cases, your professor will give the same topic to a whole class and it will become a sort of a discussion, after processing all available data. That is why you need to use all of your thinking skills and knowledge to get a chance to analyze the situation properly. Here are some recommendations, which will be helpful in completing a case study:
- Use real-life examples. If you are free to choose a topic on your own, try to take it from real life. However, avoid real names;
- Finish every part of your study with points for discussing. They will engage your reader and help him orient in the study;
- Provide credible information on the topic;
- Make sure the story is believable, i.e. it consists of sequence of time and events, problems and issues to solve, identities and so on.
There are also a few problems you need to avoid to make your case study as interesting and catchy, as possible:
- No limitations. It is very easy to get lost in background information and data, which is not directly related to the subject. Try to distinguish key points of your paper and concentrate on them, instead of including information from different areas;
- No credible sources. Such task has lots of requirements, including trustworthy sources. Every statement you make should be backed with credible data and evidence;
- No conclusions. Every assignment, not depending on a topic and complexity, should end up with conclusions to give the reader an idea of topic relevance. Make sure you spend enough time on analyzing the results and providing useful conclusions.
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Examples & Samples of Case Study
There are multiple ways of making the process of completing the assignment easier, including ordering a task at a writing service or asking other students for help. However, most of the students decide to download a case study template and try to complete the assignment on their own, using an example.
It can be a great option for those, who easily process information and can analyze the template structure to apply it in their own works. Such samples can be of a great help, as they contain a proper formatting style, content and other important elements, which distinguish a first-class paper. With the help of a sample case study you will be able to complete the assignment quicker and with less efforts.
Case Study Example
Case Study Examples
Case Study Format
Case Study Samples
Case Study Template
Sample Case Study
Case Study Template and Format
You have already learned what a case study is and how it should look like, so it is time to learn more about the structure of assignment and its content. However, every research greatly differs depending on the topic, so you should carefully note down all the guidelines your professor provides not to miss anything.
Here is a general structure of a study, which can be applied in most of the cases:
- Title page, which contains the title of your work, author’s name and name of the institution. In some cases you may be asked to add key words, which will be used by various searching tools;
- Abstract, which can be of a narrative or a structured type. Narrative abstract is a summary of the whole work to give the reader a chance to understand whether he is interested in reading the whole paper. Structured abstracts are used in scientific studies, when you need to provide a list of information or questions, which will be later studied in the text. You can use sub-headings, which will give the reader an idea of how the structure of your assignment looks like;
- Introduction, which aims to give the audience an idea of what makes your study so interesting. You can include examples of similar cases or get back to historical events to connect them with the problem you are studying;
- Presentation. In this section you need to provide the raw information you have collected. Try to make it narrative and interesting;
- Outcomes, which should give the reader an idea of how the problem or event should be treated. Make sure you provide all of your recommendations in a simple way, using credible sources;
- References, which should include only credible sources.
When you complete such assignment, you should never forget about case study format, as it can greatly influence the result. Your professor may ask you to use a certain formatting style, which will be much easier for you and will help to avoid the most common mistakes.
At some point in one of your psychology classes, you might be asked to write a case study of an individual. What exactly is a case study? It is essentially an in-depth psychological investigation of a single person or group of people. The format of your case study might vary depending upon the requirements of the assignment and your instructor's expectations, but most include a detailed background of the individual, a description of the problem the person is facing, a diagnosis, and a description of an intervention using one or more therapeutic approaches.
Of course, the first step in writing a case study is to select a subject. In some cases, you might be allowed to conduct a case study on an actual volunteer or on someone you know such as a friend or family member. In other cases, your instructor might prefer that you select a less personal subject such as an individual from history or a famous literary figure.
Looking for a good subject for your cases study? Here are just a few ideas that might inspire you:
Write About a Famous Psychologist
There are plenty of fascinating figures in the history of psychology who would make for an interesting case study. Sigmund Freud, Harry Harlow, Erik Erikson, B. F. Skinner, and many other famous thinkers led interesting lives that offer plenty of material for a great case study.
Focus on a Famous Patient in Psychology
Some of the most famous people in psychology sometimes aren't psychologists at all. Instead, the patients, clients, and cases studied by psychologists might prove even more interesting.
Think of people like Anna O., Phineas Gage, and Genie.
Write About a Famous Historical Figure
Eleanor Roosevelt, Napoleon, Adolph Hilter, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and many other famous (and infamous) people could potentially serve as a subject for your case study. Obviously, this will involve some reading and research on your chosen subject's life and accomplishments, but it could certainly make for an interesting paper.
Focus on a Fictional Character or a Famous Literary Figure
Another fun and interesting approach is to conduct a case study of one of your favorite fictional characters. You might opt to tackle a classic character such as Shakespeare's Macbeth or Romeo or Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet or Fitzwilliam Darcy. Or instead you might opt to focus on a more contemporary literary character such as Suzanne Collins's Katniss Everdeen or J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.
As you can see, there are plenty of great options out there when selecting a subject for your case study. First and foremost, always start by paying attention to the directions given by your instructor. In many cases, there will be specific guidelines about whom and what you are allowed to write about.