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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.

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All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study

case study project introduction

What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.

What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?

While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.

Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.

The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.

Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:

Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.

Types of Case Studies

The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:

Types of Case Studies

  • Historical case studies are great to learn from. Historical events have a multitude of source info offering different perspectives. There are always modern parallels where these perspectives can be applied, compared, and thoroughly analyzed.
  • Problem-oriented case studies are usually used for solving problems. These are often assigned as theoretical situations where you need to immerse yourself in the situation to examine it. Imagine you’re working for a startup and you’ve just noticed a significant flaw in your product’s design. Before taking it to the senior manager, you want to do a comprehensive study on the issue and provide solutions. On a greater scale, problem-oriented case studies are a vital part of relevant socio-economic discussions.
  • Cumulative case studies collect information and offer comparisons. In business, case studies are often used to tell people about the value of a product.
  • Critical case studies explore the causes and effects of a certain case.
  • Illustrative case studies describe certain events, investigating outcomes and lessons learned.

Case Study Format

The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:

  • Executive Summary. Explain what you will examine in the case study. Write an overview of the field you’re researching. Make a thesis statement and sum up the results of your observation in a maximum of 2 sentences.
  • Background. Provide background information and the most relevant facts. Isolate the issues.
  • Case Evaluation. Isolate the sections of the study you want to focus on. In it, explain why something is working or is not working.
  • Proposed Solutions. Offer realistic ways to solve what isn’t working or how to improve its current condition. Explain why these solutions work by offering testable evidence.
  • Conclusion. Summarize the main points from the case evaluations and proposed solutions. 6. Recommendations. Talk about the strategy that you should choose. Explain why this choice is the most appropriate.
  • Implementation. Explain how to put the specific strategies into action.
  • References. Provide all the citations.

How to Write a Case Study

Let's discover how to write a case study.

How to Write a Case Study

Setting Up the Research

When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:

  • Define your objective. Explain the reason why you’re presenting your subject. Figure out where you will feature your case study; whether it is written, on video, shown as an infographic, streamed as a podcast, etc.
  • Determine who will be the right candidate for your case study. Get permission, quotes, and other features that will make your case study effective. Get in touch with your candidate to see if they approve of being part of your work. Study that candidate’s situation and note down what caused it.
  • Identify which various consequences could result from the situation. Follow these guidelines on how to start a case study: surf the net to find some general information you might find useful.
  • Make a list of credible sources and examine them. Seek out important facts and highlight problems. Always write down your ideas and make sure to brainstorm.
  • Focus on several key issues – why they exist, and how they impact your research subject. Think of several unique solutions. Draw from class discussions, readings, and personal experience. When writing a case study, focus on the best solution and explore it in depth. After having all your research in place, writing a case study will be easy. You may first want to check the rubric and criteria of your assignment for the correct case study structure.

Read Also: 'CREDIBLE SOURCES: WHAT ARE THEY?'

Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:

  • Correctly identify the concepts, theories, and practices in the discipline.
  • Identify the relevant theories and principles associated with the particular study.
  • Evaluate legal and ethical principles and apply them to your decision-making.
  • Recognize the global importance and contribution of your case.
  • Construct a coherent summary and explanation of the study.
  • Demonstrate analytical and critical-thinking skills.
  • Explain the interrelationships between the environment and nature.
  • Integrate theory and practice of the discipline within the analysis.

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Case Study Outline

Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.

Introduction

  • Statement of the issue: Alcoholism is a disease rather than a weakness of character.
  • Presentation of the problem: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there.
  • Explanation of the terms: In the past, alcoholism was commonly referred to as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction. Alcoholism is now the more severe stage of this addiction in the disorder spectrum.
  • Hypotheses: Drinking in excess can lead to the use of other drugs.
  • Importance of your story: How the information you present can help people with their addictions.
  • Background of the story: Include an explanation of why you chose this topic.
  • Presentation of analysis and data: Describe the criteria for choosing 30 candidates, the structure of the interview, and the outcomes.
  • Strong argument 1: ex. X% of candidates dealing with anxiety and depression...
  • Strong argument 2: ex. X amount of people started drinking by their mid-teens.
  • Strong argument 3: ex. X% of respondents’ parents had issues with alcohol.
  • Concluding statement: I have researched if alcoholism is a disease and found out that…
  • Recommendations: Ways and actions for preventing alcohol use.

Writing a Case Study Draft

After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:

How to Write a Case Study

  • Your draft should contain at least 4 sections: an introduction; a body where you should include background information, an explanation of why you decided to do this case study, and a presentation of your main findings; a conclusion where you present data; and references.
  • In the introduction, you should set the pace very clearly. You can even raise a question or quote someone you interviewed in the research phase. It must provide adequate background information on the topic. The background may include analyses of previous studies on your topic. Include the aim of your case here as well. Think of it as a thesis statement. The aim must describe the purpose of your work—presenting the issues that you want to tackle. Include background information, such as photos or videos you used when doing the research.
  • Describe your unique research process, whether it was through interviews, observations, academic journals, etc. The next point includes providing the results of your research. Tell the audience what you found out. Why is this important, and what could be learned from it? Discuss the real implications of the problem and its significance in the world.
  • Include quotes and data (such as findings, percentages, and awards). This will add a personal touch and better credibility to the case you present. Explain what results you find during your interviews in regards to the problem and how it developed. Also, write about solutions which have already been proposed by other people who have already written about this case.
  • At the end of your case study, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about solving them yourself.

Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study

Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :

‍ With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.

Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.

Finalizing the Draft: Checklist

After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:

  • Check that you follow the correct case study format, also in regards to text formatting.
  • Check that your work is consistent with its referencing and citation style.
  • Micro-editing — check for grammar and spelling issues.
  • Macro-editing — does ‘the big picture’ come across to the reader? Is there enough raw data, such as real-life examples or personal experiences? Have you made your data collection process completely transparent? Does your analysis provide a clear conclusion, allowing for further research and practice?

Problems to avoid:

  • Overgeneralization – Do not go into further research that deviates from the main problem.
  • Failure to Document Limitations – Just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study, you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.
  • Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications – Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings.

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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

Let's see how to create an awesome title page.

Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:

  • A title that attracts some attention and describes your study
  • The title should have the words “case study” in it
  • The title should range between 5-9 words in length
  • Your name and contact information
  • Your finished paper should be only 500 to 1,500 words in length. With this type of assignment, write effectively and avoid fluff.

Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:

There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.

Citation Example in MLA ‍ Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA ‍ Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.

Case Study Examples

To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.

Eastman Kodak Case Study

Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany

To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .

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How to Write a Case Study: A Breakdown of Requirements

It can take months to develop a case study. First, a topic must be chosen. Then the researcher must state his hypothesis, and make certain it lines up with the chosen topic. Then all the research must be completed. The case study can require both quantitative and qualitative research, as well as interviews with subjects. Once that is all done, it is time to write the case study.

Not all case studies are written the same. Depending on the size and topic of the study, it could be hundreds of pages long. Regardless of the size, the case study should have four main sections. These sections are:

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Presentation of Findings

4. Conclusion

The Introduction

The introduction should set the stage for the case study, and state the thesis for the report. The intro must clearly articulate what the study's intention is, as well as how you plan on explaining and answering the thesis.

Again, remember that a case study is not a formal scientific research report that will only be read by scientists. The case study must be able to be read and understood by the layperson, and should read almost as a story, with a clear narrative.

As the reader reads the introduction, they should fully understand what the study is about, and why it is important. They should have a strong foundation for the background they will learn about in the next section.

The introduction should not be long. You must be able to introduce your topic in one or two paragraphs. Ideally, the introduction is one paragraph of about 3-5 sentences.

The Background

The background should detail what information brought the researcher to pose his hypothesis. It should clearly explain the subject or subjects, as well as their background information. And lastly, the background must give the reader a full understanding of the issue at hand, and what process will be taken with the study. Photos and videos are always helpful when applicable.

When writing the background, the researcher must explain the research methods used, and why. The type of research used will be dependent on the type of case study. The reader should have a clear idea why a particular type of research is good for the field and type of case study.

For example, a case study that is trying to determine what causes PTSD in veterans will heavily use interviews as a research method. Directly interviewing subjects garners invaluable research for the researcher. If possible, reference studies that prove this.

Again, as with the introduction, you do not want to write an extremely long background. It is important you provide the right amount of information, as you do not want to bore your readers with too much information, and you don't want them under-informed.

How much background information should a case study provide? What would happen if the case study had too much background info?

What would happen if the case study had too little background info?

The Presentation of Findings

While a case study might use scientific facts and information, a case study should not read as a scientific research journal or report. It should be easy to read and understand, and should follow the narrative determined in the first step.

The presentation of findings should clearly explain how the topic was researched, and summarize what the results are. Data should be summarized as simply as possible so that it is understandable by people without a scientific background. The researcher should describe what was learned from the interviews, and how the results answered the questions asked in the introduction.

When writing up the report, it is important to set the scene. The writer must clearly lay out all relevant facts and detail the most important points. While this section may be lengthy, you do not want to overwhelm the reader with too much information.

The Conclusion

The final section of the study is the conclusion. The purpose of the study isn't necessarily to solve the problem, only to offer possible solutions. The final summary should be an end to the story.

Remember, the case study is about asking and answering questions. The conclusion should answer the question posed by the researcher, but also leave the reader with questions of his own. The researcher wants the reader to think about the questions posed in the study, and be free to come to their own conclusions as well.

When reading the conclusion, the reader should be able to have the following takeaways:

Was there a solution provided? If so, why was it chosen?

Was the solution supported with solid evidence?

Did the personal experiences and interviews support the solution?

The conclusion should also make any recommendations that are necessary. What needs to be done, and you exactly should do it? In the case of the vets with PTSD, once a cause is determined, who is responsible for making sure the needs of the veterans are met?

English Writing Standards For Case Studies

When writing the case study, it is important to follow standard academic and scientific rules when it comes to spelling and grammar.

Spelling and Grammar

It should go without saying that a thorough spell check should be done. Remember, many case studies will require words or terms that are not in standard online dictionaries, so it is imperative the correct spelling is used. If possible, the first draft of the case study should be reviewed and edited by someone other than yourself.

Case studies are normally written in the past tense, as the report is detailing an event or topic that has since passed. The report should be written using a very logical and clear tone. All case studies are scientific in nature and should be written as such.

The First Draft

You do not sit down and write the case study in one day. It is a long and detailed process, and it must be done carefully and with precision. When you sit down to first start writing, you will want to write in plain English, and detail the what, when and how.

When writing the first draft, note any relevant assumptions. Don't immediately jump to any conclusions; just take notes of any initial thoughts. You are not looking for solutions yet. In the first draft use direct quotes when needed, and be sure to identify and qualify all information used.

If there are any issues you do not understand, the first draft is where it should be identified. Make a note so you return to review later. Using a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets is very valuable during this stage of the writing process, and can help keep you and your information and data organized.

The Second Draft

To prepare the second draft, you will want to assemble everything you have written thus far. You want to reduce the amount of writing so that the writing is tightly written and cogent. Remember, you want your case study to be interesting to read.

When possible, you should consider adding images, tables, maps, or diagrams to the text to make it more interesting for the reader. If you use any of these, make sure you have permission to use them. You cannot take an image from the Internet and use it without permission.

Once you have completed the second draft, you are not finished! It is imperative you have someone review your work. This could be a coworker, friend, or trusted colleague. You want someone who will give you an honest review of your work, and is willing to give you feedback, whether positive or negative.

Remember, you cannot proofread enough! You do not want to risk all of your hard work and research, and end up with a final case study that has spelling or grammatical errors. One typo could greatly hurt your project and damage your reputation in your field.

All case studies should follow LIT – Logical – Inclusive – Thorough.

The case study obviously must be logical. There can be no guessing or estimating. This means that the report must state what was observed, but cannot include any opinion or assumptions that might come from such an observation.

For example, if a veteran subject arrives at an interview holding an empty liquor bottle and is slurring his words, that observation must be made. However, the researcher cannot make the inference that the subject was intoxicated. The report can only include the facts.

With the Genie case, researchers witnessed Genie hitting herself and practicing self-harm. It could be assumed that she did this when she was angry. However, this wasn't always the case. She would also hit herself when she was afraid, bored or apprehensive. It is essential that researchers not guess or infer.

In order for a report to be inclusive, it must contain ALL data and findings. The researcher cannot pick and choose which data or findings to use in the report.

Using the example above, if a veteran subject arrives for an interview holding an empty liquor bottle and is slurring his words; any and all additional information that can be garnered should be recorded. For instance, what the subject was wearing, what was his demeanor, was he able to speak and communicate, etc.

When observing a man who might be drunk, it can be easy to make assumptions. However, the researcher cannot allow personal biases or beliefs to sway the findings. Any and all relevant facts must be included, regardless of size or perceived importance. Remember, small details might not seem relevant at the time of the interview. But once it is time to catalog the findings, small details might become important.

The last tip is to be thorough. It is important to delve into every observation. The researcher shouldn't just write down what they see and move on. It is essential to detail as much as possible.

For example, when interviewing veteran subjects, there interview responses are not the only information that should be garnered from the interview. The interviewer should use all senses when detailing their subject.

How does the subject appear? Is he clean? How is he dressed?

How does his voice sound? Is he speaking clearly and making cohesive thoughts? Does his voice sound raspy? Does he speak with a whisper, or does he speak too loudly?

Does the subject smell? Is he wearing cologne, or can you smell that he hasn't bathed or washed his clothes? What do his clothes look like? Is he well dressed, or does he wear casual clothes?

What is the background of the subject? What are his current living arrangements? Does he have supportive family and friends? Is he a loner who doesn't have a solid support system? Is the subject working? If so, is he happy with the job? If he is not employed, why is that? What makes the subject unemployable?

Case Studies in Marketing

We have already determined that case studies are very valuable in the business world. This is particularly true in the marketing field, which includes advertising and public relations. While case studies are almost all the same, marketing case studies are usually more dependent on interviews and observations.

Well-Known Marketing Case Studies

DeBeers is a diamond company headquartered in Luxembourg, and based in South Africa. It is well known for its logo, "A diamond is forever", which has been voted the best advertising slogan of the 20 th century.

Many studies have been done about DeBeers, but none are as well known as their marketing case study, and how they positioned themselves to be the most successful and well-known diamond company in the world.

DeBeers developed the idea for a diamond engagement ring. They also invented the "eternity band", which is a ring that has diamonds going all around it, signifying that long is forever.

They also invented the three-stone ring, signifying the past, present and future. De Beers was the first company to attribute their products, diamonds to the idea of love and romance. They originated the idea that an engagement ring should cost two-months salary.

The two-month salary standard is particularly unique, in that it is totally subjective. A ring should mean the same whether the man makes $25,000 a year or $250,000. And yet, the standard sticks due to DeBeers incredible marketing skills.

The De Beers case study is one of the most famous studies when it comes to both advertising and marketing, and is used worldwide as the ultimate example of a successful ongoing marketing campaign.

Planning the Market Research

The most important parts of the marketing case study are:

1. The case study's questions

2. The study's propositions

3. How information and data will be analyzed

4. The logic behind what is being proposed

5. How the findings will be interpreted

The study's questions should be either "how" or "why" questions, and their definitions are the researchers first job. These questions will help determine the study's goals.

Not every case study has a proposition. If you are doing an exploratory study, you will not have propositions. Instead, you will have a stated purpose, which will determine whether your study is successful, or not.

How the information will be analyzed will depend on what the topic is. This would vary depending on whether it was a person, group, or organization. Event and place studies are done differently.

When setting up your research, you will want to follow case study protocol. The protocol should have the following sections:

1. An overview of the case study, including the objectives, topic and issues.

2. Procedures for gathering information and conducting interviews.

3. Questions that will be asked during interviews and data collection.

4. A guide for the final case study report.

When deciding upon which research methods to use, these are the most important:

1. Documents and archival records

2 . Interviews

3. Direct observations (and indirect when possible)

4. Indirect observations, or observations of subjects

5. Physical artifacts and tools

Documents could include almost anything, including letters, memos, newspaper articles, Internet articles, other case studies, or any other document germane to the study.

Developing the Case Study

Developing a marketing case study follows the same steps and procedures as most case studies. It begins with asking a question, "what is missing?"

1. What is the background of the case study? Who requested the study to be done and why? What industry is the study in, and where will the study take place? What marketing needs are you trying to address?

2. What is the problem that needs a solution? What is the situation, and what are the risks? What are you trying to prove?

3. What questions are required to analyze the problem? What questions might the reader of the study have?

4. What tools are required to analyze the problem? Is data analysis necessary? Can the study use just interviews and observations, or will it require additional information?

5. What is your current knowledge about the problem or situation? How much background information do you need to procure? How will you obtain this background info?

6. What other information do you need to know to successfully complete the study?

7. How do you plan to present the report? Will it be a simple written report, or will you add PowerPoint presentations or images or videos? When is the report due? Are you giving yourself enough time to complete the project?

Formulating the Marketing Case Study

1. What is the marketing problem? Most case studies begin with a problem that management or the marketing department is facing. You must fully understand the problem and what caused it. That is when you can start searching for a solution.

However, marketing case studies can be difficult to research. You must turn a marketing problem into a research problem. For example, if the problem is that sales are not growing, you must translate that to a research problem.

What could potential research problems be?

Research problems could be poor performance or poor expectations. You want a research problem because then you can find an answer. Management problems focus on actions, such as whether to advertise more, or change advertising strategies. Research problems focus on finding out how to solve the management problem.

Method of Inquiry

As with the research for most case studies, the scientific method is standard. It allows you to use existing knowledge as a starting point. The scientific method has the following steps:

1. Ask a question – formulate a problem

2. Do background research

3. Formulate a problem

4. Develop/construct a hypothesis

5. Make predictions based on the hypothesis

6. Do experiments to test the hypothesis

7 . Conduct the test/experiment

8 . Analyze and communicate the results

The above terminology is very similar to the research process. The main difference is that the scientific method is objective and the research process is subjective. Quantitative research is based on impartial analysis, and qualitative research is based on personal judgment.

Research Method

After selecting the method of inquiry, it is time to decide on a research method. There are two main research methodologies, experimental research and non-experimental research.

Experimental research allows you to control the variables and to manipulate any of the variables that influence the study.

Non-experimental research allows you to observe, but not intervene. You just observe and then report your findings.

Research Design

The design is the plan for how you will conduct the study, and how you will collect the data. The design is the scientific method you will use to obtain the information you are seeking.

Data Collection

There are many different ways to collect data, with the two most important being interviews and observation.

Interviews are when you ask people questions and get a response. These interviews can be done face-to-face, by telephone, the mail, email, or even the Internet. This category of research techniques is survey research. Interviews can be done in both experimental and non-experimental research.

Observation is watching a person or company's behavior. For example, by observing a persons buying behavior, you could predict how that person will make purchases in the future.

When using interviews or observation, it is required that you record your results. How you record the data will depend on which method you use. As with all case studies, using a research notebook is key, and will be the heart of the study.

Sample Design

When developing your case study, you won't usually examine an entire population; those are done by larger research projects. Your study will use a sample, which is a small representation of the population. When designing your sample, be prepared to answer the following questions:

1. From which type of population should the sample be chosen?

2. What is the process for the selection of the sample?

3. What will be the size of the sample?

There are two ways to select a sample from the general population; probability and non-probability sampling. Probability sampling uses random sampling of everyone in the population. Non-probability sampling uses the judgment of the researcher.

The last step of designing your sample is to determine the sample size. This can depend on cost and accuracy. Larger samples are better and more accurate, but they can also be costly.

Analysis of the Data

In order to use the data, it first must be analyzed. How you analyze the data should be decided upon as early in the process as possible, and will vary depending on the type of info you are collecting, and the form of measurement being used. As stated repeatedly, make sure you keep track of everything in the research notebook.

The Marketing Case Study Report

The final stage of the process is the marketing case study. The final study will include all of the information, as well as detail the process. It will also describe the results, conclusions, and any recommendations. It must have all the information needed so that the reader can understand the case study.

As with all case studies, it must be easy to read. You don't want to use info that is too technical; otherwise you could potentially overwhelm your reader. So make sure it is written in plain English, with scientific and technical terms kept to a minimum.

Using Your Case Study

Once you have your finished case study, you have many opportunities to get that case study in front of potential customers. Here is a list of the ways you can use your case study to help your company's marketing efforts.

1. Have a page on your website that is dedicated to case studies. The page should have a catchy name and list all of the company's case studies, beginning with the most recent. Next to each case study list its goals and results.

2. Put the case study on your home page. This will put your study front and center, and will be immediately visible when customers visit your web page. Make sure the link isn't hidden in an area rarely visited by guests. You can highlight the case study for a few weeks or months, or until you feel your study has received enough looks.

3. Write a blog post about your case study. Obviously you must have a blog for this to be successful. This is a great way to give your case study exposure, and it allows you to write the post directly addressing your audience's needs.

4 . Make a video from your case study. Videos are more popular than ever, and turning a lengthy case study into a brief video is a great way to get your case study in front of people who might not normally read a case study.

5. Use your case study on a landing page. You can pull quotes from the case study and use those on product pages. Again, this format works best when you use market segmentation.

6. Post about your case studies on social media. You can share links on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Write a little interesting tidbit, enough to capture your client's interest, and then place the link.

7 . Use your case study in your email marketing. This is most effective if your email list is segmented, and you can direct your case study to those most likely to be receptive to it.

8. Use your case studies in your newsletters. This can be especially effective if you use segmentation with your newsletters, so you can gear the case study to those most likely to read and value it.

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Main Tips On How To Write Case Study Analysis

29 Apr 2022

Quick Navigation

❔What is a Case Study Analysis?

☝️Types of Case Studies

📃Case Study Examples

✏️Writing a Case Study Draft

📝How to Format a Case Study

✍️How to Write an Outline

📌How to Write a Case Study

📑Creating a Title Page and Citing

Many students struggle with how to do a case study analysis. Writing such an assignment is always daunting, as it requires you to analyze something and form conclusions based on your research.

It usually focuses on phenomena you can't study in a typical way. Therefore, when writing such a text, you have to prepare thoughtfully. In the  PapersOwl article, you will find out what this academic writing is and how to write a case analysis.

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What is a Case Study Analysis?

A case study analysis is a form of writing that analyzes a specific situation, event, object, person, or even place. The said analysis should be written and structured to lead to a conclusion. Typically, you cannot analyze the subject of this essay via quantitative methods.

Note that such studies can be used in various fields and require the use of many theories that can give you a unique approach to the matter. For example, you can write a paper like this about social sciences, business, medicine, and many other fields. Each of these will require a particular approach.

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Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study

Like all papers share similarities, these two are no different. Hence, knowing these parallels and distinctions, you will be able to learn how to write a case study assignment correctly.

A case study introduction can present the topic but does not require a citation of other similar works or the writer's opinion. On the other hand, research papers do not need a complete introduction about the general topic, but need citation since you will be using other people's works.

In addition, a writer must present their thoughts and views about the case they research. Finally, the most significant difference is that the research papers make the readers focus on a specific issue. On the contrary, the case study goes more into the matter and shifts the focus to all the details.

Types of Case Studies

When it comes to writing case study analysis, there are five types you must learn to differentiate. That is important because whether you get such an assignment, you will have to understand the task first and then start with the writing.

Here are the types of case studies which you will encounter most often:

  • Problem-oriented - this type focuses on real-life situations or theoretical issues and aims to solve them. For example, "World Hunger."

The second type is critical, also known as innate. The goal is to investigate a specific case, particularly its effects and what causes them - "Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped."

Historical case studies papers focus on events from our past. The text should contain information about a specific historical period of this type. Your goal will be to provide different perspectives of an event and parallel them to current-day issues. An example of such a topic is "Racism During Ancient Times - Roman Empire."

The illustrative or Instrumental type focuses on describing a particular event. Here you have to explain the event's outcome and what you have learned from it. A sample of such a topic is "The Effects of Dance Therapy in Depressed Adolescents."

Collective case studies are the fifth type. They include a collection of data about a specific case you will use to compare. E.g., "The Management Leadership at Work."

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Case Study Title Examples

When writing a case study analysis, titles usually point out that the text is a study. Thus, most of them contain "case study" in the header. Here are some case study analysis examples:

  • Santander's Expansion in Canada: Case Study Analysis
  • Case Study on the Effects of Art Therapy on Children with ADHD
  • The National Health Service's Treatment of People with Learning Disabilities, Case Study Analysis
  • Toxicological Case Study of The Mississippi River
  • Reading Development in Remote Areas of Nigeria: A Case Study
  • Case Study on the Growth of Veganism in Berlin

Writing a Case Study Draft

Creating a rough draft is the foremost step to take while writing such a paper. It is an essential step you must take, no matter how experienced you are. By doing it, you will be able to get more creative. In addition, you can explore options and decide on what to focus on more precisely, which will eventually result in a higher grade for your work.

So, sit down in a quiet place, bring an old-fashioned pen and paper, and start drafting ideas. Read them briefly while sipping on your tea and edit. After you have decided where your focus will lay, you have to develop these ideas and thoughts a bit more, then pick the best one.

How to Format a Case Study

Knowing how a case study analysis format should look is crucial. Therefore, you must know what the text structure should look like. The standard one contains about eight sections:

  • Introduction/The Executive Summary: As the first part here, you have to hook the reader's attention, so the introduction of the case study is the most important part of the writing.  Then present them with a brief overview of your case study analyses and their findings. Make sure to form a good thesis statement , as this is the pivotal point of your work.
  • Literary Review/Background information: Similarly to other papers, in this part, you have to write your most important facts or findings while identifying the case issue.
  • Method/Findings/Discussion: This section can be written separately based on how your text flows. Here you will have to explore more about the case and its findings. Allow yourself to go into more detail instead of just briefly covering them.
  • Solutions/Recommendations/Implementation Part: You have to discuss the answers you came up with. Basically, you say why they are fit to solve the case and how you think they can be used in practice. Note that you must write only realistic and practical solutions for the problem. It's possible to write testable evidence that can support your recommendations.
  • Conclusion: Here, you are supposed to cover your whole paper briefly and even repeat the thesis (rephrased). Make sure to highlight the critical points of your case study.
  • References or Bibliography: This section must include the sources from which you collected data or whom you consulted. Usually, this part is on a separate page, and the listing should be according to your academic institution's requirements.
  • Appendices (include only if applicable): It is usual for some parts of your materials to be too lengthy or unfit for the other sections of the case study. Therefore, you have to include them here. That can be pictures, raw data of statistics, graphs, notes, etc. The appendix section is strictly for subsidiary materials, do not put the most relevant ones here.
  • Author Note: Remember that all educational institutions have their requirement for a case study format. The abovementioned is an example; thus, you may see a section or another is missing, or there are additional ones.

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How to Write a Case Study Outline

To write a case study outline, you have first to conduct research. The best way to do so is by accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar or by using old-fashioned books and published works. From there, you should understand how to structure and what key points to form your text. Then, construct your thesis statement around the idea you picked.

The outline for your case study paper is essential to your writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in order to present a comprehensive, well-structured paper. Furthermore, it allows your professor to evaluate your understanding of the subject, the correct formatting and structure, and to identify any potential issues with your paper. Having an outline serves as a guide for both you and your professor, making it easier to plan and write your paper . With the help of a well-crafted outline, your professor can navigate your paper more easily and spot any issues before they arise. Writing a case study paper can be daunting, but the outline helps make it easier.

A case study outline will most likely consist of the following sections and information: 

  • Case study title;
  • Student’s name;
  • Educational instructor's name;
  • Course name.

Introduction/Summary

  • It briefly overviews your case study, thesis statement, and essential findings.

Main Body Paragraphs - usually three to five

  • Literature Review/Background Information;
  • Method/Findings;
  • Discussion/Solutions/Recommendations.
  • Repeat a paraphrased version of your thesis;
  • Summarize your case study key points;
  • Finish with a statement that can recommend the audience to read further by giving them thoughts to contemplate and develop new ideas.

Reference List or Bibliography

  • List all the sources of evidence used to create your case study in your educational organization's required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.).

How to Write a Case Study

The way to write a case study is by strictly following the main idea of your thesis. You already know that a study's main body consists of an introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion sections. Thus, all that is left is to focus on these parts and understand how to make them perfect.

  • The Introduction/Summary: The introduction of a case study should start with a solid first sentence that will hook the reader. Afterward, you must explain the question you will be answering and why you are doing it. You should include some of the topic's relevant history and details here. Also, you should explain how your case study will enrich the available information. Also, briefly summarize your literature review, which your findings will use as a base. Try to finish positively and make the reader see the benefits of reading your work.
  • Background Information/Literature Review: ‍Structure and present the data from your academic sources . This section will show the reader how vital your work is and the basis for it.
  • Method/Findings: This part aims to explain the case you selected, how it connects to the issue, and why you chose them. You can also add what methods you use. Here you must note that the data collection methods are qualitative, not quantitative, for case studies. That means the data is not random but well-structured and chronically taken from interviews, focus groups, and other sources.
  • Discussion/Solutions: Restate your thesis but rephrase it, then draw your conclusions from what you have discovered via your research and link to your statement. Inform the audience of your main findings and define why the results are relevant to the field. Think about the following questions:

Were the results unexpected? Why/Why not?

How do your findings compare to previous similar case studies in your literature review?

Do your findings correlate to previous results, or do they contradict them?

Are your findings helpful in deepening the current understanding of the topic?

Next, explore possible alternative explanations or interpretations of your findings. Be subjective and explain your paper's limitations. End with some suggestions for further exploration based on the limits of your work. ‍

  • Conclusion: Inform the reader precisely why your case study and findings are relevant, and restate your thesis and main results. Give a summary of previous studies you reviewed and how you contributed to expanding current knowledge. The final should explain how your work can be helpful and implemented in future research. 

Your instructor should have an excellent example they can show you, so feel free to ask. They will surely want to help you learn how to write a case study!

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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

A case study in APA format for students can differ from one institution to another. So, knowing your college or school requirements is crucial before you start writing. Nonetheless, the general one should look like this:

  • Title - A header no longer than nine words has "Case Study" and reflects the content and the idea behind it yet is engaging to read;
  • Write your full name;
  • The name of your course/class;
  • Next is your professor or instructor name;
  • The university/school name;
  • The date of submission.

When citing in your paper, you must ensure it is done accurately and in your academic style. If you are unsure how to do it, research the requirements and google "How to do a case study analysis in Harvard", for example. Note that short citations can be in your text, but longer ones should be in the bibliography section. 

Hruby, A. (2018). Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689. www.sciepub.com. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/254744

Case studies strive to analyze an event, location, case, or person. They can be similar to research papers, so you must pay close attention to the structure and what your professor has requested from you.

Finally, the process of writing can be overwhelming due to the many sections. However, if you take the process step by step and do your preparations properly, you will have an easy time writing the paper. You can also look for assistance online - many services offer to order case study online help . With the right kind of assistance, you can be sure that your paper is of high quality and is due on time!

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What Is a Case Study?

An in-depth study of one person, group, or event

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

case study project introduction

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

case study project introduction

Verywell / Colleen Tighe

Benefits and Limitations

Types of case studies, how to write a case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .  

A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

  • Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information
  • Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases
  • Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research

On the negative side, a case study:

  • Cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
  • Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
  • May not be scientifically rigorous
  • Can lead to bias

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

  • Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
  • Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
  • Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language could be taught even after critical periods for language development had been missed. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:

  • Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those living there.
  • Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
  • Explanatory case studies : These   are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
  • Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
  • Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
  • Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic cast study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.

There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.

Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.

Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.

Where to Find Data

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

  • Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
  • Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
  • Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
  • Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
  • Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
  • Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

  • Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
  • Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
  • Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
  • Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

  • Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, their name or a pseudonym.
  • Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
  • Remember to use APA format when citing references .

A Word From Verywell

Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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case study project introduction

How to Write the Perfect Introduction to Your UX Case Study

It’s tough to write beginnings, isn’t it? It can be especially difficult to write the introduction of your UX case study, since it will determine the success of your job application. What should you include? How do you make a good first impression? Fret not! We’ve got you covered here. Your introduction should include 3 key components: a design problem that involves a business need, your approach to solving the problem as well as your role in the project. Let’s go through what exactly you should include in your UX case study’s introduction. We’ve even got a step-by-step exercise you can follow!

What’s the Role of Your UX Case Study’s Introduction?

Before we begin writing our UX case study introduction, we should first understand the role it plays. We can divide your UX case study into 5 parts, based on the German playwright Gustav Freytag’s 5-part dramatic structure:

Exposition : Where you introduce key information and set expectations for the rest of the story.

Rising action : Where you bring the reader through your strategies that lead to a climax.

Climax : The peak of your story, a “wow” moment where, for instance, you uncover an unexpected insight.

Falling action : Where things fall into place and lead to the final results.

Resolution : Where you reveal the final product of your project and round your story off in a satisfying conclusion.

case study project introduction

Your UX case study should follow Freytag’s 5-part dramatic structure. Author / Copyright holder: Teo Yu Siang and the Interaction Design Foundation. Copyright terms and license: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

We can group Freytag’s 5 parts into 3 main sections: an introduction, a middle and a conclusion. As you can see from the image above, your UX case study’s introduction should include “exposition”, where you set the stage for the rest of your story to happen.

In other words, your UX case study’s introduction should let your recruiters know the problem you’re solving, the strategies you adopt and your role in the project. This way, you’ll provide all the context your recruiters need to evaluate your skills and appreciate what you’ve achieved in your project.

3 Essential Components of Your Case Study Introduction

Your UX case study introduction should thus contain:

A problem statement: Highlight the key problem you’re going to solve—preferably in relation to business objectives or metrics. What motivates you to take on this problem? What are your thoughts and feelings about it? If you’re revamping an existing webpage or app, then show some screenshots of how it looked and point out the problems.

Your solution: Run through your approach to solving the problem. Give your readers a taste of what to expect at the end of your story—what deliverables or final output will you produce?

Your role: Let your readers know how you have contributed to the project. Your role in the project should be linked to the job you apply for. For example, if you apply for a UX researcher job, then ideally you should have played a UX research role in your case study project.

Your introduction should be 4–5 sentences long. This ensures that your UX case study is short and sweet, since recruiters usually spend no more than 5 minutes reading your case study. However, as we’ll go through below, you shouldn’t worry about word count when you begin to write your introduction. Focus on content first, then cut down on words later.

Next, we’ll go through the best way to write the problem, the solution and your role in your introduction. After that, we’ll take a step-by-step walkthrough of how to write your introduction, so you can get started immediately. Let’s begin!

1. How to Write Your Problem Statement

Your problem statement should explain what you’re trying to solve, provide you with a strong motivation and outline the main challenge involved. It should read something like: “I wanted to [solve this problem], because [of my motivations]. This problem is particularly challenging since [describe my main challenge].”

Tie your problem statement to a business problem whenever possible. Remember, recruiters hire you to bring value to a business. Show you understand that a designer’s role is not only to provide a great experience for users but also to create value for an enterprise.

Here’s a problem statement that’s tied to a business problem:

“We launched a feature ‘X’ 2 months ago, but realized that many people were not using it because they didn’t know it even existed. I wanted to increase its discoverability , because ‘X’ will help open a new stream of revenue for our app .”

The bolded part in the example above provides a strong link between your project and the business value it provides. Compare this with the following bad problem statement:

“I set out to do a complete visual overhaul of the Podcast App so that it looks fresh and provides an exciting user experience .”

Notice what’s missing? This problem statement lacks a business-oriented “why” to it—as a result, the designer has an unclear (i.e., poor) motivation. Why did the designer do a visual overhaul of the app, other than to make it look “fresh”?

Let’s improve this problem statement by adding a compelling, business-centric motivation:

“The Podcast App is a leading podcast app, but its design looks outdated compared to its competitors . With such tight competition in the industry , a visual overhaul is long overdue. I thus set out to reimagine the Podcast App so it can maintain its lead in the years to come .”

See how much more compelling it sounds? Now you understand why it’s so important to redesign the app—its market position will likely be overtaken by a better-designed competitor!

Of course, a personal motivation works, too. For instance, you might have designed a website to solve a personal problem you face every day. Personal motivations can be equally powerful drivers of your UX case study. However, we encourage you to include at least one case study in your portfolio that has a business-oriented motivation , because that’s what recruiters love to see.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to show your emotions! Were you nervous to take on the project because of its high stakes or anxious because it was the first project you led? Showcase your humanity in your problem statement. A bit of vulnerability can make your story powerful and relatable.

2. How to Write Your Solution

In the solution portion of your introduction, give your readers a taste of what to expect. Since this is just the introduction, you don’t have to fully describe your design process or solution. Instead, briefly mention the design process you used.

Mention the key deliverables of the project. This serves as the light at the end of the tunnel, so readers know what to expect at the end. If you’ve created an interactive prototype, make it known right at the introduction to your UX case study.

Here’s a solution statement in the introduction of a case study:

“We ran 2 weeks of design sprints based on the design thinking methodology, which includes 5 stages: empathize , define, ideate , prototype and test . We eventually created and shipped a fully functional app where people can learn English in as little as 15 minutes a day.”

In the example above, we highlighted the design process we will use—namely, the design thinking methodology. We also briefly went through the 5 stages of the design thinking process and mentioned that the final product we created was a functional app. In 2 sentences, the reader can get a holistic summary of the project.

3. How to Write About Your Role in the Project

This is one of the most important parts of your introduction! If you remember just one thing, let it be this: clearly state your role . Your project might be amazing, but if the recruiter does not know how you’ve contributed to the final results, they’ll not know whether to hire you. In a field of equally qualified candidates, it can make that final difference as to whether you get invited to the interview or not. So, remember to include what you’ve contributed ( and what you did not contribute) to the project.

As UX designer Mike Curtis says, you’ve got to have a balance of “I” and “we” in your UX case studies . This means that in your introduction, you have to present yourself as a team player and also make it clear what you bring to the table. Your recruiter is going to hire you , not your team!

There’s a balance where you need to stay in the spotlight, but gracefully. So, don’t be overly generous with mentioning others (which looks fake), but don’t make yourself seem like a lone wolf. Recruiters like to see self-confident designers who can work well in teams. What if you’ve worked alone on a project? In such a case, give credit to anyone who’s helped you along the way—for instance, someone who critiqued your design.

At the same time, make sure your role in the project is crystal clear. For instance, if you helped to conduct user research and usability tests in a project, you could write something like:

“I conducted initial user research and defined key personas , and also helped evaluate our designs through usability tests before it was launched. The amazing Victor Johnson helped create the interaction design of the final product.”

A 5-Step Guide to Writing Your UX Case Study Introduction

Still feeling a little lost? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Follow these steps, and you’ll quickly get past the “blank page” wall that so many of us face when we start to write!

Step 1: Open an Empty Word Processor

Go ahead and open your favorite word processor.

case study project introduction

Ah, the empty page: one of the most intimidating enemies of a writer. Author / Copyright holder: Google. Copyright terms and license: Fair use.

Step 2: Create 3 Subheadings

In your document, create the following subheadings:

The problem

The solution

As we’ve discussed above, these are the 3 main components you should include in your introduction. When you create the subheadings, you’ll not only guide yourself but also quickly move away from the blank slate of an empty document.

case study project introduction

See? It’s much better already! Write down these subheadings to fight the “blank page” monster. Author / Copyright holder: Google. Copyright terms and license: Fair use.

Step 3: Fill the Subheadings Up

Start filling the 3 sections. Look at our guidelines for each section above or download our nifty template at the bottom. Type in full sentences. And, for the time being, don’t worry about your word count.

Remember to think about the visuals you can add to your introduction, too! For instance, if your case study is about a redesign of a page, it’ll be great if you include some screenshots of the existing design to highlight the design problem.

We’ll create a hypothetical UX case study introduction so you have a reference. In this made-up scenario, we want to write about a project where we created a new design system for a web-based app. We’ll focus purely on copywriting since we don’t have any visuals to provide (it is, after all, our hypothetical project), but you should also pay attention to screenshots and images in your introduction.

Here’s a rough draft of the introduction:

The problem: [Product] is one of the most established English-learning platforms in the world. However, the design of [Product] looks increasingly outdated when compared to its competitors, and parts of its user experience fell short of expectations. An overhaul feels long overdue and will help ensure that [Product] can remain competitive in the long run. The solution: We set out to completely overhaul [Product]’s look and feel and created a unifying design system that merges usability guidelines and aesthetic appeal. These changes impacted every corner of [Product]’s website, including key interactions. My role: I led the entire project and worked on creating the visual design of the new design system. I also revamped the UX of key pages and worked on motion design, while my developer colleagues applied their magic to help implement the entire project.

Step 4: Refine Your Draft

As you might have noticed, our first draft is a little long. Remember that we’re aiming for 4–5 sentences in the introduction. At this stage of the process, refine your draft. Cut down on words and improve your writing. Use the active voice and write in a conversational style. Add images and other visuals, if you haven’t already done so.

Here’s a second iteration of our introduction, this time polished and shortened to 5 sentences:

The problem: [Product] is an industry-leading English-learning platform, but its design looks outdated compared to its competitors and parts of its user experience are unpolished. An overhaul is overdue and will ensure [Product] remains competitive in the long run. The solution: We set out to create a brand-new design system to ensure [Product] encompasses best-in-class usability and aesthetics across all corners of the app. My role: I led the project and worked on all aspects of the new design system, including its visual, UX and motion design. I also revamped the UX of key pages while my developer colleagues helped implement my designs.

Step 5: Remove the Subheadings (Optional)

You can choose to leave the subheadings (The Problem, The Solution, My Role) if you like, but we feel they aren’t necessary and should be removed. In any case, you’re done! Congratulations on writing a great introduction for your UX case study!

Here’s what our hypothetical introduction looks like:

[Product] is an industry-leading English-learning platform, but its design looks outdated compared to its competitors and parts of its user experience are unpolished. An overhaul is overdue and will ensure [Product] remains competitive in the long run. We set out to create a brand-new design system to ensure [Product] encompasses best-in-class usability and aesthetics across all corners of the app. I led the project and worked on all aspects of the new design system, including its visual, UX and motion design. I also revamped the UX of key pages while my developer colleagues helped implement my designs.

In 5 sentences, our introduction:

lays out the problem we want to solve;

provides a business-oriented motivation behind the project;

briefly describes the scope of the project and its end result; and

clearly delineates my role in the project while acknowledging the support of my team.

Do a few more rounds of iteration on your introduction if you have time. There’s always room for improvement! Our sample introduction, for instance, did not contain any emotional aspects of taking on the project. Could we include that while keeping the word count at 5 sentences?

Download Our Step-by-Step Guide to Get Started Now

We know that it can be difficult to start a writing project. But the best way to get started is to do it—now! Download our step-by-step template and start working on your UX case study today:

5-Step Guide to Writing Your UX Case Study Introduction

As you write your UX case study’s introduction, know that it will mark an important milestone in your lifelong journey of writing. That’s because you’ll not only create a key artifact that will help you get a new job but also hone your craft in one of the most important elements of design: writing.

Good luck, and we hope you’ll fall in love with writing!

The Take Away

Your UX case study’s introduction should set up the context required for the reader to understand your project and evaluate your skills. Given that, you should include these 3 components:

The problem you’re solving in your project. This should include your motivations for taking on the project, which should preferably involve a business need.

The solution to the problem. You should bring your reader briefly through how you’ll solve the problem, and mention the final deliverables you’ve produced.

Your role in the project. You’ll rarely be the only contributor to a project, so you must be sure to highlight the specific things you brought to the table and give credit to your team-mates where it’s due.

References and Where to Learn More

If you need a quick lesson on how to write effectively, check out our handy guide here .

Mike Curtis shares 10 tips on how to write great UX case studies , including the need to look for “I” and “we”.

Hero image: Author / Copyright holder: Kaitlyn Baker. Copyright terms and license: Unsplash License.

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Writing a case study

What is a case study.

A case study requires you to analyse a specific situation and discuss how its different elements relate to theory. The case can refer to a real-life or hypothetical event, organisation, individual or group of people and/or issue. Depending upon your assignment, you will be asked to develop solutions to problems or recommendations for future action.

Generally, a case study is either formatted as an essay or a report. If it is the latter, your assignment is often divided into sections with headings and subheadings to ensure easy access to key points of interest.

There are different approaches to case studies, so always check the specific instructions you have been given. There are two main types of case studies: descriptive and problem-solving .

Case study types accordion

Descriptive case studies.

  • ask you to explore a specific event or issue to identify the key facts, what happened and who was/is involved.
  • can be used to compare two instances of an event to illustrate how one is similar to the other.
  • generally does not include solutions or recommendations as its main purpose is to help the reader or stakeholder to gain greater insight into the different dimensions of the event, etc. and/or to make an informed decision about the event, etc.

For example:

  • In Nursing, you could be asked to select a medical clinic or hospital as your case study and then apply what you have studied in class about wound care approaches. You would then identify and apply the relevant theories of wound care management discussed in class to your case.

Problem-solving case studies

  • ask you to critically examine an issue related to a specific individual or group, and then recommend and justify solutions to the issue, integrating theory and practice.
  • In Business and Economics, you could be asked to describe a critical incident in the workplace. Your role as the manager is to apply your knowledge and skills of key intercultural communication concepts and theories in management to determine the causes of the conflict and propose relevant communication strategies to avoid and/or resolve it.

Tips for undertaking a problem-based case study View

Writing to your audience.

Your language expression should be persuasive and user-centred communication. To do this, you need to carefully research your audience, or your stakeholders . Your stakeholders are not only those people who will read your writing, but also people who will be impacted by any decisions or recommendations you choose to include. In other words, your audience may be varied with different needs and perspectives. This applies to both your case study as an assessment task and a report in your workplace.

Understanding your audience will help you to edit how you express your information, including tailoring your language expression, tone and style to meet the expectations of your stakeholders. For example, if your case study is written for the Minister of Health, then your tone will need to be formal, ensuring that any technical terms are clearly and concisely explained with concrete examples.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Who will read my case study and why?
  • What are the stakeholders’ needs, preferences, expectations and goals?
  • How can I write clearly and concisely for this particular audience?
  • How will the stakeholders use my case study in their work?
  • What are the relevant technical terms and have I explained them in clear and concise language?

Writing up your case study

If your case study is in the form of a report, you can divide it into 8 main sections, as outlined below. However, these vary depending on discipline-specific requirements and assessment criteria.

1. Executive Summary/Synopsis

  • Introduce the topic area of the report.
  • Outline the purpose of the case study.
  • Outline the key issue(s) and finding(s) without the specific details.
  • Identify the theory used.
  • Summarise recommendations.

2. Introduction

  • Summarise the your task
  • Briefly outline the case to identify its significance.
  • State the report's aim(s).
  • Provide the organisation of the main ideas in the report.
  • Briefly describe the key problem and its significance (You usually do not need to provide details of findings or recommendations. However, it is best to first check your assessment task instructions.)

3. Findings

  • presenting the central issue(s) under analysis,
  • providing your reasoning for your choices such as supporting your findings with facts given in the case, the relevant theory and course concepts
  • highlighting any underlying problems.
  • Identify and justify your methodology and analytical tools.This might not be applicable to your assessment, so you will need to check your assessment instructions.

This section is often divided into sub-sections. Your headings and subheadings need to be ​​informative and concise as they act as a guide for the reader to the contents of that section.

4. Discussion

  • Summarise the major problem(s).
  • Identify alternative solutions to these major problem(s).
  • Briefly outline each alternative solution where necessary and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Depending on your assessment criteria, you might need to refer to theory or professional practice here.

Note that as a case study is based on a specific situation, it is difficult to generalise your findings to other situations. Make sure that your discussion focuses on your case and what can be learnt from your specific case analysis for your stakeholders.

5. Conclusion

  • Restate the purpose of the report
  • Sum up the main points from the findings, discussion and recommendations.
  • Restate the limitations if required.

6. Recommendations

  • Choose which of the alternative solutions should be adopted.
  • Briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problem/s.
  • Remember to integrate theory and practice as discussed in your unit with respect to the case.
  • If needed, suggest an action plan, including who should take action, when and what steps, and how to assess the action taken.
  • If appropriate include a rough estimate of costs (both financial and time).

This section is sometimes divided into Recommendations and Implementation with details of the action plan placed in the Implementation section.

Recommendations should be written in a persuasive, audience-centred style that communicates your suggestions clearly, concisely and precisely .

7. References

  • List in alphabetical order all the references cited in the report.
  • Make sure to accurately format your references according to the specified referencing style for your unit.

8. Appendices (if any)

  • Attach any original data that relates to your analysis and the case but which would have interrupted the flow of the main body.

Reference list

Ivančević-Otanjac, M., & Milojević, I. (2015). Writing a case report in English. Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo , 143 (1-2), 116-118.

Take it further

Buseco: report writing.

This resource is designed to assist you in completing a business report. It provides a guide to approaching and structuring your report and includes annotated examples with written feedback.

Engineering: Lab report

This resource expands on the general report structure and provides useful tips and examples on how to turn practical work and lab experiments into a written lab report.

Engineering: Technical report

This resource expands on the general report structure and provides useful tips and examples on how to write a report for key stakeholders, using experimental and practical data.

This resource provides information about what reports look like in IT, and how you might consider structuring your IT report. It includes student samples for each possible section of an IT report, along with video and written feedback.

MNHS: Health sciences case report

This resource provides a guide to approaching and structuring a patient-based case report. It includes an annotated example with written feedback.

MNHS: Comparative report

This resource is designed to assist you in completing your Comparative Report [CR] for Integrating Science and Practice [iSAP] assessment tasks. It provides a guide to approaching and structuring your report and includes an annotated example with written feedback.

MNHS: Psychology case report

This resource provides detailed guidance on the structure and content of the psychology case report, with numerous examples from the recommended reading.

Science: Lab report

Your feedback matters.

We want to hear from you! Let us know what you found most useful or share your suggestions for improving this resource.

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