What is the Format of a Case Study?
Everything You Need to Know
If you are taking a social science or a humanity degree in college, you are perhaps quite familiar with the term. In college, a case study represents a form of research where the researcher has a specific subject. This means they focus on and study an individual, a group of people, or an event. Unlike other research methods, a case study does not entail generalized results due to its nature.
In some cases, a student can choose to substitute comprehensive research for a case study. Say, for instance, when they do not have sufficient resources. There are several ways for them to go about this decision. On the one hand, the student can research one multi-layered complex case. On the other hand, they can also apply various related case studies to meet their objectives.
Case studies, furthermore, present an ideal learning opportunity for some students. We all can relate to the isolated cases or events we would have wanted to explore further. Fully-fledge research would arguably be impractical for such a scenario. However, a case study offers the chance to look deeper into outlying persons, places, or events without generalizing your results.
Case Study Format
There are a couple of ways in which you can present your case study. It certainly varies depending on your field and the institutions. In most cases, however, you will be required to give your case study as a report. It is worth considering that there might be specific requirements from your department. Therefore, it would be prudent to always seek consult from your teacher or the department. You can equally take this opportunity to seek clarification for any gaps in knowledge you might have before you start off with the case study.
The format of a case study is made up of the following elements.
- Executive summary – This is meant to give a general insight into the area you are looking to research. Hence, it captures the thesis statement and elaborates on how you intend to carry out the case study.
- Background — In this section, you present the foundation of your case study. Thus, it should have the preexisting knowledge that has led you to this particular case study.
- Evaluation of the case – This is an assessment of the case, looking at each section on its own. It helps you to determine what works and what does not.
- Proposals – After the case study, you must present feasible solutions to the case study problem. Additionally, you need to provide evidence of the solutions' feasibility.
- Conclusion – Like any other academic writing, the conclusion entails a summary of the case study where you tie everything together.
- References – You are also required to cite all external sources that you have used in the case study. This, as usual, is mandatory in all academic papers.
Once you have followed the format outlined above, you can rest assured that you have nailed down the structure of a case study.