Case Study Format

Case Study Format

A case study paper examines a person, place, event, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate key themes and results that help in identifying future trends, highlight previous hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity.

  1. Introduction

a. What was I studying

b. Why was this topic important to investigate

c. What did we know about this topic before I did this study

d. How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding

  1. Literature Review

a. Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated.

b. Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable.

c. Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study.

d. Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study will assist in bridging.

  1. Method

a. Explain why you selected a particular subject of analysis to study and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem.

  1. Discussion

a. The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your case study.

b. Reiterate the research problem/state the major findings.

c. Explain the meaning of the findings and why they are important.

d. Relate the findings to similar studies.

e. Consider alternatives explanations of your findings.

f. Acknowledge the study’s limitations.

g. Suggest areas for further research.

  1. Conclusion

a. Restate the main argument supported by the findings from the analysis of your case.

b. Clearly state the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature.

c. Restate the significance of your research problem.

Spring 2017

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