A professional case study should follow some standard steps. One thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to writing case studies. Instead, every case study has its requirements and information that can be presented in different ways. A case study format does not fit all case studies into look-alikes. Instead, it provides a standard way of telling your story in a more composed and compelling way.
It is not necessarily crucial for a case study to be written. It can be a visual image or a video. A written case study is the most widely used way of delivering the content. Written case studies are published or are displayed on websites or are available to download in PDF formats.
Visual case studies use images to tell the story. They can use infographics charts and graphs to show from where the company started, where it fluctuated from problems and hurdles, and where it stands today successfully. An infographic chart can show a clear and interactive picture of the entire journey of the company, and thus the customers will be able to connect more.
Another way of making a case study is the video case study. You can create an appealing video showing the content of your case study in a visually appealing and interactive way. Videos are proved to be the most engaging medium of telling a story to people. This video can be shared on YouTube or other social media platforms to gain maximum expo.
All the ways of creating a case study are equally impactful, keeping in mind the ways they are created and the mediums they are shared on. No matter what type the case study is, it still needs to follow the case study format.
What is a Case Study?
A case study is the interpretation of the challenges faced by any organization, person, or a particular group of people and how they came up with solutions for those challenges and obstacles. It may be a way to interpret your success story concisely. University students usually write it by picking any organization and analyzing it with the help of the content they covered in course. Case studies can vary in length, and the case study format can differ. However, one thing that a case study ensures to solve the problems and thus can reach its goals.
Case Study Format Guideline
When we talk about academic writing, there is one thing that is of the utmost importance, and that is the format. The format may sound ordinary, and it seems just another thing while writing the case study, but when it comes to academic standards, it becomes one of the essential tools. Here comes the suggested guideline that should be followed for preparing the reports of a case study (remember to use the APA Style always for formatting and referencing as mentioned by the outlined course). However, the paper is moved at LEFT margin especially for reports with a font ARIAL 12 pt Double Spaced and extra line space in between paragraphs:
A cover page gives complete information about the student and the project title. It also shows the company or person whom they have selected for their research. There is also the name of a student, course number, and the instructor's name on the cover page.
An executive summary is a short, most probably one-page summary and the most active part of the case study. The case study needs to present the whole situation in a single page of concise information.
An introduction is a major part of the case study which describes whatever we are discussing in a case study and a little bit of history regarding it.
The body of the case study is where we put all the pieces of the puzzle in extensive detail. It should include the following things:
- Decision Criteria
- Data Analysis (that provides the analysis in the summary and an appendix along with the summary info in the body)
- Preferred Alternative through rationale.
The third part of any case study format is the conclusion. The conclusion reflects the overall idea of the case study and what is presented in the whole paper. It also summarizes the various findings in any case study.
It is recommended that source periodicals, business journals and textual suggestions should be properly referenced and thoroughly researched. Make sure to support the ideas with proper facts and figures. Better try to focus on using own words and thoughts based on complete analysis instead of copying and pasting the other material and concepts from the web search. Moreover, there should be a PROPER USE of HARVARD style in-text citations, image-based citations, as well as an alphabetical CITATION LIST in a section of references.
All charts, visuals, financials, and other relevant items can be positioned here and make them as a reference in the given report.
Few Misconceptions about Case Study Research
Sociology contextual investigations are frequently seen as restricted in their capacity to make new information since they are not arbitrarily chosen, and discoveries can't be summed up to more significant populations.
Misconception 1: General, hypothetical context-autonomous information is more significant than concrete, commonsense (setting subordinate) information.
Misconception 2: One can't sum up based on an individual case; subsequently, the contextual investigation can't add to consistent improvement.
Misconception 3: The contextual investigation is generally valuable for creating theories; that is, in the primary phase of an entire research process, though different techniques are increasingly reasonable for speculation testing and hypothesis building.
Misconception 4: The contextual analysis contains a predisposition toward confirmation, that is, a propensity to affirm the analyst's assumptions.
Misconception 5: It is regularly hard to outline and create general suggestions and speculations based on explicit contextual analyses.
How to Format a Case Study
While composing your paper, ponder how you tended to these confusions because it can assist you with reinforcing the legitimacy and unwavering quality of your examination by explaining issues of case choice, the testing and testing of existing suppositions, the understanding of fundamental discoveries, and the summation of case results. The right contextual investigation examination group isn't less significant than its plot since it additionally impacts your evaluation. In this way, don't think little of the job of a contextual analysis' organization as it can prompt a decent assessment.
Every school or college sets its prerequisites for the best possible reference design. APA group and MLA style are the most prevalent arrangements utilized when finishing case studies. The reference pages are illustrated in APA and MLA styles. A few instructors give specific consideration to organizing. It's a meticulous activity yet you shouldn't disregard to do it. Here is one reliable counsel to assist you with a contextual analysis: remember to incorporate a theoretical analysis to make a short depiction of the task. Along these lines, be quite specific and compact when finishing this piece of the contextual investigation.
If you want your case study to get all the attention it deserves, give it a convincing claim. The title needs to be short yet attention-grabbing. It doesn't have the enthusiasm the reader wants to see. The title needs to ensure that the reader will get the results he's looking for, and it will be worth a read. The title builds the curiosity of what the study has to offer. This is the point where the reader decides whether he wants to continue with the story or not. Thus title should be kept as engaging as possible. Similarly, try to create a new angle out of the story. Your title should convince the readers that your account is different, and they should give it a try.
An executive summary is among the best chances to bring out the interest of the reader and to urge them to take action. The executive summary must give the reader an overview of the entire case study, what it is all about.
The thing which needs to be clear is that an executive summary is not the introduction of a case study. Instead, it creates a scene in the reader's view. The executive summary is written at a high level and direct tone. In long case studies, the executive summary is meant to give a detailed background of the company and the case study. However, shorter case studies do not require the same length background. In short case studies, the executive summary is of 4-5 lines and gives a simple overview of what's there in the story, rather than going into the details. Whether long or short, the primary purpose of an executive summary is to give the Background. It doesn't matter the amount of information it contains; it should be firm and exciting so the reader will decide to continue reading.
The subject provides the introduction you served, about which the whole story is related. The question is detailed and tells the entire story of what you did what situations you went through in any matter. The subject talks about the facts and gives all the information related to the case study. The subject should be written communicatively and descriptively to keep the readers engaged and keep them hooked until the end of the case study.
The subject of the case study is its core, where the actual problem lies. So the subject needs to be appropriately addressed. The real story and the information are written on the subject. It is essential to write the question in a proper informative manner and to include every detail here.
Challenges and Objectives
The central part of a case study is the problems and challenges faced by the business in its journey. It is the most interesting part of the case study and defines how readers choose to connect to any matter. This part not only talks about the challenges and obstacles, but it also talks about the objectives.
A result is a testimonial that shows the outcome of how the whole story ended. These are the findings that can be shown in the form of charts or graphs. The results prove that the company can overcome the problems it faced and can sustain. A positive and well-written effect can mark a significant impact on the readers. It should be noted that the result is more important than the problem itself, and the problem itself doesn't interest the reader.
Epilogue or Conclusion
An epilogue is the best part of the case study. Now when the reader has finally reached the end, he expects an excellent closure to the entire information. Epilogue should be written in a pure and communicative tone, so the reader finds it easy to connect. It should include the critical points of the case study so the reader can get a recall of what he has been reading throughout the entire document. Just like the executive summary gave a beginning glimpse of the document, the epilogue is meant to conclude the whole story. It's a conclusion that tells the entire story in a wrap-up.
Some case studies don't include the epilogue. But it's best to write one. Without the epilogue, there will remain a gap in the case study, and the reader will find it incomplete, and thus, it won't create the impact on readers it could have easily create.
It's likewise essential to finish the paper:
- Edit or proofread
- Revise and Update
- Alter or Edit
Moreover, check for any irregularities in structure, stream, or content and check whether there has been a clear thesis statement made or not. Later on, check if the proof given is applicable. Check for any missing parts of the investigation. Check the format at the end. Finalize the paper, proofread it thoroughly, and check the full form before the final submission. It might take a few days; however, it makes for the better composition to not be in a rush. Editing is meticulous work; however, it satisfies when you get your evaluation. In this way, don't attempt to compromise on editing, altering, and arranging. Presently there is an understanding of how to compose a case study paper. At times there is a need to write a case study research within hours as well, so thorough and comprehensive research by a student leads to a better evaluation in a case study.
The analysis of a case study can be led in different disciplines, including sociology, psychology, economics, and engineering, business, and information technologies.