How to do a case study
Hands-on Guide: How to Analyze a Case Study Identify the most important facts surrounding the case. Read the case several times to become familiar with the Identify the key issue or issues. Use the facts provided by the case to identify the key issue or issues facing the To determine if a. Jun 17, · Steps Download Article 1. Examine and describe the business environment relevant to the case study. Describe the nature of the organization 2. Describe the structure and size of the main business under consideration. Analyze its management structure, employee 3. 88%().
In the social sciences, the term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which can be used to generalize findings across populations.
This tab focuses on the latter--how to design and organize a research paper that analyzes a specific case. How to look hot for the summer case study research paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or more subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.
Case Studies. Writing CSU. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. London: SAGE, General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in this writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject what shots are required for dogs by law analysis that can be investigated using a single case study design.
However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem. A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study.
Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:. Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies.
In applied social sciences disciplines [e. In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper.
However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper. As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study. The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe how to change your lockscreen slider without jailbreaking the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem.
The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:. Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs.
Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information. Literature Review. The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper.
The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address. This includes synthesizing studies what is happening in san francisco in october 2012 help to:.
In this section, you explain why you selected a particular case [i. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that constitutes your case study.
If your subject of analysis is an incident or event. In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis.
Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis.
For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events.
If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experiences they have had that provide an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of their experiences that make them worthy of study. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem [e.
Note that these issues apply to a specific group of people used as a case study unit of analysis [e. If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem.
A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e. If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon.
How can a wind turbine be used to produce electricity phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question.
In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood.
In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them.
The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut off? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support?
A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way. NOTE: The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random.
Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should clearly support investigation of the research problem and linked to key findings from your literature review.
Be sure to cite any studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for examining the problem.
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 what is the dinosaur with the long neck from your analysis of the case study.
Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is common to combine a description of the results with the discussion how to analyse a case study their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results.
Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound. Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important.
Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.
Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. What version of apple tv do i have discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis.
This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic. Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings Remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations revealed by the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases.
Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the what type of courses for nursing may how to analyse a case study about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research if that is how the findings can be interpreted from your case.
Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here.
Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case.
Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study. As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why.
Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and any need for further research. The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1 reiterate the main argument supported by the findings from your case study; 2 state clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem what is selena gomez favourite colour 2012 a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3 provide a place to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader how to get from ams airport to amsterdam now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.
Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:. Note that, depending on the discipline what is the difference between the afc and the nfc are writing in or the preferences of your professor, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented as it applies to practice or on the essay's central research problem.
However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.
Problems to Avoid. Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study.
They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this.
There may be what causes scoliosis in adults evidence that retention what is a tissue bank specialist were better for girls who were engaged with social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.
Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research how to analyse a case studyyou must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood differently than preserving access to a scarce resource.
Table of contents
Identify the key problems and issues in the case study. Formulate and include a thesis statement, summarizing the outcome of your analysis in 1–2 sentences. Background. Set the scene: background information, relevant facts, and the most important issues. Demonstrate that you have researched the problems in this case study. Evaluation of the Case. Dec 22, · Case Study Analysis: Examples + How-to Guide & Writing Tips Writing a Case Study Analysis: Main Steps. Business management is built on case analysis. Every single economic result Preparing a Case for Analysis. Your professor might give you various case study . only way case study data can be analysed (Barry, ) and it is recommended that they be used in conjunction with the overall case study design frameworks proposed by Yin (); and Miles and Huberman (). Create data repository To be able to analyse the data from the case studies it has to be in a format that allows for easy manipulation.
Last Updated: May 6, References Approved. This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 72, times.
When you hear the word "law," you may assume the word refers to statutes passed by Congress and state legislatures. But a major portion of American law actually is case law — the rules appellate judges distill from their interpretation of statutes and other sources. Accordingly, much of law school is spent learning how to analyze case law. However, attending law school isn't strictly necessary to acquire this valuable skill.
You can teach yourself how to analyze case law, which begins — but doesn't end — with a thorough reading of the court's written opinion. Case law refers to the decisions appellate judges make from their interpretations of former cases.
Once you understand the case, try to identify the legal rules the court used to make their decision. To learn how to focus on the most important facts of a case, read more from our Legal co-author! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue.
It's difficult to correctly determine what was central to the court's reasoning until you've read it all the way through. Just read for a sense of what's happening, who the major parties are, and what they want the court to do. Keep in mind that legal opinions aren't written for laypeople, or even for law students or attorneys — they are written for other judges. If you don't understand something assuming you're not an appellate court judge , there's nothing wrong with that.
You may have to go outside the opinion itself and look at other articles about the case, and then come back to it. For example, if you're reading a case that caused quite a stir in the media when it was decided, there will no doubt be newspaper and magazine articles about it. Reading those can help you better understand the court opinion. Many cases have summaries that appear before the case and let you know the basics of what happened, the issue before the court, and how the court resolved that issue.
The summary can be helpful, but don't use it as a substitute for an initial read-through of the case. Identify the parties. Figuring out who is suing whom may seem like the easiest part of analyzing case law, and often it is. However, if a case has been through several layers of appeal it can be difficult to discern how the case was originally presented.
For example, suppose when a case began, Sally Sunshine sued Marvin Moon. The case's caption would be "Sunshine v. Sunshine — but Mr. Moon appealed. The caption then became "Moon v. Moon, but Ms. Sunshine appealed that ruling to a higher court.
Now the case's caption is "Sunshine v. Moon" again. Since litigants in written opinions typically are only identified by their roles — appellant and appellee, for example — their names may only be mentioned once. Outline the case's procedural history. Since all written court decisions involve a case that has been through at least one if not several rounds of appeals, you must be able to trace the path the case followed from the initial lawsuit through the court system to end up before the court that issued the opinion you're reading.
At the same time, you don't need to go into too much detail here. You just need to understand who filed the original lawsuit which will help you understand the facts of the case , the decision at trial, and who appealed and why. Isolate the relevant facts. At the root of every case, there always is a story of a dispute between two parties — but not all of the facts and circumstances surrounding this dispute will be important to the holding of the case.
To analyze case law, you must determine which parts of the story are relevant to the issue presented to the court that made the decision. So, for example, if you are reading a case that came about as a result of a bar fight, the factual question of whether one party assaulted the other has already been resolved. In many cases, the initial facts that prompted the dispute may be summarized in a sentence or two. Often, what's really important is what happened afterward.
Keep in mind that not all judges are the best writers. While you may be tempted to believe a particular fact is important because the judge who wrote the opinion spent several paragraphs discussing it, this is not necessarily the case.
As you read more and more cases, particularly if the cases you read are focused on a particular court, you will become familiar with the styles of individual judges. This can make it easier for you to immediately notice when the judge is focusing on facts he or she believes are central to the case's holding. Part 2 of Determine the legal issue raised by the facts. The core of case law analysis is figuring out the exact issue or issues the court is being asked to resolve, and the process by which the court resolved it.
To find the issue, you must figure out what that person thought the lower court did wrong, and why. This usually isn't about something as simple as one person believing he should have been awarded more money, or a criminal defendant not wanting to go to jail. That might be part of an appellant's personal motivation, but to have a legitimate appeal you must be able to point to some way that the lower court made a legal error.
In many cases, the legal error isn't an obvious error. The lower court may have applied the law correctly — but the appellant is arguing that her case is different from the cases that developed the rule the lower court used, or that the lower court should have used a different rule. Often in Supreme Court cases, there isn't a rule that can be handed down from previous cases and applied in this case, because no court has ever decided a case like this one.
In these situations, it's up to the court to figure out how to tackle this new issue, and where it fits in to the long line of American jurisprudence. The simplest way to understand a court's reasoning and analysis of the legal issue before it is to create a question being asked of the court, and phrase it in a way that it can be answered with a straight yes or no.
This usually happens when a particular factual situation present in the case has never been explored by any other court. The court must first determine whether a particular law applies to that factual situation at all before it can decide how the law applies. For example, suppose a baker has been fined by the local government for creating cupcakes with expletives written in icing.
The court may first have to determine whether icing on cupcakes is the sort of speech or expression protected by the First Amendment, before it can reach the real issue of whether the baker's First Amendment rights have been violated.
Provide the court's answer to the question. Since you've phrased your issue as a question that can be answered yes or no, in most cases the court's answer will be one of those words.
However, some cases may have a more nuanced answer, such as "maybe" or "sometimes. However, this isn't usually the case. In most written opinions, you should expect to dig for the question and answer, which you'll have to craft yourself. When more than one question is asked, sometimes the answer to the first takes care of all the others. To look at the earlier cupcake-icing example, if the court had determined that no, icing on cupcakes is not protected by the First Amendment, the second question disappears.
You don't have to consider whether the baker's First Amendment rights were violated by the fine, because she didn't have any First Amendment rights in the first place. When the answer is qualified with a "sometimes," any conditional questions that follow likewise will have qualifications. Note any significant dissents. In many cases, particularly at the Supreme Court level, a justice who disagrees with the majority will issue a dissent.
As time passes and court interpretation evolves, a significant dissent may end up being a majority opinion later on when the court reverses or overturns an earlier decision. Often a concurrence can help you understand the majority's reasoning, particularly if it seemed convoluted on first read.
Unless you understand where the case you're reading falls in the history and development of that particular area of law, you may not be able to recognize which other opinions are important until you do further research.
If you're unsure, it's best to simply note other opinions — be they dissents or concurrences — and the key difference between them and the majority's opinion. Especially if you're reading a Supreme Court case, you also should note which justice authored the dissent or concurrence.
As justices leave the court and are replaced, the values and judicial temperament of the majority also can change.