Although not required in all majors, case studies are often essential in marketing, business studies, economics, and similar disciplines. Typically, a case study is a writing piece that studies a specific topic and problem and analyzes the potential solutions to it. It may require you to offer recommendations or simply interpret the issue. Regardless of the situation, if you have some reservations about how to write a case study and format it, this review is for you.

Table of Contents

Report style of a case study

This type of paper requires a writer to use a specific order. In it, it is better to use subheadings for each section. Although it depends on the assignment you will receive, here are some suggestions on what to include.

  • Executive summary, table of contents, and introduction. Some of these sections are not necessary, so it depends on what is said in your instructions. If you have to write an executive summary, make sure to do it after all is written because it will summarize your work, and the same goes for the contents. In the introduction, you have to provide the main background information for the case, including company facts, the data about the market, and everything else you find necessary.
  • Analysis and solutions. This part is the most important one, and you’ll have to research information to complete it. Study all the internal and external factors that can influence your recommendations. Usually, you’ll have to take the position of an expert responsible to make a final choice on how to act. Study the potential risks, costs, and problems specific to the case and propose your ideas, finding the best one of them as a possible strategy for later.
    Conclusions and plan. After you have decided on your custom approach, you can make a verdict and explain the predicted results associated with your professional suggestion. If required, you should write a plan to implement the strategy step by step.

 

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Essay style of a case study

This type is easier for most people because it resembles a typical essay they write in academic settings, but it also has its own original features based on the task you have. Its structure is also easier to follow if you know how English papers are written for most literature classes. If that’s not the case, let’s rewind our knowledge. When composing essays for your college tasks, you utilize the introduction-body-conclusion structure, and this exact style suits here as well.

In the introduction, focus on the firm and its main problem or on the individual issue if that’s the case. Explain its problem and the objective: maybe it has to make its services better for others or has to choose which employee to hire. Each case is unique, which is why you’d want your piece to have a narrow focus. Start with making the objectives in the introduction specific, not something like “Pepsi has to decide what to do with companies competitors.”

Once you’ve done it, start writing your body paragraphs, dividing each into specific topics you want to cover. It’s up to you, but you may dedicate the first paragraph to more detailed background and key obstacles. Secondly, you can write about the alternatives that seem viable or were proposed in a case. Lastly, use the third paragraph to study all the positive and negative consequences. What will happen after your firm decides to buy a small local shop? Should it make its products cheap? Will the buyers like it? Try to be as accurate as possible.

In conclusion, you should wrap everything up and propose your recommendations. While you were simply analyzing the pros and cons of all decisions, in this section, you have to choose one option and briefly explain why it’s good.

Features of a good case study

Once you’ve learned about different types of case studies, you may want to know what positively affects the quality of your work.

  • Is written from scratch. Your educators know you’re not a professional yet, but they do it to understand your unique take on a problem. So when you find some ideas about how to solve a case study online, use it as assistance, never copy it, and make your case study personalized and unique.
  • Uses reliable and accurate data. It’s not a creative task, so you need to use all the statistics and facts you have. If your case study has a table featuring some trends in earnings or a percentage of a service’s popularity, pay attention to it and incorporate it into your answers. If allowed, you may use the outside research and add it with citations. There are many free journal articles and websites that can make your argumentation for a solution stronger. It’s your task to show how your solution is the most practical, so this part is extremely important.
    Adds a theoretical framework from a course. Because you don’t know whether your answers will be ideal, you’ll want to show how you came to the conclusions and recommendations you’ve made. Each course requires the knowledge of some theories, and a lot of case studies try to help you implement it into practice. That’s why you should think carefully about what theory you’ve learned. If you’re unsure, find a website or any other resource explaining it.
    Reviews everything objectively. You should show that you don’t have any personal preferences. Most case studies aren’t linked to morality and ethics and even if they are, you won’t get anywhere appealing to emotions. Always distance yourself from the people in the case and try to think, not feel instead of them.

With this guide at hand, start practicing

Now you know all that’s needed for a first case study paper. If you have any reservations, re-read this work or ask your professor about what style is needed. Although it may seem a little difficult at first, you need only a few times to master this style and structure, and it will be useful for years to come. Make a small outline, start drafting the first paper, and you’ll see how fast it all starts to work together.