Writing a Case Study: What you need to know

Writing a Case Study, what you need to know

CaseA case study is a form of analysis aimed at investigating an identified problem. The purpose of a case study is to examine what causes the problem. It also engages the use of available evidence to create possible solutions. However, you have to bear in mind that supporting evidence should be availed when discussing the problem and the solution.

How to Prepare a Case Study

Writing a case study has to start with preparations. You first need to understand the case study. There are different types of case studies depending on the field you are working on. But most importantly is to examine the case.

Below are some important things you need to do before starting the write up:

  • Uncover the problem in the case
  • Identify potential solutions to the problem
  • Select the best solution

When you have this in mind, starting the case is much easier. It helps narrow down to the main facts of the case and prevents lack of focus. Taking notes is advisable as a way of highlighting the facts and understanding the key problems. The notes are an important guide to establish the focus of the case analysis. When you have the notes ready, you then move to the next steps which include:

  • Analysis of the Problem
  • Identifying Potential Solutions
  • Writing the Case Study

Analysis of the Problem

In writing a case study, the analysis starts with identifying the key problem. It is important to question yourself on why the problem exists. The reasons behind the problem are the main elements which you will use to identify the possible solutions. It is also important to question yourself on how the existent of the problem affects the individual, or organization. You also need to understand who or what is responsible to causing these problems. Now that you have a good idea of the problem, you need to indulge more in uncovering the solutions.

Identifying Potential Solutions

In any case study, the main focus is coming up with solutions to the identified problems. But it becomes difficult o come up with solutions if you do not have knowledge about the problem. You need to conduct a thorough reading of the problem. Reading through discussions, research papers, and other course readings is important. In some case studies, it may be required that you apply your own experience. It may be a case reviewing a problem in life, which you have an experience about. When going through the readings, always make sure you are taking notes. This includes listing down the identified solutions to the problems.

The long list of potential solutions will guide you in selecting the best solution. However, it is important to avoid individual bias when selecting the best solution. This is possible when evidence is used. You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the identified solutions. You also need to question on how realistic the identified solution is for the given problem. Most importantly, you should select a solution which has been evidenced by other readings to work in solving the identified problem. It is also good to use any personal experiences to know whether the solution is realistic. Now that you have what you need, the next step is to start writing the case.

Writing the Case Study

Writing a case study has to start with a draft. A draft is a simple guide to how the case study will look like. The following sections should be included in the draft:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Alternatives
  • Proposed Solution
  • Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices (if any)

Executive Summary

An executive summary in a case study gives the reader a brief overview of the case. You should include the purpose of completing the case study. This is where you also highlight the field of research. The summary should also include issues being discussed in the case. However, you should avoid providing specific details in the summary. It is also good to identify any theory to be applied in analyzing the case. Take note that an executive summary is a presentation of the essential contents of the case.


The introduction part of a case study is where the reader should get a clear definition of the problem. The writer should include a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a clear presentation of the problem and the potential solution.  This should be summarized in a short paragraph to avoid monotony.


The background section sets the scene for the case study. This is where you should include the background information of the case. It is also where the relevant facts should be listed in order to give the reader some history about the problem. You need to show the reader that this is a well researched presentation of the problem. There is need for some facts in the background section.

Alternative Solutions

This is a section of a case study where all the potential solutions to the problem should be listed and discussed. It is where the reader should be given several alternatives. However, you should avoid making it boring for the reader. Select three to five alternative solutions and present them in brief. It is good to explain why each of the solution is realistic. However, you should also lean more on the one solution that will ultimately be chosen

Proposed Solution

From the many alternatives, there is one solution which carries more weight. This is the solution which is more realistic. It is mostly evidenced from the readings or personal experience. Introduce the solution briefly in the first one or two lines. You should also write more on why this solution has been selected. It is also good to make sure that you have adequate evidence to back up the solution. Among the main sources of evidence should include lecture notes, text readings, or other discussions from different forums.

Take note that a case study does not end in identifying a problem. There is need to recommend further action that could support the solution to the problem.


Recommendations in a case study are the suggested strategies on how to implement the solution. This is like a road map and a guide of how the problem should be solved. The recommendation section should also identify who is responsible for the identified action to be taken. Emphasis should also be on why one way of implementing the solution is better than the others.


In any case study, there are external readings used as evidence. This is why it is important to recognize the original texts in the reference section. A reference list should be provided in an alphabetical order. Remember to reflect on what referencing style was requested for the case study.


This section is only applicable when a case study has extra materials that were sourced. There are readings or photos that could interrupt the flow of information within the case study text. These are the materials that should be included in the appendices section. There is also other information that though not referenced within the text, may have given the writer a good idea of the problem or the solutions.

Finalize the Case

All what you have been writing so far should be considered as a first draft. The next step should be on writing the final case study. With the first draft in place, a writer should read through it. Reading through is usually emphasized in order to check any mistakes. There are mistakes related to grammar, sentence lengths, or ideas that may need corrections. Reading through also helps the writer to give the case study a good structure. You should also check to see that the thesis statement presented is clear. You should also emphasize on identifying the strength of the evidence used. It is advisable to take time because the final draft of the case study is what will be assessed.


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