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Case Study: Definition, Types & Best Practices For 2022

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Case studies can be a complex topic for many readers, but many researchers may find them informative and helpful.

A case study can explain and examine why something happens, how people or animals behave, and how the natural world reacts to specific situations or developments.

Read on to learn more about what case studies are and how to write one.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is an examination of any one topic that uses scientific methods to come to a conclusion within a real-world context.

Case studies are one of many types of content and cover complicated or complex situations, including groups, communities, and individual people.

Difference Between a Case Study and Testimonial

A case study is different from a testimonial since it will have scientific evidence and information.

Case studies are often replicable, and the results should be easy to reproduce for readers who want firsthand accounts of the claim.

What Is the Purpose of Case Studies?

The purpose of a case study is to explain something, demonstrate how something works, or use scientific evidence to support a claim.

For example, someone may use data collected through observation and experimentation on a specific group of people to make a claim in a case study.

Case studies may help others understand challenging concepts and how they apply to your life.

Why Are Case Studies Important?

Case studies can explain how or why people or animals act.

For example, a case study on the effects of artificial dyes on dogs might explain why canines that consistently eat these dyes are more sickly or hypersensitive than their dye-free counterparts.

This information can help people make more informed decisions about a dog’s health, life, and wellness.

Benefits of Case Studies

There are many benefits to case studies.

In particular, they can expand on an idea or speculation and help people live healthier, understand the world, and make better choices.

That also makes case studies some of the most effective types of blog content

Common Types of Case Studies

There are many case study types, from health and wellness to animals, pets, and science.

Some may try to explain the relationship between two things, while others may explore why something exists.

1. Descriptive Case Studies

Descriptive case studies focus on the small details of a topic.

These case studies often home in on a niche question many may not ask and aim to expand on the topic with as much detail as possible.

2. Explanatory Case Studies

Explanatory case studies usually revolve around why things happen or how things happen.

They will seek to explain an already existing condition.

A researcher may not need to do much more than observe when crafting an explanatory case study.

Moreover, such a case study may need little intervention from scientists and researchers.

3. Exploratory Case Studies

Exploratory case studies answer what is happening and who is making it happen.

An exploratory case study looks at capturing data and includes plenty of firsthand information from participants in the study.

This type of case study may explore Earth science topics, often asking what happens to the Earth when another condition is added.

4. Intrinsic Case Studies

An intrinsic case study will discuss specific instances or news events.

It might also focus on an organization, person, or group in which researchers will dive deep into who they are, why they are crucial, and what they’ve done to garner interest.

What Types of Case Studies Are Most Popular?

Intrinsic case studies are the most popular, but exploratory and explanatory case studies follow closely behind.

They often generate the most interest since they address why something is happening, how something happens, and what has happened.

Examples of Case Studies

There are thousands of examples of iconic case studies that you have probably already heard of and are familiar with, but you may not realize they are case studies.

1. Descriptive Case Study

One example of a descriptive case study would be a precise, highly detailed examination of the Watergate scandal’s aftermath.

A descriptive case study would dive into every minor detail, ask rigorous questions, and meticulously analyze propositions within the study.

2. Explanatory Case Study

Explanatory case studies usually focus on explaining how or why.

For instance, an explanatory case study might delve into why a type of minivan has high crash rates.

3. Exploratory Case Study

An example of an exploratory case study could be the impact of a pet dog on alleviating human PTSD symptoms.

This case study would focus on detailing why a dog is introduced to someone with PTSD and what happens when that occurs, it would then examine the results of this interpersonal relationship.

4. Intrinsic Case study

Intrinsic case studies are the most common since they examine something that has happened, with a person, group, or organization at the front and center of the story.

For instance, Jean Piaget developed theories on cognitive development by observing his children.

Where To Find Ideas & Inspiration for Case Studies

Inspiration for a case study can be found anywhere.

Even a single question can lead you to a more comprehensive case study.

Asking why, how, what, and who are ideal questions to find a good case study for your blog, podcast, or social media platform.

Brainstorming inspiration for your next case study can be simple when you look around with a critical eye.

Consider keeping a log of your questions as one of your strategy types for content creation.

How Do I Get Case Studies

You can view case studies online to get inspiration from others.

Some of the most reliable resources for case studies are Harvard, Stanford, and other accredited institutions.

Process of Writing a Case Study

The process of writing a case study will start with a question and end with a list of data or results you can use to back up your claim.

Content is King so you’ll need to back up claims with data and authoritative sources.

1. Ask a Question

Figuring out what to write about can be challenging, but a case study usually starts with some kind of question.

Start by asking yourself prompts to guide the focus of your case study.

2. Decide Your Case Study Type

Decide what type of case study you want to follow.

For instance, will your case study benefit from a methodic descriptive approach or will it need to be exploratory as a precursor to more thorough research or investigation?

3. Research

A credible case study needs to be supported by authoritative research.

You’ll need to back up your claims to ensure you address the focus of your case factually and accurately.

4. Produce Results

Record all results from your research, such as testimonials, firsthand accounts, and physical evidence from replicable scientific experimentation.

How To Write a Case Study

Writing a case study will mean addressing questions, compiling data, creating graphics, and backing up your claims.

1. Collect and Compile Data

The first step when writing a case study is to compile all the data you have collected.

That may include interviews, scientific experimentation, and other evidence.

2. Choose Your Format

Consider which format may be the best for your case study. Some of the best options are blog posts, podcasts, or videos.

Learning how to write a blog post may help you broaden your range and enable you to reach a larger audience with your findings.

3. Create Infographics

Create graphics, tables, and other visual content that can showcase your results and data.

Visual delivery of information can make complex topics more engaging and digestible.

4. Make Your Claim and Back It Up

You’ll need to clearly articulate your position and back it up with logic tied to your scientific evidence or interviews.

Best Practices for Case Studies

There are some things you can do to boost how well your case study comes out and encourage readers to the content.

These best practices and tips for blogging can help draw in readers.

Be Specific

When you write your case study, you’ll need to focus on offering specific information.

Taking this approach might involve paying attention to the small details in your topic, but it will also apply to any numerical values in your case study.

Try not to round up or down when discussing numbers, and use specific dates wherever it’s applicable in your piece, such as addressing the time and date of an event.

Stay Succinct

Of course, you’ll want to be specific with your information.

However, you need to avoid veering off-topic or including fluff or other auxiliary information.

Instead, hone in on what you’re discussing and be succinct.

Consider carefully what information your case study needs to ensure you are adding precise and valuable information.

Offer Content in Multiple Formats

You’ll want to offer your case study in a variety of formats to ensure that it gets to the widest possible audience.

If applicable, consider sharing your case study through blog posts, videos, or social media platforms.

Case Study Tools To Save Time and Money

Several tools exist to help check your grammar and even develop content for your case study.

What Is a Case Study Tool?

A case study tool is anything that could enhance your work, such as identifying issues with your formatting and punctuation.

Other tools are driven by machine-learning AI, which can generate new content for your case study.

Our Favorite Case Study Tools

Read on to learn which of these tools could benefit your case study and give you all the support you want to give it a professional tone.

Whether you are looking for the best format, writing software, or grammar-proofing technology, these suggestions can be valuable aids for your case study writing.

1. Blog Formats

Blog format may be the best suited to showcasing a case study.

They are ideal for most case studies, especially those that use numerical value and explain why or how something happens.

However, some case studies will benefit from having a different format.

2. AI Writing Software

AI writing software can be the perfect companion to your case writing.

These tools use machine learning to power their AI.

You input keywords into an AI writing software tool, which then generates content ideas and more to help you develop your work.

Some AI writing software tools might be able to predict what experiments you’ve run and what you are about to type, making them perfect for assisting with clarity.

3. Grammar Checkers

Grammar checkers will ensure that your writing is clean, clear, and makes sense.

These kinds of programs are optimized to deliver a final product that has the highest quality content possible.

Grammar checkers will pick up on typos, poor syntax, and incorrect sentence structure.

Other Related Content Types To Check Out

Consider these other types of content you can use to give additional depth to your case study and make your work more professional, thorough, and engaging:

  • Evergreen Content: Offers consistently new and fresh content. As the name suggests, evergreen content is not dated and is constantly relevant.
  • Quality Content: Anything laden with value, which has application to several types of case studies.
  • Infographic: A graphical-based visual component used to make data, statistics, and complex information easier to digest.

Frequently Asked Questions

These questions may come up often when explaining what a case study is and how they apply to the world.

How would you explain a case study to a child?

Explaining a case study to a child may be challenging, but it can be easily addressed as an explanation of why or how something happens.

What is another word for a case study?

Other terms for the phrase ‘case study’ may include recording or research.

These phrases have similar meanings, although the term “case study” will be broader.

Wrapping Up

Writing a case study may be challenging, but there are some ways to make it easier and help you share your case study with the world.

Make sure you research your claim and ensure that you compare your work to that of other case studies from reputable sources on the internet.

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