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Writing: Case studies


What is a case study?


A case study is a research approach that investigates a topic or issue by focusing on a representative person, group of people, or other sample. A case study can focus on a real or hypothetical situation, but will generally relate to theories or methods in your chosen field of study and their applications in the broader context of your discipline. 


Case studies are similar to reports in that they are divided into sections with subheadings, allowing the reader to jump to specific points of interest. This allows you to present information you have gathered or researched about a particular topic in a way that is easily understood by your reader.


Your case study will often contain both quantitative and qualitative data, allowing for a rich level of detail when exploring a particular issue. 

How to write a case study

A case study assignment will most commonly be written, similar to a report style. However, your tutor may request you to get creative, and format your case study as an infographic, poster or video. Regardless of your format, the structure of your case study will include the sections listed below.

Case study structure