A case study is the type of writing that help study some problems in details. It is a situation described in details so that a student can analyze it and provide answers to the questions at the end of the case study. The paper may consider fields such as social services, medicine, international relations, business, leadership, and others. So, a case study is the best way to teach a student to think analytically. However, without a well-written sample, the chances are little to get familiar with this type of work and benefit from it.
What are these benefits when writing a case study? Complex issues are presented in real-life situations to find the best practical solutions. Get to know how to write a professional case study – read this article and get the answers to all your questions.
The Essence of the Case Study
The essence of the case study method is quite simple: the descriptions of particular situations are used to organize the learning process. Students are supposed to understand the real-life examples to find a practical problem for each of them. Besides, a case study updates a set of knowledge in any field of study. Most current literature is learned when solving different problems. At the same time, no issue itself has unambiguous solutions. As a result, there is the chance to take the initiative, to feel independent in mastering theoretical principles and mastering practical skills. The analysis of real situations from practical life contributes to the formation of interest and positive motivation to learn.
The case study method is almost universal, but below, we have gathered the most interesting areas for research using this approach and confirmed our choice with real examples.
1. Case Studies on Social Services
Due to the successful combination of descriptiveness and the ability of analytics in a case study, this method is widely used not only in different sciences but also in relation to various subject specifics, including the most complex and difficult to explore areas. This case study makes it extremely attractive for social work where researchers deal with a special, deviant social reality.
Being the object of study, this reality reveals the insufficiency of a research tool built on “pure” analytics. A detailed description of what is happening from the point of view of the objects of research with all their prejudices, emotions and originality is no less important than an impartial analysis from the point of view of an outside observer. In addition, in some cases, “deviant reality” is simply not amenable to study with the help of standard questionnaires or testing. Each person is unhappy in his own way; therefore, a painful, traumatic experience is very difficult to explore with the help of formalized strategies. In addition, the informal case study method improves the quality of communication between the researcher and the object of study in a particular situation. For example, here is the case study of a teenager who has an alcohol addiction and has chosen the wrong path.
2. Case Studies on Medicine
Cases in the field of medicine are an interactive means of analyzing a specific situation to
- Reflect the state of health of the patient,
- Conduct differential diagnostics,
- Choose medical tactics.
The case method used in medicine includes a set of clinical cases that are offered to students in the learning process for analysis.
The use of multimedia technologies in the study of medical cases helps students to gain a better understanding of a complex patient problem, for example, in the diagnosis of a rare disease. The case, as a rule, includes objective data of the patient: photos and video materials of the examination with comments of the attending physician and other specialists, recordings of the characteristic voice of the patient, results of the conducted research, as well as formulations of questions arising in the process of diagnosis.
Thus, the student is as close as possible to the practical part of his future work. You are welcome to analyze the following case study which describes the case of a depressed patient who suffers from dementia.
3. Case Studies on Marketing
In an ever-growing competition, the case method takes on a special significance in marketing. Marketing case studies allow students to analyze the experience of companies that have succeeded or, on the contrary, have been unsuccessful under certain market conditions. By examining the case, students actually get a solution that has already been tested, which can be applied in similar circumstances.
The accumulation of analyzed cases by a student increases the likelihood of using a ready-made solution scheme for the current situation, forms the skills to solve more serious problems. Here is the list of the most famous marketing case studies that were aimed at different goals such as brand personalization, improving transparency or getting feedback from customers.
4. Case Studies on International Relations
The method of situational analysis (case study) in this industry is intended for the study and forecasting of various international political situations. The need for this analytical work is great, because it may have an impact on the development of foreign policy decisions. This confirms the effectiveness of this method. Thus, the use of this method has helped experts to predict the Iran-Iraq war, the bombing of Cambodia and some other facts.
Currently, case studies are one of the most common and effective methods of research to forecast and develop foreign policy decisions. The development of basic skills of this technique is part of the training program for diplomats and specialists in international affairs in many countries. This approach contributes to the formation of professional competence, the development of research, communication and creative abilities, skills to make effective decisions in ambiguous, uncertain situations. Read the following scientific work to find out more about the case study research methods in international relations.
5. Case Studies on Political Science
In political science, the case study method is used to study a particular case, for example, a country or a political phenomenon in a particular country against a background of comparison with other countries.
A comparatively oriented case study can be used for various purposes:
- Use of existing theory to describe the case;
- Testing and validating the theory;
- Hypothesis production;
- Deviating individual cases.
Often, a case study in political science is intended to illustrate the steady features of some generally significant situations and processes. However, the analysis of “cases” that are “deviations from the norm” is of great interest, since it can reveal new explanatory reasons, as well as encourage the researcher to develop or reformulate his theory.
The Case Study Sample to Consider
You are Mr. Smith, and you are the owner of the company “Smith and Ships” that provides services for ships in the port. The fact is that your ordering may help you to save your time and money. However, if the ordering will be not correct, then you may lose your company. In this sample of a case study paper, you must read three situations to answer the case study question – how to save time and money for ordering, shipping and billing.
- Situation 1. Consider the elementary practical situation. In front of the port, there are three ships. Their training and wiring through the gateway require 8, 10, and 27 hours. For example, if the first ship goes first, then the other two ships will wait 10 hours. It is not difficult to conclude that the preferred sequence corresponds to the ordering of ships with the increasing cost of the individual time. In other words, it means that less time has a first level of priority. You must select the order of ships concerning a minimum amount of waiting time.
- Situation 2. Consider a similar situation with three ships, provided that the training and wiring require the same time, but the demurrage for ships is 10, 15, and 90 dollar per hour. The preferred sequence meets the order that covers decreasing prices for waiting. In other words, it means that most of the price for waiting has the first priority. You must select the order of ships, providing a minimum of payments for the waiting of ships.
- Situation 3. Consider the practical situation that unites the first two. In front of the port, there are three ships. Their training and wiring through the gateway require 8, 10, and 27 hours. The payment for ships is 10, 15, and 90 dollar per hour. You must select the order of ships, which provides a minimum payment for their waiting.
Remember that the basic tasks of ordering were solved with the help of charts, like Gantt charts. Analytical methods for solving similar tasks are designed primarily for simple standard cases. For most of the cases, it is necessary to search for the decision ordering via modeling method or through heuristic algorithms for constructing solutions.
It is worth noting, two parameters affect the choice of the priority of order, and they are operating in opposite directions. In this sample of the case study paper, the rule of the priority based on the ratio of the time and price. The division of the time practically leads to the same value of the time, and this fact brings the third situation to the first, which implies a rule of the priority. It means that the less time of order has the first priority.
5 Extra References to Study the Same Question
- Adams, J. (2013). A Maritime Archaeology of Ships: Innovation and Social Change in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Oxbow Books.
- Alderton, P. (2005). Port management and operations. London: LLP.
- Bassett, G. A. (1992). Operations Management for Service Industries: Competing in the Service Era. Praeger.
- Lun, Y. H., Lai, K., & Cheng, T. C. (2010). Shipping and logistics management. London: Springer.
- Yakimiuk, P., & Evripidou, A. L. (1995). Management and operation of ships: Practical techniques for today and tomorrow: Conference: Papers. The Institute.
The list of applications of the case study is not limited to the above. In practice, you can study any particular phenomenon using this approach. We wish you successful scientific discoveries!