Learn How to Write a Case Study Correctly: Tips and Examples

How to Write a Case Study

This helpful guide will explain how to write a case study by focusing on the definition, main specifics, and the purpose of such academic writing. This article will also explain the elements that make case study writing unique by providing an example to help you follow along as you write with the same quality. 

What is a Case Study?

There is no universal definition for case study writing that would match all the types of this academic task. It is usually an intensive and detailed study related to a person, a particular event, a case, a situation, or series of cases that are united with the same context or a scientific objective. It must represent a clear, systematic analysis and estimation of both a single person or community to determine similarities and differences or to portray the findings by turning to specific theoretical concepts.

Depending on your course and provided instructions, you may take a comparative, analytical, explanatory, or reflective approach to case study writing. The main purpose is to provide analysis and methodology based on your case study sample by defining the key arguments that help you achieve an outcome.

  • How long should a case study be?

Learning how to write a case study, most college students keep asking about the length of case study writing. It will depend on your academic approach, discipline, and the case study itself. In the majority of cases, your case study writing should be from 500 to 1,500 words in total.

The Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study

The major difference lies in the purpose as the research paper must focus on finding the most efficient solution to a certain problem. On the other hand, the case study will strive for an in-depth analysis of a particular case with no references to certain academic views of the subject. As you learn what is a case study, it's essential to understand that case study writing is not asking for synthesis of previously available information, which often requires an individual approach to a problem (one patient in nursing, one problem of the environmental kind, etc). It's also necessary to offer your view and analysis compared to a research paper where you must also explore similar publications related to your topic. Writing a case study is not the easiest task so hiring a qualified article review writer online is a common option for students.

Types of Case Studies

Writing a case study as a college student, you will encounter various types of case study. As you learn more about them, it becomes easier to stay focused and determine what kind of tone must be used.

  • Exploratory Approach. It's usually used as the outline for a more in-depth writing task. It should explore the subject and tell why you might require a large scale research. One of the most complex types of case study writing.
  • Explanatory Case Study Writing. The trick here is to explain the case. For example, when you are majoring in nursing, your case study explanatory task may be to explain the causes of disease and the effect some treatment has had. The final part of such writing is not open to interpreting and must be finite.
  • Descriptive Case Studies. The purpose here is to create a pattern between your chosen subject and a certain theory that you have to research. It mainly strives for improvement of the existing theory based on a particular case.
  • Intrinsic Case Studies. Don't let the word frighten you as it only aims for a deeper research of the case in question. Provide case study analysis by addressing only what you have. The purpose here is to focus on the subject and limit yourself by exploring the specific case.
  • Instrumental Case Studies. Here you have to address the elements of the study by using your materials as the tool or an instrument that leads you to the scientific evidence. It's still necessary to explain your findings.
  • Collective (Series) Case Reporting. These represent an interesting approach since one takes more than one case study and compares, contrasts, or evaluates different cases to mark the start for a new study.

As you learn how to do a case study, remember that you can combine two of these types together to achieve a deeper outcome of your analytical research. Always check with your grading rubric to determine what kind of academic approach you have to take and then adjust your case study materials accordingly. It will save you a great deal of time as you work on your assignment. In case you need assistance, our nursing paper writing service is here to help you get the best grades. Our team of experienced writers guarantees the highest quality of work and timely delivery. 

Case Study Format Rules

Learning how to format your writing is essential because it will be one of those elements that help the grader to determine whether you understand the task correctly.

Here are the main rules to remember:

  1. Each case study paper should start with a headline that should provide your readers with sufficient information regarding the problem. It should speak of the background information in a brief way. 
  2. As you describe the case study, you should include basic details that talk about a person or an event that you explore to offer your audience all the initial information necessary to determine the objectives and complexity.
  3. As you create your outline, remember that you should describe at least one key argument that makes your work interesting and valuable. 
  4. State what problems and obstacles have been mentioned in initial instructions or in the case study document that you have. See various psychology case study topics to get the basic idea of what may be explored as an example. Talk about what you would like to explore. The use of quotes and citations is recommended. 
  5. Offer at least one solution. Talk about how the problem in the case study can be addressed and what methods you choose to address the problem.
  6. Describe the results. Talk about the benefits and the outcomes that you have achieved as a result of your writing. It's also possible to include quotes and combine them with your analysis, depending on the case study.
  7. Conclusion. Talk about various recommendations and sum up the facts that you have discovered.

What we have in result usually ends up in four major sections that are: an introduction, body paragraphs where you talk about the problem, an explanation and presentation of your findings section, and the final conclusion where you state the results. The writing mechanics will depend on the formatting style like MLA or APA.

MLA Rules Template:

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Your Case Study (in italics). Location of the Publisher.

APA Format for Case Study:

The important difference with APA formatting style is that it should include the cover page and the table of contents where your readers can see each part of the report and the executive summary part. The citation template for the references page is as follows:

Author(s). (Year). Title of your case study. Number of case study.

Harvard Style Case Study Reference: 

Author or Editor's Last Name, Initials. (Year) "Title of your case study" [Case Study], Journal Title, Volume (Issue), pp. page numbers.

How to Write a Case Study: Step-by-step Guide

As you learn how to write a case study correctly, it’s necessary to take the following steps to ensure that no important point has been missed:

Step 1: Choose Your Topic. Even when you already have a document to work with, the first step is choosing your topic statement, which should reflect your study approach to the problem. Brainstorm various case study topic ideas first! Make sure that you choose something that reflects not only your case study but also your course and relevant ideas.

Step 2: Determine Your Case Study Type. It may be an illustrative case study or series of cases that you have to work with. Check with your grading rubric twice to stay on the right track.

Step 3: Create Case Study Outline. This part is the most important as you have to work on your case study introduction. It's essential to provide background information and describe the problem posed in the case study document. As you create an outline, start with the key facts that address your objectives and take notes as you study what you have. These notes may be mentioned in the outline for your case study. Basically, an outline should contain information about the person or an event, problem and the goals you would like to achieve, your solution, the results of your work, and the call-to-action sentence (if applicable).

Step 4: Research Your Case. Research the problem first before you come up with a thesis. Look into similar case studies and see what similiarities are worth checking.

Step 5: Develop Your Thesis Statement. It should be specific and must set the direction for your readers. You can also use external sources to support your main idea. Provide at least one piece of evidence.

Step 6: Address Important Arguments in Body Paragraphs. Each body paragraph must start with a topic sentence where you place several references to an important element mentioned in the original case study.

Step 7: Work On Your Conclusion. Your final paragraph is where you should sum up the information and suggest recommendations for further research.

Remember that the majority of challenges that you encounter with a case study paper can be addressed by checking with your grading rubric. Starting with the titles to choose from to the summary that you may have to include in the sample of your work, original instructions may help you to determine what kind of work must be done before you start writing. 

How to Compose a Case Study Draft

Let us assume that we need to create an assignment where business case study examples can come in handy. While you can take a look online and see templates for this and that, specialists at EduBirdie recommend checking the writing template below for an easier way to get things done:

  • Introduction.

a) identify the purpose of your study (it can be the company’s failure or a successful innovation by a particular person).

b) define the type of the case study research (an illustrative type would fit best here).

  • Background.

a) describe basic background information (talk about the company or a person, a group of people or an event). 

b) explain the pros and cons of the problem (describe the importance and why it is relevant for you and the community). 

c) discuss your methods and objectives (set your research method).

  • Case Evaluation.

a) segregate major and minor points (start with the most important elements and continue with what’s less significant). 

b) address strengths and weaknesses of your approach (discuss why your approach might not cover all range of the business problem). 

c) talk about limitations (explain what barriers you have faced and what the case study failed to provide).

  • Proposed Solutions.

a) explain your school of thought (offer information based on a particular method or a scientific concept). 

b) pros of your approach (discuss the positive sides of your solution). 

c) set your hypothesis (feel free to make assumptions and create analytical strategy).

  • Analytical Findings.

a) provide summary of your findings (you can use bullet points to discuss your findings). 

b) connect your thesis with an outcome (remind your readers about your thesis and the most important argument).

  • Recommendations.

a) Provide possible helpful recommendations (you can recommend alternative solutions or suggest how the limitations can be addressed).

b) Recommend further literature (you can mention further reading).

How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

Speaking of case study structure in APA format, as an example, you may have to create a title.

Here are the rules to follow:

- Running head should include running title with a page number flushed to the right top corner. The running head itself should have a one inch margin and be typed in CAPS. 

- The title of the case study must be in title case, centered, and in the bold font. 

- Your name must be centered. 

- Provide your department and the university name. 

- Course code and name follow next and remain centered.

- Your professor's name must be provided in "Dr. John Gerahty" format. 

- Date should be: Month, Day, Year (June 3, 2021).

All these entries must use Times New Roman font, size 12.

For example:


Effects of Transwave Synthesis: An Engineering Audio Therapy Case Study 


Carrie Wood

Department of Audio Engineering, Berkeley School of Music

ENGN 223: Synthesis and Audio Therapty

Dr. Andrew Johnson

May 4, 2019 


Case Study Citation Templates & Examples

Let us assume that we need to cite a case study by David Lee that has been published at the Hardvard Business Publishing website in 2022. We need to obtain the date of publication, name of the case study, and the special reference number that can help us obtain the case study. Here is our citation in APA style:

Lee, D. (2022). What Does Diversity Mean in a Global Organization? (HBR Case Study). HBR No. R2203X-PDF-ENG. https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/R2203X-PDF-ENG?Ntt=&itemFindingMethod=search

Now a textbook-based case study will look this way: 

Author(s) or Editor(s) of the case study. (Year of publishing). Title of chapter or case study. In First initial. Last Name, and First initial. Last name (Eds.), Title of book (pp.) Publisher's Name. 

For example: 

Patterson, J. (2009) The Apple's Take On Luxury. In J. Walden, Cases of Marketing Success (pp. 34-39). Bailey Publishing House. 

  • MLA format will follow this simple template for case study citations

Author's Last Name, First Name. Case Study Title (in italics). Location of the Publisher, Journal, or Organization.

Chandler, Nigel. "Disney and Disability Cases on Screen." American Journal of Cinemetography, vol 14, no. 2, 2004, pp. 281-99.

Case Study Examples

Without a doubt, there are numerous case study examples that you can find online, yet not all of them follow a necessary structure and your final task (and type!) may differ in the end. The most important is to introduce the case study correctly even if you have to write it in a reflective tone. Here is an example of a correct case study introduction and objectives sample:



A debate on the case studies of Autism among the college learners by Arizona's State University, Department of Psychology. 



I feel obliged to compose this personal case study on autism in the academic environment because I have been able to succeed, being in the middle of the autistic spectrum. For some people, however, autism is often seen as a disability and a barrier for learning. Dealing with issues like hypersensitivity and a non-typical reaction to light and sound, I can state that every case is different. In my personal experience, if there are no medical conditions that come along with autism, there is no solid reason to claim that it affects the learning process in the negative way. While there are certain neurological issues, it's only a pace of the learning process that plays an important role.

The main problem with autism and the learning process is that people who are living with this condition are left in the position of being disabled and even harmful for other society members. While autism is considered a learning barrier and a mental disability by some scientists, there is no universal formula that would make it possible to set the final diagnosis. If the talk goes of a functional impairment, the college professors and universities must provide a certain framework to help each student achieve success based on their academic merits and skills.


My hope in the writing of this case study is to address misconceptions and allow fellow students and members of the academic community to explore autism in the learning environment without a biased attitude. I hope that my own personal experience with autism, being a university learner, can help recognize relevant symptoms and help manage the condition in a different way by allowing students with a condition to learn and prosper. 

When You Need Urgent Writing Help!

We know that case study writing may sound overly complex, yet we are sincerely hoping that this guide has helped you clarify the majority of your questions and concerns about this type of writing. If you are still feeling lost or need to get things done urgently, consider professional case study help. The most important is to seek help when you need it by approaching online experts. We are ready to offer timely assistance that will help you achieve success and get over the writer’s block.

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