What Is a Case Study: Case Study Definition, Types and History of Creation

What Is a Case Study: Case Study Definition, Types and History of Creation
January 21, 2021

The case study was first done at Harvard Business School. The students and teachers concluded that the book’s “theoretical material could not be applied in practice. Therefore, it is necessary to find such a method to assimilate the material into practice. An alternative to textbooks was interviews with leading business practitioners and detailed reports written based on how top managers solved a particular situation and the factors influencing their activities. This is how the case study system and the first business cases were born.

If you’re enrolled in any education program, you’ve probably faced a powerful assignment: the case study. Case studies are common for many majors, be it law, economics, business management, chemistry, engineering, nursing, and so on. But if you’re like many young students, you may find researching and analyzing cases intimidating and time-consuming. No reasons to worry, though, since we are ready to provide you with the case study writing guide that includes answers to all of your questions. Once you learn how to write a case study, you receive the chance to earn some brownie points with your professor. Don’t miss this chance to polish your writing skills and stand out among other students!

What is a Case Study?

Undoubtedly, we should start with a case study definition. It has nothing to do with the explanation of what the words “case” and “study” mean. A definition of case study answers your questions: “What should I do?”, “What does my professor expect from me?”, “What should I know to write a really good paper?” Without this understanding, you can’t come up with a decent result.

So, case studies are a story. A story about something special related to your field: for example, when you’re studying marketing, it can be a paper about a company that is in a class of its own. When it comes to the law, you can write about the interesting precedent. Chemistry students explore some phenomena, and so on. The point is that you should present a story by capturing its background, context, and consequences. It is also necessary to analyze the solutions and to include your own ones.

Case studies objectives:

  • diagnostics of information can be analyzed in a group or alone;
  • search for the main problems in the company, product, service;
  • search for solutions to the problem;
  • assessment of solutions, that is, to select only the best;
  • drawing up an action plan depending on the situation.

If you think that only students do case studies, then we will give you a small example. At a construction company, a contractor needs to draw up case studies and understand how much concrete is needed to build a foundation, depending on the house plan. Then find the necessary company so that the order of materials is profitable in terms of price. The contractor needs to use mathematical knowledge, formulas, and prove his point of view to the customer.

At the same time, it is difficult to provide a single case study research definition. All professors have their own requirements, and you should primarily follow them. It means that you can’t just download the paper online; you need unique content that meets certain instructions.

How to Write a Case Study to Get the Best Grade

We receive a lot of help requests from students who don’t know what is a case study and how to write this paper at the best level. You can be a very talented future lawyer, marketer, biologist, etc., but it doesn’t mean that you’re a superhero who can deal with all the challenges at the same time. Most of our customers are focused on their courses, and they learn the law, marketing, and biology instead of writing. Though writing skills are really very important in modern life, their development might not be your priority right now. We understand this. And that’s why we are ready to provide you with a case study definition in research as well as with some valuable tips.

So, if you want to come up with a university case study that will take your performance to the next level, follow this action plan:

  • Explore your requirements in advance. Don’t do it a night before the deadline because you can’t write a good paper in a couple of hours. You still have the option to hire an expert case study writing service, but the earlier you place the order, the cheaper it will cost you.
  • Plan your time wisely. You should understand how much time you need to finish this document. Divide it into several milestones and set deadlines for each of them. If it motivates you, think about some small rewards that you will get.
  • Get rid of distractors. We know that many students experience difficulties with case control study design because they can’t stay focused for a while. Think about things that distract you and ensure that you’re working in a motivating environment.
  • Work in groups. It is always a good idea to work together with other students who have the same issues. You can better brainstorm ideas, analyze each other’s mistakes, etc. 
  • Ask for help. If you feel that you lack some knowledge or skills, it is absolutely normal to ask for professional assistance. You can even outsource your project to an expert writer who will provide you with an A-level paper.

These are basic tips that can help you to organize your time. However, if you haven’t written case studies before, you surely need to know some theory, e.g. types of case study, its format, methods, and so on. There is our full case study guide that you can use. 

Below we have discussed the standard case study format, and you can follow it or add your sections:

  1. To release a sensible case, you need to prepare, think over the structure, create a case study outline, and then write it.
  2. Think over the structure. The case’s logic is simple: we describe the problem, then the solution, and finally, the result. Since the marketing case is designed to sell services, we use elements of selling texts and get a basic structure:
    1. Catchy headline.
    2. Lead.
    3. Description of the client and his problem.
    4. Targets and goals.
    5. Decision.
    6. Results and Conclusions.
  3. Catchy headline. The headline’s task is to catch the desired audience’s attention and interest to read the text. The title can show the most striking achievements, preferably with numbers. For example, we have a case called “How we received an additional 138 transactions using web push notifications without increasing advertising costs.” Also, the title can be enhanced by mentioning famous customers. You can try to introduce an element of provocation.
  4. Lead. In the introduction, you can describe the title, tell the case, mention a few interesting facts, and voice the results. Your introduction paragraph should be 2-3 sentences long.
  5. Description of the client and his problem. Tell us about the client’s company and the problems he faced: how he tried to solve it independently, why he came to you, what results did you expect. You can fill out the block with a quote where the client talks about himself and the problem himself.
  6. Targets and goals. This block indicates the client’s goals and the tasks that needed to be solved to achieve them.
  7. Decision. You need to consistently tell how you worked on the project, what tools you chose, what difficulties you overcame to solve the client’s problem. Don’t be afraid to write about errors if something didn’t work the first time. Give reasons for your decisions, show yourself as an expert. This is the largest block in the cases.
  8. Results and Conclusions. Tell us what you achieved in the end – what indicators did you achieve, and how much higher they were than the initial ones, what benefits you brought to the client. If you continue to cooperate, you can write about plans for the future, provide interim results.

Types of Case Study That You Might Deal With

A category of a case study is pretty generalized. There are some subdivisions under it, and you should know about them in order to understand your professor’s instructions correctly.


These are primarily descriptive papers. Students write them when their task is to make the unfamiliar concepts familiar. Your main goal is to describe the topic in a common language, to find real-life examples, and to make difficult things easier.


Case studies require more time and effort since you need to conduct an investigation and research some data. At the same time, you should keep in mind that it is initial research with a primary task to identify problems and select case study research design and methods that you will use in your investigation. It means that your initial findings should provide a platform to delve deeper and come up with real conclusions.


When your professor assigns you with cumulative case studies, one wants you to aggregate data from several resources. You can use:

  • archival records;
  • direct observations;
  • documents;
  • interviews;
  • participant observations;
  • physical artifacts;
  • textbooks;
  • industry magazines;
  • online sites, etc.

The idea behind this assignment is that the collection of past research will allow you to come up with new solutions without wasting time or additional cost on new experiments.

Depending on your major and other factors, there might be other possible case studies types, e.g. instrumental, intrinsic, collective, marketing, and so on. The good news is that the information about this assignment is not secret, and you just need some time to expand your knowledge. Besides, you can always ask for help.

Case Study Format Advantages and Disadvantages

A case study format, just like many other assignments, has both advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses. It is essential to consider them because you should know your limitations as well as prospective goals that you can achieve.

Case studies strengths

  • You can investigative things that are often challenging to replicate in laboratory conditions;
  • You can gather a great deal of data;
  • It is possible to collect data on cases that are rare or unusual;
  • It allows you to come up with a hypothesis and explore it in experimental research. 

Case studies weaknesses

  • This assignment can be very lengthy. It is not that easy to find enough time to write high-quality content that will hold your readers’ interest.
  • It lacks rigor. Surveys and other research methods are considered more rigorous. Working on your assignment, you should be systematic, ensure the reliability and validity of your data. 
  • It can lead to bias.

Of course, these disadvantages don’t mean that you should ignore your assignment. They are just limitations to consider. There are more important reasons to answer the “why choose case study methodology?” questions. 

Case Study Writing Guide — Start With the Structure

How to write a case study paper so that it attracts attention and deserves the best grade? The first aspect that you should consider is your paper’s structure. Whatever writing assignment you deal with, it always should be structured so that your readers don’t feel lost.


It is a brief section where you need to introduce the case answering the “What?” question. Remember that your primary goal is to hook the readers’ attention which means you should find and include interesting details about this case. And if you take a look at some case study design examples, you will easily find that authors provide their audience with a context — the background info, previous research data, etc.


Once you give some introductory information, the next question for you is “Why?” Why are you working on this study? What are its purposes? Do you have some challenges to overcome?


Explain what methods you’re going to use to carry these studies out. Depending on your major, methods can vary. For example, when it comes to psychology case studies, you collect data with interviews, questionnaires, surveys, observations, etc. There might be some research, experiments, etc. If there are some circumstances (e.g. limitations), you can mention them as well.


Now it is time to describe what you found through your case studies. For example, you can include the solution that some companies used to expand on the foreign markets. How was this solution implemented? Who was involved? 


In this section, you have to analyze the results above and explain why they need more consideration. Were there some limitations that didn’t allow the company to reach a better result? Were any decisions made to fail? How has the world changed to show something that was hidden before?


Working on a case study research design, it is necessary to provide your own proposals. How could you solve the problem? What are the possible options to improve the situation? Use the knowledge that you have been taught in class to support your opinion. 


Finally, you need to wrap things up. Restate your thesis statement, mention issues and the provided solutions. Show your readers what you bring to the table with your research, and how they can use this information. 

University Case Study: What Should It Look Like?

Case study format for students varies depending on a specific educational institution, your academic level, discipline, and other factors. You will deal with such styles as APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and others in order to make your document standardized. These formats set specific rules for:

  • Title page;
  • Running head;
  • Heads and subheadings;
  • Margins;
  • Indents;
  • In-text citations;
  • References;
  • Numbers of pages;
  • Blockquotes, etc.

Whatever qualitative case study research design you work on, you should take your format’s requirements into account. Some professors don’t require their students to format papers according to rigorous instructions, but if your document is going to be published, it is necessary to ensure that it is flawless.

Outsource Case Study Design to Professional Writers

Format of a case study is one of the most common reasons for students to look for professional writing and editing services. The point is that the professors’ expectations might be unrealistic. While you want to concentrate on informative content, inspiring hooks, the academic rules require you to follow some boring instructions.

When you hire a professional writer to help you with your case studies, you shouldn’t worry about case study format education, quotes, plagiarism, and other issues. Focus on your projects and get the most out of this opportunity. 

Do You Really Need Case Study Examples to Succeed?

On the one hand, some case study examples can be really helpful. Students read them to understand how to include a case study in a research paper, how to write a brief but attractive introduction, how to formulate a thesis statement, etc.

At the same time, it is not that easy to find an appropriate case study design that meets specific instructions. All the samples that you find online are not unique, and you can’t just copy this content because your paper will be plagiarized. Besides, they don’t take into account your specifics. So, instead of wasting time looking for samples, you can ask for professional assistance. 

What Is a Case Study Method by Example?

We agree that writing a case study is a difficult task. For you to fully understand this type of documents, we have prepared a case study definition and example:

“The company is faced with the problem of the effectiveness of employees in the sales department. There are three people. The first person works with 70% of customers, the second with 20%, and the third with 10%. With these indicators, the second one shows the highest sales, but he only works with regular customers. The third, on the contrary, works only with new customers, while the first works with both new and regular customers. The manager’s task is to increase the sales plan and redistribute customers’ flow to maximize profit.

To solve this problem, you need to answer the following questions:

  1. What opportunities for improvement could there be in this situation?
  2. What standards can help improve the performance of each salesperson and the sales department in the long term?

Solution: Perhaps the first seller works best with new buyers or with regular ones. It is also worth trying to swap the positions of the second and third sellers. The second will work only with new ones, and the third will only with permanent ones. Perhaps they are in a professional crisis and need a change of scenery. “

Case Study Design Examples That You Can Use for Your Inspiration

If you still want to read some samples, you can look through the Internet to find some papers about companies that are popular in your industry, about natural science phenomena, about some programming techniques, etc. The good news is that a lot of information is available, and the point is that you should analyze it appropriately. We know that it takes a lot of time — along with good samples, there are a lot of weak papers that don’t deserve your attention. You can read great cases about Coca-Cola and Starbucks, but it doesn’t mean that they will help you with your paper about a tech startup. 

How to Write a Case Study Assignment With Our Help?

Students do not know how to write case studies and face difficulties in solving the problem. Most likely, you will need our case study help in the following cases:

  • lack of free time for independent and collective work, the impossibility of breaking away from the work process;
  • lack of a theoretical basis or misunderstanding of the case study structure;
  • difficulty in developing an approach to solving problems, preventing the achievement of a higher level of generalization;
  • difficulty with modeling answer options in a wider range than indicated in the task.

Our specialists have vast experience and know correctly what is case study method as well as its nuances. Some writers are teachers in this area: they can analyze the situation proposed and develop the most optimal action plan. Our experts can find the best way to put the strategic plan into practice in a real-world environment, which provides the highest score for the case.

By deciding to order a case from us, you get a finished work and a full package of methodologies and techniques for resolving a specific situation. All necessary additional information will be obtained in the course of consultation with the executing specialists.

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