Writing Genres: Case Studies

Writing It Right For YouThere are many genres (types) of writing for the academic sphere and for the business market. A case study, which examines a real-world scenario, can be written for either.  Usually a case study starts with a problem to be solved and continues with descriptions and evaluations to investigate the problem from various viewpoints.

A case study can be written about people or about situations. Different ways a case study is presented include through research, interviews, questionnaires, observation, diaries, or historic and current documentation.

There are generally three types of case studies, depending on the purpose:

1) Exploratory case studies use research to look for patterns in data. With an exploratory case study, you are looking for an answer to a “what” question.

2) Descriptive case studies focus on a more specific aspect of the “what” question. The purpose of a descriptive case study is to use data or information to prove a theory.

3) Explanatory case studies analyze or explain why something happens or has happened. The explanation answers “how” or “why” questions.

Case studies do not always have to be academically research-based, however. A case study can be completed about a person or situation in your company that explores, describes, or explains the attainment of an important milestone or goal.

A case study-type document can be just a few pages long or consist of several chapters. Contact the writers and editors at Writing It Right For You if you need assistance with the preparation of an academic or business case study. We know that “It Matters How You Say It”!