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Case study writing

  • Generally, a case study requires you to integrate practice and theory, so that you can relate theoretical concepts to real-life practical/professional situations

  • A case can be an event, a happening, a person or group of people, an object, a text, an idea, an institution, etc.

  • You are analysing the case by mapping it against a theoretical explanation, in order to understand and see the big picture – What has happened? Why has it happened?

  • It can be in the form of an essay or a report

  • You may be asked to identify:

    • the major problems in the case,

    • the potential solutions to the problems, and

    • the recommendations and justifications.

  • Identification of problems:

    • Provide an overview of the case study.

    • Summarise the problems (including the evidence and causes), from major to minor, in your own words.

    • Relate the identified problems to theory.

  • Solutions to identified problems. Evaluate each solution in terms of its advantages and disadvantages. You might want to consider the following when evaluating the solutions: costs, time, resources and expertise.

  • Recommendations. Outline your recommendations based on the solutions for each of the identified problems. Your recommendations should be realistic, practical and achievable, and be supported by relevant theories.

Adapted from the following sources:
Morley-Warner, T. 2009, Academic writing is… A guide to writing in a university context, Association for Academic Language and Learning, Sydney.
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 2009, Study & Learning Centre, accessed 15 June 2009, <>.


Case study (PDF 172kB)

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