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  • What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on January 30, 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .

Table of contents

When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.

You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.

Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:

Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.

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what is a case study topic

While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:

To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.

There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.

How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .

Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).

In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.

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The List of Case Study Topics On Various Academic Subjects

Updated 01 Feb 2023

Although the majority of academic definitions of case study talk about some process or research work related to the development of a particular person, group of people, or events over a period of time, it also involves specific analysis to identify problems and find the outcomes. Therefore, the majority of case study topics already include some challenge or an assumption that requires additional research.

The case study usually includes a short description of a problem or an idea that must be explored with the data that should be helpful to let you explore and find the best solutions. For example, turning to a professional case study writing service , you will see that the case studies for nursing students will always differ from those that are used by engineering students. Keeping all these facts and related challenges in mind, we came up with a list of case study topics divided by category.

Case Study Ideas

Coming up with good and reliable case study ideas is essential for college students regardless of their course, existing skills, and academic objectives. Since case study writing explores a plethora of different research methodologies, choosing your topic correctly will help you to avoid such scenarios when your ideas become scattered all over your paper. Have a look at our list of case study ideas based on the subject and use them as a starting point for your future case study assignments. Need help with homework? Hire a professional essay writer .

Case Study Ideas For Psychology

The field of Psychology is quite challenging, which is why it is vital to choose your topic accordingly regardless if you already know the basics or want to overcome writer's block. Here are some interesting ideas to consider based on what is currently popular in various American universities:

Case Study Topics In Education

As you are dealing with Education, you should start by exploring the latest changes as the technology is constantly advancing. Compare old and new study methods used in schools or American universities to get the basic idea of competitive case study topics.

Here are some of them to explore:

Information Technology

The students majoring in Data Science or Information Technology sciences also have to face case study writing, which is usually based on various data analysis methods or the impact that technology has in certain fields of life. Still, you can always explore a little bit further and choose different topics for case studies like the ones below:

Environmental Science

It is only natural to examine various case studies as you are learning all the complex environmental science aspects. Since the majority of tasks in this field will include either reflective writing or cause-and-effect essays, the use of case study writing cannot be underestimated. We're a law essay writing service that you can trust: we get A grades from our customers.

Here are some ideas to use as the starting points:

Marketing Case Study Ideas

As a rule, marketing specialists always have enough to deal with, yet choosing a successful case study topic is not always easy! Do your best to narrow your ideas down to meet the main argument of your thesis statement and the educational objectives. You can browse through a wide range of subjects, including:

Management Case Study Topics

Management is always complex because it involves a plethora of different subjects that must be combined and analyzed. The role of case studies here is vital because it is the best way to learn both old and new methods of management. Consider this list of case study topics on Management:

Applied Physics

As you may think that Applied Physics is all about theory or lab experiments, you are quite far from the truth because it also involves case study writing to determine the engineering mistakes or provide college professors with a piece of evidence that you understand the subject correctly.

SMM Case Study Topics

It is hard to imagine our lives without social media these days. It is only natural that SMM or Social Media Marketing case study topics are becoming even more popular.

Here are some of them you must definitely check:

MBA Case Study Topic Ideas

MBA studies still remain one of the most popular subjects for those who want to start their personal business or promote something innovative. Once you have your MBA degree, you can get employed at some of the world's best companies. Still, as you only study, it is crucial to do all these writing tasks, including reflective journals and case study papers. Have no fear as we have some MBA case study ideas for you:

Human Rights Case Studies

Even though we all have heard about human rights and related challenges these days, it is often uneasy to choose the right case study topic. If you are unsure what to choose, consider these examples of case study topics below:

Nursing Case Study Subjects

Business Case Study Topics

Regardless of what business field you may encounter for your college studies in the United States, the chances are high that you will need some inspiration for your next case study assignment. Consider taking a look at these topic ideas:

Of course, these are only the starting points or the basic ideas that you can use as you think about how to choose a good case study topic for your next project! When in doubt, always consult your academic advisor or hire a professional case study writer to pick the best subject and methodology!

How To Choose Good Case Study Topics?

Starting with your case study topic hunting, follow these simple rules:

Remember that if you are not sure about something, always ask your college advisor and check your grading rubric twice to ensure that you are on the right track!

Analysis Comes First

It must be reminded again that every assignment that you approach must include a preliminary analysis of the topic because you must be aware of various research aspects related to your topic. Take your time to consider different wording patterns and always narrow things down if possible to let your case study writing reflect your thesis and the main ideas. Always provide good evidence and analyze all the available information that you have in the case study instructions. It will help you to provide enough evidence of your research based upon a specific case study. Therefore, brainstorm our case study topics and let your education struggles become easier with our help! And remember that you can always ask us to write your case study for you !

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what is a case study topic

All You Wanted to Know About How to Write a Case Study

what is a case study topic

What do you study in your college? If you are a psychology, sociology, or anthropology student, we bet you might be familiar with what a case study is. This research method is used to study a certain person, group, or situation. In this guide from our dissertation writing service , you will learn how to write a case study professionally, from researching to citing sources properly. Also, we will explore different types of case studies and show you examples — so that you won’t have any other questions left.

What Is a Case Study?

A case study is a subcategory of research design which investigates problems and offers solutions. Case studies can range from academic research studies to corporate promotional tools trying to sell an idea—their scope is quite vast.

What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Case Study?

While research papers turn the reader’s attention to a certain problem, case studies go even further. Case study guidelines require students to pay attention to details, examining issues closely and in-depth using different research methods. For example, case studies may be used to examine court cases if you study Law, or a patient's health history if you study Medicine. Case studies are also used in Marketing, which are thorough, empirically supported analysis of a good or service's performance. Well-designed case studies can be valuable for prospective customers as they can identify and solve the potential customers pain point.

Case studies involve a lot of storytelling – they usually examine particular cases for a person or a group of people. This method of research is very helpful, as it is very practical and can give a lot of hands-on information. Most commonly, the length of the case study is about 500-900 words, which is much less than the length of an average research paper.

The structure of a case study is very similar to storytelling. It has a protagonist or main character, which in your case is actually a problem you are trying to solve. You can use the system of 3 Acts to make it a compelling story. It should have an introduction, rising action, a climax where transformation occurs, falling action, and a solution.

Here is a rough formula for you to use in your case study:

Problem (Act I): > Solution (Act II) > Result (Act III) > Conclusion.

Types of Case Studies

The purpose of a case study is to provide detailed reports on an event, an institution, a place, future customers, or pretty much anything. There are a few common types of case study, but the type depends on the topic. The following are the most common domains where case studies are needed:

case study

Case Study Format

The case study format is typically made up of eight parts:

How to Write a Case Study

Let's discover how to write a case study.

case study

Setting Up the Research

When writing a case study, remember that research should always come first. Reading many different sources and analyzing other points of view will help you come up with more creative solutions. You can also conduct an actual interview to thoroughly investigate the customer story that you'll need for your case study. Including all of the necessary research, writing a case study may take some time. The research process involves doing the following:


Although your instructor might be looking at slightly different criteria, every case study rubric essentially has the same standards. Your professor will want you to exhibit 8 different outcomes:

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Case Study Outline

Let's look at the structure of an outline based on the issue of the alcoholic addiction of 30 people.


Writing a Case Study Draft

After you’ve done your case study research and written the outline, it’s time to focus on the draft. In a draft, you have to develop and write your case study by using: the data which you collected throughout the research, interviews, and the analysis processes that were undertaken. Follow these rules for the draft:

case study

Use Data to Illustrate Key Points in Your Case Study

Even though your case study is a story, it should be based on evidence. Use as much data as possible to illustrate your point. Without the right data, your case study may appear weak and the readers may not be able to relate to your issue as much as they should. Let's see the examples from essay writing service :

‍ With data: Alcoholism is affecting more than 14 million people in the USA, which makes it the third most common mental illness there. Without data: A lot of people suffer from alcoholism in the United States.

Try to include as many credible sources as possible. You may have terms or sources that could be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, you should include them in the appendix or Notes for the Instructor or Professor.

Finalizing the Draft: Checklist

After you finish drafting your case study, polish it up by answering these ‘ask yourself’ questions and think about how to end your case study:

Problems to avoid:

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How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

Let's see how to create an awesome title page.

Your title page depends on the prescribed citation format. The title page should include:

Here is a template for the APA and MLA format title page:

There are some cases when you need to cite someone else's study in your own one – therefore, you need to master how to cite a case study. A case study is like a research paper when it comes to citations. You can cite it like you cite a book, depending on what style you need.

Citation Example in MLA ‍ Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Citation Example in APA ‍ Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Citation Example in Chicago Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.

Case Study Examples

To give you an idea of a professional case study example, we gathered and linked some below.

Eastman Kodak Case Study

Case Study Example: Audi Trains Mexican Autoworkers in Germany

To conclude, a case study is one of the best methods of getting an overview of what happened to a person, a group, or a situation in practice. It allows you to have an in-depth glance at the real-life problems that businesses, healthcare industry, criminal justice, etc. may face. This insight helps us look at such situations in a different light. This is because we see scenarios that we otherwise would not, without necessarily being there. If you need custom essays , try our research paper writing services .

Get Help Form Qualified Writers

Crafting a case study is not easy. You might want to write one of high quality, but you don’t have the time or expertise. If you’re having trouble with your case study, help with essay request - we'll help. EssayPro writers have read and written countless case studies and are experts in endless disciplines. Request essay writing, editing, or proofreading assistance from our writing service, and all of your worries will be gone.

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what is a case study topic

Case Study Topics on Various Academic Subjects

20 Feb 2023

Quick Navigation

❓What Is a Case Study?

✒️How to Find Topics?

📑Case Study Ideas:

Choosing a topic for a case study can be difficult, but this list of case study topics on various academic subjects can help make the process a little easier. From Business to Law to History! This comprehensive list offers a diverse range of case study topics for anyone seeking to delve into the fascinating world of case studies.

Each topic includes a brief description of the subject, so students can get a better idea of what they will be studying if they want to write a case study.

What Is a Case Study?

A Case Study is an intensive analysis of an individual, group, event, or phenomenon. Case studies have become a valuable tool in psychology, sociology, and business research, offering an in-depth examination of a subject through qualitative or quantitative methods.

Whether you're a student, researcher, or business professional, writing an effective case study is essential to your success. If you are wondering how to write a case study, then read on. Follow these expert tips to create a clear, concise, and organized masterpiece that will captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression.

Begin your case study by introducing the subject and offering a riveting overview of the situation.

Paint a picture of the problem or issue at the center of your case study.

Outline the steps that were taken to address the problem.

Describe the results of the intervention.

Discuss any possible implications or future directions.

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How to Find Awesome Case Study Topics?

One of the most important skills for any student is the ability to write in-depth analysis. This is especially important when it comes to academic writing. However, many students find it difficult to come up with topics for their case studies. If you are one of those students, don’t worry – we are here to help.

Crafting a great case study involves more than just choosing the right topic. There are countless case study topics, select one that is interesting to you, applicable in your field of expertise and allows for extensive research.

Now that you've chosen a topic, it's time to really dive into the research phase. Make sure you have an in-depth understanding of what your writing. The content should be well-researched and well-informed. Start by reading as many articles and books as possible while taking notes along the way.

With your confident grasp of the subject, you're ready to begin putting words on paper. Start with the rough draft - this will help you devise a basic shape or framework of your argument! Revisiting and refining this template comes next; ensure that each point is formulated clearly so there's no room for confusion or misinterpretation.

Finally, you want to make sure that you have a good attitude and professional success. This means working hard and staying motivated. If you can do these things, you will become a student who stand outs from the crowd.

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Case Study Ideas and Topics to Get Inspired

Our comprehensive list of case study topics is here to help! From students and researchers, to professionals across industries - these thought-provoking subjects can jumpstart creativity, enable deeper insights into research findings and steer you toward the next big breakthrough. Here are some topics and ideas you can get inspired from.

Top Notch Business Case Study Topics

Elevate your education and enhance your business acumen with our top-notch business case study topics for students. These engaging and thought-provoking case studies will challenge your mind, expand your horizons, help you succeed in the fast-paced world of business. If you are looking for some case study help online , you can take notes. Here are some business case study topics you can take inspiration from:

MBA Case Study Topic Ideas

The goal of an MBA case study is to help students understand the complexities of real-world business decision-making and develop their analytical and problem-solving skills using qualitative or quantitative research method. Here are some example marketing case study topics:

Education Case Study Topics

Education shapes the minds of our future, so it's no surprise that case studies in this field can offer an insightful look into both present and potential opportunities.

From teachers learning how to use new technologies effectively in K-12 classrooms to policy makers developing strategies for education reform efforts, these thought-provoking topics highlight just some of the many facets within the ever evolving educational sector. Here are some education case study topics you can take note from:

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Psychology Case Study Topics

The purpose of psychology case studies is to understand an individuals or a groups behaviour and emotions through in-depth study.

There are a wide range of topics and areas that can be explored in psychology. These are pertaining to abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, or cognitive psychology. While choosing a topic for psychology case study its important to select a topic that is compelling and informative. Here are some informative case study topics that you can choose from:

Environmental Science Case Study Topics

If you are interested in analyzing the real-world issues then its a good option to choose an environmental science case study options. These topics analyze real world issues using scientific data and analysis.

There are a wide range of topics that come under environmental science. For example how to promote environmental protection, green energy systems and how they impact the carbon dioxide emission reports, earthquake prevention systems, and more. Several times students are looking to purchase a case study online , and help with choosing a topic. Here are some case study topics that you can take inspiration from if you are an aspiring environmental scientist or practitioner.

Management Case Study Topics

Management case studies offer a practical approach to problem-solving in the business field. They examine real-life scenarios, covering topics like organizational behavior, marketing, and finance.

Studying these case studies helps students and professionals develop effective strategies to address business challenges in today's fast-paced global marketplace. It does not matter if you are interested in the data transfer methods or quality production differences.

Case Study Topics for Marketing

Marketing case studies help individuals gain insight into real-life marketing challenges and strategies. They cover topics such as product development, brand management, advertising, strategic thinking for brand development, and individual purchasing decision making.

By examining successful companies in various industries and data analysis you can better understand the current marketing landscape and develop skills in market analysis.

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Social Media Marketing Case Study Topics

In todays world, social media has become an important tool for business. It allows them to engage with their target audience from all over the world. Case studies based on the topic of social media management offer insights that are valuable and in-depth.

There can be several topics pertaining to social media including influencer marketing, advertising, social media dangers, the influence of social media groups, and community management. Whether its MLA format or APA format case study , the first task is to decide on an interesting topic. These topics allow individuals to understand how to use insights to increase customer engagement and even drive website traffic growth for your business. Here are some topics pertaining to social media that you can take inspiration from:

Information Technology Case Study Topics

One effective method of showcasing how IT solutions can tackle specific challenges faced by businesses or organizations is through the use of IT case studies. These studies enable us to concentrate not only on software development but also on other key elements like hardware, networks, and integrated IT solutions.

Given the significant role technology plays in today's world. They cover a range of topics, including cloud computing, data transfer methods, and artificial intelligence.

Human Rights Case Study Topics

Case studies in the field of human rights explore issues that are both complex and controversial. These are usually related to the context of human rights. They provide real world examples.

Some of the common case study topics includes age gap differences, gender-based violence, refugees and asylum-seekers.

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Case Study Topics for Nursing

There are different issues that nurses face in healthcare. Nursing case studies explore theories, principals, and practices in real world situations while analyzing the challenges and successes in the field of nursing.

Case studies are a platform to experience and learn from each other, here are some example topics to get inspired.

Choosing a topic for your case study doesn't have to be intimidating - our list of topics covers various academic subjects and provides great ideas if you're feeling stuck. Plus, by taking the time to research thoroughly, sketch out the problem parameters, explore potential interventions and results.

With these steps in hand – and an optimistic outlook – you'll surely become a leader among scholars or business professionals alike!

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what is a case study topic

If you find yourself on this page, then most likely you are a student who was given the task to write your case study . If choosing a topic for a case study was a real challenge for you, you have come to the right place. After reading our article, you will figure out all the intricacies of this issue: how to decide on the subject of research, where to get inspiration and how to develop your research around the chosen topic.

What are the topics and where to get it?

When you are given the task of writing a case study, the first and most difficult step you need to take is to properly analyze the situation that will form the basis of your research.

The research topic for the case study

A specific case, which you will analyze in depth, and will be the topic of case study. The research topic should be highly specialized, fresh and one that will offer something new. Topics can be obtained in several ways.

The first, and, in our opinion, the most difficult - is an independent choice. When there is a wide choice, it can be difficult to focus on one thing. But instead you have the freedom to act and the opportunity to choose your own strategy. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the educational issue in the discipline you are studying.

The second way - the topic is assigned by your professor. You have a clear task, so you can get started right away.

And the third case - you get a list of topics from which you need to choose one. The one that interested you the most.

Let's talk in more detail about each of these cases of getting a topic.

You choose the topic

Focus on your own ideas. When choosing a topic yourself, the main thing is not to get confused. Think about what you have been interested in lately. Take a pen and a sheet of paper and write down your thoughts and ideas. Now choose the one that can be transformed into a case study topic. The problem should be selected according to the following principles: "What can I learn new?" and "What solutions can I suggest?". Do not consider the case study as an unbearable burden, but rather as an exciting adventure that will give you new knowledge.

How to find an interesting topic?

No idea comes to mind? You need to develop your strategy of action.

Resources for Identifying a Research Problem

There are four types of sources to help you identify a research problem.

5 points to help you decide on a topic

When choosing a theme, you should consider several important points. They will greatly facilitate your task and help you choose a valuable subject for research.

Look for unusual situations, events, and people that require study

Descriptions of typical cases may not always provide new information. This is why it is better to choose exceptional circumstances for a case study. Atypical cases are a good source and basis for case studies.

Reveal your question from a previously unexplored side

Case studies are designed to find fresh solutions to old problems or look in a new way at previously studied issues. One way or another, your work must have practical significance.

Your task is to analyze the situation - case, evaluate the proposed algorithms, and select the best in the problem's context.

Find a counter-opinion to the prevailing one

Valuable research is

Researchers often follow a simple path - finding a point of view on research that correlates with his own. However, if the question you are examining causes you to have controversial thoughts, it will only work for your benefits. In fact, valuable research is born in search of truth and thanks to different opinions. Keep this in mind when working with text. Take the opponent's position and find worthy arguments, which will allow you to create a high-quality product.

Your case study should suggest ways to prevent similar cases

A good case study sample might be the following: you are studying the case of the destruction of the family of a serviceman who has post-traumatic stress disorder. In the research process, you find a causal link between the sudden return of a soldier after the war in society without the proper help of specialists. The result was the psychological self-isolation of the military and separation from the family. Your research should help find ways to prevent the breakdown of families of servicemen suffering from PTSD.

Your topic should be valuable for future research

Your work can be a platform for future research. Suppose you are a medical college student. You have been asked by your professor to write a case study. Choosing from many topics, you became interested in a little-studied disease that affects people in a particular region. As a basis for your research, you can take the manifestations of this disease in a specific person. In your work, you will investigate the patient's medical history, describe the symptoms. In the future, this study will provide an impetus to explore the region where patients are most often identified and to find a link between geography and affection. And this, in the long run, will help find alternative ways to treat the illness.

List of Case Study Topics Examples

We have already found that case studies can be created in any scientific field. This generates a wide range of subjects to study. The importance of case studies is difficult to overestimate. Without them, the development of many scientific fields would be impossible.

In today's world, technology is evolving too fast, and this requires constant analysis and study by young scientists. All the latest gadgets are the result of case studies. They facilitate the exchange of information and accelerate the development of technology.

Next, we will talk about the importance of conducting investigations in various disciplines.

If, after our tips, you still haven't been able to decide on the subject of your own research, you can get an idea from our list of topics.

Environmental Science

Education plays an essential role in solving environmental problems. One of the most effective ways to reduce and prevent the impact of industrial production on the environment is the introduction of environmental management systems. One of the methods of developing environmental competence among managers is Case Studies. The goal of eco-management education, defined from the standpoint of a practice-oriented learning model, is to develop skills and abilities to solve specific problems in the field of environmental management. We offer the following topics:

Applied Physics

Physics has always been the core of human development. All discoveries and inventions of humanity are based on the laws of physics. A case study in applied physics is a powerful tool for achieving practical goals. You can choose one of these topics for analysis:

In nursing, the case study is especially important as nursing dissertation writing ! In the context of medicine, it implies an in-depth analysis of a specific case of one patient. Nurses encounter such cases during daily practice. This method makes it possible to apply theoretical skills in a real situation, draw specific conclusions and formulate recommendations.

The main task of a nursing case study is to choose a patient and investigate his medical history. Based on the collected material, you make a research plan, and the final stage is the best practice. List of topics:

A case study in psychology is one of the approaches to descriptive research of an individual. In this case, an in-depth analysis of specific features or phenomena, on the basis of which a comparative analysis is carried out and conclusions are drawn.

The focus of the case study in psychology is human. Freud set the most famous precedent case study in psychology in the early 1900s. His intense introspection, combined with the case studies of several individuals, led to an open-minded subconscious life that suppresses but controls behavior.

A variety of methods can be used, including face-to-face interviews, direct observation, psychometric tests, and archival records. In psychology, case studies are most commonly used in clinical research to describe rare events and conditions that conflict with well-established principles in psychology.

The study subject in the case herd can be both socio-psychological characteristics of the individual, which is of independent interest as a "clinical" case, and complex social units, consisting of many variables.

Possible research topics:

Management is a science that deals with the proper allocation of resources to achieve goals. Its task is the most rational use of available resources. The concept of management is vast. This is due to the fact that the subject studies a huge number of issues - the basics of enterprise management, strategic and tactical planning, staff motivation, market analysis, and dozens of others. It is very easy to get lost in such a variety of areas for research. You can choose from:

In marketing, case studies can be an ideal way to increase sales. To offer the client exactly what he needs, it would be nice to read his thoughts, eh? You can do it through a case study.

Marketing cases are a detailed description of the successful implementation of business projects. Cases allow you to attract customers due to the fact that the target audience gets access to detailed information about how the company works.

Marketing cases are a tool aimed at building and increasing brand trust among the target audience. For such an effect, it is crucial to use correct data and real examples with numbers, deadlines, labor costs.

A clear explanation of the goal and the need for individual actions to solve the problem based on real examples will help a potential client evaluate the company's professionalism and productivity.

Two-thirds of marketers consider case studies to be a handy tool for generating leads and sales. The most popular use of cases is in the B2B segment. Most often, cases are used in such business industries:

Cases are used when it is possible to clearly and structurally describe the solution to the problem, showing the starting point and adding screenshots with numbers, graphs, and diagrams, confirming that the client's goal has been achieved. In addition to text, cases are created in video format.

Marketing case studies can be directed to the following topics:

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Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality

SMM case study topics

SMM is one of the branches of marketing, which is based on the search for a customer base through social networking platforms and Internet resources. The case study in the field of SMM can be established, for example, on the case of highly skilled use of SMM resources on the instance of a particular site, the dynamics of growth of its audience, sales, etc.

Case studies in this area are possible on different topics:

MBA Case study

MBA is one of the schools of management for directors, top managers, and business owners who seek to establish themselves and develop in the market. It provides the most efficient use of resources and management tools to reorganize the work and achieve significant results of companies. The subject for a case study in this area may be, for example, an individual company. You can explore its history, the reasons for the decline in its efficiency, and ways to overcome the labor crisis of the enterprise. You should not use already developed projects or smart products already on the market.

When choosing a topic, a student can proceed from his personal managerial interests and offer something that will help him personally. He may also become interested in the field of activity of his firm and company, and then his theoretical and practical conclusions will cover a much larger area.

When developing a case in economic disciplines, various approaches are possible. You can, for example, initially select a specific type of problem and try to isolate information related to this type of problem - let's say, take the problem from the following particular area of ​​the company's activity: distribution, sales management, company value management, personnel management, etc. Another approach is not to initially single out a specific problem, but to collect information on a wide range of the issues of the company's activities: management, marketing, finance, etc.

Case studies in economics challenge time, explore the development of the business over time. They also identify real problems in today's economy and help you develop the ability to find solutions to these problems.

Case studies in education serve as a powerful methodological tool in any discipline. Any information is assimilated much better when it is presented on real examples . The teacher can create groups of students of different sizes to discuss certain issues. You can choose one specific case to discuss and find solutions to problems for all groups, and you can give each of them a unique case to compare and find analogies and alternative solutions.

Human Rights

Civil liberties and human rights are very diverse topics for research. To delve deeper into this world of jurisprudence, to understand the importance of human rights and ways to protect them, feel free to develop case studies. Consideration of specific cases of human rights violations will help students to get acquainted with this area and to hold exciting discussions on individual precedents in the courts.

You can choose a special case for a case study on one of these topics:

Information technology

IT is one of the fastest-growing industries. Some of the most interesting topics for case studies in the field of IT can be cognitive modeling (artificial intelligence, affective computing, decision making, and time perception) and Applied Logic (cognitive robotics, database theory, distributed computing, and machine understanding).

The research topic was provided to you

The topic was chosen for you. On the one hand, it makes your life easier. After all, you do not spend a lot of time and effort searching among the many exciting problems, just the one that is close to you. However, there is another side - now you have to write a study of precisely what you are asked. Either way, you no longer have a choice. All you have to do is follow a specific algorithm of action agreed with your professor. Each teacher has his own vision and requirements for the disclosure of a given topic.

A step-by-step guide to writing a study

Define terms and concepts..

To be a professional, you need to be correctly oriented in what you write. The topic needs to be explored in-depth, going into the smallest details. Start by defining the basic concepts that will operate in your work.

Choose literature sources.

You have two options. You can search for literature yourself or seek help from a librarian. If you choose the first option, you will have to work hard.

Hint. Most likely, your topic was studied before you. And you will find a lot of useful information in previous studies by other scientists. You need to find the freshest works. Google Scholar will be a good helper in this. How to use it? Just paste the article's title you are interested in into the search bar, find the link to the citation, and find the number below the entry. It will indicate the number of uses of this article in other works. This method will allow you to identify the most relevant work related to your topic.

Look for controversial opinions.

Case studies are developed to find solutions to specific problems. In order to come to certain conclusions, you need to make many arguments and compare different points of view. To do this, use a variety of sources. Look for counter-views on your problem. Truth is born of controversy.

Make an outline of your work.

After defining the basic concepts and carefully selecting the necessary literature, you are ready to build your future research's skeleton. It will be the basis of your text and will identify gaps that need to be filled. There may be a need to study additional materials. Make sure that your work is logically structured and that each previous paragraph moves smoothly into the next.

Limited selection - You select a topic from the list provided

Here is a list of topics suggested by the professor. They are all selected so that you can develop any of them. Therefore it is not necessary to look at the topics that, and your opinion will be more straightforward. All of them are within your power, believe us. Our advice - choose the problem that is closest to you, which echoes in your heart. The topic should interest you, make you want to develop it, and introduce new ideas and suggest alternative solutions. If for some reason, you have chosen a topic but have not been able to work with it, you should think about another choice. Just don't procrastinate and tell the professor.

Now follow the 4 steps described in the paragraph above.

A case study is a challenging and even confusing topic that can cause you many additional questions. Next, we will answer the most common of them.

What is a typical case study?

Historical background.

Learning by practical examples, as a way of development, has existed since ancient times. There are mentions that descriptions of specific battles and their analysis were used to instill leadership skills in Sparta boys.

However, officially, as a teaching method, the case study was first applied at Harvard Business School in 1924, when its teachers and students were faced with the fact that it was impossible to learn the practice of management and doing business using existing textbooks.

Interviews with leading business practitioners have become an alternative to textbooks. Detailed reports (descriptions of situations) written on their basis on how top managers solved a particular problem helped to find their own way of solving. This is how the case study system and the first business cases were born.

Definition of the term case study

A case study is a learning system based on the analysis, solution, and discussion of situations, both simulated and real.

The method is intended to gain knowledge in disciplines in which the truth is pluralistic, i.e., there is no unambiguous answer to this question. Several solutions can rival the degree of truth.

Case studies are now an excellent means of finding the truth in any scientific discipline: politics, management, philosophy, physics, mathematics, history, information technology and other fields of knowledge.

And in colleges, writing case studies has become a mandatory part of the curriculum.

How Long Should a Case Study Be?

There are no strict limits on the size of the case study. The more detailed you cover the topic, the better. However, the research should not be like a dissertation. You need to fully present your idea, problems, and solutions in a relatively small format. Each subsequent paragraph of work should logically continue the previous one.

Writing a case study requires concentration and resources; you need to write essentially, avoiding "water." This approach to writing a work determines a certain length of text - its size can range from about 500 to 1,500 words.

What Format Should My Case Study Be In?

The right format of the text is no less critical in the case study. Keep in mind that it depends on the requirements of a particular college. APA style papers are the most popular. You can also cite in MLA format. Keep in mind that text formatting is not an easy task; however, it should be given special attention. This is the face of your work that many teachers pay attention to.

Why Are Case Studies Important?

Case studies are considered one of the best techniques for developing analytical and critical thinking, as well as creativity.

Let's highlight three main advantages of this teaching method.

1) Practical focus. The case method allows you to apply theoretical knowledge to solving practical problems. This approach compensates for purely academic education and provides a broader understanding of business and processes than lectures at a university or internship in a narrow area of work.

2) Specific skills. The case method allows one to improve soft skills, which are not taught at the university but are extremely necessary for the real workflow.

3) Interactive format. The case method provides more effective assimilation of the material due to the high emotional involvement and active participation of the trainees. When teaching this method, the emphasis is placed not on the acquisition of ready-made knowledge, but its development.

What are some examples of case studies?

Solving a case means analyzing the proposed situation and finding the best solution. The doctor solves the cases every time he diagnoses the patient and prescribes treatment. The lawyer solves the case, understanding the twists and turns of the case, and offering the client the best way out. The manager solves issues at all stages of the business process: which product to launch, where to sell it, how to attract buyers, which suppliers and partners to choose.

What should a case study include?

A case study, like any other written work, consists of several essential elements. Next, we talk about a typical scheme of the case study.

Of course, this template is for guidance only. You can add, change paragraphs depending on the specifics of your study.

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200 Outstanding Case Study Topics on Several Academic Subjects

Table of Contents

Do you want to prepare a case study on a unique topic? Are you searching for the best case study topics? For writing a detailed case study, it is necessary to have a specific case from a subject or topic to focus on. But, in general, it is really challenging to identify a good case study topic. So, here, in this blog post, we have shared with you a list of outstanding case study topics on various academic subjects to deal with.

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a research method that is used for the detailed study of a person, event, organization, process, place or group. In simple terms, the case study is done for a better understanding of a process or a subject. More commonly, case studies are used in educational, social, clinical, and business research.

You can depend on case studies for describing, comparing, evaluating, and understanding a research problem from different perspectives. Taking Dissertation Help is a perfect choice for writing a thesis or dissertation.

Case Study Topics

If you are asked to prepare a case study on a particular topic, then you need to identify a particular case from your problem statement or research question, develop a theoretical framework, collect qualitative or quantitative data from reliable sources and analyze the case.

When writing your case study , first, you need to conduct in-depth research on your topic and then address the problem statement by bringing together all the relevant aspects of the subject. Remember, your case study should be structured like a thesis, research or paper writing with separate sections for methods, results, and discussion.

Case Study Topic Ideas

As said earlier, for crafting a case study, a good topic is necessary. Usually, your instructors will assign a topic for you, or they will provide a wide list of options for you to select. In such scenarios, it is easy for you to begin the case study writing.

If your instructor didn’t give you a topic and asked you to pick a topic or case on your own, then you need to spend more time gathering the case study topic ideas. It is really a hectic process to collect all the ideas and identify a perfect topic for a case study. So, to eliminate all the troubles that exist in your path, here we have grouped different subjects and have listed some interesting and unique case study topic ideas for you to consider.

Quickly dive in and pick a case study topic that inspires you and falls within the subject category as suggested by your instructor.

Education Case Study Topics

Applied Physics Case Study Topics

Applied Physics Case Study Topics for university

Environmental Science Case Study Topics

Environmental Science Case Study Topics for students

Information Technology Case Study Topics

IT Case Study Topics

Marketing Case Study Topics

Marketing Case Study Topics for Assignments

Management Case Study Topics

Management Case Study Topics for Exam

Case Study Topics on Social Media Marketing

Business Case Study Topics

MBA Case Study Topics

Case Study Ideas on Human Rights Topics

Nursing Case Study Topics

Psychology Case Study Topics

Final Thoughts

For your case study assignment, you can choose any topic of your choice from the list of case study topics suggested in this blog post. Remember, a case study is a detailed study of a particular topic, and hence, spend more time on analysis and present your main ideas by providing valid evidence.

If you are struggling to complete your case study or find it difficult to perform an in-depth analysis of a case, then avail of our case study writing service . We have a team of professional academic writers to assist you in completing a well-structured, original case study on the best case study topics as per your case study instructions. To hire our instant assignment helpers and reliable case study help, quickly place your order.

what is a case study topic

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How to Write a Case Study

This guide explains how to write a descriptive case study. A descriptive case study describes how an organization handled a specific issue. Case studies can vary in length and the amount of details provided. They can be fictional or based on true events.

Why should you write one? Case studies can help others (e.g., students, other organizations, employees) learn about

Writing a case study also allows you to critically examine your organizational practices.

The following pages provide examples of different types of case study formats. As you read them, think about what stands out to you. Which format best matches your needs? You can make similar stylistic choices when you write your own case study.

ACF Case Studies of Community Economic Development external icon This page contains links to nine case studies that describe how different organizations performed economic development activities in their communities.

National Asthma Control Program Wee Wheezers This case study describes a public health program.

CDC Epidemiologic Case Studies This page contains links to five classroom-style case studies on foodborne diseases.

ATSDR Environmental Health and Medicine This page contains links to approximately 20 classroom-style case studies focused on exposures to environmental hazards.

What are your goals ? What should your intended readers understand or learn after reading your case? Pick 1–5 realistic goals. The more goals you include, the more complex your case study might need to be.

Who is your audience? You need to write with them in mind.

What kind of background knowledge do they have? Very little, moderate, or a lot of knowledge. Be sure to explain special terms and jargon so that readers with little to moderate knowledge can understand and enjoy your case study.

What format do you need to use? Will your case study be published in a journal, online, or printed as part of a handout? Think about how word minimums or maximums will shape what you can talk about and how you talk about it. For example, you may be allowed fewer words for a case study written for a print textbook than for a webpage.

What narrative perspective will you use? A first-person perspective uses words such as “I” and” “we” to tell a story. A third-person perspective uses pronouns and names such as “they” or “CDC”. Be consistent throughout your case study.

Depending on your writing style, you might prefer to write everything that comes to your mind first, then organize and edit it later. Some of you might prefer to use headings or be more structured and methodical in your approach. Any writing style is fine, just be sure to write! Later, after you have included all the necessary information, you can go back and find more appropriate words, ensure your writing is clear, and edit your punctuation and grammar.

After writing a draft, the case study writer or team should have 2–3 people, unfamiliar with the draft, read it over. These people should highlight any words or sentences they find confusing. They can also write down one or two questions that they still have after reading the draft. The case study writer or team can use those notes make edits.

Finally, the writer/team should have someone with a good eye for detail review the case study for grammar and formatting issues. You can review the CDC Style Guide pdf icon [PDF – 1.36 MB] external icon  for clarification on the use of punctuation, spelling, tables, etc.

Green BN, Johnson CD. How to write a case report for publication. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2006;5(2):72-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60137-2

Scholz RW, Tietje O. Types of case studies. In: Embedded Case Study Methods . Thousand Oaks (CA): SAGE Publications, Inc.; 2002. P. 9-14. doi:10.4135/9781412984027

Warner C. How to Write a Case Study [online]. 2009. Available from URL: https://www.asec.purdue.edu/lct/HBCU/documents/HOWTOWRITEACASESTUDY.pdf pdf icon [PDF – 14.5 KB] external icon

Title: Organization: Author(s):

Goals: After reading this case study, readers should

Introduction Who is your organization? What is your expertise? Provide your audience with some background information, such as your expertise. This provides context to help them understand your decisions. (How much should you write? A few sentences to 1 paragraph)

What problem did you address? Who identified the problem? Provide some background on who noticed the problem and how it was reported. Were multiple organizations or people involved in identifying and addressing the problem? This will help the reader understand how and why decisions were made. (1 paragraph)

Case Details Provide more information about the community. What factors affected your decisions? Describe the community. The context, or setting, is very important to readers. What are some of the unique characteristics that affected your decisions? (1 paragraph)

How did you address the problem? Start at the beginning. Summarize what happened, in chronological order. If you know which section of the publication your case study is likely to be put in, you can specify how your actions addressed one or more of the main points of the publication/lesson.

What challenge(s) did you encounter? Address them now if you have not already.

What was the outcome? What were your notable achievements? Explain how your actions or the outcomes satisfy your learning goals for the reader. Be clear about the main point. For example, if you wanted readers to understand how your organization dealt with a major organizational change, include a few sentences that reiterate how you encountered and dealt with the organizational change. (A few sentences to 1 paragraph)

Conclusion Summarize lessons learned. Reiterate your main point(s) for the reader by explaining how your actions, or the outcomes, meet your goals for the reader.

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What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

what is a case study topic

Seven meta-skills that stick even if the cases fade from memory.

It’s been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study method excels in instilling meta-skills in students. This article explains the importance of seven such skills: preparation, discernment, bias recognition, judgement, collaboration, curiosity, and self-confidence.

During my decade as dean of Harvard Business School, I spent hundreds of hours talking with our alumni. To enliven these conversations, I relied on a favorite question: “What was the most important thing you learned from your time in our MBA program?”

Alumni responses varied but tended to follow a pattern. Almost no one referred to a specific business concept they learned. Many mentioned close friendships or the classmate who became a business or life partner. Most often, though, alumni highlighted a personal quality or skill like “increased self-confidence” or “the ability to advocate for a point of view” or “knowing how to work closely with others to solve problems.” And when I asked how they developed these capabilities, they inevitably mentioned the magic of the case method.

Harvard Business School pioneered the use of case studies to teach management in 1921. As we commemorate 100 years of case teaching, much has been  written  about the effectiveness of this method. I agree with many of these observations. Cases expose students to real business dilemmas and decisions. Cases teach students to size up business problems quickly while considering the broader organizational, industry, and societal context. Students recall concepts better when they are set in a case, much as people remember words better when used in context. Cases teach students how to apply theory in practice and how to induce theory from practice. The case method cultivates the capacity for critical analysis, judgment, decision-making, and action.

There is a word that aptly captures the broader set of capabilities our alumni reported they learned from the case method. That word is meta-skills, and these meta-skills are a benefit of case study instruction that those who’ve never been exposed to the method may undervalue.

Educators define meta-skills as a group of long-lasting abilities that allow someone to learn new things more quickly. When parents encourage a child to learn to play a musical instrument, for instance, beyond the hope of instilling musical skills (which some children will master and others may not), they may also appreciate the benefit the child derives from deliberate, consistent practice. This meta-skill is valuable for learning many other things beyond music.

In the same vein, let me suggest seven vital meta-skills students gain from the case method:

1. Preparation

There is no place for students to hide in the moments before the famed “cold call”— when the teacher can ask any student at random to open the case discussion. Decades after they graduate, students will vividly remember cold calls when they, or someone else, froze with fear, or when they rose to nail the case even in the face of a fierce grilling by the professor.

The case method creates high-powered incentives for students to prepare. Students typically spend several hours reading, highlighting, and debating cases before class, sometimes alone and sometimes in groups. The number of cases to be prepared can be overwhelming by design.

Learning to be prepared — to read materials in advance, prioritize, identify the key issues, and have an initial point of view — is a meta-skill that helps people succeed in a broad range of professions and work situations. We have all seen how the prepared person, who knows what they are talking about, can gain the trust and confidence of others in a business meeting. The habits of preparing for a case discussion can transform a student into that person.

2. Discernment

Many cases are long. A typical case may include history, industry background, a cast of characters, dialogue, financial statements, source documents, or other exhibits. Some material may be digressive or inessential. Cases often have holes — critical pieces of information that are missing.

The case method forces students to identify and focus on what’s essential, ignore the noise, skim when possible, and concentrate on what matters, meta-skills required for every busy executive confronted with the paradox of simultaneous information overload and information paucity. As one alumnus pithily put it, “The case method helped me learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff.”

3. Bias Recognition

Students often have an initial reaction to a case stemming from their background or earlier work and life experiences. For instance, people who have worked in finance may be biased to view cases through a financial lens. However, effective general managers must understand and empathize with various stakeholders, and if someone has a natural tendency to favor one viewpoint over another, discussing dozens of cases will help reveal that bias. Armed with this self-understanding, students can correct that bias or learn to listen more carefully to classmates whose different viewpoints may help them see beyond their own biases.

Recognizing and correcting personal bias can be an invaluable meta-skill in business settings when leaders inevitably have to work with people from different functions, backgrounds, and perspectives.

4. Judgment

Cases put students into the role of the case protagonist and force them to make and defend a decision. The format leaves room for nuanced discussion, but not for waffling: Teachers push students to choose an option, knowing full well that there is rarely one correct answer.

Indeed, most cases are meant to stimulate a discussion rather than highlight effective or ineffective management practice. Across the cases they study, students get feedback from their classmates and their teachers about when their decisions are more or less compelling. It enables them to develop the judgment of making decisions under uncertainty, communicating that decision to others, and gaining their buy-in — all essential leadership skills. Leaders earn respect for their judgment. It is something students in the case method get lots of practice honing.

5. Collaboration

It is better to make business decisions after extended give-and-take, debate, and deliberation. As in any team sport, people get better at working collaboratively with practice. Discussing cases in small study groups, and then in the classroom, helps students practice the meta-skill of collaborating with others. Our alumni often say they came away from the case method with better skills to participate in meetings and lead them.

Orchestrating a good collaborative discussion in which everyone contributes, every viewpoint is carefully considered, yet a thoughtful decision is made in the end is the arc of any good case discussion. Although teachers play the primary role in this collaborative process during their time at the school, it is an art that students of the case method internalize and get better at when they get to lead discussions.

6. Curiosity

Cases expose students to lots of different situations and roles. Across cases, they get to assume the role of entrepreneur, investor, functional leader, or CEO, in a range of different industries and sectors. Each case offers an opportunity for students to see what resonates with them, what excites them, what bores them, which role they could imagine inhabiting in their careers.

Cases stimulate curiosity about the range of opportunities in the world and the many ways that students can make a difference as leaders. This curiosity serves them well throughout their lives. It makes them more agile, more adaptive, and more open to doing a wider range of things in their careers.

7. Self-Confidence

Students must inhabit roles during a case study that far outstrip their prior experience or capability, often as leaders of teams or entire organizations in unfamiliar settings. “What would you do if you were the case protagonist?” is the most common question in a case discussion. Even though they are imaginary and temporary, these “stretch” assignments increase students’ self-confidence that they can rise to the challenge.

In our program, students can study 500 cases over two years, and the range of roles they are asked to assume increases the range of situations they believe they can tackle. Speaking up in front of 90 classmates feels risky at first, but students become more comfortable taking that risk over time. Knowing that they can hold their own in a highly curated group of competitive peers enhances student confidence. Often, alumni describe how discussing cases made them feel prepared for much bigger roles or challenges than they’d imagined they could handle before their MBA studies. Self-confidence is difficult to teach or coach, but the case study method seems to instill it in people.

There may well be other ways of learning these meta-skills, such as the repeated experience gained through practice or guidance from a gifted coach. However, under the direction of a masterful teacher, the case method can engage students and help them develop powerful meta-skills like no other form of teaching. This quickly became apparent when case teaching was introduced in 1921 — and it’s even truer today.

For educators and students, recognizing the value of these meta-skills can offer perspective on the broader goals of their work together. Returning to the example of piano lessons, it may be natural for a music teacher or their students to judge success by a simple measure: Does the student learn to play the instrument well? But when everyone involved recognizes the broader meta-skills that instrumental instruction can instill — and that even those who bumble their way through Bach may still derive lifelong benefits from their instruction — it may lead to a deeper appreciation of this work.

For recruiters and employers, recognizing the long-lasting set of benefits that accrue from studying via the case method can be a valuable perspective in assessing candidates and plotting their potential career trajectories.

And while we must certainly use the case method’s centennial to imagine yet more powerful ways of educating students in the future, let us be sure to assess these innovations for the meta-skills they might instill, as much as the subject matter mastery they might enable.

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Case Study Research Method in Psychology

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education.

Learn about our Editorial Process

Olivia Guy-Evans

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons), Psychology, MSc, Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event, or community. Typically, data is gathered from various sources and by using several different methods (e.g., observations & interviews ).

What are Case Studies?

The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e., the patient’s personal history). In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual.

The information is mainly biographical and relates to events in the individual’s past (i.e., retrospective), as well as to significant events which are currently occurring in his or her everyday life.

The case study is not itself a research method, but researchers select methods of data collection and analysis that will generate material suitable for case studies.

Case studies are widely used in psychology, and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud, including Anna O and Little Hans .

Freud (1909a, 1909b) conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses. Even today, case histories are one of the main methods of investigation in abnormal psychology and psychiatry.

This makes it clear that the case study is a method that should only be used by a psychologist, therapist, or psychiatrist, i.e., someone with a professional qualification.

There is an ethical issue of competence. Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical (i.e., abnormal) behavior or atypical development.

The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior. This comes from interviews and other sources, such as observation.

The client also reports detail of events from his or her point of view. The researcher then writes up the information from both sources above as the case study and interprets the information.

The research may also continue for an extended period of time, so processes and developments can be studied as they happen.

Amongst the sources of data the psychologist is likely to turn to when carrying out a case study are observations of a person’s daily routine, unstructured interviews with the participant herself (and with people who know her), diaries, personal notes (e.g., letters, photographs, notes) or official document (e.g., case notes, clinical notes, appraisal reports).

The case study method often involves simply observing what happens to or reconstructing ‘the case history’ of a single participant or group of individuals (such as a school class or a specific social group), i.e., the idiographic approach .

The interview is also an extremely effective procedure for obtaining information about an individual, and it may be used to collect comments from the person’s friends, parents, employer, workmates, and others who have a good knowledge of the person, as well as to obtain facts from the person him or herself.

Most of this information is likely to be qualitative (i.e., verbal description rather than measurement), but the psychologist might collect numerical data as well.

The data collected can be analyzed using different theories (e.g., grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, text interpretation, e.g., thematic coding).

All the approaches mentioned here use preconceived categories in the analysis, and they are ideographic in their approach, i.e., they focus on the individual case without reference to a comparison group.

Interpreting the information means the researcher decides what to include or leave out. A good case study should always clarify which information is the factual description and which is an inference or the researcher’s opinion.

Case studies allow a researcher to investigate a topic in far more detail than might be possible if they were trying to deal with a large number of research participants (nomothetic approach) with the aim of ‘averaging’.

Because of their in-depth, multi-sided approach, case studies often shed light on aspects of human thinking and behavior that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways.

Research that only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension of experience, which is important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.

Case studies are often used in exploratory research. They can help us generate new ideas (that might be tested by other methods). They are an important way of illustrating theories and can help show how different aspects of a person’s life are related to each other.

The method is, therefore, important for psychologists who adopt a holistic point of view (i.e., humanistic psychologists ).


Because a case study deals with only one person/event/group, we can never be sure if the case study investigated is representative of the wider body of “similar” instances. This means the conclusions drawn from a particular case may not be transferable to other settings.

Because case studies are based on the analysis of qualitative (i.e., descriptive) data, a lot depends on the psychologist’s interpretation of the information she has acquired.

This means that there is a lot of scope for observer bias , and it could be that the subjective opinions of the psychologist intrude in the assessment of what the data means.

For example, Freud has been criticized for producing case studies in which the information was sometimes distorted to fit particular behavioral theories (e.g., Little Hans ).

This is also true of Money’s interpretation of the Bruce/Brenda case study (Diamond, 1997) when he ignored evidence that went against his theory.

How to reference this article:

McLeod, S. A. (2019, August 03). Case study method . Simply Psychology. simplypsychology.org/case-study.html

Diamond, M., & Sigmundson, K. (1997). Sex Reassignment at Birth: Long-term Review and Clinical Implications. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine , 151(3), 298-304

Freud, S. (1909a). Analysis of a phobia of a five year old boy. In The Pelican Freud Library (1977), Vol 8, Case Histories 1, pages 169-306

Freud, S. (1909b). Bemerkungen über einen Fall von Zwangsneurose (Der “Rattenmann”). Jb. psychoanal. psychopathol. Forsch ., I, p. 357-421; GW, VII, p. 379-463; Notes upon a case of obsessional neurosis, SE , 10: 151-318.

Further Information

Case Study Approach Case Study Method

Enhancing the Quality of Case Studies in Health Services Research

“We do things together” A case study of “couplehood” in dementia

Using mixed methods for evaluating an integrative approach to cancer care: a case study

Freud’s Case Studies

Little Hans – Freudian Case Study

H.M. Case Study

Anna O – Freudian Case Study

Genie Case Study – Curtiss (1977)

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What is it?

Case study is a research methodology, typically seen in social and life sciences. There is no one definition of case study research. 1 However, very simply… ‘a case study can be defined as an intensive study about a person, a group of people or a unit, which is aimed to generalize over several units’. 1 A case study has also been described as an intensive, systematic investigation of a single individual, group, community or some other unit in which the researcher examines in-depth data relating to several variables. 2

Often there are several similar cases to consider such as educational or social service programmes that are delivered from a number of locations. Although similar, they are complex and have unique features. In these circumstances, the evaluation of several, similar cases will provide a better answer to a research question than if only one case is examined, hence the multiple-case study. Stake asserts that the cases are grouped and viewed as one entity, called the quintain . 6  ‘We study what is similar and different about the cases to understand the quintain better’. 6

The steps when using case study methodology are the same as for other types of research. 6 The first step is defining the single case or identifying a group of similar cases that can then be incorporated into a multiple-case study. A search to determine what is known about the case(s) is typically conducted. This may include a review of the literature, grey literature, media, reports and more, which serves to establish a basic understanding of the cases and informs the development of research questions. Data in case studies are often, but not exclusively, qualitative in nature. In multiple-case studies, analysis within cases and across cases is conducted. Themes arise from the analyses and assertions about the cases as a whole, or the quintain, emerge. 6

Benefits and limitations of case studies

If a researcher wants to study a specific phenomenon arising from a particular entity, then a single-case study is warranted and will allow for a in-depth understanding of the single phenomenon and, as discussed above, would involve collecting several different types of data. This is illustrated in example 1 below.

Using a multiple-case research study allows for a more in-depth understanding of the cases as a unit, through comparison of similarities and differences of the individual cases embedded within the quintain. Evidence arising from multiple-case studies is often stronger and more reliable than from single-case research. Multiple-case studies allow for more comprehensive exploration of research questions and theory development. 6

Despite the advantages of case studies, there are limitations. The sheer volume of data is difficult to organise and data analysis and integration strategies need to be carefully thought through. There is also sometimes a temptation to veer away from the research focus. 2 Reporting of findings from multiple-case research studies is also challenging at times, 1 particularly in relation to the word limits for some journal papers.

Examples of case studies

Example 1: nurses’ paediatric pain management practices.

One of the authors of this paper (AT) has used a case study approach to explore nurses’ paediatric pain management practices. This involved collecting several datasets:

Observational data to gain a picture about actual pain management practices.

Questionnaire data about nurses’ knowledge about paediatric pain management practices and how well they felt they managed pain in children.

Questionnaire data about how critical nurses perceived pain management tasks to be.

These datasets were analysed separately and then compared 7–9 and demonstrated that nurses’ level of theoretical did not impact on the quality of their pain management practices. 7 Nor did individual nurse’s perceptions of how critical a task was effect the likelihood of them carrying out this task in practice. 8 There was also a difference in self-reported and observed practices 9 ; actual (observed) practices did not confirm to best practice guidelines, whereas self-reported practices tended to.

Example 2: quality of care for complex patients at Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs)

The other author of this paper (RH) has conducted a multiple-case study to determine the quality of care for patients with complex clinical presentations in NPLCs in Ontario, Canada. 10 Five NPLCs served as individual cases that, together, represented the quatrain. Three types of data were collected including:

Review of documentation related to the NPLC model (media, annual reports, research articles, grey literature and regulatory legislation).

Interviews with nurse practitioners (NPs) practising at the five NPLCs to determine their perceptions of the impact of the NPLC model on the quality of care provided to patients with multimorbidity.

Chart audits conducted at the five NPLCs to determine the extent to which evidence-based guidelines were followed for patients with diabetes and at least one other chronic condition.

The three sources of data collected from the five NPLCs were analysed and themes arose related to the quality of care for complex patients at NPLCs. The multiple-case study confirmed that nurse practitioners are the primary care providers at the NPLCs, and this positively impacts the quality of care for patients with multimorbidity. Healthcare policy, such as lack of an increase in salary for NPs for 10 years, has resulted in issues in recruitment and retention of NPs at NPLCs. This, along with insufficient resources in the communities where NPLCs are located and high patient vulnerability at NPLCs, have a negative impact on the quality of care. 10

These examples illustrate how collecting data about a single case or multiple cases helps us to better understand the phenomenon in question. Case study methodology serves to provide a framework for evaluation and analysis of complex issues. It shines a light on the holistic nature of nursing practice and offers a perspective that informs improved patient care.

Competing interests None declared.

Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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Case Study Topics: Awesome Ideas for Students 2023

Case Study Topics

What Is a Case Study? Discover Some Awesome Topic Ideas

The modern scientific community uses many research techniques that fit various academic subjects. One of these methods is a case study. Although this way of research is quite popular, only some people can properly define it. A case study is an in-depth analysis that helps to examine something from different perspectives. This way, you may study anything you like:

Interestingly, people often promote a particular company or a product by using marketing topics on case study. During marketing research or any other study, thorough data analysis is crucial. Therefore, researchers carefully examine volumes of qualitative or quantitative data to do their tasks.

How to Find Awesome Case Study Topics?

But what is the use of analytical skills without good case study topics? So whether you discuss human resource management methods or customer relationship management, the theme should remain engaging. 

If you think, ‘I wish someone would do my homework for me !’ help is on your way. This article contains the best examples of case study topics. Such lists of ready-to-use titles are of great service to students who struggle with broad choices. Moreover, the major rules for case study writing are here too. So, after reading this article, you will know everything about case studies and more!

How to Write a Case Study? Case Study Format

That’s it. You figured out the essence of case studies. Your next question probably is how to write a case study. Indeed, knowing the answer is essential for completing exemplary student work. A correct method to learn about the case study format is to memorize the basics first. 

However, there are more specific recommendations besides the general rules. For instance, imagine the differences between workplace leadership and mechanical engineering studies! Undoubtedly, the two works may meet the general rules but differ in detail. Fortunately, in the scientific community, there is a set of rules in the scientific community that works for various academic subjects. Therefore, if a beginner follows these instructions, their paper becomes correct!

case study format

Executive Summary

According to the rules, every case study starts with an executive summary. Why should the readers see it first? The executive summary is a short recap of the whole paper. Hence, everybody can get a glimpse of what the work is. In other words, this part allows good case study topics to draw attention to the paper.

Something else to remember is that the executive summary has a certain structure, which is:

By this logic, you perform the next steps. First, you define the core issue of the case. Then, you suggest your solutions and prove your arguments using facts. As a result, the readers quickly get acquainted with your work!

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what is a case study topic

Problem Examination 

After you have briefly described your case study on the first page, move to the next stage. Your next goal is to perform a deep analysis of the main problem. How does it look? Contrary to the vague descriptions, in the beginning, the problem examination part contains many important details. 

Often, people state the causes and effects of the issue, which helps provide the most effective solutions later. For instance, in a marketing case study example, someone might talk about a product failing in a new market. Someone else can discuss business operations, management styles, or marketing tactics. So, the person should mention the reasons and consequences of such a situation.

Alternatives and Decision Criteria 

The next section that the case study format contains is about alternatives and decision criteria. Indeed, a student may say, ‘I wonder how to write my research paper with a case study.’ But there is no need to worry since you can also find clear explanations about this part. 

Briefly, you lay out several solutions to the issue you described before. Remember to explain every alternative shortly, without too much text and details. Additionally, present only the mutually exclusive solutions, meaning that every one of them is enough for resolving all issues. Plus, state the decisive factors that you considered during your thought process. 

Suggestions and Action Plan 

After vaguely discussing the recommended alternatives, it’s time to illustrate the suggestions and action plan more thoroughly. Usually, people here demonstrate their strategic thinking by discussing:

Let’s imagine a marketing case study interview. After you perform the data analysis and marketing research, your task is to suggest some marketing methods or brand development methods, for instance. Then, if you have great strategic thinking, others can appreciate it and put the plan into practice.

Conclusion and Referencing

Eventually, every case study research ends with a conclusion and references, like many other academic works. When the text ends abruptly, without a concluding part, it may appear unnatural. On the contrary, the elaborate wrap-up is a perfect final touch that makes the reading more pleasant. 

What is the correct method of finishing your paper? The best tip is to make the last part emotional and memorable. Summarize the key points, repeat the strong statements and make them convincing! Then, of course, add the list of references after to give credit to the original authors of ideas.

Case Study Topics 2023

Undoubtedly, following academic tips is of great help for a beginner. But so is the ability to pick good case study topics 2023. Teachers often grant their students creative freedom, which has an underside that makes choosing tricky. Under such circumstances, a person thinks, ‘If only someone else would do my assignment for me right now.’ In case you demand a helping hand, this article is a lifesaver! Below, you may find multiple case study topics for students. So, whether you take an interest in personnel management issues or data transfer methods, there is always a theme for you.

case study topics

Psychology Case Study Topics 

If your studies connect to psychology, you should always have psychology case study topics at hand. The combination of a great title and proper case study format is a formula for success, so choose from the next themes:

Case Study Topics in Education 

Are you looking for quality case study topics in education? Good news, there are many great suggestions. Feel free to pick the next easy case study topics:

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what is a case study topic

Sociology Case Study Topics 

A university assignment or a case study interview can relate to various subjects, including sociology. Some engaging sociology case study topics can be as follows:

Case Study Topics in Nursing  

Granted that you seek case study topics in nursing, we have a variety of them. Whether you prefer discussing plastic surgery operations, management styles in hospitals, or cures for diseases, we have options for you! See the following good case study topics and pick titles to your liking:

Media Case Study Topics 

Are you majoring in a media-related subject? Then, chances are that you want some new media case study topics like these:

Biology Case Study Topics 

While someone solves a marketing case or website traffic growth, the other chooses biology case study topics. Because they are important too, here are several case study topics for students who study biology:

Criminal Justice Case Study Topics 

There are many great options for somebody who has to find criminal justice case study topics. We prepared a list of case study example titles:

Marketing Project Topics With Case Study 

People learn different things, from mechanical engineering studies to software development, from building personnel management systems to data transfer methods. A student may also be interested in marketing case study research. Some of the examples of case study topics related to this field are:

Certainly, the suggested topics on case study are helpful. However, try learning real-life cases along with them for better understanding. 

Case 1: Converse and Instagram Marketing

The collected data shows Converse has higher organic engagement rates in this application compared to the rival companies. And the goal here is to detect reasons for such success. Upon investigating, it became clear that Converse collaborates with celebrities on Instagram, naturally drawing more attention to their page.

Case 2: UNICEF and COVID-19 Vaccination

In this case, the main issue was the spreading of coronavirus misinformation. As a result, the vaccination rates in developing countries slowed down. So, to solve the problem, UNICEF turned to use consumer intelligence to track false information about COVID-19 online. Eventually, this move helped to promote vaccination.

Case 3: Popularization of the CustomizedStickers company

In this marketing case study, the developing business aimed to become bigger and gain a larger market share. So, the perfect solution for them was direct contact with resellers. Markedly, emails gained them multiple contracts with printers all over Australia and huge popularity.

As you saw the mentioned marketing project topics with case study, solving your cases seems much easier!

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Our pro writing service is ready to help whenever you ask, ‘ Write an essay for me fast.’ Luckily for you, we do all kinds of student assignments without hesitation. Moreover, you can find interesting titles or good case study example here. Overall, we have any type of beneficial info available!

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Topics for Psychology Case Studies

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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At some point in one of your psychology classes, you might be asked to write a case study  of an individual. What exactly is a case study? It is essentially an in-depth psychological investigation of a single person or group of people. Case study topics often focus on people who are experiencing symptoms of an illness or on people who have had experiences that cannot be replicated in a lab.

What Should Your Case Study Be About?

The format of your case study might vary depending upon the requirements of the assignment and your instructor's expectations, but most include a detailed background of the individual, a description of the problem the person is facing, a diagnosis, and a description of an intervention using one or more therapeutic approaches.

Of course, the first step in writing a case study is to select a subject. In some cases, you might be allowed to conduct a case study on an actual volunteer or on someone you know such as a friend or family member. In other cases, your instructor might prefer that you select a less personal subject such as an individual from history or a famous literary figure.

Psychology Case Study Ideas

Looking for a good subject for your case study? Here are just a few ideas that might inspire you:

Write About a Famous Psychologist

Famous or exceptional individuals can make excellent case study topics. There are plenty of fascinating figures in the history of psychology who would make for an interesting case study.

Sigmund Freud, Harry Harlow, Erik Erikson, B. F. Skinner, and many other famous thinkers led interesting lives that offer plenty of material for a great case study. Examining their upbringing, experiences, and lives can provide insight into how they developed their theories and approached the study of psychology.

Focus on a Famous Patient in Psychology

Some of the most famous people in psychology sometimes aren't psychologists at all. Instead, the patients, clients, and cases studied by psychologists might prove even more interesting. Think of people like Anna O. , Phineas Gage , and Genie . Other individuals you might want to consider include Kitty Genovese, Little Albert, and David Reimer.

By taking a closer look at the lives of these patients, you can gain greater insight into their experiences. It can also be interesting to see how mental health treatments were different in the past compared to those that might have been used today.

Write About a Famous Historical Figure

Other famous historical figures can also make excellent case study topics. Eleanor Roosevelt, Napoleon, Adolf Hilter, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and many other famous (and infamous) people could potentially serve as a subject for your case study. Obviously, this will involve some reading and research on your chosen subject's life and accomplishments, but it could certainly make for an interesting paper.

Focus on a Fictional Character or a Famous Literary Figure

Another fun and interesting approach is to conduct a case study of one of your favorite fictional characters. You might opt to tackle a classic character such as Shakespeare's Macbeth or Romeo or Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet or Fitzwilliam Darcy. Or instead, you might opt to focus on a more contemporary literary character such as Suzanne Collins's Katniss Everdeen or J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.

Write About Someone You Know

In some cases, your instructor may allow you to write your case study on a person that you know. Such a project may, however, require special permission from your school's Institutional Review Board. You may also be required or simply prefer to use a pseudonym in order to protect the identity and privacy of your subject. This type of project often requires interviewing your subject and possibly talking to other sources who know the subject such as friends and family members. 

A Word From Verywell

As you can see, there are plenty of great options out there when selecting a subject for your case study. First and foremost, always start by paying attention to the directions given by your instructor. In many cases, there will be specific guidelines about whom and what you are allowed to write about. Talk about your case study topic idea with your instructor before you begin to make sure that you have permission to proceed with your project.

Rolls, G. (2019). Classic Case Studies in Psychology: Fourth Edition . United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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Case Study – Examples, PDF

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case study template

1) Choose an Overall Subject of a Topic to Write About

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140+ Best Case Study Topics Based on Different Academic Areas


This article provides a list of over 140 Case Study Topics based on different academic subjects. Feel free to cover the entire list to select the one that meets your needs. If you encounter any difficulty, remember that you can always place an order with us and let an expert offer assistance.

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What is a Case Study?

A case study is a research method that is used for the detailed study of a person, event, organization, process, place, or group. In simple terms, the case study is done for a better understanding of a process or a subject. More commonly, case studies are used in educational, social, clinical, and business research.


You can depend on case studies for describing, comparing, evaluating, and understanding a research problem from different perspectives. It is often a perfect choice for writing a thesis or dissertation.

If you are asked to prepare a case study on a particular topic, then you need to identify a particular case from your problem statement or research question, develop a theoretical framework, collect qualitative or quantitative data from reliable sources and analyze the case.

When writing your case study, first, you need to conduct in-depth research on your topic and then address the problem statement by bringing together all the relevant aspects of the subject. Remember, your case study should be structured like a thesis or research paper with separate sections for methods, results, and discussion.

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Case Study Topic Ideas

As said earlier, for crafting a case study, a good topic is necessary. Usually, your instructors will assign a topic for you, or they will provide a wide list of options for you to select. In such scenarios, it is easy for you to begin the case study writing.

If your instructor didn’t give you a topic and asked you to pick a topic or case on your own, then you need to spend more time gathering the case study topic ideas . It is really a hectic process to collect all the ideas and identify a perfect topic for a case study. So, to eliminate all the troubles that exist in your path, here we have grouped different subjects and have listed some interesting and unique case study topic ideas for you to consider.

Quickly dive in and pick a case study topic that inspires you and falls within the subject category as suggested by your instructor.

Education Case Study Topics

Applied Physics Case Study Topics

Environmental Science Case Study Topics

Information Technology Case Study Topics

Marketing Case Study Topics

Management Case Study Topics

Case Study Topics on Social Media Marketing

Case study topics

Business Case Study Topics

MBA Case Study Topics

Case Study Ideas on Human Rights Topics

Nursing Case Study Topics

Psychology Case Study Topics

Related FAQS

1. What are the best topics for case study?

Case Study Ideas

2. How do I find a case study topic?

A good way to locate case studies is to do a keyword search in one or more of the library’s databases or try searching using the Everything search in the library website. Try adding case study or case studies to your search. Examples: case study AND environmental remediation.

3. What is an academic case study?

A case study is used to explore a problem or issue in a specific real world context. You are usually asked to apply wider reading or theory to analyze what is happening in the case.

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, condition, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate  key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study research paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or more subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.

Case Studies. [email protected] Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper

General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in the Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a case study design.

However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:

Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.

Structure and Writing Style

The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work.

In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.

I.  Introduction

As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:

Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.

II.  Literature Review

The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and  enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:

III.  Method

In this section, you explain why you selected a particular case [i.e., subject of analysis] and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that constitutes your case study.

If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; and, c) what were the consequences of the event in relation to the research problem.

If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experiences they have had that provide an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of their experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using them as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem [e.g., why is one politician in a particular local election used to show an increase in voter turnout from any other candidate running in the election]. Note that these issues apply to a specific group of people used as a case study unit of analysis [e.g., a classroom of students].

If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, historical, cultural, economic, political], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, explain why you are studying Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research suggests Echo Park has more homeless veterans].

If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut off? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.

NOTE:   The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should clearly support investigation of the research problem and linked to key findings from your literature review. Be sure to cite any studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for examining the problem.

IV.  Discussion

The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your analysis of the case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is common to combine a description of the results with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:

Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.

Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.

Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings Remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations revealed by the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research if that is how the findings can be interpreted from your case.

Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .

Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.

V.  Conclusion

As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and any need for further research.

The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1) reiterate the main argument supported by the findings from your case study; 2) state clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in or the preferences of your professor, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented as it applies to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.

Problems to Avoid

Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were engaged with social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.

Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study , you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood more in terms of managing access rather than preserving access to a scarce resource.

Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis that leave the reader questioning the results.

Case Studies. [email protected] Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009;  Kratochwill,  Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education .  Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.

Writing Tip

At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research

Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:

Misunderstanding 1 :  General, theoretical [context-independent] knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical [context-dependent] knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 :  One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 :  The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 :  The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 :  It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].

While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.

Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.


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5 Steps for Writing a Case Study for Business (+Templates)

Get professional tips for writing a case study that drives business impact. Learn the best format and research method to use alongside examples & templates .

what is a case study topic

John McTale

7 minute read

writing a case study for busine

Short answer

What is a case study.

Why you need a case study

“I climbed Mount Everest and I did it all by myself.” “Yeah mate, pics or it didn’t happen.” The same logic applies to case studies. In business, it’s “case studies or it didn’t happen.” A well-written case study legitimizes your product or services. It proves the impact your actions have on the bottom line and is the single most important element of building trust amongst prospective clients. But… How do you write a *perfect* case study? One that engages readers and makes them care about your offering and excited to work with you?

In business, a case study is a written description and analysis of how a company or a person approached a problem and what results they achieved. The most common type of a case study in a professional setting is a story detailing a partnership between a vendor and a client.

What is the purpose of a case study?

The purpose of a case study, usually, is to provide your prospective clients with specific examples of how your products or services can help solve business problems they might be facing.

Case studies legitimize your business activities allowing you to go beyond explaining what you do and focus on how well you do it. (And, in case you were wondering just HOW important case studies are, here’s an item of data to ponder: according to a DemandGen report , 78% of B2B buyers want to review case studies before making a purchase decision.)

There’s no magic behind it. Just a proven, simple formula I’m about to share with you. Spend the next 7 minutes reading this guide and you’ll learn how to write case studies better than any case study you’ve created in the past. Important caveat: this article explains how to write a case study for business purposes. If you’re interested in writing research case studies for academia, refer to this excellent guide by University of Southern California. If, in turn, you’re struggling with putting together a medical case study, here’s a fantastic 101 by the BMJ . I’m not going to pretend I know better than these guys do.

For your reference, here’s an example of our very own case study, showing how, at Storydoc, we helped the Spot company boost some of their key metrics: Learn How Spot by NetApp boosted their conversion rates 2x Full disclosure: the case study features promotional elements (and that’s precisely the point, more on that later). Want to see the deck that helped them achieve such an amazing result? Check it out here:

Spot's team used this deck to boost their conversion 2x

By drawing the bigger picture even deep-tech software products can be easily explained.

Spot by Ocean sales deck

Browse interactive case study templates

No matter how great the contents of your case study might be, if you fail to present it in an eye-pleasing way, most likely, no one will really read it. The good news? I’ve put together a gallery of the most professional, attention-grabbing case study templates available online. You can find it here: Case Study Templates & Design Tips Or, take a shortcut to great case study design and use our presentation maker . Have a look below to see what your case study might look like.


And now, let’s get to the case study 101. (If you’re only interested in a specific section of a case study, simply click on a jump-to link in the table of contents below.)

Here's how to write a case study:

1. open with an introductory overview.

The last thing you want is for someone to open your case study, give it a quick glance, and decide to skip. See— People don’t usually read case studies. At least not immediately. First, they skim the contents to see if the subject is relevant enough. How to make sure your case study sticks? At the beginning, place an introductory overview (also called an “executive summary”). Provide an overview of the whole case. It’s not supposed to be a catchy intro but a full synopsis, detailing the problem at hand, your assumptions, the solutions implemented, and the results achieved.

How to write a case study introduction?

Introduce the purpose of the case study—specify exactly what you were aiming to achieve.

Define the problem or the most significant challenge. For instance, low conversion rates, a technological issue or high costs. (It could also be a combination of such factors!)

Explain briefly what the solution to the problem was.

Share the most important results your actions produced. Don’t go into too much detail, a few key points will do. It’s best if you can quantify the results: numbers pop!

Keep it short. Usually, 2–4 paragraphs + a few bullet points with key results will do.

While, as its name implies, this section comes at the beginning of your case study, write it last. First, craft the rest of your document, then pick the most important bits and compile them into the introductory overview.

2. Explain the problem in question

“Adam caught a flat tire. In the middle of the desert. He had no spare, no signal, no food, and only enough water to keep him alive for 48 hours.” Oh dear, poor Adam! What could possibly be done to help him?! See, in your case study, make the client seem like Adam so that, later on, you can paint your company like the miraculous savior. Of course, I’m exaggerating, but only so much. The purpose of the “problem” section in a case study is to arouse emotions from the readers. Ideally, in such a way that they can picture themselves as Adam. Highlight a problem your product or services solve and present an example of when that problem was troubling a client really badly.

How to write a “problem” section in a case study?

In a single sentence, describe your customer’s business challenges and objectives.

Explain the problem your customer faced that prevented them from achieving those objectives prior to working with you.

If that was the case, mention other solutions your client experimented with that didn’t work out and explain why.

Make it clear how the issue or problem impacted the client’s business results so that it’s easy to understand why a solution was badly needed.

3. Detail the solutions implemented to solve the problem

Here comes the moment to toot your own horn a bit (and also that moment when you can get slightly technical). Present your solutions in reference to the issue your client was dealing with and make it obvious that those are easily replicable for all future cases. Of course, the exact formula for this section will depend on your industry and mode of operation. Sometimes a 2–3 paragraph summary will be enough, in other cases, you’ll need to include more detailed technical specs regarding the solution you implemented.

How to write a solutions section in a case study?

Focus on your customer’s experience in using your product or services.

Explain the process: say how long it took to get the solution up and running and what teams on your customer’s end were involved.

Highlight the features of your product or service that turned out to be the most beneficial to your customer.

If possible, attach or link to relevant assets that will work as real-life examples of your solution (unless, of course, the information is highly sensitive).

Always run your case study by your client’s marketing team before you go live. Even if you’re using direct quotes or verifiable results, it’s ultimately their decision whether or not to make certain information freely available.

4. Refer to key results

In business, nothing speaks louder than ROI and you know it. Prospective customers reading your case study won’t be bothered to take notice of your state-of-the-art technology or innovative approach. Neither will they care about your past customers’ happiness. What they want to know is this: Will that help me save or make money? When writing a case study, your job is to present results in a way that answers the above question with a resounding YES. You need to make it blatantly obvious that your solutions heavily impact the bottom line of the client in question and that such results are easily replicable.

Here’s how to write about results:

In a few bullet points, list numerical results your solution delivered to the client.

Ideally, you’ll want to include revenue-related data: increase in clients’ base, more demos booked, higher conversion rates, or optimized pricing.

If you can’t (or aren’t allowed to) share hard sales numbers, refer to softer KPIs: time saved, customer happiness scores, expanding the community, or enhancing brand visibility.

If possible, by all means include quotes from your client. Results should speak for themselves, obviously, but showing the real human whose problems you solved makes for a much more powerful narrative. Plus, it further adds credibility to the case study. Start by preparing a list of powerful case study questions to guide your client interviews.

5. Finish with recommendations and next steps

Everyone enjoys a solid epilogue. To end on a high note, include a list of key findings from your case study. Even if a given reader won’t decide to get in touch with you, at least you’ll provide them with a valuable source of knowledge—sometimes that’s enough to keep your company top of mind in the future. Plus, if you’re planning to continue working with the subject of your case study, definitely mention that! It shows that your support is valuable enough to warrant long-term collaboration, not just a one-off endeavor. Now, not every case study requires a call to action (especially if your main purpose is to inform and educate rather than convert, which is okay, too), but for those more commercially-oriented ones, do add it. Make your CTA singular and clear —if the most desired action is to reach out to you, leave your contact details, if you’d rather direct prospects to a landing page or a welcome screen, add a button.

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And that’s a wrap!

Here are the key points to keep in mind when writing a case study:

Put an introductory overview at the beginning.

Present the problem you were solving and your exact solutions to that problem.

Include numerical, verifiable results your product or services delivered for the client.

Explain what the next steps are, especially if you plan to continue working with the client.

Finish with a strong, clear CTA, making it easy for prospects to reach out to you.

Thanks for reading the guide. Keeping my fingers crossed for your case study and wishing many successful cases so that you’ll always have something to write about.

what is a case study topic

Hi, I'm John, Editor-in-chief at Storydoc. As a content marketer and digital writer specializing in B2B SaaS, my main goal is to provide you with up-to-date tips for effective business storytelling and equip you with all the right tools to enable your sales efforts.

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    While, as its name implies, this section comes at the beginning of your case study, write it last. First, craft the rest of your document, then pick the most important bits and compile them into the introductory overview. 2. Explain the problem in question. "Adam caught a flat tire. In the middle of the desert.

  25. Answer CHCADV001 topic 3

    CHCADV001 Page 133-134 Case study Miriam is from Zimbabwe. She works as a cleaner and starts her shifts late at night and finishes early in the morning. Last week she called a taxi to take her home after her shift finished and waited outside the building. When the taxi arrived, the driver slowed down and wound down his window, looked closely at her then drove away saying he had a policy of not ...