There are different kinds of case studies. The two main situations where a case study is required are commerce and academic pursuits. In business and commerce, the problem of how to write a case study to suit a particular circumstance, budget, location, and category of goods and services are well documented. Here, how to write a case study within an academic situation is looked at in detail.
A case study is carried out to examine qualitative performance in research, and field studies in the case of naturalistic or scientific inquiries. The main thrust of any case study is investigation. This implies that the person carrying out the study must observe, read, examine, test, investigate, and write a report about the process and its results.
A case study usually has a practical application, and can be set to test a field of knowledge. It can also be used to train students for similar real-life situations in their career life after attending a university. They prepare people for work in offices, factories, hospitals, schools, and courtrooms where investigative procedures are needed.
Stages of Writing a Case Study
- When the situation, process, location, and time have been decided upon, you must carefully set out a plan. What will be observed or investigated? By whom? For how long?
- The language you use in your plan must be clear. The terminology and vocabulary must be identical to those used in the situation to be studied; that is, the factory, the courtroom, the restaurant, or the accounting firm.
- Write a set of questions that will help you decide which data to collect, which data will be considered relevant to the study, and how to analyze it when it is all collected.
- The questions set out must take any proposals the study will make into consideration. Decide which units of calculation the study will use (that is, scientific measurements such as metric, digital, analog, and so forth). Decide how the calculations will be linked to the proposals made. Decide on the terms of reference and criteria for how the results will be analyzed or interpreted.
- Do not forget to write down the goals of the study.
- When the observations and investigation is taking place, make sure all participants understand the aims, the procedure, and which outcomes you wish to reach.
- Assemble all records, interview questions, materials, and participants and hold a number of meetings to ensure everyone and everything is ready by the start of the study.
- Ensure that all records, writing, data, and so forth are generated on compatible systems, software, and language.
- Identify the person who will carry out any editing or crosschecking necessary, and the person who will do the final writing.
- Ensure that the writing up of the case study is done under similarly rigorous conditions as the investigation.
A case study that is not aimed at a certain audience and doesn’t solve issues that people encounter is not valuable. Therefore, before choosing a case study topic, you should determine your target audience and get acquainted with it. Only after you know its needs and the problems it faces can you get a clear idea of what topic might be of interest for your audience. When formulating a topic, identify the main problems that may exist within it, and explain why they are important. This way you will make your case study more focused on solution, and thus more valuable.
Key Points to Consider
- When students need to know how to write a case study, they must address two factors: the process involved, and the method of writing up the findings.
- The case must be chosen or assigned. It might be the operations of a small business, the assessable aspects of a classroom, the procedures of a hospital emergency room, or the tasks undertaken in a bakery or restaurant, to name a few examples.
- All materials must be assembled before starting to observe and take notes. Observations are usually recorded on a grid or spreadsheet after the different tasks or procedures are identified, listed, and named. All grids, sheets, and books must be kept together, and pages of relevant material must be marked according to a scheme. Card systems are great for this—some students prefer a CSV spreadsheet.
- More than in any other scholarly work, facts and figures are more important than ideas and opinions when working on a case study. All facts and figures must adhere to a plan which sets out what the case study will examine, for how long, and under which conditions. The number of people who will participate, the premises or location where it will take place, and all relevant details must be set out before commencement.
- All accompanying text must be supported by properly-formatted referencing, using APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian styles.
- A self-devised note-taking system is usually optimal, because it helps to keep all observations and calculations in precise order. Organization is vital, and time management skills must be carefully observed if the case study is to be successful.
- The salient points of an observational or investigative case study must be sought, planned, and reported. Each paragraph of the report must deal with one aspect or procedure, and explain what can be seen in the charts or spreadsheets.
- The writing must be formal, academic, and precise.
Dos and Don’ts
- Try not to build a case study on an unbalanced or shaky premise.
- Using old data collected for some other study.
- Material presented in the wrong order is a frequent error—chronological is best. The report on figures and statistics should come last.
- Using material and data from other studies runs the risk of repetition.
- Indecision is an aspect that weakens an otherwise well-researched case study: a frequently-seen flaw is dithering between one stance and another.
- Not researching all the material thoroughly is another area of failure. Make sure the notes you write are clear and cogent, and create paragraphs of well-prepared writing steadily and surely.
- Lack of structure is sometimes found to weaken a student’s work in a case study. It is important to make a plan or outline for a successful piece of work.
- One must exhibit a deep understanding of the entire case. Disorganized work and confusion is not an effective way to persuade an examiner of how well you have covered the material and accounted for your investigation.
- Understand your aims. An effective case study demonstrates that a student or group of students will go out into a working life well-equipped to communicate ideas, research, and concepts without taking short cuts. The ability to conduct an investigation into a procedure or operation is invaluable in a CV.
- Poor language skills, inappropriate or irrelevant vocabulary, the wrong tone, and errors in punctuation, grammar, syntax, and structure demonstrate low aptitude.
Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic case study writing tips and rules, you can check out our case study samples to link theory with practice.
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Samples for Writing a Case Study
Trauma Case Study
Sally Fordman: Delusional Thinking and Visualization
Lots of non-nursing students have the mistaken notion that nursing students do not have to write a lot. After all, they spend their time in biology and chemistry labs and do field experiences. Actually, there is a long history of writing for such students:
- They must learn how to write a nursing entrance essay, because no one can get into nursing school without one. They often struggle with these, do some research and look for tips on writing a nursing school admission essay.
- If these students are looking of financial aid, the may indeed have to compose an amazing nursing scholarship essay
- Many courses in medical fields require essays, research papers, lab reports and more. And many of them are really challenging because they are all on scientific topics and often involve some lab research. A typical medical school essay, for example will involve research of existing literature and the setting up of a study based upon that literature.
Writing a Nursing Essay
Nursing students will find that a basic essay assignment will have the same structure as essays they have written for non-medical courses – introduction, body, and conclusion. The one thing that may differ in the essay writing process may be the formatting. It is common for Harvard formatting to be required in medical programs, so students will want to research Harvard strategies for essay writing. The “rules” are definitely a bit different.
The other caveat in all of this is that medical students’ essays do regularly involve some lab research that the student has conducted. In these cases, the conclusion will be a bit different from that of another type of essay. Often, the conclusion must speak to the significance of the results of a study. Learning how to write a conclusion for a nursing essay can be a bit challenging and will take some practice.
Writing That Nursing Case Study Essay
It is inevitable. As nursing students move into their upper level coursework, they will be spending far more time in hospitals completing lots of field experience. And there is coursework associated with those practicums. Part of that coursework will involve one or more case study essays. These are different from any other writing assignments you have had in the past. Let’s look at how a case study is structured – while specific department guidelines may vary a bit, the elements will be common.
What is a Case Study?
A nursing case study is an in-depth study of a patient that is encountered during the student’s daily practice in a practicum. They are important learning experiences because the student can apply classroom/theoretical learning to an actual situation and perhaps make some conclusions and recommendations. It will require lots of planning of methodology, literature reviews, and careful documentation as the case study proceeds.
Sections of a Case Study
There are three large sections – Information about the Patient; The Nurse’s Assessment of the Patient’s Status; and the Treatment Plan, along with Recommendations. Within each large section there are sub-sections.
Section 1 – Patient Status
This section includes demographic information, the patient’s medical history, and the current patient’s diagnosis, condition, and treatment.
Here you will obviously speak about the patient – and you will commit all of this information to writing. Do not rely on your memory – write everything down. You will also need to explain why the information is important to include in your study. You will need to include the reasons why the patient sought medical care and make note of the first symptoms the patient experienced. Next, you will identify the subsequent diagnosis that was made.
Given the diagnosis, what is the process/progression of the disease? You should include its causes, the symptoms, what you have observed. Describe what your role as a nurse will be.
Section 2 – Nursing Assessment
You will need to prepare your own assessment of the patient’s condition. And as you produce that assessment, be certain to explain why you have made each assessment. For example, suppose a patient has a diagnosis of cancer. One of the symptom presentations is difficulty in urination. You will need to document that urination issue and suggest potential causes of it. Then you will need to come up with options for treatment based upon the potential causes. And, in this case, how will you determine the cause of the issue?
Section 3 – The Current Treatment and Recommendations for Improving It
Describe the treatment – medication, therapy, etc. and explain why each treatment is appropriate for the disease. You will also need to discuss how the treatment plan is improving the patient’s quality of life.
What are the treatment goals? What are the benchmarks for assessing success and how, specifically, will it be documented?
The Implementation and Documentation
Once the treatment has been implemented, it will be your job to document each treatment activity – time, dose, etc. – and then track the improvement that does or does not occur. Suppose, for example, that you begin a regimen of a diuretic for your cancer patient. How will you determine success? How long will you implement the treatment to determine success or not? And if it is not successful, what is your next treatment option?
The data you gather must be carefully recorded and then reported in this section of your case study. This is the same as any scientific study. You must also analyze the data before you make decisions about the efficacy of the treatment plan and come to conclusions.
Toward the end of this section, you will be making recommendations – they may be simply to continue the current treatment plan; you may have conducted some research that shows another or an additional treatment plan is warranted. In this case, you may very well recommend this new treatment plan. Just remember, you must justify any recommendation you make, and usually this comes from medical research literature.
Crafting a nursing case study really has two major tasks.
- First, you select a patient, and begin to collect history. You also set up treatment plans and collect data to determine the efficacy of the plan and then determine your recommendations.
- Second, you actually have to write up the final piece. And it must be impeccably written.
If you have concerns about your writing skills, consider finding an essay writing service nursing department. While there are lots of writing services out there, you want one that has a specific group of researchers and writers with experience in producing medical case studies. You may even find a specific nursing essay writing service UK that exists only for helping medical program students. Such experts will be familiar with the style, tone, formatting, and terminology and can make quick work of your write-up.
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