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How to write a case study response

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Before you start writing, you need to carefully read the case study and make a note of the main issues and problems involved as well as the main stakeholders (persons or groups of persons who have an interest in the case).

Case study elements

A case study response would include the following elements:


Introduce the main purpose of the case study and briefly outline the overall problem to be solved.


Write a brief description of the case under discussion giving an outline of the main issues involved. Always assume that your reader knows nothing of the assignment task and provide enough information to give a context for your discussion of the issues.

Discuss the issues raised one by one, using information gained from your research of the academic literature.

Your discussion may include:

  • an outline of the issue and its implications for or relationship to different stakeholders
  • how that issue links to theories or research in the academic literature
  • suggested solutions or ideas
  • evaluation of the solutions or ideas for this particular case.

Conclusion / Recommendations

Finally, sum up the conclusions that you have come to and give recommendations to resolve the case. Give reasons for your recommendations.

  • Carefully read the case and noted the main issues and stakeholders in the case?
  • Written a brief description of the case to give your readers a context for the main issues?
  • Discussed each issue with reference to the academic literature?
  • Evaluated the solutions or ideas for each issue to find the ones most suitable?
  • Made final recommendations of how to resolve the case?
  • Used a well structured introduction, body and conclusion?
  • Cited and referenced all of the work by other people?
  • Used correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, clear presentation and appropriate reference style?

Further information

  • Monash University: Writing a case study
  • University of New South Wales: Writing a Case Study Report in Engineering

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How to Write a Case Study: Bookmarkable Guide & Template

Braden Becker

Published: November 30, 2023

Earning the trust of prospective customers can be a struggle. Before you can even begin to expect to earn their business, you need to demonstrate your ability to deliver on what your product or service promises.

company conducting case study with candidate after learning how to write a case study

Sure, you could say that you're great at X or that you're way ahead of the competition when it comes to Y. But at the end of the day, what you really need to win new business is cold, hard proof.

One of the best ways to prove your worth is through a compelling case study. In fact, HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing report found that case studies are so compelling that they are the fifth most commonly used type of content used by marketers.

Download Now: 3 Free Case Study Templates

Below, I'll walk you through what a case study is, how to prepare for writing one, what you need to include in it, and how it can be an effective tactic. To jump to different areas of this post, click on the links below to automatically scroll.

Case Study Definition

Case study templates, how to write a case study.

  • How to Format a Case Study

Business Case Study Examples

A case study is a specific challenge a business has faced, and the solution they've chosen to solve it. Case studies can vary greatly in length and focus on several details related to the initial challenge and applied solution, and can be presented in various forms like a video, white paper, blog post, etc.

In professional settings, it's common for a case study to tell the story of a successful business partnership between a vendor and a client. Perhaps the success you're highlighting is in the number of leads your client generated, customers closed, or revenue gained. Any one of these key performance indicators (KPIs) are examples of your company's services in action.

When done correctly, these examples of your work can chronicle the positive impact your business has on existing or previous customers and help you attract new clients.

case study of response

Free Case Study Templates

Showcase your company's success using these three free case study templates.

  • Data-Driven Case Study Template
  • Product-Specific Case Study Template
  • General Case Study Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Why write a case study? 

I know, you’re thinking “ Okay, but why do I need to write one of these? ” The truth is that while case studies are a huge undertaking, they are powerful marketing tools that allow you to demonstrate the value of your product to potential customers using real-world examples. Here are a few reasons why you should write case studies. 

1. Explain Complex Topics or Concepts

Case studies give you the space to break down complex concepts, ideas, and strategies and show how they can be applied in a practical way. You can use real-world examples, like an existing client, and use their story to create a compelling narrative that shows how your product solved their issue and how those strategies can be repeated to help other customers get similar successful results.  

2. Show Expertise

Case studies are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on a given topic or industry. This is where you get the opportunity to show off your problem-solving skills and how you’ve generated successful outcomes for clients you’ve worked with. 

3. Build Trust and Credibility

In addition to showing off the attributes above, case studies are an excellent way to build credibility. They’re often filled with data and thoroughly researched, which shows readers you’ve done your homework. They can have confidence in the solutions you’ve presented because they’ve read through as you’ve explained the problem and outlined step-by-step what it took to solve it. All of these elements working together enable you to build trust with potential customers.

4. Create Social Proof

Using existing clients that have seen success working with your brand builds social proof . People are more likely to choose your brand if they know that others have found success working with you. Case studies do just that — putting your success on display for potential customers to see. 

All of these attributes work together to help you gain more clients. Plus you can even use quotes from customers featured in these studies and repurpose them in other marketing content. Now that you know more about the benefits of producing a case study, let’s check out how long these documents should be. 

How long should a case study be?

The length of a case study will vary depending on the complexity of the project or topic discussed. However, as a general guideline, case studies typically range from 500 to 1,500 words. 

Whatever length you choose, it should provide a clear understanding of the challenge, the solution you implemented, and the results achieved. This may be easier said than done, but it's important to strike a balance between providing enough detail to make the case study informative and concise enough to keep the reader's interest.

The primary goal here is to effectively communicate the key points and takeaways of the case study. It’s worth noting that this shouldn’t be a wall of text. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, charts, and other graphics to break up the content and make it more scannable for readers. We’ve also seen brands incorporate video elements into case studies listed on their site for a more engaging experience. 

Ultimately, the length of your case study should be determined by the amount of information necessary to convey the story and its impact without becoming too long. Next, let’s look at some templates to take the guesswork out of creating one. 

To help you arm your prospects with information they can trust, we've put together a step-by-step guide on how to create effective case studies for your business with free case study templates for creating your own.

Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today:

And to give you more options, we’ll highlight some useful templates that serve different needs. But remember, there are endless possibilities when it comes to demonstrating the work your business has done.

1. General Case Study Template

case study templates: general

Do you have a specific product or service that you’re trying to sell, but not enough reviews or success stories? This Product Specific case study template will help.

This template relies less on metrics, and more on highlighting the customer’s experience and satisfaction. As you follow the template instructions, you’ll be prompted to speak more about the benefits of the specific product, rather than your team’s process for working with the customer.

4. Bold Social Media Business Case Study Template

case study templates: bold social media business

You can find templates that represent different niches, industries, or strategies that your business has found success in — like a bold social media business case study template.

In this template, you can tell the story of how your social media marketing strategy has helped you or your client through collaboration or sale of your service. Customize it to reflect the different marketing channels used in your business and show off how well your business has been able to boost traffic, engagement, follows, and more.

5. Lead Generation Business Case Study Template

case study templates: lead generation business

It’s important to note that not every case study has to be the product of a sale or customer story, sometimes they can be informative lessons that your own business has experienced. A great example of this is the Lead Generation Business case study template.

If you’re looking to share operational successes regarding how your team has improved processes or content, you should include the stories of different team members involved, how the solution was found, and how it has made a difference in the work your business does.

Now that we’ve discussed different templates and ideas for how to use them, let’s break down how to create your own case study with one.

  • Get started with case study templates.
  • Determine the case study's objective.
  • Establish a case study medium.
  • Find the right case study candidate.
  • Contact your candidate for permission to write about them.
  • Ensure you have all the resources you need to proceed once you get a response.
  • Download a case study email template.
  • Define the process you want to follow with the client.
  • Ensure you're asking the right questions.
  • Layout your case study format.
  • Publish and promote your case study.

1. Get started with case study templates.

Telling your customer's story is a delicate process — you need to highlight their success while naturally incorporating your business into their story.

If you're just getting started with case studies, we recommend you download HubSpot's Case Study Templates we mentioned before to kickstart the process.

2. Determine the case study's objective.

All business case studies are designed to demonstrate the value of your services, but they can focus on several different client objectives.

Your first step when writing a case study is to determine the objective or goal of the subject you're featuring. In other words, what will the client have succeeded in doing by the end of the piece?

The client objective you focus on will depend on what you want to prove to your future customers as a result of publishing this case study.

Your case study can focus on one of the following client objectives:

  • Complying with government regulation
  • Lowering business costs
  • Becoming profitable
  • Generating more leads
  • Closing on more customers
  • Generating more revenue
  • Expanding into a new market
  • Becoming more sustainable or energy-efficient

3. Establish a case study medium.

Next, you'll determine the medium in which you'll create the case study. In other words, how will you tell this story?

Case studies don't have to be simple, written one-pagers. Using different media in your case study can allow you to promote your final piece on different channels. For example, while a written case study might just live on your website and get featured in a Facebook post, you can post an infographic case study on Pinterest and a video case study on your YouTube channel.

Here are some different case study mediums to consider:

Written Case Study

Consider writing this case study in the form of an ebook and converting it to a downloadable PDF. Then, gate the PDF behind a landing page and form for readers to fill out before downloading the piece, allowing this case study to generate leads for your business.

Video Case Study

Plan on meeting with the client and shooting an interview. Seeing the subject, in person, talk about the service you provided them can go a long way in the eyes of your potential customers.

Infographic Case Study

Use the long, vertical format of an infographic to tell your success story from top to bottom. As you progress down the infographic, emphasize major KPIs using bigger text and charts that show the successes your client has had since working with you.

Podcast Case Study

Podcasts are a platform for you to have a candid conversation with your client. This type of case study can sound more real and human to your audience — they'll know the partnership between you and your client was a genuine success.

4. Find the right case study candidate.

Writing about your previous projects requires more than picking a client and telling a story. You need permission, quotes, and a plan. To start, here are a few things to look for in potential candidates.

Product Knowledge

It helps to select a customer who's well-versed in the logistics of your product or service. That way, he or she can better speak to the value of what you offer in a way that makes sense for future customers.

Remarkable Results

Clients that have seen the best results are going to make the strongest case studies. If their own businesses have seen an exemplary ROI from your product or service, they're more likely to convey the enthusiasm that you want prospects to feel, too.

One part of this step is to choose clients who have experienced unexpected success from your product or service. When you've provided non-traditional customers — in industries that you don't usually work with, for example — with positive results, it can help to remove doubts from prospects.

Recognizable Names

While small companies can have powerful stories, bigger or more notable brands tend to lend credibility to your own. In fact, 89% of consumers say they'll buy from a brand they already recognize over a competitor, especially if they already follow them on social media.

Customers that came to you after working with a competitor help highlight your competitive advantage and might even sway decisions in your favor.

5. Contact your candidate for permission to write about them.

To get the case study candidate involved, you have to set the stage for clear and open communication. That means outlining expectations and a timeline right away — not having those is one of the biggest culprits in delayed case study creation.

Most importantly at this point, however, is getting your subject's approval. When first reaching out to your case study candidate, provide them with the case study's objective and format — both of which you will have come up with in the first two steps above.

To get this initial permission from your subject, put yourself in their shoes — what would they want out of this case study? Although you're writing this for your own company's benefit, your subject is far more interested in the benefit it has for them.

Benefits to Offer Your Case Study Candidate

Here are four potential benefits you can promise your case study candidate to gain their approval.

Brand Exposure

Explain to your subject to whom this case study will be exposed, and how this exposure can help increase their brand awareness both in and beyond their own industry. In the B2B sector, brand awareness can be hard to collect outside one's own market, making case studies particularly useful to a client looking to expand their name's reach.

Employee Exposure

Allow your subject to provide quotes with credits back to specific employees. When this is an option for them, their brand isn't the only thing expanding its reach — their employees can get their name out there, too. This presents your subject with networking and career development opportunities they might not have otherwise.

Product Discount

This is a more tangible incentive you can offer your case study candidate, especially if they're a current customer of yours. If they agree to be your subject, offer them a product discount — or a free trial of another product — as a thank-you for their help creating your case study.

Backlinks and Website Traffic

Here's a benefit that is sure to resonate with your subject's marketing team: If you publish your case study on your website, and your study links back to your subject's website — known as a "backlink" — this small gesture can give them website traffic from visitors who click through to your subject's website.

Additionally, a backlink from you increases your subject's page authority in the eyes of Google. This helps them rank more highly in search engine results and collect traffic from readers who are already looking for information about their industry.

6. Ensure you have all the resources you need to proceed once you get a response.

So you know what you’re going to offer your candidate, it’s time that you prepare the resources needed for if and when they agree to participate, like a case study release form and success story letter.

Let's break those two down.

Case Study Release Form

This document can vary, depending on factors like the size of your business, the nature of your work, and what you intend to do with the case studies once they are completed. That said, you should typically aim to include the following in the Case Study Release Form:

  • A clear explanation of why you are creating this case study and how it will be used.
  • A statement defining the information and potentially trademarked information you expect to include about the company — things like names, logos, job titles, and pictures.
  • An explanation of what you expect from the participant, beyond the completion of the case study. For example, is this customer willing to act as a reference or share feedback, and do you have permission to pass contact information along for these purposes?
  • A note about compensation.

Success Story Letter

As noted in the sample email, this document serves as an outline for the entire case study process. Other than a brief explanation of how the customer will benefit from case study participation, you'll want to be sure to define the following steps in the Success Story Letter.

7. Download a case study email template.

While you gathered your resources, your candidate has gotten time to read over the proposal. When your candidate approves of your case study, it's time to send them a release form.

A case study release form tells you what you'll need from your chosen subject, like permission to use any brand names and share the project information publicly. Kick-off this process with an email that runs through exactly what they can expect from you, as well as what you need from them. To give you an idea of what that might look like, check out this sample email:

sample case study email release form template

8. Define the process you want to follow with the client.

Before you can begin the case study, you have to have a clear outline of the case study process with your client. An example of an effective outline would include the following information.

The Acceptance

First, you'll need to receive internal approval from the company's marketing team. Once approved, the Release Form should be signed and returned to you. It's also a good time to determine a timeline that meets the needs and capabilities of both teams.

The Questionnaire

To ensure that you have a productive interview — which is one of the best ways to collect information for the case study — you'll want to ask the participant to complete a questionnaire before this conversation. That will provide your team with the necessary foundation to organize the interview, and get the most out of it.

The Interview

Once the questionnaire is completed, someone on your team should reach out to the participant to schedule a 30- to 60-minute interview, which should include a series of custom questions related to the customer's experience with your product or service.

The Draft Review

After the case study is composed, you'll want to send a draft to the customer, allowing an opportunity to give you feedback and edits.

The Final Approval

Once any necessary edits are completed, send a revised copy of the case study to the customer for final approval.

Once the case study goes live — on your website or elsewhere — it's best to contact the customer with a link to the page where the case study lives. Don't be afraid to ask your participants to share these links with their own networks, as it not only demonstrates your ability to deliver positive results and impressive growth, as well.

9. Ensure you're asking the right questions.

Before you execute the questionnaire and actual interview, make sure you're setting yourself up for success. A strong case study results from being prepared to ask the right questions. What do those look like? Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • What are your goals?
  • What challenges were you experiencing before purchasing our product or service?
  • What made our product or service stand out against our competitors?
  • What did your decision-making process look like?
  • How have you benefited from using our product or service? (Where applicable, always ask for data.)

Keep in mind that the questionnaire is designed to help you gain insights into what sort of strong, success-focused questions to ask during the actual interview. And once you get to that stage, we recommend that you follow the "Golden Rule of Interviewing." Sounds fancy, right? It's actually quite simple — ask open-ended questions.

If you're looking to craft a compelling story, "yes" or "no" answers won't provide the details you need. Focus on questions that invite elaboration, such as, "Can you describe ...?" or, "Tell me about ..."

In terms of the interview structure, we recommend categorizing the questions and flowing them into six specific sections that will mirror a successful case study format. Combined, they'll allow you to gather enough information to put together a rich, comprehensive study.

Open with the customer's business.

The goal of this section is to generate a better understanding of the company's current challenges and goals, and how they fit into the landscape of their industry. Sample questions might include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • What are some of the objectives of your department at this time?

Cite a problem or pain point.

To tell a compelling story, you need context. That helps match the customer's need with your solution. Sample questions might include:

  • What challenges and objectives led you to look for a solution?
  • What might have happened if you did not identify a solution?
  • Did you explore other solutions before this that did not work out? If so, what happened?

Discuss the decision process.

Exploring how the customer decided to work with you helps to guide potential customers through their own decision-making processes. Sample questions might include:

  • How did you hear about our product or service?
  • Who was involved in the selection process?
  • What was most important to you when evaluating your options?

Explain how a solution was implemented.

The focus here should be placed on the customer's experience during the onboarding process. Sample questions might include:

  • How long did it take to get up and running?
  • Did that meet your expectations?
  • Who was involved in the process?

Explain how the solution works.

The goal of this section is to better understand how the customer is using your product or service. Sample questions might include:

  • Is there a particular aspect of the product or service that you rely on most?
  • Who is using the product or service?

End with the results.

In this section, you want to uncover impressive measurable outcomes — the more numbers, the better. Sample questions might include:

  • How is the product or service helping you save time and increase productivity?
  • In what ways does that enhance your competitive advantage?
  • How much have you increased metrics X, Y, and Z?

10. Lay out your case study format.

When it comes time to take all of the information you've collected and actually turn it into something, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Where should you start? What should you include? What's the best way to structure it?

To help you get a handle on this step, it's important to first understand that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the ways you can present a case study. They can be very visual, which you'll see in some of the examples we've included below, and can sometimes be communicated mostly through video or photos, with a bit of accompanying text.

Here are the sections we suggest, which we'll cover in more detail down below:

  • Title: Keep it short. Develop a succinct but interesting project name you can give the work you did with your subject.
  • Subtitle: Use this copy to briefly elaborate on the accomplishment. What was done? The case study itself will explain how you got there.
  • Executive Summary : A 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story. You'll want to follow it with 2-3 bullet points that display metrics showcasing success.
  • About the Subject: An introduction to the person or company you served, which can be pulled from a LinkedIn Business profile or client website.
  • Challenges and Objectives: A 2-3 paragraph description of the customer's challenges, before using your product or service. This section should also include the goals or objectives the customer set out to achieve.
  • How Product/Service Helped: A 2-3 paragraph section that describes how your product or service provided a solution to their problem.
  • Results: A 2-3 paragraph testimonial that proves how your product or service specifically benefited the person or company and helped achieve its goals. Include numbers to quantify your contributions.
  • Supporting Visuals or Quotes: Pick one or two powerful quotes that you would feature at the bottom of the sections above, as well as a visual that supports the story you are telling.
  • Future Plans: Everyone likes an epilogue. Comment on what's ahead for your case study subject, whether or not those plans involve you.
  • Call to Action (CTA): Not every case study needs a CTA, but putting a passive one at the end of your case study can encourage your readers to take an action on your website after learning about the work you've done.

When laying out your case study, focus on conveying the information you've gathered in the most clear and concise way possible. Make it easy to scan and comprehend, and be sure to provide an attractive call-to-action at the bottom — that should provide readers an opportunity to learn more about your product or service.

11. Publish and promote your case study.

Once you've completed your case study, it's time to publish and promote it. Some case study formats have pretty obvious promotional outlets — a video case study can go on YouTube, just as an infographic case study can go on Pinterest.

But there are still other ways to publish and promote your case study. Here are a couple of ideas:

Lead Gen in a Blog Post

As stated earlier in this article, written case studies make terrific lead-generators if you convert them into a downloadable format, like a PDF. To generate leads from your case study, consider writing a blog post that tells an abbreviated story of your client's success and asking readers to fill out a form with their name and email address if they'd like to read the rest in your PDF.

Then, promote this blog post on social media, through a Facebook post or a tweet.

Published as a Page on Your Website

As a growing business, you might need to display your case study out in the open to gain the trust of your target audience.

Rather than gating it behind a landing page, publish your case study to its own page on your website, and direct people here from your homepage with a "Case Studies" or "Testimonials" button along your homepage's top navigation bar.

Format for a Case Study

The traditional case study format includes the following parts: a title and subtitle, a client profile, a summary of the customer’s challenges and objectives, an account of how your solution helped, and a description of the results. You might also want to include supporting visuals and quotes, future plans, and calls-to-action.

case study format: title

Image Source

The title is one of the most important parts of your case study. It should draw readers in while succinctly describing the potential benefits of working with your company. To that end, your title should:

  • State the name of your custome r. Right away, the reader must learn which company used your products and services. This is especially important if your customer has a recognizable brand. If you work with individuals and not companies, you may omit the name and go with professional titles: “A Marketer…”, “A CFO…”, and so forth.
  • State which product your customer used . Even if you only offer one product or service, or if your company name is the same as your product name, you should still include the name of your solution. That way, readers who are not familiar with your business can become aware of what you sell.
  • Allude to the results achieved . You don’t necessarily need to provide hard numbers, but the title needs to represent the benefits, quickly. That way, if a reader doesn’t stay to read, they can walk away with the most essential information: Your product works.

The example above, “Crunch Fitness Increases Leads and Signups With HubSpot,” achieves all three — without being wordy. Keeping your title short and sweet is also essential.

2. Subtitle

case study format: subtitle

Your subtitle is another essential part of your case study — don’t skip it, even if you think you’ve done the work with the title. In this section, include a brief summary of the challenges your customer was facing before they began to use your products and services. Then, drive the point home by reiterating the benefits your customer experienced by working with you.

The above example reads:

“Crunch Fitness was franchising rapidly when COVID-19 forced fitness clubs around the world to close their doors. But the company stayed agile by using HubSpot to increase leads and free trial signups.”

We like that the case study team expressed the urgency of the problem — opening more locations in the midst of a pandemic — and placed the focus on the customer’s ability to stay agile.

3. Executive Summary

case study format: executive summary

The executive summary should provide a snapshot of your customer, their challenges, and the benefits they enjoyed from working with you. Think it’s too much? Think again — the purpose of the case study is to emphasize, again and again, how well your product works.

The good news is that depending on your design, the executive summary can be mixed with the subtitle or with the “About the Company” section. Many times, this section doesn’t need an explicit “Executive Summary” subheading. You do need, however, to provide a convenient snapshot for readers to scan.

In the above example, ADP included information about its customer in a scannable bullet-point format, then provided two sections: “Business Challenge” and “How ADP Helped.” We love how simple and easy the format is to follow for those who are unfamiliar with ADP or its typical customer.

4. About the Company

case study format: about the company

Readers need to know and understand who your customer is. This is important for several reasons: It helps your reader potentially relate to your customer, it defines your ideal client profile (which is essential to deter poor-fit prospects who might have reached out without knowing they were a poor fit), and it gives your customer an indirect boon by subtly promoting their products and services.

Feel free to keep this section as simple as possible. You can simply copy and paste information from the company’s LinkedIn, use a quote directly from your customer, or take a more creative storytelling approach.

In the above example, HubSpot included one paragraph of description for Crunch Fitness and a few bullet points. Below, ADP tells the story of its customer using an engaging, personable technique that effectively draws readers in.

case study format: storytelling about the business

5. Challenges and Objectives

case study format: challenges and objectives

The challenges and objectives section of your case study is the place to lay out, in detail, the difficulties your customer faced prior to working with you — and what they hoped to achieve when they enlisted your help.

In this section, you can be as brief or as descriptive as you’d like, but remember: Stress the urgency of the situation. Don’t understate how much your customer needed your solution (but don’t exaggerate and lie, either). Provide contextual information as necessary. For instance, the pandemic and societal factors may have contributed to the urgency of the need.

Take the above example from design consultancy IDEO:

“Educational opportunities for adults have become difficult to access in the United States, just when they’re needed most. To counter this trend, IDEO helped the city of South Bend and the Drucker Institute launch Bendable, a community-powered platform that connects people with opportunities to learn with and from each other.”

We love how IDEO mentions the difficulties the United States faces at large, the efforts its customer is taking to address these issues, and the steps IDEO took to help.

6. How Product/Service Helped

case study format: how the service helped

This is where you get your product or service to shine. Cover the specific benefits that your customer enjoyed and the features they gleaned the most use out of. You can also go into detail about how you worked with and for your customer. Maybe you met several times before choosing the right solution, or you consulted with external agencies to create the best package for them.

Whatever the case may be, try to illustrate how easy and pain-free it is to work with the representatives at your company. After all, potential customers aren’t looking to just purchase a product. They’re looking for a dependable provider that will strive to exceed their expectations.

In the above example, IDEO describes how it partnered with research institutes and spoke with learners to create Bendable, a free educational platform. We love how it shows its proactivity and thoroughness. It makes potential customers feel that IDEO might do something similar for them.

case study format: results

The results are essential, and the best part is that you don’t need to write the entirety of the case study before sharing them. Like HubSpot, IDEO, and ADP, you can include the results right below the subtitle or executive summary. Use data and numbers to substantiate the success of your efforts, but if you don’t have numbers, you can provide quotes from your customers.

We can’t overstate the importance of the results. In fact, if you wanted to create a short case study, you could include your title, challenge, solution (how your product helped), and result.

8. Supporting Visuals or Quotes

case study format: quote

Let your customer speak for themselves by including quotes from the representatives who directly interfaced with your company.

Visuals can also help, even if they’re stock images. On one side, they can help you convey your customer’s industry, and on the other, they can indirectly convey your successes. For instance, a picture of a happy professional — even if they’re not your customer — will communicate that your product can lead to a happy client.

In this example from IDEO, we see a man standing in a boat. IDEO’s customer is neither the man pictured nor the manufacturer of the boat, but rather Conservation International, an environmental organization. This imagery provides a visually pleasing pattern interrupt to the page, while still conveying what the case study is about.

9. Future Plans

This is optional, but including future plans can help you close on a more positive, personable note than if you were to simply include a quote or the results. In this space, you can show that your product will remain in your customer’s tech stack for years to come, or that your services will continue to be instrumental to your customer’s success.

Alternatively, if you work only on time-bound projects, you can allude to the positive impact your customer will continue to see, even after years of the end of the contract.

10. Call to Action (CTA)

case study format: call to action

Not every case study needs a CTA, but we’d still encourage it. Putting one at the end of your case study will encourage your readers to take an action on your website after learning about the work you've done.

It will also make it easier for them to reach out, if they’re ready to start immediately. You don’t want to lose business just because they have to scroll all the way back up to reach out to your team.

To help you visualize this case study outline, check out the case study template below, which can also be downloaded here .

You drove the results, made the connection, set the expectations, used the questionnaire to conduct a successful interview, and boiled down your findings into a compelling story. And after all of that, you're left with a little piece of sales enabling gold — a case study.

To show you what a well-executed final product looks like, have a look at some of these marketing case study examples.

1. "Shopify Uses HubSpot CRM to Transform High Volume Sales Organization," by HubSpot

What's interesting about this case study is the way it leads with the customer. This reflects a major HubSpot value, which is to always solve for the customer first. The copy leads with a brief description of why Shopify uses HubSpot and is accompanied by a short video and some basic statistics on the company.

Notice that this case study uses mixed media. Yes, there is a short video, but it's elaborated upon in the additional text on the page. So, while case studies can use one or the other, don't be afraid to combine written copy with visuals to emphasize the project's success.

2. "New England Journal of Medicine," by Corey McPherson Nash

When branding and design studio Corey McPherson Nash showcases its work, it makes sense for it to be visual — after all, that's what they do. So in building the case study for the studio's work on the New England Journal of Medicine's integrated advertising campaign — a project that included the goal of promoting the client's digital presence — Corey McPherson Nash showed its audience what it did, rather than purely telling it.

Notice that the case study does include some light written copy — which includes the major points we've suggested — but lets the visuals do the talking, allowing users to really absorb the studio's services.

3. "Designing the Future of Urban Farming," by IDEO

Here's a design company that knows how to lead with simplicity in its case studies. As soon as the visitor arrives at the page, he or she is greeted with a big, bold photo, and two very simple columns of text — "The Challenge" and "The Outcome."

Immediately, IDEO has communicated two of the case study's major pillars. And while that's great — the company created a solution for vertical farming startup INFARM's challenge — it doesn't stop there. As the user scrolls down, those pillars are elaborated upon with comprehensive (but not overwhelming) copy that outlines what that process looked like, replete with quotes and additional visuals.

4. "Secure Wi-Fi Wins Big for Tournament," by WatchGuard

Then, there are the cases when visuals can tell almost the entire story — when executed correctly. Network security provider WatchGuard can do that through this video, which tells the story of how its services enhanced the attendee and vendor experience at the Windmill Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

5. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Boosts Social Media Engagement and Brand Awareness with HubSpot

In the case study above , HubSpot uses photos, videos, screenshots, and helpful stats to tell the story of how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame used the bot, CRM, and social media tools to gain brand awareness.

6. Small Desk Plant Business Ups Sales by 30% With Trello

This case study from Trello is straightforward and easy to understand. It begins by explaining the background of the company that decided to use it, what its goals were, and how it planned to use Trello to help them.

It then goes on to discuss how the software was implemented and what tasks and teams benefited from it. Towards the end, it explains the sales results that came from implementing the software and includes quotes from decision-makers at the company that implemented it.

7. Facebook's Mercedes Benz Success Story

Facebook's Success Stories page hosts a number of well-designed and easy-to-understand case studies that visually and editorially get to the bottom line quickly.

Each study begins with key stats that draw the reader in. Then it's organized by highlighting a problem or goal in the introduction, the process the company took to reach its goals, and the results. Then, in the end, Facebook notes the tools used in the case study.

Showcasing Your Work

You work hard at what you do. Now, it's time to show it to the world — and, perhaps more important, to potential customers. Before you show off the projects that make you the proudest, we hope you follow these important steps that will help you effectively communicate that work and leave all parties feeling good about it.

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2017 but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in July 2021.

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WS1006 Self in Professional Helping Guide: Case Study Response

  • 1. Getting Started
  • 2. Finding Information
  • 3. Effective Reading
  • 4. Reflective Writing
  • 5. Referencing
  • Reflective Writing Exemplar
  • Case Study Response

WS1006 case study response writing resources

Writing a case study response follows the same steps as your reflective writing task. Start with planning your assignment and finish with referencing, editing and proofreading. Make sure you adjust your academic writing style to suit the change in output to case study response.

  • How to write a case study response
  • Understanding task words
  • The Writing Guide
  • Academic Phrasebank

Essay writing basics part 1

Essay writing basics part 2

Instructions: Mouse over the text below to see annotations giving explanations and information on the writing process, parts of a blog post, in-text citations and referencing.

Warning: This is a past WS1006 case study response essay. Assignment task requirements may have changed since this was written, but it continues to provide a good example of what a case study response could look like.

  • A playground built near the Hall, in order to accompany the playgroup established in the Hall. This would give the children a safe place to play, and the opportunity for parents to network. Plans to apply for funding grants to cover costs.
  • Start a support group for those suffering from mental health issues, with plans to further teach the principles of Choice theory in an effort to encourage personal awareness and a sense of personal control.
  • Creating a community cultural hub, where everyone is welcome, with promoting cultural differences to breakdown prejudice fears. Running workshops on issues such as self-esteem, anger management and positive parenting.
  • Collaborating with police to run some sporting programmes to accommodate the bored youth, likening to a PCYC, with the voices of the youth influencing the activities available.
  • Regular social events to foster a connected community spirit. E.g. Cultural celebrations, fund-raising events or music nights. Reasons for bringing the community together.

References Some work needs to be done on the references and in-text citations, but I can see the author has tried hard.

Grade: High Distinction

  • << Previous: Reflective Writing Exemplar
  • Last Updated: Apr 3, 2024 11:31 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.jcu.edu.au/WS1006

Acknowledgement of Country

Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
  • Group Presentations
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
  • Group Project Survival Skills
  • Leading a Class Discussion
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Works
  • Writing a Case Analysis Paper
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Reflective Paper
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • Acknowledgments

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. Writing@CSU. 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:

  • The case represents an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
  • The case provides important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
  • The case challenges and offers a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in current practice. A case study analysis may offer an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
  • The case provides an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings so as to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
  • The case offers a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for an exploratory investigation that highlights the need for further research about the problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of east central Africa. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a rural village of Uganda can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community. This example of a case study could also point to the need for scholars to build new theoretical frameworks around the topic [e.g., applying feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation].

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:

  • What is being studied? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis [the case] you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
  • Why is this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.

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:

  • Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would involve summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
  • Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to investigate the research problem and the underlying research questions.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your use of a case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
  • Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in relation to explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.

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:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.

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. Writing@CSU. 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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What Is a Case Study?

Weighing the pros and cons of this method of research

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

case study of response

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

case study of response

Verywell / Colleen Tighe

  • Pros and Cons

What Types of Case Studies Are Out There?

Where do you find data for a case study, how do i write a psychology case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in many different fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The point of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, we got you—here are some rules of APA format to reference.  

At a Glance

A case study, or an in-depth study of a person, group, or event, can be a useful research tool when used wisely. In many cases, case studies are best used in situations where it would be difficult or impossible for you to conduct an experiment. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a lot of˜ information about a specific individual or group of people. However, it's important to be cautious of any bias we draw from them as they are highly subjective.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Case Studies?

A case study can have its strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult or impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

  • Allows researchers to capture information on the 'how,' 'what,' and 'why,' of something that's implemented
  • Gives researchers the chance to collect information on why one strategy might be chosen over another
  • Permits researchers to develop hypotheses that can be explored in experimental research

On the other hand, a case study can have some drawbacks:

  • It cannot necessarily be generalized to the larger population
  • Cannot demonstrate cause and effect
  • It may not be scientifically rigorous
  • It can lead to bias

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they want to explore a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. Through their insights, researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

It's important to remember that the insights from case studies cannot be used to determine cause-and-effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

  • Anna O : Anna O. was a pseudonym of a woman named Bertha Pappenheim, a patient of a physician named Josef Breuer. While she was never a patient of Freud's, Freud and Breuer discussed her case extensively. The woman was experiencing symptoms of a condition that was then known as hysteria and found that talking about her problems helped relieve her symptoms. Her case played an important part in the development of talk therapy as an approach to mental health treatment.
  • Phineas Gage : Phineas Gage was a railroad employee who experienced a terrible accident in which an explosion sent a metal rod through his skull, damaging important portions of his brain. Gage recovered from his accident but was left with serious changes in both personality and behavior.
  • Genie : Genie was a young girl subjected to horrific abuse and isolation. The case study of Genie allowed researchers to study whether language learning was possible, even after missing critical periods for language development. Her case also served as an example of how scientific research may interfere with treatment and lead to further abuse of vulnerable individuals.

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse denied her the opportunity to learn a language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might use:

  • Collective case studies : These involve studying a group of individuals. Researchers might study a group of people in a certain setting or look at an entire community. For example, psychologists might explore how access to resources in a community has affected the collective mental well-being of those who live there.
  • Descriptive case studies : These involve starting with a descriptive theory. The subjects are then observed, and the information gathered is compared to the pre-existing theory.
  • Explanatory case studies : These   are often used to do causal investigations. In other words, researchers are interested in looking at factors that may have caused certain things to occur.
  • Exploratory case studies : These are sometimes used as a prelude to further, more in-depth research. This allows researchers to gather more information before developing their research questions and hypotheses .
  • Instrumental case studies : These occur when the individual or group allows researchers to understand more than what is initially obvious to observers.
  • Intrinsic case studies : This type of case study is when the researcher has a personal interest in the case. Jean Piaget's observations of his own children are good examples of how an intrinsic case study can contribute to the development of a psychological theory.

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers use depends on the unique characteristics of the situation and the case itself.

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

  • Archival records : Census records, survey records, and name lists are examples of archival records.
  • Direct observation : This strategy involves observing the subject, often in a natural setting . While an individual observer is sometimes used, it is more common to utilize a group of observers.
  • Documents : Letters, newspaper articles, administrative records, etc., are the types of documents often used as sources.
  • Interviews : Interviews are one of the most important methods for gathering information in case studies. An interview can involve structured survey questions or more open-ended questions.
  • Participant observation : When the researcher serves as a participant in events and observes the actions and outcomes, it is called participant observation.
  • Physical artifacts : Tools, objects, instruments, and other artifacts are often observed during a direct observation of the subject.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines you need to follow. If you are writing your case study for a professional publication, check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Here is a general outline of what should be included in a case study.

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

  • Cognitive behavioral approach : Explain how a cognitive behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.
  • Humanistic approach : Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy . Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.
  • Psychoanalytic approach : Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.
  • Pharmacological approach : If treatment primarily involves the use of medications, explain which medications were used and why. Provide background on the effectiveness of these medications and how monotherapy may compare with an approach that combines medications with therapy or other treatments.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Need More Tips?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

  • Never refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, use their name or a pseudonym.
  • Read examples of case studies to gain an idea about the style and format.
  • Remember to use APA format when citing references .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach .  BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011;11:100.

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."


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What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

  • Nitin Nohria

case study of response

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?”

  • Nitin Nohria is the George F. Baker Professor of Business Administration, Distinguished University Service Professor, and former dean of Harvard Business School.

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A Quick Guide to Writing Case Study Replies

Table of Contents

Case studies are a part of academe life. They’re usually given as assignments to help students develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Writing a case study reply is a challenging task. But with this guide on how to write a case study reply , it can be easier. We’ve covered everything from what case studies are and how you can write a clear and comprehensive one to how to structure it properly. With our advice and guidance, you’ll have all the tools to tackle even the most complex case studies.

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a method of research used to investigate complex issues in real-world contexts . These are often used in academic settings as well as in business. They help inform decision-making processes, solve complex problems, and identify potential solutions. Case studies can use qualitative and quantitative data gathered from multiple sources, such as:

  • Focus groups
  • Archival documents
  • Observations
  • Experiments, and so on

All of these data-gathering methods aim to gain a better understanding of the subject at hand.

person wearing yellow sweater writing with white pen in notebook

How to Write a Case Study Reply

Read the case study carefully.

Carefully read the case study and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the situation presented. Take note of any essential elements or details mentioned in the report. Doing this will help you choose the best approach for your recommendation or solution. It’s also good to ask questions if anything seems unclear or if you need more information.

Identify the Main Issues

After reading through the case study, you should have a better understanding of the problem being addressed. Now it’s time to begin identifying the main issues involved. This could include identifying areas where there may be an ethical dilemma, determining the problem cause, or analyzing different scenarios. Taking some time to brainstorm potential solutions can help when formulating your response.

Link Theory to Practice

In responding to a case study, it is essential to link theory to practice by applying academic concepts and research-backed data. Doing so allows for more comprehensive responses that demonstrate knowledge in both theory and application. This may require further research into related topics or subjects to ensure accuracy in using appropriate language and terms.

Plan Your Response

Once you have identified the main issues and linked them to existing theories, it is time to plan out your response. This includes:

  • Creating an outline of what will be discussed
  • Researching relevant resources
  • Developing arguments to support your claim
  • Gathering evidence to back up your claims 

Start Drafting Your Response

Now it’s time to start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Your response will include three parts, the introduction, body, and conclusion. Read on below to know what each part should consist of.

Structure of a Case Study Reply


The introduction should provide an overview of the case study and introduce any relevant background information. It should be engaging and explain why this topic is significant. Here are some questions that your introduction needs to address:

  • What is the context or focus of the case study?
  • What key areas will the response cover, and in what order?
  • What conclusions have been reached? This is, generally, the thesis statement.

The body of the response should address the main points outlined in the introduction. Dive into the details by discussing relevant facts and examples about the case study. Here are some tips to guide you in writing the body of your response:

  • Each paragraph should focus only on one main idea.
  • Organize your points in a logical order.
  • Make a clear link between the end of one paragraph and the beginning of the next paragraph.

The conclusion should bring together all of the ideas expressed throughout the response. It should also explain how those points work together to illustrate the importance of the topic.

Case studies are a great way to explore complex topics in depth, improving their understanding of the subject . When tasked with writing a case study reply, it is vital to come prepared with the necessary data. This will help you provide a clear and complete response. Follow these steps on how to write a case study reply to get started!

A Quick Guide to Writing Case Study Replies

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools

How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools marquee

It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the effectiveness of a product or service to potential and current customers to convince them to buy and keep business moving. One of the best methods for doing this is to share success stories that are relatable to prospects and customers based on their pain points, experiences, and overall needs.

That’s where case studies come in. Case studies are an essential part of a content marketing plan. These in-depth stories of customer experiences are some of the most effective at demonstrating the value of a product or service. Yet many marketers don’t use them, whether because of their regimented formats or the process of customer involvement and approval.

A case study is a powerful tool for showcasing your hard work and the success your customer achieved. But writing a great case study can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while. This guide will show you how to write an effective case study and provide real-world examples and templates that will keep readers engaged and support your business.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is a case study?

How to write a case study, case study templates, case study examples, case study tools.

A case study is the detailed story of a customer’s experience with a product or service that demonstrates their success and often includes measurable outcomes. Case studies are used in a range of fields and for various reasons, from business to academic research. They’re especially impactful in marketing as brands work to convince and convert consumers with relatable, real-world stories of actual customer experiences.

The best case studies tell the story of a customer’s success, including the steps they took, the results they achieved, and the support they received from a brand along the way. To write a great case study, you need to:

  • Celebrate the customer and make them — not a product or service — the star of the story.
  • Craft the story with specific audiences or target segments in mind so that the story of one customer will be viewed as relatable and actionable for another customer.
  • Write copy that is easy to read and engaging so that readers will gain the insights and messages intended.
  • Follow a standardized format that includes all of the essentials a potential customer would find interesting and useful.
  • Support all of the claims for success made in the story with data in the forms of hard numbers and customer statements.

Case studies are a type of review but more in depth, aiming to show — rather than just tell — the positive experiences that customers have with a brand. Notably, 89% of consumers read reviews before deciding to buy, and 79% view case study content as part of their purchasing process. When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.

Telling a brand story through the experience of a tried-and-true customer matters. The story is relatable to potential new customers as they imagine themselves in the shoes of the company or individual featured in the case study. Showcasing previous customers can help new ones see themselves engaging with your brand in the ways that are most meaningful to them.

Besides sharing the perspective of another customer, case studies stand out from other content marketing forms because they are based on evidence. Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.

89% of consumers read reviews before buying, 79% view case studies, and 52% of B2B buyers prioritize case studies in the evaluation process.

Case studies are unique in that there’s a fairly standardized format for telling a customer’s story. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. It’s all about making sure that teams are clear on the goals for the case study — along with strategies for supporting content and channels — and understanding how the story fits within the framework of the company’s overall marketing goals.

Here are the basic steps to writing a good case study.

1. Identify your goal

Start by defining exactly who your case study will be designed to help. Case studies are about specific instances where a company works with a customer to achieve a goal. Identify which customers are likely to have these goals, as well as other needs the story should cover to appeal to them.

The answer is often found in one of the buyer personas that have been constructed as part of your larger marketing strategy. This can include anything from new leads generated by the marketing team to long-term customers that are being pressed for cross-sell opportunities. In all of these cases, demonstrating value through a relatable customer success story can be part of the solution to conversion.

2. Choose your client or subject

Who you highlight matters. Case studies tie brands together that might otherwise not cross paths. A writer will want to ensure that the highlighted customer aligns with their own company’s brand identity and offerings. Look for a customer with positive name recognition who has had great success with a product or service and is willing to be an advocate.

The client should also match up with the identified target audience. Whichever company or individual is selected should be a reflection of other potential customers who can see themselves in similar circumstances, having the same problems and possible solutions.

Some of the most compelling case studies feature customers who:

  • Switch from one product or service to another while naming competitors that missed the mark.
  • Experience measurable results that are relatable to others in a specific industry.
  • Represent well-known brands and recognizable names that are likely to compel action.
  • Advocate for a product or service as a champion and are well-versed in its advantages.

Whoever or whatever customer is selected, marketers must ensure they have the permission of the company involved before getting started. Some brands have strict review and approval procedures for any official marketing or promotional materials that include their name. Acquiring those approvals in advance will prevent any miscommunication or wasted effort if there is an issue with their legal or compliance teams.

3. Conduct research and compile data

Substantiating the claims made in a case study — either by the marketing team or customers themselves — adds validity to the story. To do this, include data and feedback from the client that defines what success looks like. This can be anything from demonstrating return on investment (ROI) to a specific metric the customer was striving to improve. Case studies should prove how an outcome was achieved and show tangible results that indicate to the customer that your solution is the right one.

This step could also include customer interviews. Make sure that the people being interviewed are key stakeholders in the purchase decision or deployment and use of the product or service that is being highlighted. Content writers should work off a set list of questions prepared in advance. It can be helpful to share these with the interviewees beforehand so they have time to consider and craft their responses. One of the best interview tactics to keep in mind is to ask questions where yes and no are not natural answers. This way, your subject will provide more open-ended responses that produce more meaningful content.

4. Choose the right format

There are a number of different ways to format a case study. Depending on what you hope to achieve, one style will be better than another. However, there are some common elements to include, such as:

  • An engaging headline
  • A subject and customer introduction
  • The unique challenge or challenges the customer faced
  • The solution the customer used to solve the problem
  • The results achieved
  • Data and statistics to back up claims of success
  • A strong call to action (CTA) to engage with the vendor

It’s also important to note that while case studies are traditionally written as stories, they don’t have to be in a written format. Some companies choose to get more creative with their case studies and produce multimedia content, depending on their audience and objectives. Case study formats can include traditional print stories, interactive web or social content, data-heavy infographics, professionally shot videos, podcasts, and more.

5. Write your case study

We’ll go into more detail later about how exactly to write a case study, including templates and examples. Generally speaking, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your case study.

  • Be clear and concise. Readers want to get to the point of the story quickly and easily, and they’ll be looking to see themselves reflected in the story right from the start.
  • Provide a big picture. Always make sure to explain who the client is, their goals, and how they achieved success in a short introduction to engage the reader.
  • Construct a clear narrative. Stick to the story from the perspective of the customer and what they needed to solve instead of just listing product features or benefits.
  • Leverage graphics. Incorporating infographics, charts, and sidebars can be a more engaging and eye-catching way to share key statistics and data in readable ways.
  • Offer the right amount of detail. Most case studies are one or two pages with clear sections that a reader can skim to find the information most important to them.
  • Include data to support claims. Show real results — both facts and figures and customer quotes — to demonstrate credibility and prove the solution works.

6. Promote your story

Marketers have a number of options for distribution of a freshly minted case study. Many brands choose to publish case studies on their website and post them on social media. This can help support SEO and organic content strategies while also boosting company credibility and trust as visitors see that other businesses have used the product or service.

Marketers are always looking for quality content they can use for lead generation. Consider offering a case study as gated content behind a form on a landing page or as an offer in an email message. One great way to do this is to summarize the content and tease the full story available for download after the user takes an action.

Sales teams can also leverage case studies, so be sure they are aware that the assets exist once they’re published. Especially when it comes to larger B2B sales, companies often ask for examples of similar customer challenges that have been solved.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about case studies and what they should include, you may be wondering how to start creating great customer story content. Here are a couple of templates you can use to structure your case study.

Template 1 — Challenge-solution-result format

  • Start with an engaging title. This should be fewer than 70 characters long for SEO best practices. One of the best ways to approach the title is to include the customer’s name and a hint at the challenge they overcame in the end.
  • Create an introduction. Lead with an explanation as to who the customer is, the need they had, and the opportunity they found with a specific product or solution. Writers can also suggest the success the customer experienced with the solution they chose.
  • Present the challenge. This should be several paragraphs long and explain the problem the customer faced and the issues they were trying to solve. Details should tie into the company’s products and services naturally. This section needs to be the most relatable to the reader so they can picture themselves in a similar situation.
  • Share the solution. Explain which product or service offered was the ideal fit for the customer and why. Feel free to delve into their experience setting up, purchasing, and onboarding the solution.
  • Explain the results. Demonstrate the impact of the solution they chose by backing up their positive experience with data. Fill in with customer quotes and tangible, measurable results that show the effect of their choice.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that invites readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to nurture them further in the marketing pipeline. What you ask of the reader should tie directly into the goals that were established for the case study in the first place.

Template 2 — Data-driven format

  • Start with an engaging title. Be sure to include a statistic or data point in the first 70 characters. Again, it’s best to include the customer’s name as part of the title.
  • Create an overview. Share the customer’s background and a short version of the challenge they faced. Present the reason a particular product or service was chosen, and feel free to include quotes from the customer about their selection process.
  • Present data point 1. Isolate the first metric that the customer used to define success and explain how the product or solution helped to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 2. Isolate the second metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 3. Isolate the final metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Summarize the results. Reiterate the fact that the customer was able to achieve success thanks to a specific product or service. Include quotes and statements that reflect customer satisfaction and suggest they plan to continue using the solution.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that asks readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to further nurture them in the marketing pipeline. Again, remember that this is where marketers can look to convert their content into action with the customer.

While templates are helpful, seeing a case study in action can also be a great way to learn. Here are some examples of how Adobe customers have experienced success.

Juniper Networks

One example is the Adobe and Juniper Networks case study , which puts the reader in the customer’s shoes. The beginning of the story quickly orients the reader so that they know exactly who the article is about and what they were trying to achieve. Solutions are outlined in a way that shows Adobe Experience Manager is the best choice and a natural fit for the customer. Along the way, quotes from the client are incorporated to help add validity to the statements. The results in the case study are conveyed with clear evidence of scale and volume using tangible data.

A Lenovo case study showing statistics, a pull quote and featured headshot, the headline "The customer is king.," and Adobe product links.

The story of Lenovo’s journey with Adobe is one that spans years of planning, implementation, and rollout. The Lenovo case study does a great job of consolidating all of this into a relatable journey that other enterprise organizations can see themselves taking, despite the project size. This case study also features descriptive headers and compelling visual elements that engage the reader and strengthen the content.

Tata Consulting

When it comes to using data to show customer results, this case study does an excellent job of conveying details and numbers in an easy-to-digest manner. Bullet points at the start break up the content while also helping the reader understand exactly what the case study will be about. Tata Consulting used Adobe to deliver elevated, engaging content experiences for a large telecommunications client of its own — an objective that’s relatable for a lot of companies.

Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others. They help marketers do their job and add credibility to a brand trying to promote its solutions by using the experiences and stories of real customers.

When you’re ready to get started with a case study:

  • Think about a few goals you’d like to accomplish with your content.
  • Make a list of successful clients that would be strong candidates for a case study.
  • Reach out to the client to get their approval and conduct an interview.
  • Gather the data to present an engaging and effective customer story.

Adobe can help

There are several Adobe products that can help you craft compelling case studies. Adobe Experience Platform helps you collect data and deliver great customer experiences across every channel. Once you’ve created your case studies, Experience Platform will help you deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time for maximum impact.

To learn more, watch the Adobe Experience Platform story .

Keep in mind that the best case studies are backed by data. That’s where Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Analytics come into play. With Real-Time CDP, you can gather the data you need to build a great case study and target specific customers to deliver the content to the right audience at the perfect moment.

Watch the Real-Time CDP overview video to learn more.

Finally, Adobe Analytics turns real-time data into real-time insights. It helps your business collect and synthesize data from multiple platforms to make more informed decisions and create the best case study possible.

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Writing a Case Study Response

The assignment of a case study is a typical job for college and university students, who want to improve their professional and critical thinking skills and become expert in their main discipline, because a case study is a research of a definite problem of a certain topic which requires time and efforts.

If one is asked to complete a case study, he should devote much attention to the process and collect enough reliable facts, which will be helpful in the process of the analysis. There is always a certain problem and the student should find out about the cause and effect of the problem and solve the ‘puzzle’ of the case professionally. Evidently, students are always nervous and frustrated while writing the case study, because the topics are not always easy and require efforts and knowledge.Nevertheless, if a student has finished the case study, he will need to defend it effectively and now the problem of case study response writing appears. The main difficulty of writing a case study response is the set of the special requirements to the paper. For example, the response should be brief but explain the problem of the case study and the purpose of writing in detail.

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It is quite difficult to complete such a well-analyzed, well-summarized but narrow paper being an inexperienced student.First of all the paper should describe the general topic of the case study in order to give the reader a general idea about the discipline, the topic and the definite problem of the case. After that it is important to focus of the direct narrower issues which are suggested for the research and the student should present a logical list of these core points.Writing a response to a case study students do the common mistake: they fail to connect their background knowledge with the facts gained during the research of the case. This connection of required for the high-quality comparison of the topic and professional conclusions. The student should also pay attention to the various research approached which can be used and have been used for the research of the problem and he is expected to evaluate the methodology and the research approach in his case.

Furthermore, it is sensible to suggest the alternative solutions to the problem and predict the effect of these alternative methods on the quality of the research.In general, the student who is going to do a case study response should try to insert much essential information about the case in the brief and logical paper. In conclusion one should evaluate the importance of the research and share the personal achievements and impressions concerning the paper with the reader. Additionally, professional case study response writing help is available online.

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Rebuilding education: tipton county's response to a devastating tornado.

On March 31, 2023, an EF3 tornado wreaked havoc in Tipton County, causing one fatality and 28 injuries in Covington, Tennessee. The Tipton County School Board took on the critical responsibility of swiftly reintegrating students into classrooms for the remainder of the academic year.

Protecting School Children from Tornadoes: State of Kansas School Shelter Initiative

On May 3, 1999, a series of intense storms moved through “Tornado Alley,” producing numerous tornadoes that tore through areas of Oklahoma and Kansas.

Miami County, Ohio: Virtual Inspections

Current building codes require site inspections at several stages throughout the construction process. These can include inspections of concrete slabs, foundation walls, insulation, and roof ice guards, as well as re-inspections of specific or code-required (i.e., welds, masonry, etc.) items.

Hurricane Resistant Building Code Helps Protect Alabama

Coastal Alabama has seen rapid growth over the past decade, but it also happens to be the area most vulnerable to hurricanes and other natural hazards in the state.

Community Wind Shelters: Background and Research

Because of the rising frequency of extreme weather, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) strongly encourages homeowners and communities to build safe rooms to FEMA standards. Community shelters have been consistently needed due to the increased risk posed by strong winds and flying debris during natural hazards.

Mitigation Matters: Rebuilding for a Resilient Future

It’s imperative to acquaint yourself with alternative resources designed to mitigate losses resulting from uncovered damages. These resources are equally essential in fortifying your significant investments against the potential impact of natural hazards, fostering resilience, and minimizing vulnerabilities.

Austin: The State Capital’s Fight Against Wildfire

In 2013, Austin was ranked the city with the third greatest risk of wildfire-related structure losses, specifically for communities outside the urban core. These areas, known as the wildland-urban interface, are in the transition zone between undeveloped rural wildlands and developed areas and account for 61% of households in Austin and 64% of the land within Austin city limits.

Puerto Rico: de la recuperación a la resiliencia

Conozca lo aspectos más destacados de los avances en la recuperación de la isla tras los huracanes María y Fiona, y los terremotos de 2020. Este resumen abarca una selección de proyectos de recuperación que afectan al sector de la salud, la seguridad pública, la red energética y las instalaciones de distribución de agua, entre otros.

Puerto Rico: From Recovery to Resilience

Explore highlights of recovery progress on the island after hurricanes María and Fiona, and the earthquakes in 2020. This overview covers a selection of recovery projects that impact the health sector, public safety, energy grid, water distribution facilities and more.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Integration: Driven by Relationships

In 2012, Larimer County, Colorado experienced a major wildfire, followed by a major flood in 2013. Many residents were isolated by these events, either through damage to infrastructure or communications systems. These two disasters showed gaps in the county’s emergency capabilities and public safety information outreach.

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In This Section

The program has developed an extensive catalogue of case studies addressing crisis events. These cases serve as an important tool for classroom study, prompting readers to think about the challenges different types of crises pose for public safety officials, political leaders, and the affected communities at large.

The following cases, here organized into three broad categories, are available through the  Harvard Kennedy School Case Program ; click on a case title to read a detailed abstract and purchase the document. A selection of these cases are also available in the textbooks Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies  (Howitt and Leonard, with Giles, CQ Press) and Public Health Preparedness: Case Studies in Policy and Management (Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, APHA Press), both of which contain fifteen cases as well as corresponding conceptual material to support classroom instruction.

Natural Disasters, Infrastructure Failures, and Systems Collapse

At the Center of the Storm: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and the Response to Hurricane Maria (Case and Epilogue) This case profiles how Carmen Yulín Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, led her City’s response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island and neighboring parts of the Caribbean in the fall of 2017. By highlighting Cruz’s decisions and actions prior to, during, and following the storm’s landfall, the case provides readers with insight into the challenges of preparing for and responding to severe crises like Maria. It illustrates how several key factors—including San Juan’s pre-storm preparedness efforts, the City’s relationships with other jurisdictions and entities, and the ability to adapt and improvise in the face of novel and extreme conditions—shaped the response to one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

A Cascade of Emergencies: Responding to Superstorm Sandy in New York City (A and B) On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Sandy’s massive size, coupled with an unusual combination of meteorological conditions, fueled an especially powerful and destructive storm surge, which caused unprecedented damage in and around New York City, the country’s most populous metropolitan area, as well as on Long Island and along the Jersey Shore. This two-part case study focuses on how New York City prepared for the storm’s arrival and then responded to the cascading series of emergencies – from fires, to flooding, to power failures – that played out as it bore down on the region. Profiling actions taken at the local level by emergency response agencies like the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), the case also explores how the city coordinated with state and federal partners – including both the state National Guard and federal military components – and illustrates both the advantages and complications of using military assets for domestic emergency response operations.

Part B of the case highlights the experience of Staten Island, which experienced the worst of Sandy’s wrath. In the storm’s wake, frustration over the speed of the response triggered withering public criticism from borough officials, leading to concerns that a political crisis was about to overwhelm the still unfolding relief effort.

Surviving the Surge: New York City Hospitals Respond to Superstorm Sandy Exploring the experiences of three Manhattan-based hospitals during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the case focuses on decisions made by each institution about whether to shelter-in-place or evacuate hundreds of medically fragile patients -- the former strategy running the risk of exposing individuals to dangerous and life-threatening conditions, the latter being an especially complex and difficult process, not without its own dangers. "Surviving the Surge" illustrates the very difficult trade-offs hospital administrators and local and state public health authorities grappled with as Sandy bore down on New York and vividly depicts the ramifications of these decisions, with the storm ultimately inflicting serious damage on Manhattan and across much of the surrounding region. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Ready in Advance: The City of Tuscaloosa’s Response to the 4/27/11 Tornado On April 27, 2011, a massive and powerful tornado leveled 1/8 of the area of Tuscaloosa, AL. Doctrine called for the County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to take the lead in organizing the response to the disaster – but one of the first buildings destroyed during the event housed the County EMA offices, leaving the agency completely incapacitated. Fortunately, the city had taken several steps in the preceding years to prepare for responding to a major disaster. This included having sent a delegation of 70 city officials and community leaders, led by Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox, to a week-long training organized by FEMA. “Ready in Advance” reveals how that training, along with other preparedness activities undertaken by the city, would pay major dividends in the aftermath of the tornado, as the mayor and his staff set forth to respond to one of the worst disasters in Tuscaloosa’s history.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Politics of Crisis Response (A and B) Following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in late April 2010, the Obama administration organized a massive response operation to contain the oil spreading across the Gulf of Mexico. Attracting intense public attention, the response adhered to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a federal law that the crisis would soon reveal was not well understood – or even accepted – by all relevant parties.

This two-part case series profiles how senior officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sought to coordinate the actions of a myriad of actors, ranging from numerous federal partners; the political leadership of the affected Gulf States and sub-state jurisdictions; and the private sector. Case A overviews the disaster and early response; discusses the formation of a National Incident Command (NIC); and explores the NIC’s efforts to coordinate the actions of various federal entities. Case B focuses on the challenges the NIC encountered as it sought to engage with state and local actors – an effort that would grow increasingly complicated as the crisis deepened throughout the spring and summer of 2010.

The 2010 Chilean Mining Rescue (A and B) On August 5, 2010, 700,000 tons of rock caved in Chile's San José mine. The collapse buried 33 miners at a depth almost twice the height of the Empire State Building-over 600 meters (2000 feet) below ground. Never had a recovery been attempted at such depths, let alone in the face of challenges like those posed by the San José mine: unstable terrain, rock so hard it defied ordinary drill bits, severely limited time, and the potentially immobilizing fear that plagued the buried miners. The case describes the ensuing efforts that drew the resources of countless people and multiple organizations in Chile and around the world.

The National Guard’s Response to the 2010 Pakistan Floods Throughout the summer of 2010, Pakistan experienced severe flooding that overtook a large portion of the country, displacing millions of people, causing extensive physical damage, and resulting in significant economic losses. This case focuses on the role of the National Guard (and of the U.S. military, more broadly) in the international relief effort that unfolded alongside that of Pakistan’s government and military. In particular it highlights how various Guard and U.S. military assets that had been deployed to Afghanistan as part of the war there were reassigned to support the U.S.’s flood relief efforts in Pakistan, revealing the successes and challenges of transitioning from a war-footing to disaster response. In exploring how Guard leaders partnered with counterparts from other components of the U.S. government, Pakistani officials, and members of the international humanitarian community, the case also examines how they navigated a set of difficult civilian-military dynamics during a particularly tense period in US-Pakistan relations.

Inundation: The Slow-Moving Crisis of Pakistan’s 2010 Floods (A, B, and Epilogue) In summer 2010, unusually intense monsoon rains in Pakistan triggered slow-moving floods that inundated a fifth of the country and displaced millions of people. This case describes how Pakistan’s Government responded to this disaster and highlights the performance of the country’s nascent emergency management agency, the National Disaster Management Authority, as well as the integration of international assistance.

"Operation Rollback Water": The National Guard’s Response to the 2009 North Dakota Floods   ( A ,  B , and   Epilogue ) In spring 2009, North Dakota experienced some of the worst flooding in the state’s history. The state's National Guard responded by mobilizing thousands of its troops and working in concert with personnel and equipment from six other states. This case profiles the National Guard’s preparations for and response to the floods and focuses on coordination within the National Guard, between the National Guard and civilian government agencies, and between the National Guard and elected officials.

Typhoon Morakot Strikes Taiwan, 2009 (A, B, and C) In less than four days, Typhoon Morakot dumped close to 118 inches of rain on Taiwan, flooding cities, towns, and villages; washing away roads and bridges; drowning farmland and animals; and triggering mudslides that buried entire villages. With the typhoon challenging its emergency response capacity, Taiwan’s government launched a major rescue and relief operation. But what began as a physical disaster soon became a political disaster for the President and Prime Minister, as bitter criticism came from citizens, the opposition party, and the President’s own supporters.

Getting Help to Victims of 2008 Cyclone Nargis: AmeriCares Engages with Myanmar's Military Government (Case and Epilogue) In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma) left 138,373 dead or missing and 2.4 million survivors’ livelihoods in doubt, making it the country’s worst natural disaster and one of the deadliest cyclones ever. Friendly Asian countries as well as western governments which previously had used economic sanctions to isolate Myanmar’s military government now sought to provide aid to Myanmar’s people. But they met distrust and faced adversarial relationships from a suspicious government, reluctant to open its borders to outsiders.

China's Blizzards of 2008 From January 10-February 6, a series of heavy snow storms intertwined with ice storms and subzero temperatures created China’s worst winter weather in 50 years. The storms closed airports and paralyzed trains and roads, damaged power grids and water supplies, caused massive black-outs, and left several cities in hard-hit areas isolated and threatened. The disruption of the power supply and transport also severely affected the production and flow of consumer goods and industrial materials, triggering a cascade of crisis nationwide. Coal reserves at power plants were nearly exhausted, production was significantly cut back at big factories, the chronic winter power shortage was exacerbated, and food prices spiked sharply in many areas because of shortages.

Thin on the Ground: Deploying Scarce Resources in the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires  When wildfires swept across Southern California in October 2007, firefighting resources were stretched dangerously thin. Readers are prompted to put themselves in the shoes of public safety authorities and consider how organizations can best address resource scarcities in advance of and during emergency situations.

"Broadmoor Lives:" A New Orleans Neighborhood’s Battle to Recover from Hurricane Katrina (A, B, and Sequel) Stunned by a city planning committee’s proposal to give New Orleans neighborhoods hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina just four months to prove they were worth rebuilding, the Broadmoor community organized and implemented an all-volunteer redevelopment planning effort to bring their neighborhood back to life.

Gridlock in Texas (A and B) As Hurricane Rita bore down on the Houston metro area in mid-September 2005, just a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina had devastated the Gulf Coast, millions of people flocked to the roadways. Part A details the massive gridlock that ensued, illustrating the challenges of implementing safe evacuations and of communicating effectively amidst great fear. Part B explores post-storm efforts to improve evacuation policies and procedures -- and how the resulting plans measured up in 2008, when the area was once again under threat, this time from Hurricane Ike.

Wal-Mart’s Response to Hurricane Katrina: Striving for a Public-Private Partnership (Case and Sequel) This case explores Wal-Mart's efforts to provide relief in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, raising important questions about government’s ability to take full advantage of private sector capabilities during large-scale emergencies. (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

Moving People out of Danger: Special Needs Evacuations from Gulf Coast Hurricanes (A and B ) In the face of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, officials in Louisiana and Texas grappled with the challenging task of evacuating people with medical and other special needs to safety. The shortcomings of those efforts sparked major initiatives to improve evacuation procedures for individuals requiring transportation assistance – plans that got a demanding test when Hurricanes Gustav and Ike threatened the Gulf Coast in the fall of 2008. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Hurricane Katrina:  (A) Preparing for the Big One , and  (B) Responding to an "Ultra-Catastrophe" in New Orleans Exploring the failed response to Hurricane Katrina and its implications for the greater New Orleans area, the case begins with a review of pre-event planning and preparedness efforts. Part B details the largely ineffective governmental response to the rapidly escalating crisis.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises; Also available in abridged form.)

Rebuilding Aceh: Indonesia's BRR Spearheads Post-Tsunami Recovery (Case and Epilogue) The December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami caused tremendous damage and suffering on several continents, with Indonesia's Aceh Province, located on the far northern tip of Sumatra Island, experiencing the very worst. In the tsunami's wake, the Indonesian government faced a daunting task of implementing a large-scale recovery effort, and to coordinate the many reconstruction projects that soon began to emerge across Aceh, Indonesia's president established a national-level, ad hoc agency, which came to be known by its acronym BRR. This case examines the challenges encountered by BRR's leadership as it sought to implement an effective recovery process.

When Imperatives Collide: The 2003 San Diego Firestorm   (Case and Epilogue) In October 2003, multiple wildfires burned across southern California. Focusing on the response to the fires, this case explores what can happen when an operational norm — to fight fires effectively but safely — collides with the political imperative to override established procedures to protect the public.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

"Almost a Worst Case Scenario:" The Baltimore Tunnel Fires of 2001 (A, B, and C) When a train carrying hazardous materials derailed under downtown Baltimore, a stubborn underground fire severely challenged emergency responders. Readers are prompted to give particular attention to the significant challenges of managing a multi-organizational response.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

Safe But Annoyed: The Hurricane Floyd Evacuation in Florida When far more citizens than necessary evacuated in advance of Hurricane Floyd, Florida’s roadways were quickly overloaded and emergency management operations overwhelmed. In detailing these (and other) problems, the case highlights the challenges of managing evacuations in advance of potentially catastrophic events. (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

The US Forest Service and Transitional Fires This case outlines the operational challenges of decision making in a high stress, high stakes situation – in this instance during rapidly evolving wildland fires, also known as "transitional fires." (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

The Tzu Chi Foundation's China Relief Mission Tzu Chi is one of the largest charities in Taiwan, and one of the swiftest and most effective relief organizations internationally. Rooted in the value of compassion, the organization has many unusual operating features -- including having no long term plan. This case explores the basic operating approach of the organization and invites students to explain the overall effectiveness and success of the organization and its surprising success (as a faith-based, Taiwanese, direct-relief organization -- all of which are more or less anathema to the Chinese government) in securing an operating license in China.

Security Threats

Ce Soir-Là, Ils n'Arrivent Plus Un par Un, Mais par Vagues: Coping with the Surge of Trauma Patients at L'Hôpital Universitaire La Pitié Salpêtrière-Friday, November 13, 2015 On November 13, 2015, Dr. Marie Borel, Dr. Emmanuelle Dolla, Dr. Frédéric Le Saché, and Prof. Mathieu Raux were the doctors in charge of the trauma center at L'Hôpital de la Pitié Salpêtrière in Paris, where dozens of wounded and dying patients, most with severe gunshot wounds from military grade firearms, arrived in waves after a series of terrorist attacks across the city. The doctors had trained for a mass-casualty event but had never envisioned the magnitude of what they now saw. This case describes how they rapidly expanded the critical care capacity available so as to be able to handle the unexpectedly large number of patients arriving at their doors.

Into Local Streets: Maryland National Guard and the Baltimore Riots (Case and Epilogue) On April 19, 2015, Freddie Gray, a young African American male, died while in the custody of the Baltimore Police. In response to his death, protestors mobilized daily in Baltimore to vocalize their frustrations, including what they saw as law enforcement’s long-standing mistreatment of the African American community. Then, on April 27, following Gray’s funeral, riots and acts of vandalism broke out across the city. Overwhelmed by the unrest, the Baltimore police requested assistance from other police forces. Later that evening, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the Maryland National Guard. At the local level, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a nightly curfew beginning Tuesday evening.

“Into Local Streets” focuses on the role of the National Guard in the response to the protests and violence following Gray’s death, vividly depicting the actions and decision-making processes of the Guard’s senior-most leaders. In particular, it highlights the experience of the state’s Adjutant General, Linda Singh, who soon found herself navigating a complicated web of officials and agencies from both state and local government – and their different perspectives on how to bring an end to the crisis.

Defending the Homeland: The Massachusetts National Guard Responds to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings On April 15, 2013, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed and detonated two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three bystanders and injuring more than two hundred others. This case profiles the role the Massachusetts National Guard played in the complex, multi-agency response that unfolded in the minutes, hours, and days following the bombings, exploring how its soldiers and airmen helped support efforts on multiple fronts – from performing life-saving actions in the immediate aftermath of the attack to providing security on the region’s mass transit system and participating in the search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev several days later. It also depicts how the Guard’s senior officers helped manage the overall response in partnership with their local, state, and federal counterparts. The case reveals both the emergent and centralized elements of the Guard’s efforts, explores the debate over whether or not Guard members should have been armed in the aftermath of the bombings, and highlights an array of unique assets and capabilities that the Guard was able to provide in support of the response.

Recovery in Aurora: The Public Schools' Response to the July 2012 Movie Theater Shooting (A and B) In July 2012, a gunman entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire, killing 12 people, injuring 58 others, and traumatizing a community. This two-part case briefly describes the shooting and emergency response but focuses primarily on the recovery process in the year that followed. In particular, it highlights the work of the Aurora Public Schools, which under the leadership of Superintendent John L. Barry, drew on years of emergency management training to play a substantial role in the response and then unveiled an expansive recovery plan. This included hiring a full-time disaster recovery coordinator, partnering with an array of community organizations, and holding mental health workshops and other events to support APS community members. The case also details the range of reactions that staff and community members had to APS' efforts, broader community-wide recovery efforts, and stakeholders' perspectives on the effectiveness of the recovery.

"Miracle on the Hudson" (A, B, and C) Case A describes how in January 2009, shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 lost all power when Canada geese sucked into its engines destroyed them. In less than four harrowing minutes, Flight 1549’s captain and first officer had to decide whether they could make an emergency landing at a nearby airport or find another alternative to get the plane down safely. Cases B and C describe how emergency responders from many agencies and private organizations on both sides of the Hudson River – converging on the scene without a prior action plan for this type of emergency – effectively rescued passengers and crew from the downed plane.

Security Planning for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in  Boston (A, B, and Epilogue) When the city of Boston applied to host the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominating convention, it hoped to gain considerable prestige and significant economic benefits. But convention organizers and local officials were forced to grapple with a set of unanticipated planning challenges that arose in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

Command Performance: County Firefighters Take Charge of the 9/11 Pentagon Emergency This case describes how the Arlington County Fire Department – utilizing the Incident Management System – took charge of the large influx of emergency workers who arrived to put out a massive fire and rescue people in the Pentagon following the September 11, 2001, suicide jetliner attack.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

Rudy Giuliani: The Man and His Moment Although not long before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had been under fire for aspects of his mayoralty, the post 9/11 Giuliani won national and international acclaim as a leader. This case recounts the details of Giuliani’s response such that students of effective public leadership can analyze both Giuliani’s decisions and style as examples.

Threat of Terrorism: Weighing Public Safety in Seattle (Case and Epilogue) When a terrorist was arrested in late December 1999 at the Canadian-Washington State border in a car laden with explosives, public safety officials worried that the city of Seattle had been a possible target. This case explores the debate that ensued concerning the seriousness of the threat and whether the city should proceed with its planned Millennium celebration.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

Protecting the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 (Case and Epilogue) Two very different sets of actors made extensive preparations in advance of the World Trade Organization's Ministerial Conference of 1999 — protesters opposing international trade practices and public safety officials responsible for event security. This case examines the efforts of both, highlighting why security arrangements ultimately fell short.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

The Shootings at Columbine High School: Responding to a New Kind of Terrorism (Case and Epilogue) Within minutes of the shootings at Columbine, numerous emergency response agencies – including law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and others – dispatched personnel to the school site. Under intense media scrutiny and trying to coordinate their actions, they sought to determine whether the shooters were still active and rescue the injured.

To What End? Re-Thinking Terrorist Attack Exercises in San Jose (Case, Sequel 1, Sequel 2) In the late 1990s, a task force in San Jose, CA mounted several full-scale terrorist attack exercises, but—despite the best of intentions—found all of them frustrating, demoralizing, and divisive. In response, San Jose drew on several existing prototypes to create a new “facilitated exercise” model that emphasized teaching over testing, and was much better received by first responders.

Security Preparations for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games (A, B, and C) This case describes efforts by state and federal government entities to plan in advance for security protection for the Atlanta Olympics. It also recounts the Centennial Park bombing and emergency response.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

The Flawed Emergency Response to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots (A, B, and C) Following the announcement of the not guilty verdicts for the law enforcement officers accused of beating Rodney King, the City of Los Angeles was quickly overrun by severe rioting. This case reviews how local, county, state, and federal agencies responded and coordinated their activities in an effort to restore order.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises)

Public Health Emergencies

Mission in Flux: Michigan National Guard in Liberia ( Case and Epilogue ) In summer and fall of 2014, thousands of individuals in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea contracted the Ebola virus. This outbreak of the deadly disease, which until then had been highly uncommon in West Africa, prompted a major (albeit delayed) public health response on the part of the international community, including an unprecedented commitment made by the United States, which sent almost 3,000 active military soldiers to Liberia. “Mission in Flux” focuses on the US military’s role in the Ebola response, emphasizing the Michigan National Guard’s eventual involvement. In particular, it provides readers with a first-hand account of the challenges the Michigan Guard faced as it prepared for and then deployed to Liberia, just as the crisis had begun to abate and federal officials in Washington began considering how to redefine the mission and footprint of Ebola-relief in West Africa. 

Fears and Realities: Managing Ebola in Dallas   ( Case   and  Epilogue ) “Fears and Realities” describes how public health authorities in Dallas, TX - along with their counterparts at the state and local levels, elected officials, and hospital administrators - responded to the first case of Ebola identified on U.S. soil during the 2014 outbreak of the disease. The hugely difficult tasks of treating the patient and mounting a response was made all the more challenging by confusion over the patient's background and travel history, and, eventually, by the intense focus and considerable concern on the part of the media and public at large. Efforts to curtail the spread of the disease were further complicated when two nurses who had cared for the patient also tested positive for Ebola, even though they apparently had followed CDC protocols when interacting with him. With three confirmed cases of the disease in Dallas – each patient with their own network of contacts – authorities scrambled to understand what was happening and to figure out a way to bring the crisis to an end before more people were exposed to the highly virulent disease.  (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Confronting a Pandemic in a Home Rule State: The Indiana State Department of Health Responds to H1N1 When Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Judy Monroe learned of the emergence of H1N1 in late April 2009, she had to quickly figure out how to coordinate an effective response within a highly balkanized public health system in which more than 90 local health departments wielded considerable autonomy. She would rely heavily on relationships she had worked hard to establish with local health officials upon becoming commissioner -- but she and her senior advisors would still have to scramble to find new ways to communicate and coordinate with their local partners.

On the Frontlines of a Pandemic: Texas Responds to 2009 Novel H1N1 Influenza A  As cases of a new strain of influenza strike in the spring of 2009, Texas, just over the border from the initial epicenter of the epidemic in Mexico, faces great uncertainty about the severity and extent of the epidemic. State officials, presiding over a highly decentralized public health and health care system and needing to work with school systems and other non-health actors, strive to improvise their response to reduce the spread of this disease, while providing anti-viral drugs and, ultimately, a new vaccine to its citizens. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Tennessee Responds to the 2009 Novel H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic Tennessee, not so severely struck by H1N1 in the spring of 2009 as some other states, expects to encounter worse in the fall. Working through a hybrid state- and local government-run health system, as well as a network of privately run pharmacies, Tennessee officials mobilize to cope with the expected demand for anti-viral medications and to distribute an expected new vaccine. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Harvard Encounters H1N1 In the spring of 2009, as the H1N1 epidemic was beginning to emerge, Harvard University’s medical, dental, and public health schools had to be shut down when a rash of cases and the possibility of widespread exposure emerged among the student body. The case tracks the decision-making by University officials as they cope with the uncertainties surrounding the outbreak of a potentially dangerous emergent infectious disease. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Beijing’s Response to the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic In spring 2009, H1N1 emerged in North America and began to spread rapidly throughout the world. Municipal government officials in Beijing, China – who feared a repeat of their painful experience with SARS in 2003 – responded by conducting health screenings at the airport, quarantining people with flu-like symptoms, and scaling capacity at Beijing’s hospitals. The case describes Beijing’s expansive effort to combat H1N1 and is designed to teach students about Beijing’s government as well as China’s public health system.

Keeping an Open Mind in an Emergency: CDC Experiments with 'Team B'   ( Case   and  Epilogue ) In the early 2000s, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sought to adapt its protocols for coping with public health emergencies. This case examines the usefulness of one such method, "Team B," which was designed to provide the principal investigating team with alternative explanations for and approaches to the incident at hand.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises; and Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

X-Treme Planning: Ohio Prepares for Pandemic Flu With concern developing about the possibility of a worldwide pandemic of avian flu, the Ohio Department of Health developed plans for how it would handle such an emergency, while at the same time seeking to exercise its nascent incident management system and continue its efforts to develop as an emergency response agency. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Emergency Response System Under Duress: Public Health Doctors Fight to Contain SARS in Toronto (A, B, and Epilogue) When an emergent infectious disease arrived in Toronto in 2003, the Canadian public health system struggled to bring it under control. This case explores the efforts of Canadian public health authorities to identify and understand the mysterious illness, which threatened the health — and lives — of Toronto’s residents and healthcare workers for months on end.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises; and Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Hong Kong Copes with SARS, 2003: The Amoy Gardens (Case and Epilogue) In the last days of March 2003, the frightening new disease known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, seemed to threaten to spread out of control in one of the world’s most densely-populated cities: Hong Kong. The SARS outbreak at Amoy Gardens became an exercise in crisis management for public health officials in Hong Kong—with their counterparts around the world either observing or actively advising.

When Prevention Can Kill: Minnesota and the Smallpox Vaccine Program (Case and Epilogue) Following the 2001 terrorist attacks, President Bush launched a program to vaccinate health workers and emergency responders against smallpox. This case describes that effort, placing particular emphasis on the difficulties that emerged in making that program work in Minnesota. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Charting a Course in a Storm: US Postal Service and the Anthrax Crisis This case describes how the USPS responded when it was struck by devastating anthrax attacks through the mails. It covers the initial response to protect employees, efforts to keep the mails moving to the greatest extent possible, and early steps toward decontamination of facilities and recovery.  (Included in Howitt & Leonard, Managing Crises; and Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

White Powders in Georgia: Responding to Cases of Suspected Anthrax After 9/11 Although no spore of real anthrax showed up in Georgia during the anthrax attack period, the state was inundated with thousands of calls about suspect white powders. The case describes efforts by local and state officials to develop appropriate procedures to triage and prioritize possible cases, conduct tests of possible anthrax, and protect and reassure worried first responders. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

The West Nile Virus Outbreak in New York City (A, B, and Sequel) Case A tells how in the summer of 1999 New York City public health officials discovered sentinel cases of a hitherto unknown disease and identified it with assistance from the state, CDC, veterinary pathologists at the Bronx Zoo, and university researchers. Case B and the Sequel describe how the city organized a massive mosquito spraying effort, first in a single borough and then citywide. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Anthrax Threats in Southern California This case recounts how California officials responded (and over-responded) to an Anthrax hoax in late 1998, as well as how they then developed protocols of response and disseminated them to multiple jurisdictions. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

Coping with Crisis: Hong Kong Public Health Officials and the "Bird Flu"  In 1997, public health authorities in Hong Kong worked to identify and control a dangerous new flu virus not previously known to infect humans. The case focuses on the authorities' communication with the public, as they sought to quell public fears notwithstanding their own incomplete knowledge of the disease. The case, too, describes the crisis management decision to undertake a massive slaughter of Hong Kong chickens, once they were shown to be the host of the deadly but difficult-to-transmit virus.

The City of Chicago and the 1995 Heat Wave (A and B) During the summer of 1995, more than 700 people died of heat-related illness in Chicago, Illinois. With most deaths occurring before the city recognized that an “epidemic” was going on, this case explores the silent crisis that overtook the city. (Included in Howitt, Leonard, and Giles, Public Health Preparedness)

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Welcome to the online RICA Test preparation course presented by ricatest.com.

The contents of this article comes from part of our RICA Test Prep online course .

On this page, you will learn the background knowledge about the RICA Test Case Study that you will receive in Subtest 3.

The RICA Test case study is typically the most feared section on the RICA exam, but fear not because in this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know, as well as provide you with all of the right resources to help you ace your case study written response!

About The Case Study

Test takers will encounter the case study problem while completing Subtest 3.

According to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing,

“For this assignment, candidates receive substantial background information about a student and samples of materials illustrating the student’s reading performance. Candidates are asked to assess the student’s reading performance, describe appro­priate instructional strategies, and explain why these strategies would be effective. The examination includes one case study, which includes content related to all five domains of the revised RICA Content Specifications and requires a typed response of approximately 300–600 words.”

What To Expect

First, it’s important to note that the Case Study section of your Subtest 3 exam includes information covered in domains 2 through 5.

The Case Study section of your Subtest 3 exam asks examinees to write a 300 – 600 word response, which counts for a total of 20% of the total examination score. Examinees taking Subtest 3 are given a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the entire exam. Because Subtest 3 includes a total of 25 multiple-choice questions, we suggest planning to spend approximately 1 hour to complete your case study written response

Rica test case study

Test Format

Beginning 8/16/2021, the RICA exam will be segmented into the three separate sections:

  • Subtest I : 35 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response questions
  • Subtest II : 35 multiple-choice questions and 2 constructed-response questions
  • Subtest III : 25 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response question

* For more information regarding each subtest, click the appropriate links above.

Rica test case study

Scoring Weight

  • Multiple Choice: 80%
  • Case Study: 20%

Writing Passing Essay Responses

There are a total of four essay questions, not including the Case Study. Within those four essay questions, two are shorter in length, and two are longer in length.

For the essay questions presented in Subtests 1 and 2, use this framework:

  • Identify one need demonstrated by the student described in the question.
  • Describe an instructional strategy to address this student’s need.
  • Explain why the strategy you chose would effectively address this student’s need.

Remember the following:

  • Using simple-to-understand words, while demonstrating your knowledge of reading instruction vocabulary.
  • Answer every section of the essay question.
  • Write concisely; don’t be wordy.

Writing a Passing Case Study Response

The case study is covered extensively and completely in the online course. Watch, listen, and take notes to understand the examinee tasks and effective strategies to write a passing case study response.

Started by watching this video. Then, use the online course to master the material!

Making The Right Decision: Time Management

A decision that you will want to make prior to beginning Subtest 3 is whether you will complete the multiple-choice questions or case study response first.

On one hand, if you complete the multiple-choice questions first, reading the questions and answers can activate RICA vocabulary, and you can jot notes as you take the test as you come across key terms.

On the other hand, completing your case study first gives you the advantage of writing while you’re fresh and full of energy.

How Your Writing Is Evaluated

Your written case study response is evaluated based on the extent to which you demonstrate knowledge and skills important for effective delivery of a balanced, comprehensive reading program using the following criteria:

Purpose : The candidate demonstrates an understanding of the relevant content and pedagogical knowledge by fulfilling the purpose of the assignment.

Application of Content: The candidate accurately and effectively applies the relevant content and pedagogical knowledge.

Support : The candidate supports the response with appropriate examples, evidence, and rationales based on the relevant content and pedagogical knowledge.

In this next section of the lesson, you’ll learn

Rica test written response

How To Organize Your Case Study Written Response

In receiving your Case Study prompt, you will be presented with information about a student’s reading performance, where you will be required to examine and analyze the student’s assessments to apply your knowledge of reading assessment and instruction to analyze this case study. Your response should include three parts:

Rica test how to write the case study

We are going to pause this lesson here.

You’ve learned how to think about and how to start your Case Study written response, but that is only the beginning.

Master writing your Case Study written response by clicking the button below and enrolling into our Rica® Test Prep online course.

This is an on-demand course that allows you to study when you want and where you want.

Hope over to check it out by clicking on the button below.

For further introductions to the Case Study, watch our video directly below.

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case study of response

The Assassination Plot Exposed Against Volodymyr Zelensky? A Case Study in Information Warfare

I n the convoluted realm of international politics, the line between truth and deception often blurs, especially in conflicts like the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia. A recent revelation concerning an alleged assassination plot targeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sheds light on the intricate dynamics of disinformation and propaganda in modern warfare.

The Foiled Plot: The Ukrainian Government’s Revelation

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) revealed a chilling plot to assassinate President Zelensky and other high-ranking officials, implicating two colonels within the State Security Administration as alleged Russian agents. The motive behind the plot, according to Ukrainian authorities, was to present a sinister “gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the eve of his fifth term inauguration.

The alleged involvement of Russian agents in such a brazen scheme underscores the depth of animosity between Ukraine and Russia, which has simmered since the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Disinformation Strikes: Russia’s Response to the Alleged Plot Against Volodymyr Zelensky

Russian disinformation operatives swiftly went into action, leveraging platforms like Infobrics.org to distort the narrative. The disinformation campaign aimed to cast doubt on Ukraine’s alliances and deflect blame onto Western powers. Infobrics.org, known for spreading pro-Russian propaganda, published an article denying Russian involvement and implicating the West instead.

The article’s author, Lucas Leiroz, is associated with a neo-fascist organization inspired by Russian ideology, raising questions about the ideological motivations behind the disinformation efforts. Leiroz’s involvement underscores the ideological battlegrounds on which disinformation campaigns are waged.

Coordinated Dissemination: How Falsehoods About the Zelensky Plot Spread

The disinformation campaign didn’t stop at Infobrics.org. Lucas Leiroz’s article was disseminated across multiple platforms, including “The Intel Drop” and “SouthFront,” known for their ties to Russian disinformation efforts. This coordinated dissemination highlights the breadth and depth of Russia’s influence operations.

These platforms serve as conduits for spreading falsehoods and manipulating public opinion, amplifying the reach and impact of disinformation campaigns. By saturating multiple channels with misleading narratives, Russian operatives seek to create confusion and sow distrust among their adversaries.

Response from Russian State Media: Denial and Doubt

Russian state media outlets like RT and TASS echoed the narrative of Russian non-involvement while amplifying doubts about the credibility of Ukrainian authorities and President Zelensky. This coordinated effort aims to sow discord among Western allies and undermine the international community’s response to Russian aggression.

The strategy of denial and deflection employed by Russian state media is a classic tactic in information warfare, designed to obfuscate the truth and undermine the credibility of opposing narratives. By casting doubt on the veracity of Ukrainian claims, Russia seeks to create fissures within the international coalition aligned against it.

International Response to Zelensky: Condemnation and Vigilance

Despite Russian efforts to obfuscate the truth, the international community, led by the United States Department of State, has condemned Russia’s actions as evidence of Kremlin depravity. This firm stance underscores the importance of remaining vigilant and united against disinformation and aggression.

Efforts to combat disinformation must be multifaceted, involving diplomatic, technological, and informational countermeasures. By exposing and debunking false narratives , the international community can mitigate the impact of disinformation and uphold the integrity of democratic institutions.

Conclusion: Pursuing Truth Amidst Deception

The alleged assassination plot against President Zelensky serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by disinformation and propaganda. As geopolitical tensions rise and information becomes weaponized, it is imperative to remain steadfast in our pursuit of truth and justice, lest we succumb to the machinations of those who seek to manipulate and deceive.

By shining a light on the shadowy world of disinformation and propaganda, we can empower individuals and nations to resist manipulation and uphold the principles of transparency and accountability. Only by confronting falsehoods with facts and narratives with truth can we hope to navigate the treacherous waters of modern information warfare.

In the convoluted realm of international politics, the line between truth and deception often blurs, especially in conflicts like the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia. A recent revelation concerning an alleged assassination plot targeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sheds light on the intricate dynamics of disinformation and propaganda in modern warfare. The Foiled Plot: […]

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New technique for case study development published

May 9, 2024

Kevin Parker, ISU professor emeritus, recently published two papers in Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS). Each paper was published by CAIS in their IS Education section, which has a 7% acceptance rate.

Modular Design of Teaching Cases: Reducing Workload While Maximizing Reusability presents a modular case study development concept for better managing the development of case studies. The approach achieves project extensibility through reusable case study modules, while at the same time helping to reduce instructor workload and solution reuse by students. The approach is based on the concept of creating different variations of a case study each semester by adding or replacing existing descriptive modules with new modules.

Wind Riders of the Lost River Range: A Modular Project-Based Case for Software Development focuses on the information technology needs of a simulated specialty sports shop in central Idaho that concentrates on wind sports equipment, like hang gliders, paragliders, and snowkites. The case study consists of a core case that describes both the IT system currently in use and the new system that provides updated business support. Students are tasked with analyzing the system and designing a new system that delivers enhanced functionality. This evolutionary case study is based on the Modular Design of Teaching Cases and consists of the core case and 17 modules that can be swapped in or out of both the current or future system to produce a wide variety of combinations and variations of the case study.


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    Identify the key problems and issues in the case study. Formulate and include a thesis statement, summarizing the outcome of your analysis in 1-2 sentences. Background. Set the scene: background information, relevant facts, and the most important issues. Demonstrate that you have researched the problems in this case study. Evaluation of the Case

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    Case studies help attract attention to your products, b. We've put together 15 real-life case study examples to inspire you. ... The implementation of Hootsuite's tools enabled Meliá to decrease response times from 24 hours to 12.4 hours, while also leveraging smart automation. In addition to that, Meliá resolved over 133,000 conversations ...

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