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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.


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BY Ironpaper

B2B Articles - July 25, 2013

8 Tips For Creating an Effective Case Study


Here are 8 tips on how to make case studies powerful assets.

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8 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Case Method

Ninad Kulkarni just wrapped up the fall semester at HBS and wanted to share what he learned about the case method after his first few months in the classroom. 

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8 Quick Tips to Create Great Case Studies

By: Morgan Norris 11/27/18 1:44 PM

If you have a compelling product or an interesting service, you may grab the attention of a potential customer or a respected journalist. However, what do you do when they ask: “Can you tell me about someone who is actually using this?”

8 tips to create great case studies

You can have the world’s greatest product, but if you can’t show how customers are using it and benefitting from the results, you don’t have much ground to stand on. Rarely do potential customers – and especially engineers and scientists – want to be the first to use a new product, and journalists will tell you to call back when you have a customer example they can share with their readers.

When you have those key customers who are benefitting from what your product offers, write a case study about the customer’s experience. Your case study will help you tell others about your product through a real-world example that illustrates how it was implemented and the benefits your customer is realizing.

Here are eight tips to make your case study be a great sales tool for you:

1. Be choosy when possible

When you are selecting a case study to write, choose a customer who will tell your story well. Find a customer who has significant, quantifiable results in an application that is relevant to the most people that will show other potential customers the value of your product or service.

gsystems case study with text

G Systems, a TREW client, quickly developed three test systems for the Orion . With NASA and Lockheed Martin as clients on this project, G Systems decided to write a detailed case study for this project . 

2. Get ready for the ask

As you’re helping your customer solve their application with your products or services, mention that you’d like to complete a case study of their finished project. You may even ask if you can include a case study in your sales contract during negotiations before the sale is closed. This is especially helpful in the negotiation phase when your customer is asking for a discount or “freebies” throw in; you can compromise by including a case study that benefits you.

Also make sure that you communicate the mutual benefit of a case study for you and for your customer. Often times, the case study will highlight the benefits of your products or services, but it will also help the customer showcase their success. By later putting the completed case study on your web site, you help improve the customer’s web presence and further their company name.

3. Do the work

If you want a case study that showcases the benefits of your products or services, you’ll need to write it yourself. By writing it yourself, you can easily include key messages that you’ve defined for your company.

Write an outline of your case study and then conduct an interview with your customer to fill in any gaps. Make sure you can articulate:

4. Get to the specifics

Write your case study in a way that relates to other potential customers and shows a quantifiable result. This case study for NASDAQ shows Charles Schwab’s success after switching to the NASDAQ Exchange. Although the case study is about a financial institution, NASDAQ conveyed Schwab’s successes in a way that made them relatable to any publically-traded company, showing that with NASDAQ, Schwab received a superior market model, lower trading costs and listing fees, and greater liquidity.

5. Provide compelling first-glance content

Draw readers in with quantifiable, results-focused headlines.  Use prominent content in your case study to catch a potential customer’s interest. In this case study, a headline with a quantifiable result quickly catches a potential customer’s attention and draws them in. A reader wants to know how they were able to do a system migration with a small amount of downtime. 

vertech cs

Vertech, a client of TREW, wrote this case study which grabs their personas by explaining how you can have minimal downtime on your next system migration.  

6. Make approval easy

After you draft your case study, you’ll want your customer to review it. When sending it for review, highlight specific areas for them to look at, and include all images or screen shots you want to use, so that you can get all of the content reviewed and approved at once.

In addition, draft a specific quote that they can review and approve so that you can use that quote and its attribution on your website, in a flyer, or in a news release in the future.

  7. Create a finished document

Make sure you have all the necessary elements for a compelling, effective case study. Elements you need, are well-written, customer approved content and additional images or graphics, laid out in a finished document that clearly communicates the customer’s challenge, solution, goals or key factors, implementation, and results.  

key elements of a case study-2

Put together all of the content you’ve created to form a branded, finished document.

  8. Share, share, share

Lastly, share your success in all channels. Put the case study on your website, blog, share on social media accounts, and link back to your product or services pages. Bring it to sales meetings and include it in corporate slides. Write a news release around it and send it to relevant media, or put on the wire. Use your proven successes to generate new business.

Looking for additional insight? Check out our free ebook, "Getting Started with Content Marketing" .

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Morgan Norris

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About TREW Marketing

TREW Marketing is a strategy-first content marketing agency serving B2B companies that target highly technical buyers. With deep experience in the design, embedded, measurement and automation, and software industries, TREW Marketing provides branding, marketing strategy, content development, and digital marketing services to help customers efficiently and effectively achieve business goals.



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How to write a case study: 8 steps for writing a case study.

Are you driving success for your clients and want to show prospects how you can help them grow, too? If so, case studies are a great way to show your clients’ experiences and how future clients can have a similar experience if they partner with your business. So, how do you write a case study, and what are some best practices for success? On this page, we’ll discuss what a case study is, how to write a business case study, and four tips for making yours impactful.

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Case studies contain accounts from your customers that showcase how your products or services solved their problems. These studies are like stories — you have a protagonist (the client), a problem, and a solution. Your case study analysis (or story) can vary in length.

How to write a case study

As you create your case study, you should structure it, so your audience can see themselves as the customer. You want them to get in the client’s shoes. You must tell a compelling story that gets your audience invested in your case study.

Think of a case study as an in-depth review of your business. You use a client’s experience to show why your business is the best fit for someone’s needs.

As you learn more about case studies, you may wonder why they’re so valuable.

Let’s look at three reasons case studies matter to your company:

The biggest reason to use case studies is they’re effective. When people read case studies, they understand your business better. It effectively works to build your audience’s perception of your company.

When you create case studies, you help people understand your business better. From understanding what you do to how you operate, you provide your audience with valuable insight.

Considering  66% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers  find case studies to be effective, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to engage and delight your audience with them.

If someone hasn’t worked with your business or purchased your products, they need validation that you’re the right choice. They turn to information, like reviews and case studies, to see how others felt about working with your company.

With case studies, you provide social proof of the excellent work you do.

You share an authentic experience from someone who worked with your company. People see firsthand what it was like to work with you or to use your products. It makes them feel confident in contacting or choosing your business.

Case studies build trust with your audience.

When prospective leads see others validating the work you do or endorsing your products, it increases their confidence in your business. Your audience will see others having a positive experience and trust that you’ll provide them with the same experience.

When you build trust with your audience, they’re more likely to choose your company.

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Are you ready to start creating your case study?

Check out these eight steps on how to write a business case study!

1. Determine your case study’s purpose

Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of creating a case study, determine your case study’s purpose. Don’t create a study without one. If there’s no direction with your case study, you’ll leave your audience feeling confused as to why you composed this case study in the first place.

Be realistic about the purpose of your case study. Your case study isn’t going to perform as well as an informative blog post on an industry topic. It’s a piece of content that appeals to people close to converting.

Your case study may not garner as much engagement, but that’s okay!

If you have a real purpose for your case study, you won’t feel disappointed with the results. You can set simple objectives, like generating leads, to help you create real results with your case study.

If you want to know how to write a case study successfully, start by choosing the right clients to showcase in your case study. You must find the right candidate to appeal to your audience. Focus on finding a client enthusiastic about your products or services.

You want the client to show how much they love your products or services. Without some enthusiasm or passion from your customer, you won’t know how to write a business case study that engages your audience and gets them to keep reading.

When choosing a client for your case study analysis, make sure they meet the following requirements:

Additionally, focus on well-known clients, if possible. While this isn’t a requirement, it’s helpful if you’re trying to build engagement and increase trust. If someone sees a brand they know, they’re more likely to read the case study.

Important note:  Before creating a case study analysis,  always  get permission from your client first! You’re going to share their results and their story, so you must ensure your client is comfortable with you disclosing that information.

When you create your case study, you must choose the right medium for showcasing your information. The way you share the information can influence how your audience engages with your content.

There are three case study formats:

Before writing your case study, choose a format that works best for you and your client. For each case study, you can use a different format. It’s up to you to decide how you want to present the information from your clients to your audience!

As you’re gearing up to interview your client, make sure you’re asking the right questions.

You want to use questions that allow you to construct a quality narrative.

Don’t ask yes or no questions. Yes or no questions don’t require explanation or expansion, which will leave you struggling for information. Stick to open-ended questions that encourage your clients to talk more.

Here are some example questions you can ask when interviewing for a case study analysis:

These questions provide information that you can use in the case study. It will also help you get direct quotes from your clients.

By asking the right questions, you’ll create a more informative and engaging case study.

To know how to create a case study that engages your audience, you must know how to present your client’s story. The biggest mistake companies make is morphing the client’s story to be about their company, rather than the client’s experience.

Future leads don’t want to hear a sales pitch about how great your company is and how you’ll work great for them. They want to see someone else’s experience and understand how they perceive your business, products, or services.

Your audience wants to see authentic experiences that reflect your company and the work you do. If you want to know how to write a business case study that works, start by letting your clients tell their story.

Give your clients a voice when you compose your case study. You want the information to come directly from them. Include direct quotes and integrate them into your text to increase validation and credibility for your business.

When you use direct quotes, don’t repeat the same information in the text after it.

It’s best to let the quote speak for itself.

For example, let’s say a client says: “Company A’s software helped my team increase their efficiency, which allowed us to spend more time getting to know our customers and what they needed from us.”

Right after inserting that quote, you wouldn’t want to say: “As you can see, Company A was able to increase their efficiency through using our software, which helped them spend more time with their clients.”

That would be a repeat of what the client said. Instead, let the quotes speak for themselves. They’ll have a larger impact if you leave them as they are without overexplaining what the quotes mean.

By letting your clients tell the story, you’ll see more success with your case studies.

If you want to know how to write a case study successfully, start by creating a case study that works for everyone.

You’re going to have prospects interested in your business for different reasons. You must compose your case study in a way that, even if it isn’t relevant to their situation, they can get something out of it.

Create compelling angles for your case studies, but don’t exclude parts of your audience in the process.

Essentially, make your case studies universal to people who read them. Even if they wouldn’t use your company for the same reasons, they can see how your company would help them with their specific problems.

Let’s say you offer software that allows companies to organize and prioritize team tasks.

You create a case study analysis that looks at how a wedding planning company used your tool to help clients stay organized on their wedding day and prevent fewer things from going wrong on the wedding day.

While using the organization tool for wedding planning doesn’t apply to everyone who visits your site, they can still see the value in it. They understand that your software helps people miss fewer tasks and manage big projects, which benefits their company.

If you want to know how to write a business case study, make it easy for everyone to see the value of hiring your company or purchasing your products or services.

As you’re composing your case study, make sure you’re showing your audience success rather than telling them. A lot of companies make the mistake of droning on about them making clients successful.

Your audience doesn’t want to hear it — they want to see it.

If you want to know how to write a case study that makes an impact on your audience, use data and facts. Show your audience how much money your clients saved or how many new customers they earned.

When you show your audience the results, it will resonate with them more and help them see the potential of working with your company.

The last step in how to write a case study is simple — promote your case study. People won’t always find your case study on their own, so you must share and promote it on relevant platforms.

With any case study you create, you can link to it within the content on your site.

Whether it’s a pricing page or blog post, if it’s relevant, you can link to it and drive people to your case study.

Additionally, you can share your case studies through social media. Whether it’s a video or a link to your case study, you can help your social media followers see what it’s like to work with your company.

If you want to see success with your case study, you must publish it where your audience will find it. It will help you garner more engagement and get more people interested in working with your business.

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4 tips for creating a successful case study.

Now that you know how to create a case study, it’s time to start writing it!

As you compose your study, keep these four tips for success in mind:

1. Tell the story from start to finish

A big part of writing a case study is learning how to write a business case study that tells a story. You want to tell a story that highlights your customer’s journey from start to finish.

When writing a case study, begin with the basics. Establish who the client is and what they do. You’ll also want to highlight their goals and what they aim to achieve with their products or services.

Next, talk about their problem. Discuss how the client ended up on a journey to look for your business. You’ll want to ask how they found your company.

Once you explain their problems, move into how they found you and how you helped solve their problem. This part is a great place to pull direct quotes from your client that highlight how you helped their business.

Finally, wrap up by discussing where that client and their business is now and how they’ve improved.

It’s essential to be thorough and not skip on the details. With all your case studies, you’ll want to tell your client’s story from start to finish to help your audience visualize themselves in those clients’ shoes.

2. Make information easy to read and understand

If you want to know how to write a case study successfully, focus on creating a case study that’s easy for your audience to understand. Your case study should be easy for your readers to read, skim, or watch.

For written case studies, focus on breaking information into smaller paragraphs.

Your paragraphs should be no more than three sentences. If you have paragraphs with six or seven sentences, you’re going to overwhelm your audience and deter them from reading your case study.

With video case studies, speak clearly and ensure that, if it’s an interview, your client speaks clearly as well. You can also  add your subtitles  and closed captions to ensure that people can follow the conversation if they can’t keep up with what people say in the video.

If you’re using an infographic, make sure it flows in the order of how you want people to see the information. You can use objects, like arrows, to guide people. Additionally, you’ll want to choose colors that make your infographic easy to look at and make text difficult to read.

When you create your business case study, focus on making it easy for your audience to digest. It will help your case study see more success.

3. Try different formats to see what engages your audience

A common misconception about case studies is that they must be written. While many people tend to write their case studies, you aren’t limited to that format. Videos and infographics are both great options for presenting case studies.

If you want to know how to write a successful case study, try different formats. Some formats will work better for your audience than others. Additionally, some case studies will fit better with certain formats than others.

Let’s go back to the example of being a company that sells software for organizing team tasks.

Your wedding planner client happily agrees to do a case study and share their experience.

The wedding planner is enthusiastic and loves your product. With someone who has a personality like that, it may be best to use video for your case study. That way, you can capture her enthusiasm and excitement.

Additionally, weddings are visual events. You can use clips of people setting up for a wedding to help capture the essence of the client’s work.

Remember, you don’t need to stay in one format! Choose your format based on your client, their business, and the type of content your audience engages with the most.

4. Prepare questions before your interview

Questions are a critical component in creating a case study. You want to ensure that you’re asking the right questions to allow clients to elaborate and provide you with enough information about your project.

If you want to build a solid case study structure, prepare questions before your interview. You don’t want to go into a case study interview without knowing what you want to ask. It will make you appear unprepared and won’t help you get valuable information.

Before interviewing your client, prepare at least four to five questions and one follow-up question for each.

Let’s use the wedding planner client as an example.

Here is a sample of the questions and follow-up questions to ask the client:

As you can see, these questions are thorough and allow the client to expand on their answers. The follow-up questions let you get more useful information, too, so you have plenty to work with for your case study.

By writing questions ahead of time, you’ll help create a case study structure that has tons of information for your audience and helps guide them through the client’s journey.

Start publishing compelling case studies today

If you don’t have the time to create compelling case studies, WebFX is here to help. We have a team of over 500 experts that will help you compose case studies that engage your audience and get them interested in your business. From video marketing  to  copywriting  to  infographic design services , we have everything you need to compose your perfect case study.

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case study 8 tips

case study 8 tips


Case studies are used in many professional education programs, primarily in business school, to present real-world situations to students and to assess their ability to parse out the important aspects of a given dilemma. In general, a case study should include, in order: background on the business environment, description of the given business, identification of a key problem or issue, steps taken to address the issue, your assessment of that response, and suggestions for better business strategy. Solving of cases with help these theories often become difficult we have to track our own ways. There is no ideal path to solve the realistic problems but looking forward I traced new way to solve it. It may not be ultimate option to solve your case but guide you in right direction where do you have to be.

At the first stage you have to pass through the four stages

The most difficult part of solving the case study is to understand the case where majority of student fails. So as to overcome from this, above four stages can be beneficial.

Presently, an average Indian student does not have specific procedure to solve the case study. This procedure has different logical steps. A comprehensive list of steps to attain the best possible solution for the case is as follows.

“John is a sales person in an insurance company, yesterday at 6:30 pm he gets an urgent appointment from his client for what he was waiting for 20 days, this deal may increase his sales volume, he has to meet him tomorrow by 10:30 to 11:00 am at his office in Mumbai, presently, John is in Delhi.”

With the help of case mention above we can better understand all the steps.       

This should describe what is required to be achieved through the proposed solution. As per the above case the problem with John is to go to Mumbai by tomorrow morning itself. He has very short time to go to Mumbai.

In this stage specify the limits and boundaries under which case has to be solved. These may be given in the case clearly or you need to assume it. (Some information has to be consider while solving the case.) As per our case John has to arrive at Mumbai before 11:00 otherwise he may miss the opportunity.      

This heading should contain the key words given/narrated in the case. This is very important step but often student rewrite the whole case in this heading. But it gives bad impression to reader of case.

The gaps in the data noticed while writing the keywords have to be filled in by making assumptions. These assumptions should be clearly stated and reason for making the assumption should be stated.       

Under this heading as much as solution you can give that should write under sub heading.



This paragraph should give the answer why this solution is best solution for the case and how it can be helpful for case, what competency it has. It may be single solution or mixture of more than one solution.

Under this heading student should write which managerial theory used to get the solution.

A summary by comparing what was the problem, how the action plan on the basis of optimal solution.

Here student should sum up the case witch describe the problem and how the implementations plan of the best solution tackles it optimally.

case study 8 tips

May 21, 2019

8 Tips for Writing Better UX Case Studies

Hundreds (or even thousands) of articles are dedicated to the benefits of blogging. The best articles provide a step-by-step guide on how to start blogging. But there are much fewer articles that provide recommendations on what designers should write about. Among the many different topics that UX designers can cover, there is one that is the most interesting for the audience — UX case studies. Case studies work equally well for design portfolios and blog posts.

In this article, I want to discuss the techniques that designers can follow to write better case studies.

1. Use storytelling techniques

Quite often, when UX designers write case studies, they focus on the deliverables and not the journey. But readers — other designers, hiring managers, potential clients — are less interested in the final products and more interested in how the person got to those products.

Design process is a journey that goes from the abstract idea to a real product. In many cases, this journey has a lot of challenges. And when you write a case study, your goal is to tell this story.

Follow the classic approach of telling a story — use a story arc. Here is just an example of what you can include in each part of the story:

2. Introduce your team

It’s not difficult to take credit for an entire project that was completed by a group. But when it comes to a large-scale project, it’s hard to imagine that a single person can be responsible for the entire design.

Thus, it’s always better not to exaggerate your contribution to a project. Remember, honesty is the best policy: if you haven’t done a particular activity, don’t list it in your work! Be explicit and honest about your role and who you worked with.

Don’t pretend to be a UX unicorn — an elusive designer who has multiple skills in all of the main areas of design. Instead, be upfront about your particular skills and use your experience to communicate why they are important. Think of your design skills in terms of being a T-shaped person . The “T-shaped” concept implies that there are certain skills that one must have in order to call oneself a professional (the crossbar), and other skills that one specializes in (the stem).

Give credit to all the people who participated in creating a product. By doing that you not only add more weight to the project but also demonstrate that you can work in a team. Ideally, you want to tell about:

3. Describe your research ideation techniques

The part that describes your design process is perhaps the most important part of your case study. As a UX Designer, following and explaining the overall process is something that you should take very seriously because you’ll be judged in large part by your process.

Research and ideation are two essential parts of the design process because they set a foundation for the design phase.

It’s a well-known fact that the more you invest in user research, the better solution you will have at the end of your design process. A good case study always explains the research behind the deliverable. Describe your users in terms of their needs, motivation and pain points. Mention the tools that you’ve used in order to find more insights about your target audience (e.g. user personas, empathy maps, etc).

When it comes to describing your ideation phase, don’t just say ‘After XXX hours we finally found the solution.’ Describe in detail the process you’ve followed when searching for the right solution. The more complex the challenge you face, the more people will be interested in reading about the approach you’ve followed when working on a product.

Provide answers to the following questions:

4. Show the evolution of your concept

When it comes to design assets, many designers skip the iterative nature of product development and share a final, highly-polished version of a design. Don’t do that. Don’t focus on just the destination. Remember that you need to tell a complete story.

When you skip the chapters of your journey, it will give a wrong impression for beginners (people will start to believe that it’s possible to create great design right from the first attempt) and prevent experienced readers from getting interesting insights. More than just seeing a well-made product, most people want to know how you solved the problem. It’s essential to show that your work had a process and that it didn’t just magically appear. Thus, show how paper sketches evolved into the final high-fidelity product.

5. Don’t be afraid to speak about your mistakes

All people make mistakes. When it comes to UX design, don’t pretend like you never made an incorrect assumption or stated a weak hypothesis. Instead, be frank about the mistakes that you made during the design process and share what you’ve learned by overcoming them. Demonstrate your problem-solving skills — convey your ability to apply the right tools and methods to solve a problem.

6. Provide a link to the interactive prototype or a link to a real product

When it comes to final product showcase, you need to provide more than just hi-fi mocks or videos with your product. It’s much better to provide either a link to the high-fidelity prototype or the real product. Let the readers experience it. When readers can download and play with your design, it will help them a better understanding of your design decisions.

7. Include the section with testing

If your case study does not have a part that shows the results of usability testing and feedback from real users, chances are your readers will doubt your design decisions. Thus, try to cover your testing process in details — when and how you tested your product.

This section should answer the following questions:

8. Summarize your thoughts

Summary (or conclusion) should be a final chapter of your case study. It’s an excellent place to provide answers to the following questions:

Writing great UX case studies require a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. If you succeed, your case studies will demonstrate the depth of your abilities as a designer, showcase your thought process, and give potential employers or clients insight into what it might be like to work with you. But what’s more important — you’ll help other people solve similar problems, and this ultimately helps them create better products.

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How To Write a Psychology Case Study in 8 Steps (Plus Tips)

Updated March 10, 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Research psychology is an important aspect of identifying unwanted mental health behaviors and developing effective treatments to mitigate them. Psychologists often review psychology case studies and other published reports to gather relative information regarding a patient's symptoms. Knowing the relevance of psychology case studies in the medical field can help you understand the need for them in the future. In this article, we address what a psychology case study is, why it's important to conduct these studies, types of case studies and how to write a psychology case study, with helpful tips.

What is a psychology case study?

A psychology case study is a thorough study of a single person, community or event that relies on observations, facts and experiments to gather information. Psychologists collect information for a case study through psychometric testing, observation, interviews, experiments and case study archives. These studies typically explore psychological processes and behaviors to provide information for future research on a condition or behavior. Sometimes, a case study may observe all parts of an individual's life and behaviors.

Why are psychology case studies important?

Psychology case studies are important because they can help support psychological theories and assist with developing treatments or confirming diagnoses. They can also allow future psychologists to have additional in-depth empirical research to review in order to expand their own case study research. Having prior case studies to compare information can also help research development processes in the future.

Types of psychology case studies

Here are six types of case studies a research psychologist may decide to conduct:

Collective case studies: A psychologist studies a group of people or community in specific conditions.

Descriptive case studies: This involves observing and studying an individual using descriptive theory and comparing research data to existing theories.

Explanatory case studies: A researcher investigates specific conditions or occurrences to identify an explanation for a phenomenon.

Exploratory case studies: The psychologist gathers large-scale research information to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject prior to designing a research hypothesis and methodologies. These studies are useful while trying to prove that investigating prior to developing methods is essential to a case study.

Instrumental case studies: This involves studying the relationship between variables to understand or gain insight into a phenomenon.

Intrinsic case studies: The researcher studies a single personal subject and how their experiences may influence their mental health and behaviors.

Benefits of psychology case studies

Here are some common benefits of a psychology case study:

It allows researchers to analyze behaviors and conditions that may be difficult to replicate in laboratory settings.

Studies provide additional insight on a phenomenon for a researcher to gain a better understanding.

It can allow researchers to gather and document information about rare conditions or cases.

It may provide new evidence to support relevant psychological theories.

It can help researchers develop a hypothesis that may be useful to other psychology research studies in the future.

How to write a psychology case study

When thinking of writing your own case study, consider these eight steps to help get you started:

1. Gather information to create a profile for a subject

It's important to understand as much as you can about the research subject prior to developing research methods and a hypothesis. You can use previous case studies for supplemental data that may help you conduct and understand theories or information to enhance your research for the case study. After collecting information from previous studies, gather information on the subject from these four areas:

Official or government records: This includes employment history, academic history and medical records.

Personal items: This includes a subject's diary, photographs, personal notes to themselves and official clinical notes or reports.

Interviews: This includes speaking to the subject directly and also their friends, family, coworkers, professors, neighbors and employers.

Observations: This includes observing the subject as they perform daily routines.

2. Choose a case study method

There are two methods to choose from while developing a psychology case study: the prospective method and the retrospective method. Consider what the case study explores and what research you're hoping to discover in order to select the correct method. A prospective case study involves observing an individual or group to determine and understand psychological outcomes. Retrospective case studies use historical information, such as a subject's diagnosis, to determine what factors throughout their life may affect the subject's psychological health and previous behaviors.

3. Collect information regarding the subject's background

The first section of a case study includes the subject's history or background. In this section, a research psychologist collects the following information:

Employment status

Health status

Family members

Relationship status

Family health history

Drug and alcohol history

Challenges in life

Coping skills

4. Describe the subject's symptoms or problems

Include any emotional, physical or sensory symptoms a subject may experience in order to develop a proper treatment. Thoughts, feelings or concerns that relate to the symptoms the subject is experiencing are also valuable to document in your study. If the subject undergoes any testing, describe all scores and assessments relevant to the case study.

5. Analyze the data and establish a diagnosis

This step involves using the data from your research to analyze and select the appropriate diagnosis for the subject. To provide evidence to support your diagnosis, explain each step of your research methods and include the subject's symptoms. Symptoms can also provide support and show how the subject meets the diagnostic criteria for a specific disorder.

6. Choose a treatment approach

The next step in writing a psychology case study is to choose a treatment approach once you reach a diagnosis. Here are four treatment approaches you may decide to use:

Cognitive-behavioral approach: This approach allows a psychologist to offer treatment using therapy sessions and allowing a subject to develop cognitive-behavioral coping mechanisms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help individuals adjust their ways of thinking and create healthier thinking patterns to improve their mental health.

Humanistic approach: This approach describes treatments that relate to a subject's behavior, feelings and self-esteem. A psychologist may use a humanistic treatment to help a subject realize their potential and improve their overall well-being.

Psychoanalytic approach: Psychoanalytic treatments use talk therapy to understand aspects of the unconscious mind and how it may affect behavior. This approach can help identify any repressed experiences or memories that may provoke symptoms of mental illness.

Pharmacological approach: Psychiatrists who use this approach typically prescribe medication to treat symptoms of mental illness rather than talk therapy. Since this treatment primarily uses medication, it's vital to document each medication treatment and its effectiveness.

7. Describe treatment goals and processes

After identifying a treatment approach, define the goals of using this treatment, how you intend to use the treatment and any outcomes you expect to occur after treatment. Some goals may include eliminating symptoms entirely or using the treatment to reduce some symptoms and implement coping strategies so the subject can return to a functional life. It's important to document your treatment methods and monitor how the subject responds to the treatment to provide further information on the diagnosis for future research.

8. Write a discussion section

The last section in a psychology case study is the discussion section. In this section, you describe all processes, findings and factors of the case study, including any limitations and how the study supports previous research. This section also includes any psychological findings or ideas that may require further research. The discussion section gives you an opportunity to review all aspects of your study and determine its accuracy, the benefits it may provide to future research studies and approaches for treatment a psychologist may use with a different subject who has a similar history and symptoms.

Tips for writing a psychology case study

Here are four tips to consider while writing a psychology case study:

Remember to use the rules of APA formatting.

Use fictitious names instead of referring to the patient as a client.

Refer to previous case studies to understand how to format and stylize your study.

Proofread and revise your report before submitting it.

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How to Analyse a Case Study

Last Updated: October 10, 2022 References

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 395,261 times. Learn more...

Case studies are used in many professional education programs, primarily in business school, to present real-world situations to students and to assess their ability to parse out the important aspects of a given dilemma. In general, a case study should include, in order: background on the business environment, description of the given business, identification of a key problem or issue, steps taken to address the issue, your assessment of that response, and suggestions for better business strategy. The steps below will guide you through the process of analyzing a business case study in this way.

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More From Forbes

Creating an effective case study: 12 important tips to remember.

Forbes Agency Council

The practical application of a theory or idea is the most effective way of demonstrating its usefulness. Case studies allow for the dissection of practical applications to uncover the thinking that led to them.

The best thing about case studies is that they can be used as a learning tool for both successful concepts as well as failed ones, while also serving as a valuable business card when approaching new customers. Developing a case study, however, requires delving into the background of a project and uncovering what made it good or bad. In addition, the information has to be packed in such a way to emphasize your skills and creativity without being overly promotional.

To help, 12 members of Forbes Agency Council examine the key elements to keep in mind when creating an effective case study.

Members explain how to create an effective and powerful case study for your business.

1. Don't Make It About Yourself

The wrong way to approach a case study is to make it about you and your process. The reader cares less about your motivation and more about the results your efforts created. Start off by describing the results that you created and then go into the general detail of your strategic and tactical approach to delivering those results. - John Gumas , Gumas Advertising

2. Tell A Story

The best case studies tell a story, rather than recite a chronology of facts or data points. To create a story arc, start with a few sentences describing the situation, followed by a few sentences highlighting the "dramatic tension" (e.g. X almost happened, Y threatened to derail the effort), and conclude with a few sentences tying the resolution to the value or point of the product or service. - Beth Noymer Levine , SmartMouth Communications

3. Lead With A Solution

Case studies are, by their very nature, boring. It is important to break past that by creating case studies that strike at the very problem a lead needs help with. Leading with a problem and demonstrating how you fixed it is the best way to get attention -- especially if it can be produced in an engaging way, such as through video or audio media. - Stefan Pollack , The Pollack PR Marketing Group

4. Include Relevant Data

It's great that you worked with a certain company, but what did you really do for them? That should be defined in the case study. If you can't define it in numbers and results, then think about using the brand in a testimonial instead. A case study is just that -- a study of what happened in a particular case. Make sure you tell the whole story. - Christine Wetzler , Pietryla PR

5. Always Use Specific Numbers

If you're going to show an increase in a certain metric, use the actual number. When you say something like "we increased conversions by 500%," it sets off a red flag for people. They'll think you just made it up. But if you show real numbers and even have the screenshots to back it up, it'll become more relevant and believable. - Greg Trimble , Lemonade Stand

6. Keep It Succinct And Pass On The Fluff

The vast majority of people skim content, including case studies. You have to put yourself in your prospect's shoes and understand what they want. They're primarily looking for the success you've provided the client. So focus on that and skip on any fluff content that doesn't align around that. - Nishank Khanna , Demand Roll

7. Tailor Them To Your Audience

Sure, you're going to have generic case studies, but when seeing a client, ensure that you really understand the problem the client faces. Then make your case show how you've solved the problem before. You can highlight different capabilities based on different needs of the client. - Emilie Tabor , IMA - Influencer Marketing Agency

8. Make It Multi-Format

If you can get case studies, quotes and testimonials, always include hard data and tie it to revenue or cost stories. Beyond this, make it multi-format by leveraging graphics, video and text so that it can be consumed and promoted on various platforms. This will maximize the exposure and utility for your successful client case studies. - Zamir Javer , Jumpfactor

9. Let The Images Do The Work

Aside from ensuring a case study is focused on the problem your brand has solved for a customer, nothing brings it to life more than imagery. In lieu of a long-form case study, consider a photo essay with solid captions narrating the case study as a better option for illustrating the value of your product or service and keeping audiences truly engaged. - Emily Porter , Havas Formula

10. Paint A Picture For Your Prospect

Highlighting your wins is great, but remember that a case study should showcase how you solved a client's most pressing problem so that a new prospect can see how you got from point A to Z. This is how we like to tell our clients' success stories: client profile, the challenge, results, strategy and looking toward the future. Remember, the results are just one piece of the puzzle. - Bernard May , National Positions

11. Abstract It First

We think if we write it, someone will accept it. If you remove the outlet from the process, more often, you'll need to rewrite it. Develop the abstract or a couple of abstracts with four elements: company's expertise and solution; customer's industry and challenges; what solution you delivered; why that solution is so innovative. Offer the outlet a chance to contribute, then write with insight. - Dean Trevelino , Trevelino/Keller

12. Know When To Insert Them Into The Campaign

We've analyzed user footprint data on the inbound journey and see a clear trend. Most people are only interested in case studies once they are convinced that a service provider could be a good fit for them. Case studies usually come after reviewing staff profiles and thought leadership content. Insert them too soon and they lose their value in the sales campaign. - Randy Shattuck , The Shattuck Group


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