Guidelines for Writing a Case Study Analysis
A case study analysis requires you to investigate a business problem, examine the alternative solutions, and propose the most effective solution using supporting evidence. To see an annotated sample of a Case Study Analysis, click here.
Preparing the Case
Before you begin writing, follow these guidelines to help you prepare and understand the case study:
- Read and examine the case thoroughly
- Take notes, highlight relevant facts, underline key problems.
- Focus your analysis
- Identify two to five key problems
- Why do they exist?
- How do they impact the organization?
- Who is responsible for them?
- Uncover possible solutions
- Review course readings, discussions, outside research, your experience.
- Select the best solution
- Consider strong supporting evidence, pros, and cons: is this solution realistic?
Drafting the Case
Once you have gathered the necessary information, a draft of your analysis should include these sections:
- 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.
- Set the scene: background information, relevant facts, and the most important issues.
- Demonstrate that you have researched the problems in this case study.
- Outline possible alternatives (not necessarily all of them)
- Explain why alternatives were rejected
- Why are alternatives not possible at this time?
- Proposed Solution
- Provide one specific and realistic solution
- Explain why this solution was chosen
- Support this solution with solid evidence
- Concepts from class (text readings, discussions, lectures)
- Outside research
- Personal experience (anecdotes)
- Determine and discuss specific strategies for accomplishing the proposed solution.
- If applicable, recommend further action to resolve some of the issues
- What should be done and who should do it?
Finalizing the Case
After you have composed the first draft of your case study analysis, read through it to check for any gaps or inconsistencies in content or structure: Is your thesis statement clear and direct? Have you provided solid evidence? Is any component from the analysis missing?
When you make the necessary revisions, proofread and edit your analysis before submitting the final draft. (Refer to Proofreading and Editing Strategies to guide you at this stage).
Cite a case study like you would cite a book.
Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing.
Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies.
Harvard Business Publishing, 2008.
Note: if you’d like for clarification, you may add “Case study” after the title in MLA7 and Chicago, and in APA you would add this in brackets.
Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Case study.
Harvard Business Publishing, 2008. Print.
Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. A. (2008). HCL Technologies [Case study].
Harvard Business Publishing.
Hill, Linda, Tarun Khanna, and Emily A. Stecker. HCL Technologies. Case study. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 2008.