Writing a case study might seem like an easy task on the surface, but it is actually one of the most difficult pieces of writing that you will ever have to produce as a student. Although you can potentially get away with just writing down some information about the company and what services they offer, you should really try to put more effort into your research than that because there are so many other people out there who are doing exactly the same thing as you right now.
Writing a case study is also very different from writing reports or essays in university. These types of assignments tend to focus on academic concepts and theories whereas a business case study is focused entirely around telling a story – and this story has to be unique and interesting if you want your lecturers to be impressed with it. If you can produce a case study that shares an unconventional story or one that has not been covered yet before then your lecturers will be more likely to reward you for the time and effort that you have put into your assignment!
A really good way of making sure that you do not miss anything important when writing a case study is to keep asking yourself questions while you are doing your research:
What activities did the company use in order to achieve its goals and how were they implemented? (Activities & Implementation)
How did these activities impact the management team’s performance?… On customers’ satisfaction levels?… On sales figures?… On long term business value potential etc.? (Impact)
Did this impact vary according to the size/location of the company, or other specific factors?
How did competitors respond to this particular marketing strategy?… What strengths and weaknesses were revealed by this type of activity?… How should similar marketing activities be planned for in future? etc. (Strengths & Weaknesses)
What knowledge gaps have been identified through this research stage and what is going to happen next? (Knowledge Gaps & Future Actions)
Keeping a note of all of these questions is a good way for you to make sure that you do not miss any important areas when writing up your case study. You simply need to explain how each question is relevant in the section where you answer that specific point.
Remember that it is important to have a really strong intro and conclusion for your case study. The intro needs to attract the reader’s attention so that they want to read on – but it also has to teach them something new about the company or its services by answering some of those key questions that you asked yourself earlier.
The best way of doing this is by using an analogy or a metaphor or sharing a real story from someone who works at this company or one of its customers. If you can get hold of an interesting interviewee then make sure that you quote them directly in your assignment because these types of testimonials tend to carry a lot more weight with university lecturers than if you had simply made up your own quotes. It is not uncommon for student case studies to be rejected because the quotes used in them are too self-promotional!
The conclusion is important because it needs to summarise what you have written about and remind your reader of those key messages that they should take away from the assignment. This part also needs to provide a link between this information and how it can be applied outside of just this one case study. You might want to offer some advice about how students could potentially apply their knowledge in future or how it could impact other companies who face similar challenges.
Since there is so much more that goes into writing a business case study than most other types of university assignments, you really need to put as much time and effort into planning out your work as possible if you want your case study to be successful. The more planning that you do now then the fewer problems that you will run into as you write your assignment and this means less stress for you near the end of the project!
I hope that these tips help, and good luck with your case studies!