What is a case study?

A case study is purposeful cognition, the results of which presented in the form of a system of concepts, laws, and theories.

Characterizing the study, usually the following its distinctive features are indicated:
  • It is necessarily a purposeful process, the achievement of consciously set goals, clearly formulated tasks
  • It is a process aimed at finding a new one, for creativity, for discovering the unknown, for putting forward original ideas, for new coverage of the issues under consideration
  • It is characterized by systematic: here the research process and its results are ordered and brought into the system

The form of realization and development of science is a case study, that is, the study of phenomena and processes with the help of scientific methods, the analysis of the influence of various factors on them, as well as the study of the interaction between phenomena in order to obtain convincingly proven and useful solutions for science and practice with the maximum effect.

The purpose of the case study is the definition of a specific object and a comprehensive, reliable study of its structure, characteristics, connections based on principles and methods of cognition developed in science, as well as obtaining results useful for human activity, introducing them into production with further effect.

The basis for the development of each scientific study is a methodology, i.e., a set of methods, techniques, and their specific sequence, adopted in the development of scientific research. In the final analysis, the methodology is a scheme, a plan for the solution of the stated research task.

A case study should be considered in continuous development, based on linking theory to practice.

An important role in scientific research is played by cognitive tasks arising in the solution of scientific problems, of which empirical and theoretical interest is of greatest interest.

Stages of a case study

Any concrete research can be presented in a number of stages:
  • Choice of a research topic
  • Definition of the object and the subject of the study
  • Definition of goals and objectives
  • Formulation of the title of the work
  • Development of the hypothesis
  • Drawing up a research plan
  • Work with literature
  • Choice of research methods
  • Organization of the conditions for the study
  • Carrying out the research (collection of material)
  • Processing of research results
  • Formulation of conclusions
  • Designing the work

Each stage has its own tasks, which are often solved sequentially, and sometimes simultaneously.

Choice of research topic

This is one of the most important milestones since the choice of an actual topic requires a large amount of scientific literature to be analyzed. A topic affects the success of the work as a whole.

If the topic is chosen unsuccessfully, then the student’s long work is doomed to failure. This is due to the fact that there are topics on which you can get a new cognitive result in the foreseeable future, and there are others where it is difficult to do this in the near future (for example, due to the lack of methods for studying it). In other words, not everything that seems interesting in science can be studied productively (at least within the framework of the dissertation work and the limited time.)

What is a case study? The object and subject

The object of study is what will be taken for study and research. The object of research can be a process or phenomenon of reality. Usually the name of the object of research is contained in the answer to the question: what is being considered?

The subject is a special problem, individual aspects of the object, its properties and features that, without going beyond the scope of the object under study, will be investigated in the work. The subject of the study is more specific and includes only those links and relationships that are directly studied in this paper. Usually the subject of the study is contained in the answer to the question: what is being studied?

Goals and tasks

The goal is formulated briefly and extremely accurately, expressing in a semantic sense the main thing that the researcher intends to do, and the end result he aspires to achieve. The goal is concretized and develops in the tasks of the study.

There are several tasks and each of them with a clear formulation reveals the side of the topic that is being studied. Defining tasks, it is necessary to take into account their mutual connection. Sometimes it is impossible to solve one task without first solving the other. Each task posed must have a solution reflected in one or more conclusions.

Formulation of the title of the work

Having determined the topic and specific tasks, specifying the object and subject of research, you can give the first title to the work. The title of the work is recommended to formulate as briefly as possible, exactly in accordance with its content. It must be remembered that the subject should be reflected in the title.

It is difficult to find a full and brief wording at once. Even during the study, new, more successful names may arise.

Development of the hypothesis

Hypothesis is a cognitive construction that includes both the assumption and the ways of its falsification; generalizing, predicting the receipt of certain new facts and systematizing them. The hypothesis is a generalized expression of the research strategy.

Any hypothesis is considered as an initial canvas and a starting point for research, which can be confirmed or not confirmed.

Plan of the study

The research plan is a planned program of actions, which includes all stages of work with the definition of the calendar terms for their implementation. The plan is necessary in order to properly organize the work and make it more purposeful. In addition, it disciplines, makes work in a certain rhythm.

In the process of work, the initial plan can be detailed, refilled and modified.

Work with literature

The place of this stage of work is determined conditionally since work with literature begins in the process of choosing a topic and continues until the end of the study.

A literary source is a document containing any information (monograph, article, abstract, book, thesis, etc.).

What is a case study? Methods of research

The study method is a method of obtaining data collection, processing or analysis. The main guideline for choosing research methods is its tasks.

An example of methods for collecting information:
  • Observation and collection of facts
  • Experiment
  • Modelling
  • Method of scientific abstractions
  • Analysis and synthesis
  • System approach
An example of data processing methods:
  • Quality
  • Quantitative

Methods can be applied in a complementary manner.

Organization of the conditions for the study

The organization of the study is related to the planning of its conduct, which determines the sequence of all stages of work, as well as the preparation of all conditions that provide a full study. This includes the preparation of the appropriate environment, instruments, means, coaching assistants, planning of observation, etc.

Carrying out the study

At this stage of the work, using the selected research methods, the necessary empirical data is collected to verify the hypothesis put forward.

Processing of research results

The results of each study must be processed as soon as possible after its completion, while the experimenter’s memory can prompt those details. When processing the collected data, it may turn out that they are either insufficient or they are contradictory and therefore do not give grounds for final conclusions. In this case, the study should continue, adding the required additions.

Formulation of conclusions

Conclusions are statements that express in a concise form meaningful results of the research, they in the abstract form reflect the new that the author himself received.

Designing the work

The established task of this stage of work is to present the results in a generally accessible and understandable form that allows them to be compared with the results of other researchers and used in practice.

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