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22 - Case Study Tactics.

Your assignment is part of a game.

Playing to win

A tactical approach

Working with a Case Study is a bit of an art form. Colleges and universities often provide case studies to base an assignment or an exam on and the idea is that it provides information about a real-life type situation. They are often based on real people, organizations, industries or parts of our society. Sometimes the names and certain information have been changed to ensure privacy.

Here, when doing your assignment you will be required to extract information out of the case study and then use the theories, concepts or frameworks from the course to analyze this information.

This means you are searching for evidence.

But what if you cannot find the information to use in these frameworks? Remember, teachers want you to use their models and they want detail. To give you a great mark, they are looking for reports and essays that are dense with evidence.

Ideally; once you have selected the right concepts or frameworks to use for your analysis you would then completely fill in all the required parts with evidence from the case study.


We recommend asking your teacher:

– Should you only use information that is from the case study?

– Can you also use information that you source on-line regarding the industry or area of interest in question?

– Should you make assumptions about aspects where there is no evidence to be found? If you are allowed to make assumptions do you need to state that they are assumptions (as is generally the case)?

If we cannot find evidence.

If students cannot find evidence does their teacher want them to say so?

A similar situation comes up when working in professions. Many types of professionals need to produce reports answering questions that their customers have asked. The advice provided needs to be based on evidence. If no evidence can be found to answer some of the questions the professional needs to say so. This is so that the customer knows that the professional has looked into every one of their questions. If the professional simply left the section blank because they could not find evidence on some questions then the customer would probably think they have ignored these requirements and so would not be happy.

Coming back to your assignment, your teacher will similarly not be happy if there is nothing written at all about some parts of the frameworks that they want you to use in the essay or report. This is where you need to use the technique of writing “no evidence found” for the sections where there is none. Your teacher will then know that you have addressed all of the parts of the framework.

The following table shows answers based on information in a case study. Here the teacher has asked that only evidence from the case study can be used. Let’s say the case study had no evidence in it to answer two parts of the framework. Here we have shown that we have considered those 2 parts of the requirements and not found any evidence. This is the professional way to do it.



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