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Case Study Writing Format

Luis Said:

I need to write a cover letter for a case study?

We Answered:

I can only suggest what my experience in "cover letters" has been, when I was looking for a placement (eufemism for "job").
These days our society tends to 'specialize on everything, so maybe they do have a special cover letter for a "case study" (very much like Home Depot has "nails for drywall, nails for moistured walls, front walls, rear walls, etc!).
In your cover letter state date and location (usually on right top corner), address it to the particular person (Manager, Dean of Faculty, Professor of..., etc), on the Left side, under three or four spaces, depending on your Font type size (do not make too big, it's not a banner! Perhaps size 10 will do).
Start the letter with: Reason for that particular correspondence (you were requested for a study, you read the ad somewhere, it is your desire to enter that particular organization, etc)
Make the center of the correspondence: the reasons you understand you qualify for that position, the findings you encountered to prepare your study, the data you gathered in order to prepare the said work, etc).
Finnish the letter with: thanking the people that pay attention to all it. Inform that there are "refferences" at their request (do not put any refference until you are requested - no one needs to know if they do not give you the opportunity), say goodby very politely - not too much sugar (people get intolerant to it after a while!).
As a general suggestion - from experience - I would advise to be: short, to the point, corteous.

Good luck.

Darrell Said:

format to writing a case study?

We Answered:

Writing a Case Study

There are two types of case studies: factual ones depicting real organizations, people, and situations and fictional ones that, although usually based loosely on actual people and events, do not use real organization's or people's names. The advantages of factual case studies are that they can provide a wealth of detail, give credibility to situations and problems, and, most important, provide real outcomes. Actual results give those who analyze a case real-world solutions: How did the organization or manager solve the problems? Did the solutions work?

Factual cases furnish concrete, not theoretical, solutions. When discussing factual cases, analysts tend to focus on the accuracy of the details rather than on the appropriateness of the solutions. Factual cases tend to become outdated as organizations, strategies, problems, and people change over time. Also, if a factual case portrays real organizations or people in a negative way, questions of taste, fairness, and even libel can arise. When writing a factual case stay with the facts, limit discussion to only those management topics that are constructive in the case.

The most effective use of factual cases are for describing current organizational problems, then analyzing and attempting to solve the problems using a consultative approach. Fictional cases have the drawback that students can never know if a solution worked or not.

There are several ways to present a case history. A case history may include:

state the problem,
history/background of the facts,
analysis of the problem, and
conclusion - if needed
Sometimes one or more of these categories may be sub-divided. Consider the "analysis" section. A problem may be analyzed in terms of the "internal" or "external" environment. For example the local government may have a specific problem with safety issues. This issue could be the result of poor training, insufficient number of employees, or poor morale. Such problems would be considered internal problems. Therefore, an "external" problem may be an issue that is located outside of the locale.

Case studies do not have to be restricted to problems and how-not-to situations; they can show solutions and how-to situations also. A case study can address several problems and show what was done right in solving them. Often the best teaching cases are those that contain both appropriate and inappropriate problem solutions. By using this technique, writers do not signal to readers that all the solutions are either right or wrong--case analysts have to figure it out for themselves.

State the Problem - in two or three sentences.

History/Background of Facts - Summarize the facts in the case.

Analysis of the Problem - Analysis often is the most difficult section of a case history to write. Sometimes there is a fine line between summary and analysis and/or analysis and recommendation. In your analysis you may discuss the causes of the problem as well as the impact of the problem. This section of your case history is important because you are evaluating the problem(s) so that you can make a recommendation or present a plan to correct the problems. Avoid words such as "must," "should," "need to." Do not make recommendations in this section.

Refer to your summary and ask yourself some basic questions, for example.

What were the conditions which allowed the problem to develop? In our case, the problem is…"what is the overall status of the management of environmental matters in urban governments?"
Why did the soil get in its present state - contaminated?
Who was responsible for the dumping?
Who was affected by the contaminated soil?
What are the short and long range effects of the contaminated soil?

Recommendations - In this section you provide direction. Based on the information you have gathered and your analysis of the information, what do you recommend? Recommendations can be detailed or general. If you are presenting a plan to clean up the area, you will have to be more detailed than if you are recommending that a company be hired to do this. A plan to convince people that the area is a safe place to live may include more details than a recommendation to hire an advertising company.

The recommendation section is your "argument." Using the facts of the case and your analysis, you "argue" that certain steps must be taken.

Conclusion - Use this section for any concluding remarks that you may want to make. Everyone may not need to create this section because you may have made concluding remarks in your recommendations.

Writing Tips

Keep your audience in mind: Try not to use acronyms. Remember that you are writing for individuals who may not be familiar with the background, details, and terminology of the situation.
Openings: Grab the reader with the major issue: set the scene for the confrontations, the frustrations, and the main conflicts.
Present the issues without any analysis: Issues should follow a logical order and should illustrate a point or concept that relates to the problems that the writer wants to have analyzed. Do not give any recommendations.
Provide relevant details: After an opening that points to the issues, provide relevant details about goals, strategies, dilemmas, conflicts, roadblocks, appropriate research, relevant financial information, people, and relationships.
Leave the reader with a clear picture of the major problems. (Leave them wondering what can be done to remedy the situation).
Make sure that the recommendations are feasible.

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