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Answered By: Jeneen LaSee-Willemssen
Last Updated: Mar 07, 2016     Views: 299

A case study is a thorough analysis of a case or situation over a length of time. 

While there is not a set standard for what a case study should include, there are common elements. Please check with your instructor to find out if he or she is looking for specific components to be included in your case study.  A case study includes background information about the case or situation, a literature review to review current research on the topic, an analysis of factors or causes which have led to the current situation, and recommendations or conclusions

For example, if I were to write a case study, I would first of all select a group of people (or a situation) to study over time.  I'd also determine my research questions, what I'd like to find out while doing the case study.  Then, I'd do some library research to discover what's currently known about the topic of my research.  Then, I would determine the research methodology I'd use and fine tune the research questions I'd try to answer.  Then I'd need to conduct the actual study or observation.  In my case study report, I'd state my findings or the results of my study or observation, including statistics.  Then I'd discuss the finding, focusing on the factors or causes behind my findings.  Then I'd make a conclusion or recommendations

To learn more about case studies, I recommend you look at some actual case studies.  To do so, use the advanced search feature in our online library databases. 

  1. Access the Rasmussen College Online Library, Database A-Z List and select a database, such as Academic Search Complete, Business Source CompleteBusiness via ProQuest, or Justice Studies via ProQuest.
  2. In the database you've chosen, select the Advanced Search option
  3. Checkmark the box to limit your results to Full Text
  4. Under the additional limiters, look for Document Type, and select Case Study
  5. In the main search box, type in a search term, such as college  (You do not need to select a field from the drop-down menu)
  6. Because you've limited your results by document type, your results list will contain published case studies