Get Your Feet Wet with the Case Study

Get Your Feet Wet with the Case Study

Allow yourself to be inspired by a common student resource: the case study. Many syllabi include a student assignment that requires students to analyze a case study. It promotes critical thinking and can be the basis of stimulating classroom discussions--but have you considered writing your own case study?

  • What problem have you identified?
  • What intervention might you use?

After you analyze your results, you can tell your story in a case study.


Enlist Faculty Members

If you are contemplating your first formal research project, work with other faculty members who share your interests. Be strategic in selecting your team members to ensure, as a whole, the team is able to accomplish the task. The combining of skills will help you gain confidence.


Ask Questions

Reflecting on important questions will help foster success:

Does the case represent an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis?

Does the case provide important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem?

Does the case challenge and offer a counter-point to prevailing assumptions?

Does the case provide an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem?

Does the case offer a new direction in future research?

             (University of Southern California, 2017, para 4)


Use ResearchHub Resources


Look Beyond the Project

The rewards of teamwork go beyond the actual research project. Your team can make plans to publish a single case study or an analysis of several case studies. During my initial research of a topic I want to explore, I discovered an informative article written by Defazio, Jones, Tennant, and Hook (2010). The authors analyzed four case studies of Indiana University faculty in which each faculty member used a different literacy strategy. Then, the authors offered recommendations. You can take this same approach at your campus. It is the perfect way to get your feet wet.






Defazio, J., Jones, J., Tennant, F., & Hook, S.A. (2010). Academic literacy: The importance and impact of writing across the curriculum – a case study. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 34 - 47.

University of Southern California. (2017). University of Southern California Research Guides. Retrieved from


Janice Cardwell's picture Janice Cardwell | July 30, 2017 2:21 am MST

Great information and a great way to approach case study research - thanks for sharing

About the Author

Domonique White



Journal of Leadership Studies-Symposium Piece-Relational Leadership: Perspectives of Key Constructs on Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity in Higher Education

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