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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.


case study research design and method 2nd

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Case Study Research and Applications

Case Study Research and Applications Design and Methods

Winner of the 2019 McGuffey Longevity Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA)

Recognized as one of the most cited methodology books in the social sciences, the Sixth Edition of Robert K. Yin's bestselling text provides a complete portal to the world of case study research. With the integration of 11 applications in this edition, the book gives readers access to exemplary case studies drawn from a wide variety of academic and applied fields. Ultimately, Case Study Research and Applications will guide students in the successful use and application of the case study research method.

See what’s new to this edition by selecting the Features tab on this page. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email [email protected] . Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to .

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Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

“The book is filled with tips to the researcher on how to master the craft of doing research overall and specifically how to account for multi-layered cases.”

“Yin covers all of the basic and advanced knowledge for conducting case study and why they are useful for specific research studies without getting lost in the weeds.”

“The applications enhance the original material because it gives the reader concrete examples.”

“Yin is much more in-depth on case study methods both within a general qualitative text and any other case study text I have seen.”

very thoruogh introduction

Very good introduction to Case Study design. I have used case study approach for my PhD study. I would recommend this book for an indepth understanding of case study design for research projects.

Dr Siew Lee School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

The book is a really good introduction to case study research and is full of useful examples. I will recommend as the definitive source for students interested in pursuing this further in their projects.

In our Doctor of Ministerial Leadership (DML), Case Study is the Methodology that is required in this program. Robert Yin's book provides the foundational knowledge needed to conduct research using his Case Study design.

Very reader friendly-easy to read using simple language. Chapters 2 and 3 very useful.

Yin has developed the science and philosophy of Case Study research to a fairly high level over the years - 20 years ago case studies were not considered rigorous, perticularly for doctoral candidates, but he has changed that - this is the required text for case studies.



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Preface: Spotlighting "Case Study Research"

Chapter 1: Getting Started

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Case Study Methods

Founded in 1987 by a group of prominent German professors, the journal is one of the oldest publications for personnel research worldwide, and is the only journal in its field outside of the United States and Great Britain listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).  Historically, the journal sought to offer a forum for personnel research scientists from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  However, it has expanded internationally in more recent times by increasing its number of English articles. Zeitschrift für Personalforschung is a scientific journal that publishes qualitative and quantitative research as well as conceptual and theoretical essays that promise new insights on the current state of knowledge.

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CASE STUDY RESEARCH Design and Methods Second Edition

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Thousand Oaks London New Deihl Similarly, this book is not intended to cover those situations in which cases are used as a form of record keeping. Medical records, social work files, and other case records are used to facilitate some practice, such as medicine, law, or social work. Again, the criteria for developing good cases for practice are different than those for designing case studies for research.

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case study research design and method 2nd

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Some parts are not interesting but for grad school had to write a case method and it was helpful as it is my first time.

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Robert K. Yin is President of COSMOS Corporation, an applied research and social science firm. Over the years, COSMOS has successfully completed hundreds of projects for federal agencies, state and local agencies, and private foundations.Outside of COSMOS, Dr. Yin has assisted numerous other research groups, helping to train their field teams or to design research studies. The most recent such engagements have been with The World Bank, the Division of Special Education and disAbility Research at George Mason University, the Department of Nursing Research and Quality Outcomes at the Children’s National Health System (Washington, DC), and the School of Education, Southern New Hampshire University.Dr. Yin has authored over 100 publications, including authoring or editing 11 books (not counting the multiple editions of any given book). Earlier editions of the present book have been translated into eight languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Romanian, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese), and a second book on Qualitative Research from Start to Finish (2016) is in its 2nd edition and has been translated into four languages (Chinese, Korean, Swedish, and Portuguese). Dr. Yin received his B.A. in history from Harvard College (magna cum laude) and his Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT.

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