During your time as a college student, you may be asked to draft a case study. This is especially likely if you’re studying Business, Marketing, or a related field. Your professor will want to see that you can examine a product, company, or service, and explain in precise but thorough detail why it has or has not succeeded, and where it could go in the future.
It’s the type of assignment that will equip you with skills you’ll use often in your career. However, many students find it difficult to decide how to properly format or structure their case study content. That’s why it’s important to keep certain tips in mind.
Remember the Consumer
Again, most case studies require documenting how and why a product succeeded or failed. The problem is, when you’re a student, you automatically assume that the audience you should consider when you draft a case study is your professor. While they will be the one to grade your work, they’re assigning this project because they want you to develop the ability to deliver a case study that impresses a potential investor, employer, or related professional in your future career.
To format a case study that achieves the goals of the assignment, always remember that you’re describing—theoretically, at least—a product that’s to be sold to consumers. When you focus on the customer, the formatting becomes easier. To get a better idea on how to properly format your work, remember the most important tips.
Describe the Customer
You have to demonstrate early on that you didn’t neglect the potential consumer of the product you’re writing about in your case study. To do so, describe who they are using specific demographic terms. How old are they, what’s their income level, what’s their gender, marital status, race, etc.? You have to clearly delineate and identify who your ideal consumer is right off the bat.
This is an essential component of any case study, but too many students either don’t include it, or only do so sparingly. If your case study is designed to illustrate the success or failure of a product, you’ll need hard numbers to back up any claims you make. Any time when it is appropriate to include specific numbers in the content, do so. Even better, format them in such a way that they tell a story. For example, maybe you want to demonstrate that a company’s service was especially popular during a specific time of year. Do so by including a graph that clearly depicts, in visual language, the numbers that back up your claim.
In many instances, it could also make sense for you to discuss where a product could go in the future. That’s why it’s often a good idea to wrap up your case study by including a section where you describe potential strategies to help a company grow, sell more products, or boost demand for a service. This will prove that you not only understand all the information you have gathered in your case study, but also know how to apply it in a practical way.
It’s difficult to write a case study because not many students have experience drafting this type of assignment. As such, they’re simply unfamiliar with the proper format. Unfortunately, the proper format is an essential element of a strong case study. It doesn’t matter how much research you’ve done—if you can’t organize it, you won’t communicate it well. Luckily, when you remember these tips, it’s easy to structure your work.