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Tips For Optimizing Your Case Study Content



Certain disciplines require students to be proficient at writing case studies. In psychology and other medical fields, case studies are in-depth explorations of a single individual and their condition. In legal fields, case studies are in-depth analysis of one particular legal case. Other disciplines have their own versions of case studies.


Optimization=Organization

The most important thing a student can do to optimize their case study content is to remain organized from beginning to end. Using psychology and medical case studies as an example, here are some tips for organizing your case study content. These tips can also be used for writing case studies for other disciplines, though they may need some small alterations to remain applicable.


  • History
  • Background: Before you leap into the case itself, you’ll want to provide the reader with background information on the individual whose case is being presented. This should include both information directly related to the problem they’re having as well as general background on the patient, like their family size and composition, major life difficulties and successes, history of drug and alcohol use, etc.

    Issue at Hand: Once you’ve painted a picture of the individual, you’ll want to describe the problem they’re experiencing in a new section. First, describe the quantifiable symptoms, starting with physical, and moving into the more abstract symptoms being experienced.

    Diagnosis: If this is a case you worked on yourself, note your diagnosis and the reasons you arrived at it. Point to specific ways in which the patient’s symptoms coincide with official descriptions of the diagnosis. If you are writing about a case which you did not personally attend to, you’ll want to list the diagnosis and either the rationale used for it (if available) or your theories on why that diagnosis was used. Support them in the same manner as you would your own diagnosis of the problem.


  • Solution
  • Now you’ll describe the solution attempted by the practitioner, whether it was yourself or that of another person. Before discussing how effective it was (or wasn’t) discuss the reasons for choosing that solution, how the treatment was planned, and how it was carried out. Once the reader has a full understanding of the solution itself, move on to discussing the success or failure of the solution in question. If the solution was a failure, discuss why you believe that may have been and suggest alternative treatments.

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