The Best Ways To Utilize Case Studies

The Academy of Management Journal published a short paper suggesting how to use case-based research to present persuasive arguments. Copywriters can write stronger case studies if they keep the following ideas in mind.

In a successful case study, both the writer and the reader should find out something surprising. The reader should be given a conceptual argument that can help them see the world a little differently. That's their reward for reading. The actual case presentation is merely a demonstration of the validity of this surprising argument.

When writing your next case study or white paper, consider using one of these three best structural methods:
  • Motivation: Poke holes in theories to demonstrate exceptions. These should motivate readers to re-think existing theories, looking for refinements or improvements.
  • Inspiration: Use an inductive research approach to examine data and inspire readers to look for new theoretical ideas, or fill in the broad gaps in existing theories.
  • Illustration: Provide a concrete example of a theory in action so the reader has a better grasp of applying the theory to different settings or scenarios.
Ultimately, readers are looking for conclusions they can apply to the vast majority of normality in their lives. While "special, one-off" cases may be interesting to read, they really only pay-off if the conclusions can be extended to normal cases.

By Kevin Rokosh

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