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The Case Study as a Research Method

A case study is considered to be a form of research of social science. It is usually used in professional and academic settings as a type of research method. However, instead of making use of a survey or any other experiment form, an occasion or occurrence will be studied. In order to cope with this, a researcher (or a group of researchers) will gather info on a particular person (or a group of individuals) and then present it. Later, the results will be recorded, but only after information has been properly evaluated and the event has been carefully studied and looked at. The key task of a researcher is to look for a common theme or thread to create, or prove, their case.


Nowadays, several types of case studies exist: cumulative, critical, exploratory, illustrative, narrative and medical. Basic types of case studies are explained below:

  1. Cumulative Case Studies. This type of a case study collects info at two different times from two different sites.
  2. Case Studies of Critical Instance. This case study method is commonly used in order to answer the questions that are related to cause and effect. In general words, the author of the project should examine more than one distinctive site in order to challenge previous claims.
  3. Case Studies of Exploratory Type. Exploratory case studies represent small-scaled analyses that will usually identify probable questions previous to a large-scale analysis being applied.
  4. Illustrative Case Studies. This type of study is known for being very descriptive. The key purpose of a case study of illustrative type is to turn unaware things into aware ones. It will include jargon so that everyone in the study has an opportunity to understand.


Case study as a research method was frequently used in the early 1900’s. Their main purpose was first to create, challenge, solidify, or prove theory. Nowadays, case study is principally used in educational theory or education. Nevertheless, case study continues to help explain some complex phenomenon and situations. Besides, case studies are usually used to find the right solutions to situations from real life and that is the #1 reason why they are usually brought to fruition.


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