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Economics for Students: What is a Case Study and How to Write It?

What associations does the word "case" evoke? A metal suitcase in the hands of a formidable security guard carrying millions of dollars in it? Or is it a modern teaching method and an increasingly popular marketing tool? If you chose the second option, this article from the experts at is for you.

Case theory

Case method

A case is a description of a specific problem in a particular field of activity (medical, legal, economic, etc.). The essence of the method is the analysis of the contradiction and the search for its resolution.   

Please note that the final answer is not as important as the course of the solution; the teacher assesses how the student finds a way out of the proposed problem. The uniqueness of the cases is that they combine practice and theory, which is extremely important for novice specialists. But many who first encounter tasks of this kind are confused, not knowing where to start, because the case involves the use of the student's creative potential, in contrast to standard school tasks. And they won't write about it in textbooks, the whole solution is built individually and depends only on the student's abilities.  

Where did the cases appear?

In the 1920s, a crisis was brewing at Harvard School. The teachers did not understand how to teach MBA (Master of Business Administration - top and middle managers) students to do business using old textbooks, the data of which was already outdated. And since the teachers were scientists, and not leading businessmen, they could offer students only theoretical knowledge that did not correspond to the spirit of the times.

What to do in such a situation? All ingenious is simple! Invite those businessmen themselves to an interview, where they will tell how they cope with difficulties in production, establish contacts and achieve the signing of contracts. The method immediately showed its effectiveness. Already upon receiving the diploma, the graduate had experience in solving practical problems and was prepared for extraordinary situations. Already in the middle of the century, Harvard glorified the case method all over the world and published many collections of cases.   


What are the goals of the case study?

  1. Development of creativity. An effective solution is not always optimal, based on this, a lot of options for answers to a case are born.  
  2. Formation of representative skills. It is necessary not only to come up with a solution, but also to present it and defend your point of view.
  3. Developing stress resistance. The solution of a case is always a tight deadline.  
  4. Teamwork training. Usually a team is working on a case, since, firstly, there is a large amount of information, and, secondly, students from different specialties are involved in order to more fully consider the problem.

Cases as a marketing tool

Cases are a universal way of both learning and doing business. Recently, more and more large firms have been conducting their PR campaigns using case studies - analyzing a specific situation. 

For example, you provide marketing consulting services. On the site, you place a case that tells about your specific story of working with a client (with his permission, of course), detailing each step in detail with all the failures and successes. The client, seeing how you work in practice, decides to cooperate with you.

Interview Cases

A resume is certainly good, but today candidates are offered to go through case interviews . The best employers from various industries (from retail to oil) try to select the best candidates who have an idea of ​​how the industry works and see the features of its functioning. But they may also ask questions related to your past place of work.  

A common example: have you made mistakes in your past job? Be careful with your answer, every word you say will be analyzed after the interview is over.

How to write a case?

We figured out the concept, learned its history and were convinced of its benefits. But how do you write it? A case is a non-standard task , so there is no clear algorithm for solving and rules for registration. In other words, there are no GOSTs for cases, as for coursework and diplomas. 

However, we recommend sticking to the general structure. Let's make a reservation that the plan is not universal, it can and should change depending on the topic. It often happens that cases are written by students of economics departments, future accountants. But they do not know how to do this, and even despite the following clarifying points, they answered "And how to do it?" Then you should understand that you can always find an example or ask a professional to make one for you 

So, the case can contain:

  1. Name. Like any document, a case should have a heading that reflects the general theme.
  2. Problem. In school problems in physics, the section "given" is drawn up, here it is exactly the same. You are describing the contradiction that you are analyzing.
  3. Solution progress. List all the steps you took to achieve the final result. Perhaps you will write down several options and in the end you will stop at one as the best.
  4. Justification of the answer. It is not enough to provide a ready-made answer, prove that this is the best outcome possible!

Since the case implies protection, take care of the presentation design, which it is desirable to fill with pictures, graphs and video material and no text on the slides! But the commission or the teacher should have a case on hand, so print out the material and choose an easy-to-read font and spacing.

Yes, you may not be able to write a good case the first time, but by trial and error you will definitely achieve the desired result. But if you still have questions or difficulties, contact the student help service for help. Where our specialists will deal with your problem, even if it concerns something else, for example, lecture transcription. We are always happy to help even with this type of work


We hope that after this article you can still write a good case study and impress your teachers.



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