How to format your case study paper?

There will come a time in the life of many students when they have to write a case study paper. This is usually about an individual. It comes about because you are not able to discuss the topic based on laboratory experiments. In their place you will write about an individual or event.

But studying this individual or event, taking notes and writing up your case study is one thing. Another thing is the format in which you will present your case study paper. That is what this article is all about. There is a set format and you would do well to learn it.

APA style rules and guidelines

In the 1920s a group of scientists, psychologists and business leaders came together and agreed upon a series of rules or conventions to be used in the format of a case study. These rules or guidelines are still in use today. They get updated from time to time but the basics involved in these conventions are still used today.

College undergraduates are encouraged to follow the APA style rules and guidelines. They include a breakdown of the sections of your case study paper with the following headings.

  • the background information
  • a description of the problem
  • your diagnosis of the problem

Acknowledgment of sources

In writing your case study, you will from time to time refer to a variety of sources. You will quote from experts in the relevant field. These quotes are likely to be found in magazines or text books or online with articles and chapters related to the person and their condition in your case study.

There are ways and rules to follow when acknowledging and quoting published sources. It is your responsibility to learn these conventions and rules so that you will be able to expertly format your case study paper. Even such things as punctuation and abbreviations are important. There are specific ways to use quotes in your case study paper. So too when you use lists and tables with data. By knowing the guidelines and conventions, you give the content of your case study the best chance of being understood and appreciated.

Because you follow the rules and guidelines, it is so much easier for your case study paper to be read, examined and marked. On the other hand, if you do not follow the conventions you make it so much harder for your tutor or examiner to consider your work. Learn the rules, apply them and reap the benefits.