Tip #509: Directions for Writing a Narrative Case Study
“If written directions alone would suffice, libraries wouldn’t need to have the rest of the universities attached.” Judith Martin
I created these instructions for writing a narrative case study, for the benefit of three health professionals in Kenya who were contracted to create case studies for a US Agency for Industrial Development training program. Please see what you think:
A narrative case study is a story of a real life problem or situation that provides sufficient background data so that the problem can be analyzed and solved.
- A good case study is written in the form of a story.
- It has a problem for the readers to solve.
- It has characters who have names and use authentic dialogue.
- It is descriptive, with realistic details.
- The flow is easy to follow.
- There is sufficient information so that the readers can understand what the problem is and, after thinking about it and analyzing the information, come up with a proposed solution.
- It has pertinent questions that focus the readers on the key points.
- Draw your information from real situations that were either resolved successfully or unsuccessfully.
- Your case study should include:
- A decision maker who is dealing with some question or problem that needs to be resolved;
- A description of the problem;
- An explanation of the context in which the problem occurred; and
- Sufficient supporting data.
- Your case study should provide the answers to these questions:
- What is the issue?
- Who is involved?
- When did the situation occur?
- Where did the situation take place?
- Why did the issue/problem arise?
- What key facts should be considered?
- What questions do the key characters need to resolve?
- What alternatives are available to the decision-maker?
- Your case study should have five sections:
- Answers to Questions [identify what the actual owner did in the situation]
If you would like a copy of the Narrative Case Study Template that accompanied these directions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May your learning be sweet.