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With a case study, even more than a questionnaire or survey, it is important to be passive in your research.You are much more of an observer than an experimenter and you must remember that, even in a multi-subject case, each case must be treated individually and then cross case conclusions can be drawn.Whilst it will not answer a question completely, it will give some indications and allow further elaboration and hypothesis creation on a subject.
The other main thing to remember during case studies is their flexibility.
Whilst a pure scientist is trying to prove or disprove a hypothesis, a case study might introduce new and unexpected results during its course, and lead to research taking new directions.
Constantly refer back to your bullet points so that you do not lose focus.
It is always a good idea to assume that a person reading your research may not possess a lot of knowledge of the subject so try to write accordingly.
This method of study is especially useful for trying to test theoretical models by using them in real world situations.
For example, if an anthropologist were to live amongst a remote tribe, whilst their observations might produce no quantitative data, they are still useful to science.It is important to ensure that you realize that a case study cannot be generalized to fit a whole population or ecosystem.Finally, one peripheral point is that, when informing others of your results, case studies make more interesting topics than purely statistical surveys, something that has been realized by teachers and magazine editors for many years.The general public has little interest in pages of statistical calculations but some well placed case studies can have a strong impact.The advantage of the case study research design is that you can focus on specific and interesting cases.Basically, a case study is an in depth study of a particular situation rather than a sweeping statistical survey.It is a method used to narrow down a very broad field of research into one easily researchable topic.You may come out with a great computer model for describing how the ecosystem of a rock pool works but it is only by trying it out on a real life pool that you can see if it is a realistic simulation.For psychologists, anthropologists and social scientists they have been regarded as a valid method of research for many years.It is valid to conduct case studies but they should be tied in with more general statistical processes.For example, a statistical survey might show how much time people spend talking on mobile phones, but it is case studies of a narrow group that will determine why this is so.