Skip navigation
All Places > The English Community > Bedford Bits > Blog > 2018 > January > 11

Bedford Bits and Grammar Girl are no strangers to each other. In fact, check out all of these posts that incorporate Grammar Girl into their teaching tips:

 

Now Bedford/St. Martin's and Grammar Girl have teamed up even more. Grammar Girl podcasts are now available in LaunchPads and Writer's Help 2.0 for new English titles. Students can access these podcasts on grammar, usage, and style on the go as an accessory to learning in their writing courses. Click on the links below to see walk-throughs of the media offerings for the following titles, which all include the Grammar Girl podcasts.

 

  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 
  • The specified item was not found. 

 

In addition to podcasts, the Grammar Girl blog makes a great accessory to the podcasts and textbook. Assign the content to your students when it supports an assignment, or have them analyze the website design or rhetorical strategy Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) uses in these posts to educate writers. 

 

The following blog post on writing a case study could work well if you're taking a writing in the disciplines or writing across the curriculum approach, if students will be writing papers for the social sciences. Or, perhaps you're teaching illustration or exemplification. Or primary research. Maybe all of the above.

 

How to Write a Case Study in 5 Steps

Five simple steps designed to take you from your pre-writing preparation all the way through to submitting your case study

By Varsity Tutors, as read by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl 

Writing a case study for a college course can be a challenge. Although there are different types of case studies, you can count on two things to remain the same—they require analytical thinking skills and a great deal of research.

When composing a case study, you’ll likely be asked to explain a problem or situation and to then illustrate a potential or implemented solution. You should generally include these basic elements:

  • An explanation of the problem or situation being analyzed.
  • A description of the solution (or proposed solution) and its implementation.
  • A summary of the results and an analysis of the effectiveness of the solution.

 

The five steps that appear below are designed to take you from your pre-writing preparation all the way through to submitting your case study.

 

How Do You Write a Case Study?

  1. Conduct Research
  2. Begin By Summarizing the Situation and Why It Is Important
  3. Detail the Solution That Was Implemented
  4. Analyze the Results of the Solution
  5. Cite Any Source Material


1. Conduct Research

A case study is analytical in nature and can require plenty of research. This means that a large portion of the work is done before you start writing your study. Your case study should tell the story of your case from beginning to end, so you will need a thorough understanding of the different factors at play.

 

Say you plan to write about a city that was successful in reducing excess waste, specifically through recycling. Your first step will be to gather relevant information about the situation. For example, you may investigate the following topics:

  • What are the laws or policies related to this scenario, and when were they put in place? Have they affected the situation positively or negatively?
  • What are the important data points in both current and historical terms?
  • What have city officials and other influential figures said about the situation?

 

Depending on how in-depth your assignment is, you might rely on articles, other case studies, or even interviews with people. Gathering as much information as you can will help you analyze why the solution worked or did not work.

 

2. Begin Your Case Study By Summarizing the Situation and Why It Is Important

What are the conflicts or risks in the given scenario? Ensure you clearly lay out the basic facts of the problem or situation being addressed so the reader will understand why the solution was needed. This is where the statistics you gathered will help supplement your explanation, and you can describe the context of the situation either historically or in comparison to other similar situations.

 

3. Detail the Solution That Was Implemented

Describe changes in strategy or the laws of the city or state that aimed to reduce the problem. Include context for when and how the changes occurred: what was the process, and who were the main players?

 

Also make sure to include information on the time or cost involved in implementing the solution. And, if there were complicating factors, don’t leave those out. Explaining how unexpected complications were handled can also be important.

 

4. Analyze the Results of the Solution

Did it have the intended effect on the situation? If the solution could be a model for similar cases, explain the wider usefulness of understanding its impact. If the results were mixed or created results different from what was expected, what were the factors affecting that outcome? How could a more effective solution be found?

 

5. Cite Any Source Material

In a reference list at the end of your case study, it is vital to cite any source material you used in your writing. This includes articles, books, other case studies referenced, or any people you may have interviewed to gather information. Keep track throughout the research and writing process of all resources used—you will thank yourself later.

 

Lora Wegman is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.

 

SOURCE: The original post for Grammar Girl can be found at Quick and Dirty Tips: How to Write a Case Study in 5 Easy Steps 

 

Do you like seeing this Grammar Girl post on Bits? If so, "Like" this post and/or let us know what you think in the comments.

 

The following post first appeared as a talk at the 2018 MLA Annual Convention.

 

In 1983, Lisa Ede and I asked what we thought at the time was a simple question: Why write together? In a series of articles, and later in a nation-wide study of writers in seven professional organizations, we aimed to demonstrate that people write together because–well, because that’s the way writing works. The more we thought about it and the more we observed writers, the more we realized that writing is social and collaborative, through and through.

 

But not so fast! What Lisa and I intuited, and later demonstrated through research, was not accepted by our peers or our institutions, including MLA, who held to the notion of what we called “radical individualism” and of authorship as decidedly singular.

 

Fast forward thirty-five years. Aided by the technological revolution, which both revealed and enabled extensive collaboration, and by decades of research by scholars in rhetoric and writing studies (along with some important feminist literary scholars), the social/collaborative nature of writing is firmly established, in theory if not yet in practice (think of the MA thesis and doctoral dissertation requirements for “original scholarship” that is, of course, done individually to see how the singular author paradigm holds on, and on).

 

It seems important to think about collaboration not as a stable or fixed entity but as a series of at least three continua: of degree, attitude, and control or agency. In terms of degree, forms of collaboration stretch from the “single author” who collaborates with a web of sources and voices to the kind of whole-group collaboration increasingly enabled by technology (think a crowd-sourced piece on Wikipedia, e.g.). In terms of attitude, think of the range between the loving, mutually composed wedding vow to the tough-as-nails agreement worked out through warlike negotiations. And in terms of control or agency, think of the range between writers who have control over not only content but forms of publication to the almost total lack of control characteristic of much online writing.

 

So the collaborative nature of writing today is highly complex and fraught, much more so than Lisa and I could have imagined 35 years ago. Thus the need for ongoing research into how, when, where, and why writers collaborate to create meaning. Perhaps more important is the need for a robust ethics of collaboration. So to the three continua mentioned above, I would add a fourth—responsibility. Bakhtin alerts us to the multiple meanings of this term: literally the ability to respond (who gets to respond and who doesn’t), the recognition that response inevitably invokes audiences both known and unknown, and the need to take responsibility for what is written or spoken. This continuum runs from the text painstakingly crafted and held to the highest standards of evidence and truth-telling to the thoughtless retweets of unverified rumor, misinformation, or lies. Indeed, the deeply collaborative nature of writing in a digital age calls into question earlier distinctions between “singular” or collaborative writers and between writers and audiences (when consumers of information can suddenly become producers, for example, it makes it increasingly difficult to tell the writer from the audience, the dancer from the dance).

 

Such shifting and expanding understandings of writing, of collaboration, and of the way writers today interact with, address, invoke, become, and create audiences raise serious new questions about the ethics of various communicative acts. They also call for pedagogies that involve students in critically examining their own role(s) as effective AND ethical communicators who understand the complexity of such acts as well as their personal and collective responsibility for them.

 

Credit: Pixabay Image 593341 by StartupStockPhotos, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License