Case studies can be organized into four basic types.
The first type is exploratory case studies, which explore a topic in-depth and may lead to the development of new theories or methodologies.
The second type is descriptive case studies, which describe a single phenomenon in detail. These are often used to describe the experiences of people or organizations; for example, what happened during a particular event or process?
The third type is explanatory case studies, which explain why something happened by describing individual factors that contributed to it. These can also represent a phenomenon; for example, how did this person become successful?
The fourth type is normative case studies, which organizations can use to identify best practices and improve upon them.
The fifth type is a retrospective case study which looks back at an event that has already occurred. For example, it’s often used in the medical field to understand how and why something happened or evaluate how well something worked.
The sixth type is a prospective case study that looks forward rather than backward. It can be used in business to predict future trends or marketing to test out new ideas and campaigns.
The seventh type is Analytical case studies, which use a detailed description of a situation or problem and its consequences to identify what went wrong and why to provide insight into how similar issues might be prevented in the future.
The eighth type is Case-based reasoning or learning, which uses cases as examples to illustrate general principles or theories.
The ninth type is a Problem-oriented case study is defined as a type of case study that focuses on a particular problem and its solution. The goal is to determine how to solve problems in real life.
The tenth type is a historical case study that looks at a specific event or topic from the past. It aims to explain why certain things happened, what they mean, and how they might affect future events.
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There are several differences between a research paper and a case study. The most obvious is that a research paper is written by an academic, while a case study is written by someone who works in the field. In addition, a research paper is usually based on a hypothesis and designed to test it, while a case study does not have to be hypothesis-driven, although it may be. Finally, a research paper typically has a conclusion that describes its findings. Still, a case study does not have such a conclusion because it is simply reporting what happened in real life.
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In addition to these differences, there are other important distinctions between the two types of writing:
Research papers tend to be longer than case studies (including their footnotes). Case studies typically take place over one or two years; research papers can take over decades or centuries and cover multiple topics.
Research papers are often more quantitative than qualitative; they use statistics and graphs to make their points. On the other hand, case studies are generally more qualitative; they rely on stories and anecdotes rather than data analysis.
A research paper is an in-depth analysis of a topic, usually in the form of an argument. On the other hand, a case study is not intended to prove or disprove anything. Instead, it’s a detailed description of a particular instance or situation.
In a research paper, you’ll typically look at how others have approached a problem and then make inferences based on those findings. In contrast, a case study will look at the facts of one particular situation and describe them without making any assumptions about what happened or why it happened.