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Case Study Guidelines

Research Design:

In general, case studies are in-depth studies of one or a few individuals, & can be very valuable when investigating a phenomenon that is relatively rare, or when we want to do an in-depth history on a person. Of course, any case study you would carry out for your lab assignment can’t be as extensive or in-depth as a formal research study.

1.Data collection:

Gather information about your participant from as many sources as are available to you. You could interview your participant, and/or his or her family or friends. Include your own observations, the participant’s self-report of their experience. (Powell’s example, I once interviewed my grandfather and documented his experience in the Military)

you could interview the participant &/or their family, & add your own observations.

2.Data Analysis:

Summarize the results of your interviews & observations into a description of the participant. For the Results section of your lab report, this would be about a 300 word summary. The focus of your summary depends on the topic question (eg in a case study of World War II and my grandfathers experience).

make sure that you obtain your participant’s consent to do this case study, do make sure that you protect the participant’s confidentiality in presenting the case. It is not enough to substitute their name with a pseudonym. Also avoid overly specific details & descriptors of occupation, etc. that might compromise your participant’s anonymity. (For example, “J.W., a college instructor in Psychology who is a therapist & a writer…”).

3. Presentation of your results in a Research Report:

Results section. Simply present the person, their symptoms, diagnosis & treatment (if applicable). No citations would occur here, since you are describing your results.


Finally, in the Discussion section, interpret your participant’s case from the perspective of current research &/or theory, including theory & research discussed in your Introduction, & other research or theory you may have found that would help you understand your case study.

Note: This assignment requires me to conduct an original case study of a special individual with any issue. No references are allowed because it is not a research paper.

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