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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Writing a Case Study

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Executive Summary
  • The C.A.R.S. Model
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Reading Research Effectively
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tiertiary Sources
  • What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Writing Concisely
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
  • Group Project Survival Skills
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Bibliography

The term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which are used in most circumstances to generalize across populations. This tab focuses on the latter--how to design and organize a research paper in the social sciences that analyzes a specific case.

A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate  key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or among more than two subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.

Case Studies . Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper

General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in this writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a single case study design.

However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:

  • Does the case represent an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
  • Does the case provide important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
  • Does the case challenge and offer a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in practice. A case may offer you an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to the study a case in order to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
  • Does the case provide an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings in order to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
  • Does the case offer a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for exploratory research that points to a need for further examination of the research problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of Uganda. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a particular village can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community throughout rural regions of east Africa. The case could also point to the need for scholars to apply feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation.

Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.

Structure and Writing Style

The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work. In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.

I.  Introduction

As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:

  • What was I studying? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
  • Why was this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the research problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.

Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.

II.  Literature Review

The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and  enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:

  • Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would include summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
  • Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to study the research problem and the underlying research questions.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
  • Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in the context of explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.

III.  Method

In this section, you explain why you selected a particular subject of analysis to study and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that frames your case study.

If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; c) what were the consequences of the event.

If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experience he or she has had that provides an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of his/her experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using him or her as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem.

If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, cultural, economic, political, etc.], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, why study Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research reveals Echo Park has more homeless veterans].

If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks from overseas reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.

NOTE:   The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should be linked to the findings from the literature review. Be sure to cite any prior studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for investigating the research problem.

IV.  Discussion

The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is more common to combine a description of the findings with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:

Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.

Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.

Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings It is important to remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations for the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research.

Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .

Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.

V.  Conclusion

As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and needs for further research.

The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1)  restate the main argument supported by the findings from the analysis of your case; 2) clearly state the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.

Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in and your professor's preferences, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented applied to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.

Problems to Avoid

Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were on social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.

Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study , you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood differently than preserving access to a scarce resource.

Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis.

Case Studies . Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009;  Kratochwill,  Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education .  Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.

Writing Tip

At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research

Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:

Misunderstanding 1 :  General, theoretical [context-independent knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical (context-dependent) knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 :  One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 :  The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 :  The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 :  It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].

While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.

Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.

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Blog Business

How to Present a Case Study like a Pro (With Examples)

By Danesh Ramuthi , Sep 07, 2023

How Present a Case Study like a Pro

Okay, let’s get real: case studies can be kinda snooze-worthy. But guess what? They don’t have to be!

In this article, I will cover every element that transforms a mere report into a compelling case study, from selecting the right metrics to using persuasive narrative techniques.

And if you’re feeling a little lost, don’t worry! There are cool tools like Venngage’s Case Study Creator to help you whip up something awesome, even if you’re short on time. Plus, the pre-designed case study templates are like instant polish because let’s be honest, everyone loves a shortcut.

Click to jump ahead: 

What is a case study presentation?

What is the purpose of presenting a case study, how to structure a case study presentation, how long should a case study presentation be, 5 case study presentation examples with templates, 6 tips for delivering an effective case study presentation, 5 common mistakes to avoid in a case study presentation, how to present a case study faqs.

A case study presentation involves a comprehensive examination of a specific subject, which could range from an individual, group, location, event, organization or phenomenon.

They’re like puzzles you get to solve with the audience, all while making you think outside the box.

Unlike a basic report or whitepaper, the purpose of a case study presentation is to stimulate critical thinking among the viewers. 

The primary objective of a case study is to provide an extensive and profound comprehension of the chosen topic. You don’t just throw numbers at your audience. You use examples and real-life cases to make you think and see things from different angles.

writing introduction for case study

The primary purpose of presenting a case study is to offer a comprehensive, evidence-based argument that informs, persuades and engages your audience.

Here’s the juicy part: presenting that case study can be your secret weapon. Whether you’re pitching a groundbreaking idea to a room full of suits or trying to impress your professor with your A-game, a well-crafted case study can be the magic dust that sprinkles brilliance over your words.

Think of it like digging into a puzzle you can’t quite crack . A case study lets you explore every piece, turn it over and see how it fits together. This close-up look helps you understand the whole picture, not just a blurry snapshot.

It’s also your chance to showcase how you analyze things, step by step, until you reach a conclusion. It’s all about being open and honest about how you got there.

Besides, presenting a case study gives you an opportunity to connect data and real-world scenarios in a compelling narrative. It helps to make your argument more relatable and accessible, increasing its impact on your audience.

One of the contexts where case studies can be very helpful is during the job interview. In some job interviews, you as candidates may be asked to present a case study as part of the selection process.

Having a case study presentation prepared allows the candidate to demonstrate their ability to understand complex issues, formulate strategies and communicate their ideas effectively.

Case Study Example Psychology

The way you present a case study can make all the difference in how it’s received. A well-structured presentation not only holds the attention of your audience but also ensures that your key points are communicated clearly and effectively.

In this section, let’s go through the key steps that’ll help you structure your case study presentation for maximum impact.

Let’s get into it. 

Open with an introductory overview 

Start by introducing the subject of your case study and its relevance. Explain why this case study is important and who would benefit from the insights gained. This is your opportunity to grab your audience’s attention.

writing introduction for case study

Explain the problem in question

Dive into the problem or challenge that the case study focuses on. Provide enough background information for the audience to understand the issue. If possible, quantify the problem using data or metrics to show the magnitude or severity.

writing introduction for case study

Detail the solutions to solve the problem

After outlining the problem, describe the steps taken to find a solution. This could include the methodology, any experiments or tests performed and the options that were considered. Make sure to elaborate on why the final solution was chosen over the others.

writing introduction for case study

Key stakeholders Involved

Talk about the individuals, groups or organizations that were directly impacted by or involved in the problem and its solution. 

Stakeholders may experience a range of outcomes—some may benefit, while others could face setbacks.

For example, in a business transformation case study, employees could face job relocations or changes in work culture, while shareholders might be looking at potential gains or losses.

Discuss the key results & outcomes

Discuss the results of implementing the solution. Use data and metrics to back up your statements. Did the solution meet its objectives? What impact did it have on the stakeholders? Be honest about any setbacks or areas for improvement as well.

writing introduction for case study

Include visuals to support your analysis

Visual aids can be incredibly effective in helping your audience grasp complex issues. Utilize charts, graphs, images or video clips to supplement your points. Make sure to explain each visual and how it contributes to your overall argument.

Pie charts illustrate the proportion of different components within a whole, useful for visualizing market share, budget allocation or user demographics.

This is particularly useful especially if you’re displaying survey results in your case study presentation.

writing introduction for case study

Stacked charts on the other hand are perfect for visualizing composition and trends. This is great for analyzing things like customer demographics, product breakdowns or budget allocation in your case study.

Consider this example of a stacked bar chart template. It provides a straightforward summary of the top-selling cake flavors across various locations, offering a quick and comprehensive view of the data.

writing introduction for case study

Not the chart you’re looking for? Browse Venngage’s gallery of chart templates to find the perfect one that’ll captivate your audience and level up your data storytelling.

Recommendations and next steps

Wrap up by providing recommendations based on the case study findings. Outline the next steps that stakeholders should take to either expand on the success of the project or address any remaining challenges.

Acknowledgments and references

Thank the people who contributed to the case study and helped in the problem-solving process. Cite any external resources, reports or data sets that contributed to your analysis.

Feedback & Q&A session

Open the floor for questions and feedback from your audience. This allows for further discussion and can provide additional insights that may not have been considered previously.

Closing remarks

Conclude the presentation by summarizing the key points and emphasizing the takeaways. Thank your audience for their time and participation and express your willingness to engage in further discussions or collaborations on the subject.

writing introduction for case study

Well, the length of a case study presentation can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the needs of your audience. However, a typical business or academic presentation often lasts between 15 to 30 minutes. 

This time frame usually allows for a thorough explanation of the case while maintaining audience engagement. However, always consider leaving a few minutes at the end for a Q&A session to address any questions or clarify points made during the presentation.

When it comes to presenting a compelling case study, having a well-structured template can be a game-changer. 

It helps you organize your thoughts, data and findings in a coherent and visually pleasing manner. 

Not all case studies are created equal and different scenarios require distinct approaches for maximum impact. 

To save you time and effort, I have curated a list of 5 versatile case study presentation templates, each designed for specific needs and audiences. 

Here are some best case study presentation examples that showcase effective strategies for engaging your audience and conveying complex information clearly.

1 . Lab report case study template

Ever feel like your research gets lost in a world of endless numbers and jargon? Lab case studies are your way out!

Think of it as building a bridge between your cool experiment and everyone else. It’s more than just reporting results – it’s explaining the “why” and “how” in a way that grabs attention and makes sense.

This lap report template acts as a blueprint for your report, guiding you through each essential section (introduction, methods, results, etc.) in a logical order.

College Lab Report Template - Introduction

Want to present your research like a pro? Browse our research presentation template gallery for creative inspiration!

2. Product case study template

It’s time you ditch those boring slideshows and bullet points because I’ve got a better way to win over clients: product case study templates.

Instead of just listing features and benefits, you get to create a clear and concise story that shows potential clients exactly what your product can do for them. It’s like painting a picture they can easily visualize, helping them understand the value your product brings to the table.

Grab the template below, fill in the details, and watch as your product’s impact comes to life!

writing introduction for case study

3. Content marketing case study template

In digital marketing, showcasing your accomplishments is as vital as achieving them. 

A well-crafted case study not only acts as a testament to your successes but can also serve as an instructional tool for others. 

With this coral content marketing case study template—a perfect blend of vibrant design and structured documentation, you can narrate your marketing triumphs effectively.

writing introduction for case study

4. Case study psychology template

Understanding how people tick is one of psychology’s biggest quests and case studies are like magnifying glasses for the mind. They offer in-depth looks at real-life behaviors, emotions and thought processes, revealing fascinating insights into what makes us human.

Writing a top-notch case study, though, can be a challenge. It requires careful organization, clear presentation and meticulous attention to detail. That’s where a good case study psychology template comes in handy.

Think of it as a helpful guide, taking care of formatting and structure while you focus on the juicy content. No more wrestling with layouts or margins – just pour your research magic into crafting a compelling narrative.

writing introduction for case study

5. Lead generation case study template

Lead generation can be a real head-scratcher. But here’s a little help: a lead generation case study.

Think of it like a friendly handshake and a confident resume all rolled into one. It’s your chance to showcase your expertise, share real-world successes and offer valuable insights. Potential clients get to see your track record, understand your approach and decide if you’re the right fit.

No need to start from scratch, though. This lead generation case study template guides you step-by-step through crafting a clear, compelling narrative that highlights your wins and offers actionable tips for others. Fill in the gaps with your specific data and strategies, and voilà! You’ve got a powerful tool to attract new customers.

Modern Lead Generation Business Case Study Presentation Template

Related: 15+ Professional Case Study Examples [Design Tips + Templates]

So, you’ve spent hours crafting the perfect case study and are now tasked with presenting it. Crafting the case study is only half the battle; delivering it effectively is equally important. 

Whether you’re facing a room of executives, academics or potential clients, how you present your findings can make a significant difference in how your work is received. 

Forget boring reports and snooze-inducing presentations! Let’s make your case study sing. Here are some key pointers to turn information into an engaging and persuasive performance:

  • Know your audience : Tailor your presentation to the knowledge level and interests of your audience. Remember to use language and examples that resonate with them.
  • Rehearse : Rehearsing your case study presentation is the key to a smooth delivery and for ensuring that you stay within the allotted time. Practice helps you fine-tune your pacing, hone your speaking skills with good word pronunciations and become comfortable with the material, leading to a more confident, conversational and effective presentation.
  • Start strong : Open with a compelling introduction that grabs your audience’s attention. You might want to use an interesting statistic, a provocative question or a brief story that sets the stage for your case study.
  • Be clear and concise : Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences. Get to the point quickly and stay focused on your objectives.
  • Use visual aids : Incorporate slides with graphics, charts or videos to supplement your verbal presentation. Make sure they are easy to read and understand.
  • Tell a story : Use storytelling techniques to make the case study more engaging. A well-told narrative can help you make complex data more relatable and easier to digest.

writing introduction for case study

Ditching the dry reports and slide decks? Venngage’s case study templates let you wow customers with your solutions and gain insights to improve your business plan. Pre-built templates, visual magic and customer captivation – all just a click away. Go tell your story and watch them say “wow!”

Nailed your case study, but want to make your presentation even stronger? Avoid these common mistakes to ensure your audience gets the most out of it:

Overloading with information

A case study is not an encyclopedia. Overloading your presentation with excessive data, text or jargon can make it cumbersome and difficult for the audience to digest the key points. Stick to what’s essential and impactful. Need help making your data clear and impactful? Our data presentation templates can help! Find clear and engaging visuals to showcase your findings.

Lack of structure

Jumping haphazardly between points or topics can confuse your audience. A well-structured presentation, with a logical flow from introduction to conclusion, is crucial for effective communication.

Ignoring the audience

Different audiences have different needs and levels of understanding. Failing to adapt your presentation to your audience can result in a disconnect and a less impactful presentation.

Poor visual elements

While content is king, poor design or lack of visual elements can make your case study dull or hard to follow. Make sure you use high-quality images, graphs and other visual aids to support your narrative.

Not focusing on results

A case study aims to showcase a problem and its solution, but what most people care about are the results. Failing to highlight or adequately explain the outcomes can make your presentation fall flat.

How to start a case study presentation?

Starting a case study presentation effectively involves a few key steps:

  • Grab attention : Open with a hook—an intriguing statistic, a provocative question or a compelling visual—to engage your audience from the get-go.
  • Set the stage : Briefly introduce the subject, context and relevance of the case study to give your audience an idea of what to expect.
  • Outline objectives : Clearly state what the case study aims to achieve. Are you solving a problem, proving a point or showcasing a success?
  • Agenda : Give a quick outline of the key sections or topics you’ll cover to help the audience follow along.
  • Set expectations : Let your audience know what you want them to take away from the presentation, whether it’s knowledge, inspiration or a call to action.

How to present a case study on PowerPoint and on Google Slides?

Presenting a case study on PowerPoint and Google Slides involves a structured approach for clarity and impact using presentation slides :

  • Title slide : Start with a title slide that includes the name of the case study, your name and any relevant institutional affiliations.
  • Introduction : Follow with a slide that outlines the problem or situation your case study addresses. Include a hook to engage the audience.
  • Objectives : Clearly state the goals of the case study in a dedicated slide.
  • Findings : Use charts, graphs and bullet points to present your findings succinctly.
  • Analysis : Discuss what the findings mean, drawing on supporting data or secondary research as necessary.
  • Conclusion : Summarize key takeaways and results.
  • Q&A : End with a slide inviting questions from the audience.

What’s the role of analysis in a case study presentation?

The role of analysis in a case study presentation is to interpret the data and findings, providing context and meaning to them. 

It helps your audience understand the implications of the case study, connects the dots between the problem and the solution and may offer recommendations for future action.

Is it important to include real data and results in the presentation?

Yes, including real data and results in a case study presentation is crucial to show experience,  credibility and impact. Authentic data lends weight to your findings and conclusions, enabling the audience to trust your analysis and take your recommendations more seriously

How do I conclude a case study presentation effectively?

To conclude a case study presentation effectively, summarize the key findings, insights and recommendations in a clear and concise manner. 

End with a strong call-to-action or a thought-provoking question to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

What’s the best way to showcase data in a case study presentation ?

The best way to showcase data in a case study presentation is through visual aids like charts, graphs and infographics which make complex information easily digestible, engaging and creative. 

Don’t just report results, visualize them! This template for example lets you transform your social media case study into a captivating infographic that sparks conversation.

writing introduction for case study

Choose the type of visual that best represents the data you’re showing; for example, use bar charts for comparisons or pie charts for parts of a whole. 

Ensure that the visuals are high-quality and clearly labeled, so the audience can quickly grasp the key points. 

Keep the design consistent and simple, avoiding clutter or overly complex visuals that could distract from the message.

Choose a template that perfectly suits your case study where you can utilize different visual aids for maximum impact. 

Need more inspiration on how to turn numbers into impact with the help of infographics? Our ready-to-use infographic templates take the guesswork out of creating visual impact for your case studies with just a few clicks.

Related: 10+ Case Study Infographic Templates That Convert

Congrats on mastering the art of compelling case study presentations! This guide has equipped you with all the essentials, from structure and nuances to avoiding common pitfalls. You’re ready to impress any audience, whether in the boardroom, the classroom or beyond.

And remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Venngage’s Case Study Creator is your trusty companion, ready to elevate your presentations from ordinary to extraordinary. So, let your confidence shine, leverage your newly acquired skills and prepare to deliver presentations that truly resonate.

Go forth and make a lasting impact!

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How to Write a Case Study | Examples & Methods

writing introduction for case study

What is a case study?

A case study is a research approach that provides an in-depth examination of a particular phenomenon, event, organization, or individual. It involves analyzing and interpreting data to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject under investigation. 

Case studies can be used in various disciplines, including business, social sciences, medicine ( clinical case report ), engineering, and education. The aim of a case study is to provide an in-depth exploration of a specific subject, often with the goal of generating new insights into the phenomena being studied.

When to write a case study

Case studies are often written to present the findings of an empirical investigation or to illustrate a particular point or theory. They are useful when researchers want to gain an in-depth understanding of a specific phenomenon or when they are interested in exploring new areas of inquiry. 

Case studies are also useful when the subject of the research is rare or when the research question is complex and requires an in-depth examination. A case study can be a good fit for a thesis or dissertation as well.

Case study examples

Below are some examples of case studies with their research questions:

These examples demonstrate the diversity of research questions and case studies that can be explored. From studying small businesses in Ghana to the ethical issues in supply chains, case studies can be used to explore a wide range of phenomena.

Outlying cases vs. representative cases

An outlying case stud y refers to a case that is unusual or deviates significantly from the norm. An example of an outlying case study could be a small, family-run bed and breakfast that was able to survive and even thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, while other larger hotels struggled to stay afloat.

On the other hand, a representative case study refers to a case that is typical of the phenomenon being studied. An example of a representative case study could be a hotel chain that operates in multiple locations that faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as reduced demand for hotel rooms, increased safety and health protocols, and supply chain disruptions. The hotel chain case could be representative of the broader hospitality industry during the pandemic, and thus provides an insight into the typical challenges that businesses in the industry faced.

Steps for Writing a Case Study

As with any academic paper, writing a case study requires careful preparation and research before a single word of the document is ever written. Follow these basic steps to ensure that you don’t miss any crucial details when composing your case study.

Step 1: Select a case to analyze

After you have developed your statement of the problem and research question , the first step in writing a case study is to select a case that is representative of the phenomenon being investigated or that provides an outlier. For example, if a researcher wants to explore the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, they could select a representative case, such as a hotel chain that operates in multiple locations, or an outlying case, such as a small bed and breakfast that was able to pivot their business model to survive during the pandemic. Selecting the appropriate case is critical in ensuring the research question is adequately explored.

Step 2: Create a theoretical framework

Theoretical frameworks are used to guide the analysis and interpretation of data in a case study. The framework should provide a clear explanation of the key concepts, variables, and relationships that are relevant to the research question. The theoretical framework can be drawn from existing literature, or the researcher can develop their own framework based on the data collected. The theoretical framework should be developed early in the research process to guide the data collection and analysis.

To give your case analysis a strong theoretical grounding, be sure to include a literature review of references and sources relating to your topic and develop a clear theoretical framework. Your case study does not simply stand on its own but interacts with other studies related to your topic. Your case study can do one of the following: 

  • Demonstrate a theory by showing how it explains the case being investigated
  • Broaden a theory by identifying additional concepts and ideas that can be incorporated to strengthen it
  • Confront a theory via an outlier case that does not conform to established conclusions or assumptions

Step 3: Collect data for your case study

Data collection can involve a variety of research methods , including interviews, surveys, observations, and document analyses, and it can include both primary and secondary sources . It is essential to ensure that the data collected is relevant to the research question and that it is collected in a systematic and ethical manner. Data collection methods should be chosen based on the research question and the availability of data. It is essential to plan data collection carefully to ensure that the data collected is of high quality

Step 4: Describe the case and analyze the details

The final step is to describe the case in detail and analyze the data collected. This involves identifying patterns and themes that emerge from the data and drawing conclusions that are relevant to the research question. It is essential to ensure that the analysis is supported by the data and that any limitations or alternative explanations are acknowledged.

The manner in which you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard academic paper, with separate sections or chapters for the methods section , results section , and discussion section , while others are structured more like a standalone literature review.

Regardless of the topic you choose to pursue, writing a case study requires a systematic and rigorous approach to data collection and analysis. By following the steps outlined above and using examples from existing literature, researchers can create a comprehensive and insightful case study that contributes to the understanding of a particular phenomenon.

Preparing Your Case Study for Publication

After completing the draft of your case study, be sure to revise and edit your work for any mistakes, including grammatical errors , punctuation errors , spelling mistakes, and awkward sentence structure . Ensure that your case study is well-structured and that your arguments are well-supported with language that follows the conventions of academic writing .  To ensure your work is polished for style and free of errors, get English editing services from Wordvice, including our paper editing services and manuscript editing services . Let our academic subject experts enhance the style and flow of your academic work so you can submit your case study with confidence.

How to Write a Case Study

How to Write a Case Study

writing introduction for case study

A case study is an in-depth analysis of a specific situation, person, event, phenomenon, time,  place, or company. They look at various elements of the situation including history, trends,  specific outcomes, cause and effect, etc. 

A case study can either be part of a larger research assignment as one of the methodologies used or be a standalone assignment. You can include several case studies in the same paper or focus on just one case. Multiple case studies are useful when comparing different elements of a research question and trying to find similarities or analyzing the reasons where outcomes are different. 

Since the goal of a case study is to get an in-depth understanding of a specific situation, it is perfect for unique cases which may not have a lot of experimental or theoretical data. But this also makes it a very subjective method of analysis, one that cannot be generalized to fit larger groups of data. Case studies are often used in the initial stages of studying a new situation and can help come up with research questions and hypotheses for future studies. 

Don't worry if that all sounds complicated,  by the end of this article you will know not only how to write a case study assignment in college, but how to write a good case study for a scientific publication!

What is a Case Study?

A case study is one of the best ways of analyzing a unique phenomenon. It's particularly useful when the research question cannot be studied in a lab or through quantitative methods. Case studies are used in the social sciences, business, medicine, social work, and government reports. It is tough to have a case study definition because there are five main types of case studies. 


An explanatory case study explores the cause of a specific event or tries to explain why something happens. These are most often used to analyze events rather than people or groups. 


An exploratory case study is most often used to develop in-depth research questions. They are often precursors to large-scale research about a new topic. The goal of this kind of case study is to find new pieces of information that will help develop hypotheses to be tested in the future. 

Multiple, Collective, or Cumulative

This kind of case study collects information from pre-existing case studies to develop a general theory. This saves time and money, as well as allows researchers to go over pre-existing data to either make generalizations or find differences in previous outcomes. 

An intrinsic case study is a case study where the subject of the study is of particular interest and is the subject of analysis rather than a general theory. This kind of study is useful when looking at a very specific case. 


Instrumental case studies are used to uncover the relationship between two things, or when the focus is not on the subjects, but on the underlying phenomena. 

Struggling with the Case Study Homework?

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Steps for Writing a Case Study

If you're tasked with writing a case study paper, it's important to begin by developing a strong research question and topic. This can be a daunting task, but there are resources available to help. Consider reaching out to custom writing services or admission essay writer for assistance in developing your research question and selecting a topic.

Once you have your topic and research question, it's time to begin the process of writing your case study paper. This can be a time-consuming and challenging process, but you don't have to go it alone. If you're feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a coursework writing service or a " write my paper for me " service to help you complete your assignment.

When writing your case study paper, it's important to follow the proper format and structure. Your paper should include an introduction, background information, a description of the case, analysis of the case, and a conclusion. If you're unsure about how to structure your paper, don't hesitate to reach out for help from a do my essay for me service or a professional writer.

By working with custom writing services or professional writers, you can ensure that your case study paper is well-written, properly formatted, and meets all of your professor's requirements. Don't let the stress of writing a case study paper get in the way of your academic success - get the help you need today and watch your grades soar!

Step 1. Choosing a specific case

Once you have your research questions you are ready to think about what specific case answers those questions best. First, think about the different types of case studies and figure out which one is most applicable in your situation. Next, think about the kinds of questions that you want to find answers to, or the kinds of questions you want to uncover. Ask yourself

  • Is the case you are interested in unique with the potential to uncover new kinds of information?
  • Does the case you are interested in allow exploring a pre-existing idea or theory more in-depth?
  • Does the case you are interested in have a conclusion or insight that is opposite or different from pre-existing ideas about the subject?
  • Does the case you are interested in have the potential to solve a problem?
  • Is the point of your case to come up with new hypotheses for future research?

As long as you think about these questions, you should be able to come up with a case that will both answer your research questions as well as provide relevant information.

Step 2. The literature review

Before jumping into collecting your data and running your experiments or interviews you should familiarize yourself with the pre-existing theoretical framework. Not only will this help you devise your data accumulation methodology, but it will also give you information to help describe and analyze your case. Some case studies may not have an extensive amount of pre-existing theories to go over, but doing a literature review is always going to be beneficial. 

Go over your lecture notes and textbook to see which theories are relevant to your case. Ask your friends, professors, and experts in the field for advice on what to research. Once you have a general idea of what topics to look into, use library resources and the internet to familiarize yourself with theories that may apply to your case and previous case study examples that are similar to yours. Looking into a similar example of a case study will make sure that you don't repeat research that has already happened, help you understand how to do a case study, give you guidance about how you should collect your data, and give you a case study template. 

Step 3. Collecting data

Data collection methodologies for a case study are usually qualitative rather than quantitative.  You can employ methods such as interviews and focus groups to collect specific or new types of data, or you can look at primary and secondary sources like journals, newspapers, online publications, etc. to collect information. 

Data collection for case studies can seem difficult because there is no specific goal that you are trying to reach. The goal is to collect as much relevant information as possible and develop your conclusions based on the data. Try to organize your data either thematically, chronologically, or in whatever way that makes the most sense to you. This will help when analyzing and describing while writing a case study in the next step.

Step 4. Writing the paper 

It's finally time to learn how to write a case study essay! Writing a case study is a complicated process because it does not follow the standard five-paragraph model of essay writing. The next section dives deep into actually writing a case study.

Did you like our Case Study Guide?

For more help, tap into our pool of professional writers and get expert essay editing services!‍

How to Format a Case Study

A case study can be structured in a few different ways depending on the type of case study and the subject being analyzed. You can go over some examples of case studies, but in general, there are five sections in a case study outline; introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion. Let's go over each section in a case study format in depth. 


The first few sentences of the case study should present the question you are answering or the case you are exploring interestingly so that you grab the reader's interest. Give some background information about the topic you are looking into and some details about the case you are going to present highlighting how the two are related. Make sure you mention why the research question is important and why the case you have chosen enhances information about that topic. Write a brief summary of your literature review, highlighting important theories or previous case studies that you plan to build upon. Finally, end your introduction with the potential ways that your case study can be used in the future. 

Literature Review

Your first body paragraph should go over the literature review. The goal of this section is to present information to the reader that allows them to understand the current state of research in a given topic as well as help them understand why your case study is important. 

If there is a lot of research about your topic, summarize the main findings of that research and explain why the case you’re exploring expands information about the topic. Present case studies examples that answer similar research questions using a different research methodology and explain why your methodology is beneficial. Talk about the main theories that are related to your topic giving brief descriptions of each one as well as talking about why these theories are important to your case study. 

By the end of your literature review section, the reader should have theoretical knowledge of your topic and be familiar with what kind of research has already happened. Most importantly, they should know how your case study fills a knowledge gap, enhances knowledge by analyzing a problem differently, or shows new directions for further research. 

This is the section where you present your case. Start by explaining why you chose your particular case and how it relates to the larger research question. Then explain why you chose the specific research method you did.  

Give all the important background details of your case. If your case is about a specific person, spend some time going over the person’s history and the specific incident or situation you are looking into. If your case is about an event or situation, give background information about the company, time, pre-existing theoretical frameworks, or literature. 

If you have run a focus group or conducted interviews, give the details of how you chose your participants, why you chose specific questions, and then the answers and data that you gathered.

Essentially the goal of this section is to present the new information that you have discovered. 

The discussion section combines your findings with the case study analysis. This is where you draw conclusions based on your research and connect them to your research question. Start this paragraph by restating your research questions and thesis. Briefly go over why you chose your case and how it relates to the topic, then present your findings. 

State your main finding and explain why it is important. If it is surprising, connect it to existing literature and explain why it is surprising. If it enhances the understanding of a specific topic, explain how it differs from the results of previous case studies. Do this for any other important results from your case study. Remember to explain why each one is important and how the results can be generalized beyond just your specific case study. 

Compare your case study to previous case studies done on similar topics. If the findings of your case study are different from the findings of previous similar case studies, explain why this is so. For example, this could be because of different research methodologies, different target audiences, generational changes, or you could have uncovered a new way of thinking about a problem. By comparing your case study to pre-existing case studies you can show either how you have answered a question raised previously, or how your case study findings can prompt future research. 

Towards the end of your discussion section, you should consider alternative explanations for your case study findings. Because case studies often look into not well-understood areas of research or are about very specific cases, the findings can be interpreted subjectively. Go over other possible interpretations of your findings to show that you have deeply considered your results. 

In most academic papers, the limitations of your study and avenues for possible research are included in the conclusion, but for a case study, they are important sections of the main discussion. While acknowledging the limitations of your study, you get a chance to explain why those limitations may not apply to your case. Use this as an opportunity to explain why certain questions could not be answered by your case study. This is also why suggesting avenues for further research make sense here. Make suggestions for research based on the limitations of your study or surprising results in your findings. 

The main goal of your conclusion is to explain why your case study and its findings are important. Repeat your research question and thesis and state your main findings clearly. Give a brief overview of the most important pre-existing case studies or theories related to your case and explain how your findings have expanded on that information. Finally, explain how your case studies and findings can contribute to further research. 

Whether it’s how to write a student case study, how to write a business case study, how to write a case study analysis, you now know how to make a case study! Writing a good case study can be challenging because it requires both a literature review as well as original research. Case studies are often used in the business world for marketing, in the social sciences for psychology, sociology, and anthropology, as well as in medicine. So, learning to write a case study is important! If you need help with writing a case study, the experts at Studyfy are always eager to lend a hand. 

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Home Blog Business How to Present a Case Study: Examples and Best Practices

How to Present a Case Study: Examples and Best Practices

Case Study: How to Write and Present It

Marketers, consultants, salespeople, and all other types of business managers often use case study analysis to highlight a success story, showing how an exciting problem can be or was addressed. But how do you create a compelling case study and then turn it into a memorable presentation? Get a lowdown from this post! 

Table of Content s

  • Why Case Studies are a Popular Marketing Technique 

Popular Case Study Format Types

How to write a case study: a 4-step framework, how to do a case study presentation: 3 proven tips, how long should a case study be, final tip: use compelling presentation visuals, business case study examples, what is a case study .

Let’s start with this great case study definition by the University of South Caroline:

In the social sciences, the term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which can generalize findings across populations.

In simpler terms — a case study is investigative research into a problem aimed at presenting or highlighting solution(s) to the analyzed issues.

A standard business case study provides insights into:

  • General business/market conditions 
  • The main problem faced 
  • Methods applied 
  • The outcomes gained using a specific tool or approach

Case studies (also called case reports) are also used in clinical settings to analyze patient outcomes outside of the business realm. 

But this is a topic for another time. In this post, we’ll focus on teaching you how to write and present a business case, plus share several case study PowerPoint templates and design tips! 

Case Study Woman Doing Research PPT Template

Why Case Studies are a Popular Marketing Technique 

Besides presenting a solution to an internal issue, case studies are often used as a content marketing technique . According to a 2020 Content Marketing Institute report, 69% of B2B marketers use case studies as part of their marketing mix.

A case study informs the reader about a possible solution and soft-sells the results, which can be achieved with your help (e.g., by using your software or by partnering with your specialist). 

For the above purpose, case studies work like a charm. Per the same report: 

  • For 9% of marketers, case studies are also the best method for nurturing leads. 
  • 23% admit that case studies are beneficial for improving conversions. 

Moreover, case studies also help improve your brand’s credibility, especially in the current fake news landscape and dubious claims made without proper credit. 

Ultimately, case studies naturally help build up more compelling, relatable stories and showcase your product benefits through the prism of extra social proof, courtesy of the case study subject. 

Case Study Computer PPT Template

Most case studies come either as a slide deck or as a downloadable PDF document. 

Typically, you have several options to distribute your case study for maximum reach:

  • Case study presentations — in-person, virtual, or pre-recorded, there are many times when a case study presentation comes in handy. For example, during client workshops, sales pitches, networking events, conferences, trade shows, etc. 
  • Dedicated website page — highlighting case study examples on your website is a great way to convert middle-on-the-funnel prospects. Google’s Think With Google case study section is a great example of a web case study design done right.

Case Study Example Google PPT Template

  • Blog case studies — data-driven storytelling is a staunch way to stand apart from your competition by providing unique insights, no other brand can tell. 
  • Video case studies — video is a great medium for showcasing more complex business cases and celebrating customer success stories.

Once you decide on your case study format, the next step is collecting data and then translating it into a storyline. There are different case study methods and research approaches you can use to procure data. 

But let’s say you already have all your facts straight and need to organize them in a clean copy for your presentation deck. Here’s how you should do it. 

Business Case Study Example PPT Template

1. Identify the Problem 

Every compelling case study research starts with a problem statement definition. While in business settings, there’s no need to explain your methodology in-depth; you should still open your presentation with a quick problem recap slide.

Be sure to mention: 

  • What’s the purpose of the case study? What will the audience learn? 
  • Set the scene. Explain the before, aka the problems someone was facing. 
  • Advertise the main issues and findings without highlighting specific details.

The above information should nicely fit in several paragraphs or 2-3 case study template slides

2. Explain the Solution 

The bulk of your case study copy and presentation slides should focus on the provided solution(s). This is the time to speak at length about how the subject went from before to the glorious after. 

Here are some writing prompts to help you articulate this better:

  • State the subject’s main objective and goals. What outcomes were they after?
  • Explain the main solution(s) provided. What was done? Why this, but not that? 
  • Mention if they tried any alternatives. Why did those work? Why were you better?

This part may take the longest to write. Don’t rush it and reiterate several times. Sprinkle in some powerful words and catchphrases to make your copy more compelling.

3. Collect Testimonials 

Persuasive case studies feature the voice of customer (VoC) data — first-party testimonials and assessments of how well the solution works. These provide extra social proof and credibility to all the claims you are making. 

So plan and schedule interviews with your subjects to collect their input and testimonials. Also, design your case study interview questions in a way that lets you obtain quantifiable results.

4. Package The Information in a Slide Deck

Once you have a rough first draft, try different business case templates and designs to see how these help structure all the available information. 

As a rule of thumb, try to keep one big idea per slide. If you are talking about a solution, first present the general bullet points. Then give each solution a separate slide where you’ll provide more context and perhaps share some quantifiable results.

For example, if you look at case study presentation examples from AWS like this one about Stripe , you’ll notice that the slide deck has few texts and really focuses on the big picture, while the speaker provides extra context.

Need some extra case study presentation design help? Download our Business Case Study PowerPoint template with 100% editable slides. 

Case Study Man With Giant Clipboard PPT Template

Your spoken presentation (and public speaking skills ) are equally if not more important than the case study copy and slide deck. To make a strong business case, follow these quick techniques. 

Focus on Telling a Great Story

A case study is a story of overcoming a challenge, and achieving something grand. Your delivery should reflect that. Step away from the standard “features => benefits” sales formula. Instead, make your customer the hero of the study. Describe the road they went through and how you’ve helped them succeed. 

The premises of your story can be as simple as:

  • Help with overcoming a hurdle
  • Gaining major impact
  • Reaching a new milestone
  • Solving a persisting issue no one else code 

Based on the above, create a clear story arc. Show where your hero started. Then explain what type of journey they went through. Inject some emotions into the mix to make your narrative more relatable and memorable. 

Experiment with Copywriting Formulas 

Copywriting is the art and science of organizing words into compelling and persuasive combinations that help readers retain the right ideas. 

To ensure that the audience retains the right takeaways from your case study presentation, you can try using some of the classic copywriting formulas to structure your delivery. These include:

  • AIDCA — short for A ttention, I nterest, D esire, C onviction, and A ction. First, grab the audience’s attention by addressing the major problem. Next, pique their interest with some teaser facts. Spark their desire by showing that you know the right way out. Then, show a conviction that you know how to solve the issue—finally, prompt follow-up action such as contacting you to learn more. 
  • PADS — is short for Problem, Agitation, Discredit, or Solution. This is more of a sales approach to case study narration. Again, you start with a problem, agitate about its importance, discredit why other solutions won’t cut it, and then present your option. 
  • 4Ps — short for P roblem, P romise, P roof, P roposal. This is a middle-ground option that prioritizes storytelling over hard pitches. Set the scene first with a problem. Then make a promise of how you can solve it. Show proof in the form of numbers, testimonials, and different scenarios. Round it up with a proposal for getting the same outcomes. 

Take an Emotion-Inducing Perspective

The key to building a strong rapport with an audience is showing that you are one of them and fully understand what they are going through. 

One of the ways to build this connection is by speaking from an emotion-inducing perspective. This is best illustrated with an example: 

  • A business owner went to the bank
  • A business owner came into a bank branch 

In the second case, the wording prompts listeners to paint a mental picture from the perspective of the bank employees — a role you’d like them to relate to. By placing your audience in the right visual perspective, you can make them more receptive to your pitches. 

Case Study Medical Example PPT Template

One common question that arises when creating a case study is determining its length. The length of a case study can vary depending on the complexity of the problem and the level of detail you want to provide. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide how long your case study should be:

  • Concise and Informative: A good case study should be concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary fluff and filler content. Focus on providing valuable information and insights.
  • Tailor to Your Audience: Consider your target audience when deciding the length. If you’re presenting to a technical audience, you might include more in-depth technical details. For a non-technical audience, keep it more high-level and accessible.
  • Cover Key Points: Ensure that your case study covers the key points effectively. These include the problem statement, the solution, and the outcomes. Provide enough information for the reader to understand the context and the significance of your case.
  • Visuals: Visual elements such as charts, graphs, images, and diagrams can help convey information more effectively. Use visuals to supplement your written content and make complex information easier to understand.
  • Engagement: Keep your audience engaged. A case study that is too long may lose the reader’s interest. Make sure the content is engaging and holds the reader’s attention throughout.
  • Consider the Format: Depending on the format you choose (e.g., written document, presentation, video), the ideal length may vary. For written case studies, aim for a length that can be easily read in one sitting.

In general, a written case study for business purposes often falls in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 words. However, this is not a strict rule, and the length can be shorter or longer based on the factors mentioned above.

Our brain is wired to process images much faster than text. So when you are presenting a case study, always look for an opportunity to tie in some illustrations such as: 

  • A product demo/preview
  • Processes chart 
  • Call-out quotes or numbers
  • Custom illustrations or graphics 
  • Customer or team headshots 

Use icons to minimize the volume of text. Also, opt for readable fonts that can look good in a smaller size too.

To better understand how to create an effective business case study, let’s explore some examples of successful case studies:

Apple Inc.: Apple’s case study on the launch of the iPhone is a classic example. It covers the problem of a changing mobile phone market, the innovative solution (the iPhone), and the outstanding outcomes, such as market dominance and increased revenue.

Tesla, Inc.: Tesla’s case study on electric vehicles and sustainable transportation is another compelling example. It addresses the problem of environmental concerns and the need for sustainable transportation solutions. The case study highlights Tesla’s electric cars as the solution and showcases the positive impact on reducing carbon emissions.

Amazon.com: Amazon’s case study on customer-centricity is a great illustration of how the company transformed the e-commerce industry. It discusses the problem of customer dissatisfaction with traditional retail, Amazon’s customer-focused approach as the solution, and the remarkable outcomes in terms of customer loyalty and market growth.

Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s case study on brand evolution is a valuable example. It outlines the challenge of adapting to changing consumer preferences and demographics. The case study demonstrates how Coca-Cola continually reinvented its brand to stay relevant and succeed in the global market.

Airbnb: Airbnb’s case study on the sharing economy is an intriguing example. It addresses the problem of travelers seeking unique and affordable accommodations. The case study presents Airbnb’s platform as the solution and highlights its impact on the hospitality industry and the sharing economy.

These examples showcase the diversity of case studies in the business world and how they effectively communicate problems, solutions, and outcomes. When creating your own business case study, use these examples as inspiration and tailor your approach to your specific industry and target audience.

Finally, practice your case study presentation several times — solo and together with your team — to collect feedback and make last-minute refinements! 

1. Business Case Study PowerPoint Template

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To efficiently create a Business Case Study it’s important to ask all the right questions and document everything necessary, therefore this PowerPoint Template will provide all the sections you need.

Use This Template

2. Medical Case Study PowerPoint Template

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3. Medical Infographics PowerPoint Templates

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4. Success Story PowerPoint Template

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5. Detective Research PowerPoint Template

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6. Animated Clinical Study PowerPoint Templates

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How to Write a Case Study: Definition, Outline, Steps & Examples

Case study

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A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination of a particular subject, often a person, group, event, or organization. It's used to explore complex issues in real-world contexts. A case study can provide insights that might not be achieved with other research methods.

Are you struggling with writing a case study and don't know where to begin? You are not alone. Most students involved in the Psychology or Sociology field often find this task challenging. Especially if they are new to this research method. However, with the right structure and preparation, creating a case study paper will be a piece of cake. 

After reading this article, you will be armed with all essential details including:

  • Definition 
  • Case study types
  • Basic structure
  • Steps on how to write a case study
  • Examples that worked.

Let’s dive right in!

What Is a Case Study: Definition

A case study is a research method that involves examining a specific instance to let researchers learn more about an individual, event, organization or concept. It is like a magnifying glass for studying real-life situations. By looking at a single example, we can learn more about complex issues and understand patterns. 

Case studies are used in the fields like Psychology, Business, Statistics or Nursing. As a rule, students apply this research method when writing a dissertation or thesis . 

Depending on the research question and the data needed to address a problem, case studies can involve various research methods.

Research Methods Applied in Case Studies

Case Study Example

A researcher is interested in studying the effects of a newly implemented teaching method on student performance. To find out, they observe a class of 30 students over one semester. The researcher compares the test scores from before and after the method was used, documenting its effectiveness.  The study results showed that academic performance had improved by 11.5% since the new teaching method was implemented. The researcher concluded that this approach works well and can be generalized to a broader population.

Let's recap the main points. 

Essay Structure Basics

What Is the Purpose of a Case Study?

The primary purpose of a case study is to gain insight into the real-world situations through the investigation and analysis of a single instance. This research design is often applied to meet such goals: 

  • Develop a better understanding of complex issues or phenomena 
  • Identify patterns and relationships
  • Test hypotheses and theories in natural settings
  • Provide practical solutions
  • Illustrate best practices or successful strategies.

Every case study writer can customize their work to fit the needs of a specific discipline, as shown below.

Use of Case Studies 

Looking for expert case study help ? Don't hesitate to contact our academic writers today to get the assistance you need. Our team of experts is ready to provide you with top-notch writings to help you achieve your academic or professional goals

Types of Case Studies

There are different types of case studies that scholars or students can bring into play. Each approach has its own focus and is chosen based on research objectives. 

  • Descriptive case studies This approach involves a detailed examination of a particular situation or phenomenon to understand it better. Here, researchers see the context, events, and processes that led to a particular outcome, and get a comprehensive picture of the situation.
  • Explanatory case studies Explanatory method allows us to understand the "why" and “how” behind a particular event or phenomenon. As the name suggests, this type of case study seeks to test and explain the causal relationship between independent and dependent variables . 
  • Exploratory case studies Imagine being a detective and investigating a mystery or problem in its early stages. This is the main idea of an exploratory investigation. It helps to recognize key questions, potential patterns, and areas for further research. It's like peeling back the layers of an onion, revealing new insights and uncovering possible solutions. 
  • Intrinsic case studies  Unlike other case study methods, an intrinsic approach is used to explore a unique instance. Here, researchers focus on a particular scenario in its own right, rather than trying to apply the outcomes to a broader population.  
  • Instrumental case studies This type of study examines one instance to shed light on a larger group or phenomenon. Instrumental technique is a good choice if you want to develop theoretical frameworks and obtain generalizable findings.
  • Cumulative case studies  While conducting cumulative research, students compile and synthesize information from multiple similar instances. Here, you combine the results of multiple studies to draw more generalized conclusions.
  • Collective case reports Think of several individual instances being studied together to provide a broader understanding of a specific phenomenon. These instances are often connected by a common theme. This enables researchers to compare and contrast cases and uncover tendencies. 
  • Critical case studies Researchers use this method to explore exceptional instances that are particularly interesting or thought-provoking. Critical approach helps to analyze why a specific situation occurred and what could have been done differently.

Case Study Structure: Main Parts

When investigating any phenomenon, it’s important to organize your sections in a logical manner. A structure of a case study usually includes such components:

  • Introduction This section is a place to present a case. Provide a brief overview of your instance, introduce your key research objectives and prepare the readers for further analysis.
  • Problem identification By laying out a problem, you will be able to show the scope and significance of your topic. Identify the main issue that will be examined and build a clear statement of the problem.
  • Background A properly established context sets the stage for research and lays a foundation for case evaluation. Offer relevant background information on the instance. This can be a historical, geographical or cultural context.
  • Methodology Describe your  methodology in research  – approach, data collection methods and analysis techniques used in your investigation.
  • Solution  Now is the time to determine potential solutions to address the problem, and evaluate the pros and cons of each resolution. Make sure solutions are realistic.
  • Results  Once a case study is conducted, you should share your key findings. Mention any data or evidence that was collected and analyzed.
  • Discussion This part of a case study is a perfect opportunity for analysis. Discuss the implications of your outcomes and draw conclusions
  • Conclusion Summarize your main points, restate a problem and solutions, and offer final recommendations or next steps.

Case Study Structure

Case Study Outline

Before you create a case study, it’s a good idea to prepare an outline. It serves as a skeleton of your project. A well-structured outline of a case study helps organize your thoughts in a logical manner.

Below you can see an example of a basic template. Feel free to use it for inspiration. 

General Outline  

  • Brief subject introduction
  • Research purpose and objectives
  • Necessary context
  • Problem/issue
  • Problem significance
  • Subject/idea history
  • Setting or environment description
  • Key challenges, opportunities, or turning points
  • Research methods used to gather information
  • Data analysis methods
  • Possible strategies
  • Assessment of solutions
  • Recommended solvents
  • Major discoveries from the data analysis
  • Implications
  • Limitations/challenges
  • Summary of key points
  • Restatement of the problem and solution
  • Final suggestions or next steps

Based on the sample template shown above, arrange your key ideas and highlight critical information. You may change the blocks to meet your assignment’s unique requirements.

Before You Start Writing a Case Study

Preparation  is the key to success. To make your case study flawless, you need to establish your goal and plan. This will lay the foundation of the whole process before you begin writing.

Ensure you follow these 3 crucial steps before moving further. 

1. Carefully Read the Instructions 

Your professor may provide you with special requirements, case study rubric or exemplary works. The instructions may include details on preferred format, structure, word count, writing style or analysis techniques. Read given material attentively and make sure you fully understand the guidelines. 

Get expertly crafted works to meet your academic needs. Buy case study from certified professionals and ace your assignments with ease.

2. Conduct Research

Researching is the most time-consuming part of writing a case study. Review relevant studies on the research topic to gain a deeper understanding of your subject. You may want to go through different sources and identify their strengths and limitations. Strive to build a bridge between your case study report and existing gaps. 

Make sure to jot down all your ideas, opinions, notes or questions related to your research. This approach will help you build an outline and write a case study accordingly.  

3. Gather Data

Now you are all set for the data collection process. Identify the most relevant type of information pertinent to your research question.

Consider using primary sources such as interviews, surveys or questionnaires. Secondary resources may include books, articles, case studies and public documents. 

Your data must be accurate and reliable so double-check your research results before integrating them into your project.

Collecting Data for a Case Study Using Different Methods

How to Write a Case Study in 7 Steps?

Now that you are familiar with the preparation stages, it's time to dive into the writing process. Writing case studies can be challenging. But by following a structured approach, you can produce a clear and engaging work. 

To create a strong project, it's important to carefully plan and execute each step of your flow, from identifying the research question to presenting your conclusions. Below we have prepared detailed guidelines on how to write a case study paper. 

7 Steps on How to Write a Case Study

1. Introduce a Case Study

Start your case study introduction by presenting your subject and providing a brief overview of the research objectives. It's important to highlight the significance of your case and explain why it warrants examination. One way to do this is to focus on innovative aspects, such as a novel approach to a problem or a new technology. You can also emphasize the broader implications. 

You should also preview a structure. This will give readers an idea of what to expect. Briefly describe your main points or provide a rough outline. 

Case Study Introduction Example

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that can arise in individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. In this case study, we examine the experiences of a patient who was diagnosed with PTSD following a car accident. Our analysis focuses on the patient's symptoms, including intrusive thoughts, hyperarousal, and avoidance behaviors. We also explore the treatments employed to manage these symptoms. By analyzing this case, we aim to provide insights into the challenges of treating PTSD and offer recommendations for improving therapeutic interventions for individuals suffering from this condition.

2. Describe a Problem

Before you get to the problem, provide context that explains the issue at hand. Identify the scope and impact of this problem. One efficient strategy of creating case studies that trigger attention is integrating examples or statistics. This helps to understand how severe this situation is. 

Additionally, you may want to highlight any challenges or obstacles that have prevented a problem from being solved. 

Example of Problem Description in a Case Study

John is a 28-year-old man who was involved in a serious car accident three months ago. Since then, he has been experiencing PTSD symptoms, including recurring nightmares, flashbacks, and feelings of anxiety. These symptoms have affected his work performance and relationships with family and friends. Despite seeking help from his primary care physician and attending therapy sessions, John has not experienced significant improvement. The challenge is to identify effective treatments that can help John manage his PTSD and improve his quality of life.

>> Read more: How to Write a Problem Statement

3. Discuss Research Methods 

Research methods you apply will define how to make a case study. There are multiple ways to collect data. So your primary task here is to figure out what kind of information you want to obtain. 

Your research strategy should align with your objectives. For instance, interviews can help capture detailed information from a small sample of people. On the other hand, surveys involve large groups of individuals. If you are using interviews or surveys, provide a list of questions participants were asked. 

You can also do experiments to test out different theories or conduct document analysis to identify trends. 

>> Learn more: What Is Experimental Design  

Example of How to Describe Research Methods 

In this research, both quantitative and qualitative data were utilized. 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who had experienced PTSD symptoms following a traumatic event. Additionally, data was collected from a survey of 253 individuals who had not been diagnosed with PTSD. We inquired about their experiences with trauma and the types of coping strategies they used to manage stress. Medical records from John's primary care physician were analyzed to track his progress over time. The combination of quantitative and qualitative data allowed for a comprehensive understanding of John's unique experiences with PTSD.

4. Offer Solutions to the Problem 

The next stage involves coming up with potential solutions. Explain what strategies could be used to address the problem.

For example, if you write a case study on a business-related problem, solutions may involve implementing procedures to improve efficiency. Alternatively, in a healthcare niche, you will offer a new medication or therapy.

Be sure to provide evidence from your research or expert opinions to support your suggestions.

Here’s how to do a case study solutions section. 

Example of Solution

One potential solution for addressing John's PTSD symptoms is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). According to a study by Bisson and colleagues (2013), CBT has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD in individuals who have experienced traumatic events. The therapist can work with John to identify and challenge negative thought patterns related to his traumatic experience and teach him coping skills to manage his anxiety and stress.

5. Present Your Key Results

Most scholars judge case study reports by research outcomes. You need to show that your solution works. Analyze collected data and share your most significant findings in your results section . This can be an increase in profits or a patient's health improvement. 

When you write your case study outcomes, it is important to organize the information in a clear and concise manner. Use tables, graphs and charts to illustrate your data visually. 

Provide a short summary of your results and their implications. But don’t just tell. You need to back up your research with evidence. If you used interviews, be sure to include any statistical analysis done for those results. 

Example of Case Study Research Results

Our analysis showed that participants who received cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) reported a significant decrease in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as compared to those who received no therapy. Specifically, the group who received CBT experienced a 35% reduction in symptoms. Meanwhile, the control group experienced no significant change. These findings suggest that CBT may be an effective treatment option for individuals with PTSD.

6. Conclude with Recommendations

A conclusion of a case study is where you wrap everything up and provide recommendations for further research. Sum up your key points and explain how they could be used to solve similar problems. You can also highlight any unexpected findings or insights that emerged during the study. Don’t forget to discuss any ethical considerations or limitations. 

You need to create a lasting impression. For this, end a case study with a thought-provoking statement or call to action. 

Case Study Conclusion Example

Our research highlighted the significant impact of PTSD on individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. The results suggested that cognitive-behavioral therapy and reprocessing therapy are effective treatments for PTSD. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of these treatments. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health and seeking treatment remains a significant barrier to access to care. It is crucial for healthcare professionals and policymakers to address this issue and increase access to mental health services.

7. Proofread Your Case Study

Once you are done with writing a case study, you need to carefully review it. Keep an eye on these things when checking your work: 

  • Grammar mistakes Proofread your writing for typos and grammar errors. Feel free to use our  Grammar Checker  to make sure you got everything right.
  • Clarity Check whether your work is readable and concise. Avoid long sentences and complex structures.
  • Sources accuracy Make sure to check all sources for accuracy. It is also important to ensure that all reported data is up-to-date.
  • Citations Ascertain whether all sources are properly cited and the same style is used consistently throughout your paper.

Case Study Format

Besides the content, it is also important to stick to a specific case study paper format. The layout of your paper should follow guidelines of the chosen citation style.

There are different ways to format a case study. Commonly used styles include APA, MLA, Chicago and Harvard. Each format  presents specific requirements for formatting your text and references. 

Check out our detailed guides listed below to learn more about each style. 

>>  How to Write a Paper in APA Format?

>>  How to Do MLA Format?  

>>  How to Write a Chicago Style Paper?

Case Study Examples

Getting actual examples of case studies can be a great way to learn and understand how to write one. To help you out, we have collected several sample case study paper examples for different disciplines. Feel free to use these samples as inspiration when writing your own paper.


Case Study Writing Tips

With the right approach, your effort will reward you with an A+. In this section, we will list some actionable tips on how to write a good case study: 

  • Planning your work ahead Planning your work ahead Make sure to create an outline before you start writing and stick to it throughout the entire process.
  • Arranging your data logically Break down complex information into chunks and use visual elements (tables, graphs, diagrams) to present it.
  • Structuring your writing Use headings and subheadings to organize your content and make key points easy to access.
  • Keeping your text simple Write your case study in an easy-to-read language and refrain from complex sentence structures.
  • Remaining impartial Be objective in your analysis and avoid personal biases.

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Case Study

Even a small mistake can undermine your whole work. Here are some common pitfalls students fail to account for in their case studies:

  • Focusing too much on the background Provide enough space for analysis of your problem and solution.
  • Stuffing with direct quotes Quotes can be used as evidence in your paper. But relying on them too much will make it sound overly repetitive.
  • Not referring to all sources Always cite your sources correctly and use only reliable data in your paper.
  • Being vague Avoid general statements and be more specific while discussing your results and solutions.
  • Failing to mention possible gaps Always consider ethical considerations or limitations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Case Study

Using a case study approach as your research method has its own pros and cons. On one hand, it is an effective way to explore a particular issue in detail. On the other, there are certain limitations that come with this approach. Below we will cover both strengths and limitations of case studies.

Benefits of Case Study

A case study is like a seed that can grow into a fruitful tree, providing resolutions to intricate problems. Here are the biggest case study benefits you can use to your advantage:

  • In-depth analysis Researchers can gather a lot of information on a specific topic or issue.
  • Insights into elaborate issues Allows researchers to examine complex issues in a controlled manner.
  • Real-life situations You are able to test theories or hypotheses in real-world settings.
  • Comprehensive approach Researchers can collect both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Unique revelations This method can enlight on previously unexplored or understudied areas.

Limitations of Case Study

As with any research method, case studies have their fair share of drawbacks. Let's take a closer look at some of the most prevalent issues that can arise when using this approach.

  • Limited generalizability Due to the small sample size and unique nature of each case, it can be difficult to generalize findings to a larger population.
  • Observer bias Researchers may bring their own biases and perspectives, which can influence their results and interpretations.
  • Time-consuming and expensive This approach requires significant time and resources to conduct, making it less feasible for some research questions.
  • Lack of control In contrast to experimental research, case studies lack control over extraneous variables. This can make it difficult to establish cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Subjectivity Collected data is often subjective and open to interpretation, which can introduce potential errors.

Case Study Paper Writing Checklist

Before you write a case study assignment, make sure to recap all the information you have learnt today. Refer to this checklist to ensure you are on the right track. 

  • checkbox I thoroughly researched my topic and gathered relevant information.
  • checkbox A problem/issue is clearly defined. 
  • checkbox My case study structure is well-organized. 
  • checkbox I used appropriate research methods to gather data.
  • checkbox My findings are well-supported by analysis and evidence. 
  • checkbox I discussed possible limitations and ethical considerations. 
  • checkbox The work offers recommendations for further research.
  • checkbox My paper adheres to formatting guidelines required by my instructor.

Bottom Line on How to Write a Case Study

Writing a case study can be an incredibly challenging task for any student. However, with the right approach and tips, you can easily turn this daunting task into a pleasant experience. 

We hope this article helped you understand how to write a case study. Remember to focus on the practical part and avoid overgeneralizing or cherry-picking data.


Our paper writing service is your best choice. We have helped thousands of students with their projects and would be glad to assist you, too. Our team of skilled writers is ready to help you complete your work upon ‘ write my case study ’ request.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is a case study in research.

A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth analysis of a particular subject. This approach most often focuses on a single event, person or group. It provides insight into the context of a problem and can be used to explore solutions to intricate issues.

2. What is the difference between a case study and a research paper?

The main difference between a case study and a research paper is in their scope. A case study explores a limited number of subjects, while research papers investigate multiple variables and/or draw conclusions from larger data sets. While both works contain evidence-based information, the focus and approach taken are quite different. Research papers are more general in nature, while case studies focus on narrow problems.

3. How long should a case study be?

The length of a case study varies depending on the type of assignment. Case studies intended for scholarly articles range from 3,000 to 4,0000 words or more. Meanwhile, if it’s a separate chapter in your MA or PhD dissertation, you will need to keep it between 8,000-15,000 words. Follow specific guidelines provided by your professor or institution. 

4. Why is a case study important?

Case studies are an important research tool, as they provide detailed information on a particular issue. By exploring a single instance from multiple angles, researchers can uncover solutions to complicated problems that may not be immediately apparent. Using this method, scientists also test hypotheses and generate new theories.

5. What makes a good case study?

A good case study should be organized, well-researched, and contain evidence. Some characteristics of a case study include:

  • Precise subject overview
  • Thorough analysis that goes beyond surface-level information
  • Examination of a single scenario from various perspectives
  • Fact-based arguments
  • Validated findings.

6. How to start a case study?

To start a case study, begin by carefully reading requirements and identifying the main problem to be addressed. Don't jump to conclusions or make assumptions – take it one step at a time. Once you have a clear understanding of your goal, gather relevant data. This includes doing research, interviewing people, and analyzing relevant documents.


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Home » A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Effective Case Study

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Effective Case Study

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If you want to write an effective case study, you need to be well aware of the basics. A case study is an in-depth research paper that focuses on a particular situation or problem. It requires you to analyze and interpret data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations. Writing a case study can be overwhelming, but with a few simple steps, you can easily get the job done.

In this blog article, we’ll discuss the different aspects of writing a case study, including the benefits, steps, research and data gathering, crafting the story, creating the structure, writing the introduction and conclusion, editing and proofreading, and tips to make the case study effective. We’ll also talk about case study help and writing services available to make the process easier. So let’s get started!

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a research paper that focuses on a particular situation or problem. It is typically used to study a particular phenomenon or to assess the impact of a certain process or system. It involves an in-depth analysis of the data, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations based on the findings.

Case studies can be used in a variety of fields, including business, medicine, law, education, and psychology. They can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of certain policies or processes.

Benefits of Writing a Case Study

Writing a case study can have several benefits. First, it can help you gain a deeper understanding of the situation or problem you are studying. By conducting an in-depth analysis, you can uncover insights that can be used to make better decisions.

Second, case studies can also be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of a particular process or system. By presenting a comprehensive overview of the situation, you can illustrate the impact of your approach and show how it can be applied to other contexts.

Third, case studies can also be used to showcase your expertise. By presenting a well-researched case study, you can demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential clients or employers.

Steps to Writing an Effective Case Study

Writing an effective case study requires a few simple steps. Here, we’ll discuss each step in detail.

Conducting Research and Gathering Data

The first step is to conduct research and gather data. You need to identify the key sources of information related to the situation or problem you are studying. These sources can include interviews, surveys, reports, books, articles, and other documents.

Once you have identified the sources of information, you need to collect the data. This data can include facts, figures, quotes, and other relevant information. Be sure to include only reliable and credible sources of information.

Crafting the Story

Once you have collected the data, you need to craft the story. You need to create a narrative that explains the situation or problem in a clear and concise manner. You also need to include relevant facts and figures to support your argument.

Be sure to use language that is accessible and easy to understand. You should also avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology.

Creating the Structure of the Case Study

The next step is to create the structure of the case study. This includes deciding on the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide an overview of the situation or problem. The body should include the analysis and conclusions. The conclusion should state the recommendations.

You should also include any supporting materials, such as tables, charts, and graphs. These can help illustrate your points and make the case study more effective.

Writing the Introduction and Conclusion

Once you have created the structure of the case study, you need to write the introduction and conclusion. The introduction should provide an overview of the situation or problem and introduce the key points you will be discussing. The conclusion should summarize the key points and provide recommendations.

Be sure to use clear and concise language. Avoid using too many technical terms or complex concepts.

Editing and Proofreading

Once you have written the introduction and conclusion, you need to edit and proofread your work. You need to make sure that the language is correct, that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, and that the structure is clear and logical.

You should also check for any inconsistencies or inaccuracies. Make sure that all the facts and figures are accurate and up-to-date.

Tips to Make a Case Study Effective

There are several tips to make your case study effective. First, make sure that the language is accessible and easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology.

Second, include supporting materials, such as tables, charts, and graphs. These can help illustrate your points and make the case study more effective.

Third, make sure to include relevant facts and figures. This can help make your argument more convincing.

Fourth, use a consistent structure throughout the case study. This can help make the case study easier to read and understand.

Finally, make sure to edit and proofread your work. This can help ensure that the case study is of high quality.

Writing an effective case study can be challenging, but with the right steps and tips, you can easily get the job done. This blog article discussed the basics of case studies, the benefits of writing a case study, the steps to writing an effective case study, tips to make the case study effective, and case study help and writing services available.

Case Study Help and Writing Services

If you need help writing a case study, there are several services available. These services can provide you with professional assistance in writing an effective case study. They can help you with researching, gathering data, crafting the story, creating the structure, editing and proofreading, and more.

So if you need help writing a case study, consider getting case study help from Academia Writing. Our team of experienced writers can provide you with personalized assistance to make sure your case study is of the highest quality.


By Erin Cross

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Writing a case study

This tutorial will help you navigate your way through the process of reading, analysing and responding to a case study.

Case studies describe real-life situations and events over a period of time. They may centre on a person, group, project or organisation. A case study assessment task requires you to analyse actual or potential problems and identify solutions:

  • what is happening
  • why it's happening
  • how to solve the problem

You will need to use theories to develop solutions to practical situations .

There are three broad stages involved in a case study assignment:

  • identify key issues and problems from the case
  • research then link the problems to relevant theory
  • develop solutions that lead to actionable recommendations

In this tutorial

  • Overview of case studies
  • Stage 1: Analyse the task
  • Stage 2: Research and link to theory
  • Stage 3: Developing solutions

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How To Write A Consulting Case Study: Guide, Template, & Examples

When you deliver a successful project, do you publish a consulting case study about it?

A consulting case study is a short story about a successful project that explains…

  • The problem your client was dealing with before hiring you;
  • your expertise and process for solving that problem;
  • and the results your expertise and process created for the client and their business.

In my experience, our consulting case studies are among the most powerful pieces of content we publish. They’re a big reason why people are comfortable signing up for our Clarity Coaching Program .

Because our case studies prove our program helps our clients get results.

I can say that our coaching program is the best on the market until I’m blue in the face.

But it’s much more powerful for consultants to see the results others have experienced for themselves: through our case studies and testimonials.

If you don’t have something of value on your website like a case study — something that actually shows you can achieve results for your clients — then your website will only serve as “confirmational marketing.”

It will confirm what people hear about you. But it won’t help you generate interest and leads.

So, if you want to shift your website beyond mere confirmational marketing to an asset that helps you generate leads and conversions, consider writing consulting case studies using the method below.

In this article, you’ll learn how to write compelling case studies that help you win more consulting clients.

Ready? Let’s dive in…

Your case study is proof that not only can you talk the talk, but you can also walk the walk.

What Is A Consulting Case Study?

When a potential client is deciding on whether they will hire you or not, a big question in their mind is…

“Can this person or company really do what they say they can for my business?”

There are many forms of thought leadership you can use to prove you can deliver results.

The consulting case study is one of them.

A case study, in the context of consulting, is typically a written document that describes…

  • the problem a client was facing,
  • the actions you took to solve that problem,
  • and the outcomes it created for your client.

You write case studies to demonstrate the results and value you created for a past or current client.

What makes them so effective as marketing material?

  • They are relatively easy to put together (especially when you use our template below).
  • Your potential clients enjoy reading them.
  • And they are a highly effective way to demonstrate your authority and expertise in your field.

Next, I’ll walk you through how to write a consulting case study.

In our program, one of the things we teach consultants is how to better understand their clients’ problems and articulate their ability to solve those problems in a way that will attract new clients.

How To Write A Consulting Case Study

Here are the steps to writing your consulting case study. You can follow along with our consulting case study template .

1. Get Permission From The Client

You shouldn’t write a case study that names your client without their permission.

So, before you start writing it, ask them if they’d be OK with you publishing a case study about the project.

Now, I’m not a lawyer, and nothing in this article or anything I write is legal or financial advice. But here’s what we’ve found, through running consulting businesses for over two decades, often works best:

A question we often receive from consultants is “What if I can’t use the name of my client or the company I worked with?” Generally, this isn’t an issue. If your contract says you can’t use the client’s company name, or the client says “No” to your request, all is not lost.

What tends to work extremely well is still writing the case study, but without using the client’s name. Instead, describe the client.

For example, let’s say your client is the automaker Mazda. If you can’t use their name, consider “Working with a top 20 global automaker…”

This gives prospective buyers a good idea of the caliber and type of company you worked with.

When you ask your client for their permission to create a case study that features them, you’ll generally find that 9 times out of 10 they won’t have a problem with you doing so, but make sure you ask before publishing.

2. Introduce The Client’s Business

Once you’ve gotten permission from the client, you’ll begin writing your case study. Follow along using our template .

The first section is the introduction. Set the stage here by introducing your client, their business, and their industry.

This section gives context to the case study. Ideally, your ideal client is intrigued by being in a similar industry or situation as the client in your case study.

3. Describe The Problem Or Challenge

In this section, you outline the problem your client was facing.

Be as specific as you can be.

Simply saying they had marketing issues or a problem with their PR is not enough.

The more detail you include the clearer the picture will become and the more effective your case study copywriting will be.

If your ideal client reads this and has a similar problem as the client in the case study, you can guarantee that their eyes will be glued to the screen, salivating to learn how you solved it.

4. Summarize Your Action Steps

Now that you’ve described the problem your client was up against, you’ll explain what you did to help solve the problem.

In this section, break down each part of the process you used or the steps you took to solve it.

The reader should get the sense that you have a process or system capable of solving the problem and getting results.

This is where you get to demonstrate your know-how and expertise. Get as technical as you can. Show your reader “Hey, this is how I can get YOU results too.”

5. Share The Results

It’s time to demonstrate results.

Write the results that were achieved and how they impacted the business/organization/person.

In many cases, the outcome isn’t just dollars and cents — it can also be less tangible value.

Are they less stressed? Do they have more free time? Are they finding more meaning and enjoyment in their work?

Mention if you’re continuing to work with this client through a retainer . If you’re not, describe how the results will impact their business in the future.

This is also a great place to include a quote or testimonial from your client.

The “Results” section is key because it shows prospective clients that you’ve solved the problems they are facing and have delivered the actual results that they likely desire.

6. Write A Call To Action

At the end of the case study, you should always include a sentence or two inviting the ideal client to reach out.

They’ve just read about the problems you can solve, how you solve them, and the results you can create.

They are primed and ready to reach out to inquire about how you can do it for them.

But if you don’t have a direct call to action for them to do that, many of them will leave without taking action.

So, write a direct, clear call to action that takes them to a page where it’s easy to book a consultation with you or where you provide your contact information.

7. Share It

Marketing for consultants is all about providing value to your ideal clients, being known for something specific, and positioning yourself as an expert and authority that your ideal clients want to work with. So, whenever you publish a piece of valuable content like a case study, your mission is to get as many eyes on the case study as possible.

The best place to publish your case study is on your website or blog.

You can also submit case studies to industry publications. These are a great way to spread the word about you and your client’s business.

Make sure to also share your case study on all social media platforms where your ideal clients hang out online. For consultants, that means LinkedIn.

Work your “marketing muscle” by actively promoting your case study, and you’ll reap the rewards of this powerful piece of authority-building content.

Writing case studies for your consulting business not only helps you land new clients, but it’s also a great way for you to review past projects.

Doing this helps you to find what worked and what didn’t.

And you’ll continue to learn from your experiences and implement your best practices into your next consulting project.

Consulting Case Study Template

Click here to access our Consulting Case Study Template .

consulting case study template

This template is designed using a “fill in the blank” style to make it easy for you to put together your case studies.

Save this template for yourself. Use it to follow along with the examples below.

Consulting Case Study Examples

Here are some example case studies from our Clarity Coaching Program clients.

1. Larissa Stoddart

Larissa Stoddart teaches charities and nonprofits how to raise money.

To do that, she provides her clients with a training and coaching program that walks them through twelve modules of content on raising money for their organization, creating a fundraising plan, putting an information management system into place, finding prospects, and asking those prospects for money.

how to write a consulting case study example

Through her case studies, Larissa provides a comprehensive overview of how she helps her clients build robust fundraising plans and achieve and win more donations.

2. Dan Burgos

Danila “Dan” Burgos is the president and CEO of Alphanova Consulting, which works with US manufacturers to help them increase their profitability through operational improvements.

The goal of Alphanova is to increase their clients’ quality and on-time delivery by 99 percent and help them increase their net profits by over 25 percent.

manufacturing consultant case study example

Through his case studies, Dan lays out the problem, his solution, and the results in a clear simple way.

He makes it very easy for his prospects to envision working with his firm — and then schedule a consultation to make it happen.

3. Vanessa Bennet

Through her company Next Evolution Performance, Vanessa Bennett and her business partner Alex Davides, use neuroscience to help driven business leaders improve their productivity, energy, profitability, and staff retention, while avoiding burnout.

consultant client work webpage

Through her “Clients” page, she provides a list of the specific industries she works with as well as specific case studies from clients within those industries.

She then displays in-depth testimonials that detail the results that her consulting services create for her clients.

These are powerful stories that help Vanessa’s clients see their desired future state — and how her firm is the right choice to help them get there.

As you see, our clients have taken our template and made them work for their unique style, clients, and services.

I encourage you to do the same.

And if you’d benefit from personal, 1-on-1 coaching and support from like-minded consultants, check out our Clarity Coaching Program .

Get Help & Feedback Writing Consulting Case Studies

If writing and demonstrating your authority were easy, then every consultant would be publishing case studies.

But that’s not the case.

Sometimes it helps to have a consulting coach to walk you through each step — and a community of like-minded consultants with whom you can share your work and get feedback from.

That’s why we’ve built the Clarity Coaching Program.

Inside the program, we teach you how to write case studies (among dozens of other critical subjects for consulting business founders).

And we’ve also created a network of coaches and other consultants who are in the trenches — and who are willing to share their hard-fought knowledge with you.

Inside the Clarity Coaching program , we’ve helped over 850 consultants to build a more strategic, profitable, and scalable, consulting business.

Learn More About Clarity Coaching

We’ll work hands-on with you to develop a strategic plan and then dive deep and work through your ideal client clarity, strategic messaging, consulting offers, use an effective and proven consulting pricing strategy, help you to increase your fees, business model optimization, and help you to set up your marketing engine and lead generation system to consistently attract ideal clients.

15 thoughts on “ How To Write A Consulting Case Study: Guide, Template, & Examples ”

This is a great outline and I found it quite helpful. Thanks.

Shana – glad you found this post helpful!

I have used case studies to get new clients and you're right, They work.

Jay – thanks for sharing. I've worked with many clients to implement case studies and have used them in several businesses and have always found them to be great at supporting proof and establishing authority and credibility.

Dumb question: guess you can't charge if you're doing a case study, huh?

Terri – No such thing as a dumb question where I come from. Always good to ask.

You definitely can charge for case studies. Michael Stelzner has a lot more information on writing white papers (and case studies) as projects.

This post was really aimed at using case studies to win more business and attract clients. But you can definitely offer this service to companies and they'll pay handsomely for it.

That was a great question!

Hello,I am really glad I stumbled upon your consulting site. This outline is very helpful and I love the e-mails I recieve as well Thanks!

Happy to hear that

This is a great site for consultants – great information for the team to share with consultants that reach out to us. Thank you!

Thanks Deborah

It is a good steps if we know how we start and control our working.

All I wanted to know about putting together a case study I have got. Thanks so much.

to put together your consulting case study: to put together your consulting case study:

I have used your outline today to write one case. Thank you for sharing.

Hi – This is a great piece, and covers all the core elements of a case study with impact.

Couple of extra points…

1. it’s really powerful to provide a mix of qualitative and quantitative results where possible e.g. ‘we saved the client $500 per month and feedback tells us morale improved’

2. We are seeing more and more consultancies include images and video in their case studies. This obviously depends on the context, so while it’s not necessarily appropriate within the confines of a bid, it is definitely something to think about for those case studies that you want to publish online or in a marketing brochure.

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Main Tips On How To Write Case Study Analysis


Table of contents

  • 1 What is a Case Study Analysis?
  • 2 Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study
  • 3 Types of Case Studies
  • 4 Case Study Title Examples
  • 5 Writing a Case Study Draft
  • 6 How to Format a Case Study
  • 7 How to Write a Case Study Outline
  • 8 How to Write a Case Study
  • 9 How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

Many students struggle with how to do a case study analysis. Writing such an assignment is always daunting, as it requires you to analyze something and form conclusions based on your research.

It usually focuses on phenomena you can’t study in a typical way. Therefore, when writing such a text, you have to prepare thoughtfully. In the  PapersOwl article, you will find out what this academic writing is and how to write a case analysis.

What is a Case Study Analysis?

A case study analysis is a form of writing that analyzes a specific situation, event, object, person, or even place. The said analysis should be written and structured to lead to a conclusion. Typically, you cannot analyze the subject of this essay via quantitative methods.

Note that such studies can be used in various fields and require the use of many theories that can give you a unique approach to the matter. For example, you can write a paper like this about social sciences, business, medicine, and many other fields. Each of these will require a particular approach.

Difference Between Research Paper and Case Study

Like all papers share similarities, these two are no different. Hence, knowing these parallels and distinctions, you will be able to learn how to write a case study assignment correctly.

A case study introduction can present the topic but does not require a citation of other similar works or the writer’s opinion. On the other hand, research papers do not need a complete introduction about the general topic, but need citation since you will be using other people’s works.

In addition, a writer must present their thoughts and views about the case they research. Finally, the most significant difference is that the research papers make the readers focus on a specific issue. On the contrary, the case study goes more into the matter and shifts the focus to all the details.

Types of Case Studies

When it comes to writing case study analysis, there are five types you must learn to differentiate. That is important because whether you get such an assignment, you will have to understand the task first and then start with the writing.

Here are the types of case studies which you will encounter most often:

  • Problem-oriented – this type focuses on real-life situations or theoretical issues and aims to solve them. For example, “World Hunger.”

The second type is critical, also known as innate. The goal is to investigate a specific case, particularly its effects and what causes them – “Why Toys Remain Gender Stereotyped.”

Historical case studies papers focus on events from our past. The text should contain information about a specific historical period of this type. Your goal will be to provide different perspectives of an event and parallel them to current-day issues. An example of such a topic is “Racism During Ancient Times – Roman Empire.”

The illustrative or Instrumental type focuses on describing a particular event. Here you have to explain the event’s outcome and what you have learned from it. A sample of such a topic is “The Effects of Dance Therapy in Depressed Adolescents.”

Collective case studies are the fifth type. They include a collection of data about a specific case you will use to compare. E.g., “The Management Leadership at Work.”

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Case Study Title Examples

When writing a case study analysis, titles usually point out that the text is a study. Thus, most of them contain “case study” in the header. Here are some case study analysis examples:

  • Santander’s Expansion in Canada: Case Study Analysis
  • Case Study on the Effects of Art Therapy on Children with ADHD
  • The National Health Service’s Treatment of People with Learning Disabilities, Case Study Analysis
  • Toxicological Case Study of The Mississippi River
  • Reading Development in Remote Areas of Nigeria: A Case Study
  • Case Study on the Growth of Veganism in Berlin

Writing a Case Study Draft

Creating a rough draft is the foremost step to take while writing such a paper. It is an essential step you must take, no matter how experienced you are. By doing it, you will be able to get more creative. In addition, you can explore options and decide on what to focus on more precisely, which will eventually result in a higher grade for your work.

So, sit down in a quiet place, bring an old-fashioned pen and paper, and start drafting ideas. Read them briefly while sipping on your tea and edit. After you have decided where your focus will lay, you have to develop these ideas and thoughts a bit more, then pick the best one.

How to Format a Case Study

Knowing how a case study analysis format should look is crucial. Therefore, you must know what the text structure should look like. The standard one contains about eight sections:

  • Introduction/The Executive Summary: As the first part here, you have to hook the reader’s attention, so the introduction of the case study is the most important part of the writing.  Then present them with a brief overview of your case study analyses and their findings. Make sure to form a good thesis statement , as this is the pivotal point of your work.
  • Literary Review/Background information: Similarly to other papers, in this part, you have to write your most important facts or findings while identifying the case issue.
  • Method/Findings/Discussion: This section can be written separately based on how your text flows. Here you will have to explore more about the case and its findings. Allow yourself to go into more detail instead of just briefly covering them.
  • Solutions/Recommendations/Implementation Part: You have to discuss the answers you came up with. Basically, you say why they are fit to solve the case and how you think they can be used in practice. Note that you must write only realistic and practical solutions for the problem. It’s possible to write testable evidence that can support your recommendations.
  • Conclusion: Here, you are supposed to cover your whole paper briefly and even repeat the thesis (rephrased). Make sure to highlight the critical points of your case study.
  • References or Bibliography: This section must include the sources from which you collected data or whom you consulted. Usually, this part is on a separate page, and the listing should be according to your academic institution’s requirements.
  • Appendices (include only if applicable): It is usual for some parts of your materials to be too lengthy or unfit for the other sections of the case study. Therefore, you have to include them here. That can be pictures, raw data of statistics, graphs, notes, etc. The appendix section is strictly for subsidiary materials, do not put the most relevant ones here.
  • Author Note: Remember that all educational institutions have their requirement for a case study format. The abovementioned is an example; thus, you may see a section or another is missing, or there are additional ones.


How to Write a Case Study Outline

To write a case study outline, you have first to conduct research. The best way to do so is by accessing academic search engines like Google Scholar or by using old-fashioned books and published works. From there, you should understand how to structure and what key points to form your text. Then, construct your thesis statement around the idea you picked.

The outline for your case study paper is essential to your writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in order to present a comprehensive, well-structured paper. Furthermore, it allows your professor to evaluate your understanding of the subject, the correct formatting and structure, and to identify any potential issues with your paper. Having an outline serves as a guide for both you and your professor, making it easier to plan and write your paper . With the help of a well-crafted outline, your professor can navigate your paper more easily and spot any issues before they arise. Writing a case study paper can be daunting, but the outline helps make it easier.

A case study outline will most likely consist of the following sections and information:

  • Case study title;
  • Student’s name;
  • Educational instructor’s name;
  • Course name.


  • It briefly overviews your case study, thesis statement, and essential findings.

Main Body Paragraphs – usually three to five

  • Literature Review/Background Information;
  • Method/Findings;
  • Discussion/Solutions/Recommendations.
  • Repeat a paraphrased version of your thesis;
  • Summarize your case study key points;
  • Finish with a statement that can recommend the audience to read further by giving them thoughts to contemplate and develop new ideas.

Reference List or Bibliography

  • List all the sources of evidence used to create your case study in your educational organization’s required citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Turabian, etc.).

How to Write a Case Study

The way to write a case study is by strictly following the main idea of your thesis. You already know that a study’s main body consists of an introduction, literature review, method, discussion, and conclusion sections. Thus, all that is left is to focus on these parts and understand how to make them perfect.

  • The Introduction/Summary: The introduction of a case study should start with a solid first sentence that will hook the reader. Afterward, you must explain the question you will be answering and why you are doing it. You should include some of the topic’s relevant history and details here. Also, you should explain how your case study will enrich the available information. Also, briefly summarize your literature review, which your findings will use as a base. Try to finish positively and make the reader see the benefits of reading your work.


  • Background Information/Literature Review: ‍Structure and present the data from your academic sources . This section will show the reader how vital your work is and the basis for it.
  • Method/Findings: This part aims to explain the case you selected, how it connects to the issue, and why you chose them. You can also add what methods you use. Here you must note that the data collection methods are qualitative, not quantitative, for case studies. That means the data is not random but well-structured and chronically taken from interviews, focus groups, and other sources.
  • Discussion/Solutions: Restate your thesis but rephrase it, then draw your conclusions from what you have discovered via your research and link to your statement. Inform the audience of your main findings and define why the results are relevant to the field. Think about the following questions:

Were the results unexpected? Why/Why not?

How do your findings compare to previous similar case studies in your literature review?

Do your findings correlate to previous results, or do they contradict them?

Are your findings helpful in deepening the current understanding of the topic?

Next, explore possible alternative explanations or interpretations of your findings. Be subjective and explain your paper’s limitations. End with some suggestions for further exploration based on the limits of your work. ‍

  • Conclusion: Inform the reader precisely why your case study and findings are relevant, and restate your thesis and main results. Give a summary of previous studies you reviewed and how you contributed to expanding current knowledge. The final should explain how your work can be helpful and implemented in future research.

Your instructor should have an excellent example they can show you, so feel free to ask. They will surely want to help you learn how to write a case study!


How to Create a Title Page and Cite a Case Study

A case study in APA format for students can differ from one institution to another. So, knowing your college or school requirements is crucial before you start writing. Nonetheless, the general one should look like this:

  • Title – A header no longer than nine words has “Case Study” and reflects the content and the idea behind it yet is engaging to read;
  • Write your full name;
  • The name of your course/class;
  • Next is your professor or instructor name;
  • The university/school name;
  • The date of submission.

When citing in your paper, you must ensure it is done accurately and in your academic style. If you are unsure how to do it, research the requirements and google “How to do a case study analysis in Harvard”, for example. Note that short citations can be in your text, but longer ones should be in the bibliography section.

Hruby, A. (2018). Hruby, A., & Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity: a big picture. Pharmacoeconomics, 33(7), 673-689. www.sciepub.com. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/254744

Case studies strive to analyze an event, location, case, or person. They can be similar to research papers, so you must pay close attention to the structure and what your professor has requested from you.

Finally, the process of writing can be overwhelming due to the many sections. However, if you take the process step by step and do your preparations properly, you will have an easy time writing the paper. You can also look for assistance online – many services offer to order case study online help . With the right kind of assistance, you can be sure that your paper is of high quality and is due on time!

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writing introduction for case study

How to Write a Case Study

This guide explains how to write a descriptive case study. A descriptive case study describes how an organization handled a specific issue. Case studies can vary in length and the amount of details provided. They can be fictional or based on true events.

Why should you write one? Case studies can help others (e.g., students, other organizations, employees) learn about

  • new concepts,
  • best practices, and
  • situations they might face.

Writing a case study also allows you to critically examine your organizational practices.

The following pages provide examples of different types of case study formats. As you read them, think about what stands out to you. Which format best matches your needs? You can make similar stylistic choices when you write your own case study.

ACF Case Studies of Community Economic Development This page contains links to nine case studies that describe how different organizations performed economic development activities in their communities.

National Asthma Control Program Wee Wheezers This case study describes a public health program.

CDC Epidemiologic Case Studies This page contains links to five classroom-style case studies on foodborne diseases.

ATSDR Environmental Health and Medicine This page contains links to approximately 20 classroom-style case studies focused on exposures to environmental hazards.

What are your goals ? What should your intended readers understand or learn after reading your case? Pick 1–5 realistic goals. The more goals you include, the more complex your case study might need to be.

Who is your audience? You need to write with them in mind.

What kind of background knowledge do they have? Very little, moderate, or a lot of knowledge. Be sure to explain special terms and jargon so that readers with little to moderate knowledge can understand and enjoy your case study.

What format do you need to use? Will your case study be published in a journal, online, or printed as part of a handout? Think about how word minimums or maximums will shape what you can talk about and how you talk about it. For example, you may be allowed fewer words for a case study written for a print textbook than for a webpage.

What narrative perspective will you use? A first-person perspective uses words such as “I” and” “we” to tell a story. A third-person perspective uses pronouns and names such as “they” or “CDC”. Be consistent throughout your case study.

Depending on your writing style, you might prefer to write everything that comes to your mind first, then organize and edit it later. Some of you might prefer to use headings or be more structured and methodical in your approach. Any writing style is fine, just be sure to write! Later, after you have included all the necessary information, you can go back and find more appropriate words, ensure your writing is clear, and edit your punctuation and grammar.

  • Use clear writing principles, sometimes called plain language. More information can be found in the CDC’s Guide to Clear Writing [PDF – 5 MB] or on the Federal Plain Language website .
  • Use active voice instead of passive voice. If you are unfamiliar with active voice, review resources such as NCEH/ATSDR’s Training on Active Voice , The National Archive’s Active Voice Tips , and USCIS’ Video on Active Voice .
  • Word choice is important. If you use jargon or special terminology, define it for readers.
  • CDC has developed many resources to help writers choose better words. These include the NCEH/ATSDR Environmental Health Thesaurus , CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communicators [PDF – 565 KB] , CDC’s Everyday Words for Public Health Communication [PDF – 282 KB] , and the NCEH/ATSDR’s Clear Writing Hub .

After writing a draft, the case study writer or team should have 2–3 people, unfamiliar with the draft, read it over. These people should highlight any words or sentences they find confusing. They can also write down one or two questions that they still have after reading the draft. The case study writer or team can use those notes make edits.

  • Review your goals for the case study. Have you met each goal? Make any necessary edits.
  • Check your sentence length. If your sentence has more than 20 words, it might be too long. Limit each sentence to one main idea.
  • Use common words and phrases. Review a list of commonly misused words and phrases.
  • Be sure you have been consistent with your verb tenses throughout.

Finally, the writer/team should have someone with a good eye for detail review the case study for grammar and formatting issues. You can review the CDC Style Guide [PDF – 1.36 MB]  for clarification on the use of punctuation, spelling, tables, etc.

Green BN, Johnson CD. How to write a case report for publication. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2006;5(2):72-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60137-2

Scholz RW, Tietje O. Types of case studies. In: Embedded Case Study Methods . Thousand Oaks (CA): SAGE Publications, Inc.; 2002. P. 9-14. doi:10.4135/9781412984027

Warner C. How to Write a Case Study [online]. 2009. Available from URL: https://www.asec.purdue.edu/lct/HBCU/documents/HOWTOWRITEACASESTUDY.pdf [PDF – 14.5 KB]

Title: Organization: Author(s):

Goals: After reading this case study, readers should

Introduction Who is your organization? What is your expertise? Provide your audience with some background information, such as your expertise. This provides context to help them understand your decisions. (How much should you write? A few sentences to 1 paragraph)

What problem did you address? Who identified the problem? Provide some background on who noticed the problem and how it was reported. Were multiple organizations or people involved in identifying and addressing the problem? This will help the reader understand how and why decisions were made. (1 paragraph)

Case Details Provide more information about the community. What factors affected your decisions? Describe the community. The context, or setting, is very important to readers. What are some of the unique characteristics that affected your decisions? (1 paragraph)

How did you address the problem? Start at the beginning. Summarize what happened, in chronological order. If you know which section of the publication your case study is likely to be put in, you can specify how your actions addressed one or more of the main points of the publication/lesson.

What challenge(s) did you encounter? Address them now if you have not already.

What was the outcome? What were your notable achievements? Explain how your actions or the outcomes satisfy your learning goals for the reader. Be clear about the main point. For example, if you wanted readers to understand how your organization dealt with a major organizational change, include a few sentences that reiterate how you encountered and dealt with the organizational change. (A few sentences to 1 paragraph)

Conclusion Summarize lessons learned. Reiterate your main point(s) for the reader by explaining how your actions, or the outcomes, meet your goals for the reader.

Exit Notification / Disclaimer Policy

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
  • Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
  • You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link.
  • CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.


  • Introduction

About Case Study Reports

  • Section A: Overview
  • Section B: Planning and Researching
  • Section C: Parts of a Case Study
  • Section D: Reviewing and Presenting
  • Section E: Revising Your Work
  • Section F: Resources
  • Your Workspace
  • Guided Writing Tools

Reflective Writing guide

  • About Lab Reports
  • Section C: Critical Features
  • Section D: Parts of a Lab Report

Reflective Writing guide

  • About Literature Review
  • Section C: Parts of a Literature Review
  • Section D: Critical Writing Skills

Lab Report writing guide

  • About Reflective Writing
  • Section B: How Can I Reflect?
  • Section C: How Do I Get Started?
  • Section D: Writing a Reflection

Write Online Help

Case Study Report Prepared by University of Guelph

This guide provides advice and resources to help you write case study reports during your post-secondary education.

What Will I Learn?

By successfully completing the sections included in this guide, you should be able to:

  • identify the components of a case study report,
  • develop a practical plan for completing a case study report,
  • apply research, analysis, and writing strategies for each section of the report,
  • evaluate the quality of a case study report, and
  • present your case study in a clear, organized, and persuasive way.

Female student writing a case study report.

Prepared by

University of Guelph

How Is This Guide Organized?

This guide includes six sections:

  • Overview Background information about the case study method.
  • Planning and Researching Practical steps to plan and complete case study reports.
  • Parts of a Case Study Strategies for writing the parts of a case study report.
  • Reviewing and Presenting Advice to help you understand and meet your instructor's expectations.
  • Revising Your Work Advice about evaluating and presenting your case study report.
  • Resources A comprehensive list of resources provided within this guide.

How Will I Learn?

In these sections, you will find a Case Study Report Template, a Sample Paper, and the Structure of a Case Study.

Each part of the guide will engage you in a variety of ways to help you develop greater confidence and skill writing case study reports. Specifically, the following will be included:

  • Clear, concise, and easy to read text
  • Self-assessment questions
  • An annotated case study report example
  • References to helpful resources
  • Summaries of key points to remember

Let's Get Started!

Let's begin with Section A: Overview .

Case Study Analysis: Examples + How-to Guide & Writing Tips

A case study analysis is a typical assignment in business management courses. The task aims to show high school and college students how to analyze a current situation, determine what problems exist, and develop the best possible strategy to achieve the desired outcome.

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Many students feel anxious about writing case analyses because being told to analyze a case study and provide a solution can seem like a big task. That is especially so when working with real-life scenarios. However, you can rest assured writing a case analysis paper is easier than you think. Just keep reading this article and you will find case study examples for students and the advice provided by Custom-writing experts!

  • 👣 Main Steps
  • 🕵 Preparing the Case

🔬 Analyzing the Case

  • 📑 Format & Structure
  • 🙅 Things to Avoid
  • 🏁 Conclusion

🔗 References

👣 writing a case study analysis: main steps.

Business management is built on case analysis. Every single economic result shows that the methods and instruments employed were either well-timed and expedient, in the event of success, or not, in case of failure. These two options indicate whether the strategy is efficient (and should be followed) or requires corrections (or complete change). Such an approach to the case study will make your writing piece more proficient and valuable for the reader. The following steps will direct your plan for writing a case study analysis.

Step 1: Preliminary work

  • Make notes and highlight the numbers and ideas that could be quoted.
  • Single out as many problems as you can, and briefly mark their underlying issues. Then make a note of those responsible. In the report, you will use two to five of the problems, so you will have a selection to choose from.
  • Outline a possible solution to each of the problems you found. Course readings and outside research shall be used here. Highlight your best and worst solution for further reference.

Case Study Analysis Includes Three Main Steps: Preparing the Case, Drafring the Case, and Finalizing the Case.

Step 2: Drafting the Case

  • Provide a general description of the situation and its history.
  • Name all the problems you are going to discuss.
  • Specify the theory used for the analysis.
  • Present the assumptions that emerged during the analysis, if any.
  • Describe the detected problems in more detail.
  • Indicate their link to, and effect on, the general situation.
  • Explain why the problems emerged and persist.
  • List realistic and feasible solutions to the problems you outlined, in the order of importance.
  • Specify your predicted results of such changes.
  • Support your choice with reliable evidence (i.e., textbook readings, the experience of famous companies, and other external research).
  • Define the strategies required to fulfill your proposed solution.
  • Indicate the responsible people and the realistic terms for its implementation.
  • Recommend the issues for further analysis and supervision.

Step 3: Finalizing the Case

Like any other piece of writing, a case analysis requires post-editing. Carefully read it through, looking for inconsistencies and gaps in meaning. Your purpose is to make it look complete, precise, and convincing.

🕵 Preparing a Case for Analysis

Your professor might give you various case study examples from which to choose, or they may just assign you a particular case study. To conduct a thorough data analysis, you must first read the case study. This might appear to be obvious. However, you’d be surprised at how many students don’t take adequate time to complete this part.

Read the case study very thoroughly, preferably several times. Highlight, underline, flag key information, and make notes to refer to later when you are writing your analysis report.

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If you don’t have a complete knowledge of the case study your professor has assigned, you won’t conduct a proper analysis of it. Even if you make use of a business case study template or refer to a sample analysis, it won’t help if you aren’t intimately familiar with your case study.

You will also have to conduct research. When it comes to research, you will need to do the following:

  • Gather hard, quantitative data (e.g. 67% of the staff participated in the meeting).
  • Design research tools , such as questionnaires and surveys (this will aid in gathering data).
  • Determine and suggest the best specific, workable solutions.

It would be best if you also learned how to analyze a case study. Once you have read through the case study, you need to determine the focus of your analysis. You can do this by doing the following:

Compare your chosen solutions to the solutions offered by the experts who analyzed the case study you were given or to online assignments for students who were dealing with a similar task. The experts’ solutions will probably be more advanced than yours simply because these people are more experienced. However, don’t let this discourage you; the whole point of doing this analysis is to learn. Use the opportunity to learn from others’ valuable experience, and your results will be better next time.

If you are still in doubt, the University of South Carolina offers a great guide on forming a case study analysis.

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📑 Case Analysis Format & Structure

When you are learning how to write a case study analysis, it is important to get the format of your analysis right. Understanding the case study format is vital for both the professor and the student. The person planning and handing out such an assignment should ensure that the student doesn’t have to use any external sources .

In turn, students have to remember that a well-written case analysis provides all the data, making it unnecessary for the reader to go elsewhere for information.

Regardless of whether you use a case study template, you will need to follow a clear and concise format when writing your analysis report. There are some possible case study frameworks available. Still, a case study should contain eight sections laid out in the following format:

  • Describe the purpose of the current case study;
  • Provide a summary of the company;
  • Briefly introduce the problems and issues found in the case study
  • Discuss the theory you will be using in the analysis;
  • Present the key points of the study and present any assumptions made during the analysis.
  • Present each problem you have singled out;
  • Justify your inclusion of each problem by providing supporting evidence from the case study and by discussing relevant theory and what you have learned from your course content;
  • Divide the section (and following sections) into subsections, one for each of your selected problems.
  • Present a summary of each problem you have identified;
  • Present plausible solutions for each of the problems, keeping in mind that each problem will likely have more than one possible solution;
  • Provide the pros and cons of each solution in a way that is practical.
  • Conclusion . This is a summary of your findings and discussion.
  • Decide which solution best fits each of the issues you identified;
  • Explain why you chose this solution and how it will effectively solve the problem;
  • Be persuasive when you write this section so that you can drive your point home;
  • Be sure to bring together theory and what you have learned throughout your course to support your recommendations.
  • Provide an explanation of what must be done, who should take action, and when the solution should be carried out;
  • Where relevant, you should provide an estimate of the cost in implementing the solution, including both the financial investment and the cost in terms of time.
  • References. While you generally do not need to refer to many external sources when writing a case study analysis, you might use a few. When you do, you will need to properly reference these sources, which is most often done in one of the main citation styles, including APA, MLA, or Harvard. There is plenty of help when citing references, and you can follow these APA guidelines , these MLA guidelines , or these Harvard guidelines .
  • Appendices. This is the section you include after your case study analysis if you used any original data in the report. These data, presented as charts, graphs, and tables, are included here because to present them in the main body of the analysis would be disruptive to the reader. The University of Southern California provides a great description of appendices and when to make use of them.

When you’ve finished your first draft, be sure to proofread it. Look not only for potential grammar and spelling errors but also for discrepancies or holes in your argument.

You should also know what you need to avoid when writing your analysis.

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🙅 Things to Avoid in Case Analysis

Whenever you deal with a case study, remember that there are some pitfalls to avoid! Beware of the following mistakes:

  • Excessive use of colloquial language . Even though it is a study of an actual case, it should sound formal.
  • Lack of statistical data . Give all the important data, both in percentages and in numbers.
  • Excessive details. State only the most significant facts, rather than drowning the reader in every fact you find.
  • Inconsistency in the methods you have used . In a case study, theory plays a relatively small part, so you must develop a specific case study research methodology.
  • Trivial means of research . It is critical that you design your own case study research method in whatever form best suits your analysis, such as questionnaires and surveys.

It is useful to see a few examples of case analysis papers. After all, a sample case study report can provide you with some context so you can see how to approach each aspect of your paper.

👀 Case Study Examples for Students

It might be easier to understand how a case study analysis works if you have an example to look at. Fortunately, examples of case studies are easy to come by. Take a look at this video for a sample case study analysis for the Coca-Cola Company.

If you want another example, then take a look at the one below!

Business Case Analysis: Example

CRM’s primary focus is customers and customer perception of the brand or the company. The focus may shift depending on customers’ needs. The main points that Center Parcs should consider are an increase in customer satisfaction and its market share. Both of these points will enhance customer perception of the product as a product of value. Increased customer satisfaction will indicate that the company provides quality services, and increased market share can reduce the number of switching (or leaving) customers, thus fostering customer loyalty.

Case Study Topics

  • Equifax case study: the importance of cybersecurity measures . 
  • Study a case illustrating ethical issues of medical research.  
  • Examine the case describing the complications connected with nursing and residential care.  
  • Analyze the competitive strategy of Delta Airlines . 
  • Present a case study of an ethical dilemma showing the conflict between the spirit and the letter of the law.  
  • Explore the aspects of Starbucks’ marketing strategyin a case study.  
  • Research a case of community-based clinic organization and development.  
  • Customer service of United Airlines: a case study . 
  • Analyze a specific schizophrenia case and provide your recommendations.  
  • Provide a case study of a patient with hyperglycemia.  
  • Examine the growth strategy of United Healthcare. 
  • Present a case study demonstrating ethical issues in business .  
  • Study a case of the 5% shareholding rule application and its impact on the company.  
  • Case study of post-traumatic stress disorder . 
  • Analyze a case examining the issues of cross-cultural management .  
  • Write a case study exploring the ethical issues the finance manager of a long-term care facility can face and the possible reaction to them.  
  • Write a case study analyzing the aspects of a new president of a firm election. 
  • Discuss the specifics of supply chain management in the case of Tehindo company. 
  • Study a case of a life crisis in a family and the ways to cope with it.  
  • Case study of Tea Leaves and More: supply chain issues .   
  • Explore the case of ketogenic diet implementation among sportspeople.  
  • Analyze the case of Webster Jewelry shop and suggest some changes.  
  • Examine the unique aspects of Tea and More brand management .  
  • Adidas case study: an ethical dilemma .  
  • Research the challenges of Brazos Valley Food Bank and suggest possible solutions.  
  • Describe the case of dark web monitoring for business.  
  • Study a case of permissive parenting style .  
  • Case study of Starbucks employees . 
  • Analyze a case of workplace discrimination and suggest a strategy to avoid it.  
  • Examine a case of the consumer decision-making process and define the factors that influence it.  
  • Present a case study of Netflix illustrating the crucial role of management innovation for company development.  
  • Discuss a case describing a workplace ethical issue and propose ways to resolve it.  
  • Case study of the 2008 financial crisis: Graham’s value investing principles in the modern economic climate. 
  • Write a case study analyzing the harmful consequences of communication issues in a virtual team .  
  • Analyze a case that highlights the importance of a proper functional currency choice. 
  • Examine the case of Hitachi Power Systems management.  
  • Present a case study of medication research in a healthcare facility.  
  • Study the case of Fiji Water and the challenges the brand faces.  
  • Research a social problem case and suggest a solution.  
  • Analyze a case that reveals the connection between alcohol use and borderline personality disorder .  
  • Transglobal Airline case study: break-even analysis.   
  • Examine the case of Chiquita Brands International from the moral and business ethics points of view.  
  • Present a case study of applying for Social Security benefits. 
  • Study the case of a mass hacker attack on Microsoft clients and suggest possible ways to prevent future attacks.  
  • Case study of leadership effectiveness . 
  • Analyze a case presenting a clinical moral dilemma and propose ways to resolve it. 
  • Describe the case of Cowbell Brewing Company and discuss the strategy that made them successful.  
  • Write a case study of WeWork company and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of its strategy.  
  • Case study of medical ethical decision-making. 
  • Study the case of The Georges hotel and suggest ways to overcome its managerial issues.  

🏁 Concluding Remarks

Writing a case study analysis can seem incredibly overwhelming, especially if you have never done it before. Just remember, you can do it provided you follow a plan, keep to the format described here, and study at least one case analysis example.

If you still need help analyzing a case study, your professor is always available to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. You can also get help with any aspect of the project from a custom writing company. Just tackle the research and hand over the writing, write a rough draft and have it checked by a professional, or completely hand the project off to an expert writer.

Regardless of the path you choose, you will turn in something of which you can be proud!

✏️ Case Study Analysis FAQ

Students (especially those who study business) often need to write a case study analysis. It is a kind of report that describes a business case. It includes multiple aspects, for example, the problems that exist, possible solutions, forecasts, etc.

There should be 3 main points covered in a case study analysis:

  • The challenge(s) description,
  • Possible solutions,
  • Outcomes (real and/or foreseen).

Firstly, study some examples available online and in the library. Case study analysis should be a well-structured paper with all the integral components in place. Thus, you might want to use a template and/or an outline to start correctly.

A case study analysis is a popular task for business students. They typically hand it in the format of a paper with several integral components:

  • Description of the problem
  • Possible ways out
  • Results and/or forecasts

Students sometimes tell about the outcome of their research within an oral presentation.

  • Case Study: Academia
  • Windows of vulnerability: a case study analysis (IEEE)
  • A (Very) Brief Refresher on the Case Study Method: SAGE
  • The case study approach: Medical Research Methodology
  • Strengths and Limitations of Case Studies: Stanford University
  • A Sample APA Paper: Radford University
  • How to Write a Case Study APA Style: Seattle PI
  • The Case Analysis: GVSU
  • How to Outline: Purdue OWL
  • Incorporating Interview Data: UW-Madison Writing Center
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This article was very helpful, even though I’ll have a clearer mind only after I do the case study myself but I felt very much motivated after reading this, as now I can at least have a plan of what to do compared to the clueless me I was before I read it. I hope if I have any questions or doubts about doing a case study I can clear it out here.

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Tips for writing a case report for the novice author

A case report is a description of important scientific observations that are missed or undetectable in clinical trials. This includes a rare or unusual clinical condition, a previously unreported or unrecognized disease, unusual side effects to therapy or response to treatment, and unique use of imaging modalities or diagnostic tests to assist diagnosis of a disease. Generally, a case report should be short and focussed, with its main components being the abstract, introduction, case description, and discussion. This article discusses the essential components of a case report, with the aim of providing guidelines and tips to novice authors to improve their writing skills.


For many doctors and other healthcare professionals, writing a case report represents the first effort at getting articles published in medical journals and it is considered a useful exercise in learning how to write scientifically due to similarity of the basic methodology. 1 Case reports aim to convey a clinical message. 2 , 3 Despite different types of case reports, they all aim to enhance the reader's knowledge on the clinical manifestations, the diagnostic approach (with a focus on imaging modalities for case reports published in medical imaging/radiology journals), or the therapeutic alternatives of a disease. 2 – 4 Thus, a case report worthy of reading should contain both useful practical messages and educational purpose. 2 – 5

Although case reports are regarded by some as the lowest (some even do not list the case reports at all) in the hierarchy of evidence in the medical literature, publishing case reports allow for anecdotal sharing of individual experiences, providing essential sources of information for the optimum care of patients. In the hierarchy of evidence-based medicine, randomized controlled trials are placed at the top, superseded by systematic reviews and meta-analyses, followed by prospective experimental trials, then observational studies, case–control studies, and case series at the bottom. 1 , 6 – 8 Most authors are now aware of the impact factor of journals to which they submit their studies. Case reports are infrequently cited, and therefore, publishing case reports is likely to decrease the journal's impact factor. 9 This has led many editors to remove case report sections from their journals. 10

On the other hand, it has been pointed out by others that case reports that are carefully prepared and interpreted with appropriate caution play a valuable role in both the advancement of medical knowledge and the pursuit of education. 11 – 16 Vandenbroucke 17 listed five roles of potential contribution to defend the publication of case reports:

  • Recognition and description of a new disease
  • Recognition of rare manifestations of a known disease
  • Elucidation of the mechanisms of a disease
  • Detection of adverse or beneficial side effects of drugs (and other treatments)
  • Medical education and audit

Two main roles are recognized for case reports published in medical imaging and radiology journals: as sources of new knowledge and as important means for education and learning. The case report as a source of new knowledge refers to visualization of a new manifestation or finding, or clearer demonstration of a known feature of a disease, using a new imaging technology or an imaging method. 18 , 19 Figure 1 is an example showing 3D virtual endoscopy and the unique intraluminal views of the coronary lumen provided by this new visualization tool. 18 The case report as a means for teaching and learning can be manifested as publication of characteristic and instructive cases for educational features. An example is that British Journal of Radiology (BJR) used to publish six to seven case reports in its monthly issue; however, it has changed the format to publishing “Case of the Month” since May 2012. Educational value instead of extreme rarity is the main virtue of a case report worthy of publication. 2 , 3

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is jmrs0060-0108-f1.jpg

Multiplanar reformatted image showing the left coronary artery with coronary stent implanted (arrows) at the ostium of left main stem (A). Virtual endoscopy views of the proximal segment of left coronary artery (B), left anterior descending (C), and left circumflex (D). The internal wall of these coronary branches looks smooth on virtual endoscopy images with no sign of intraluminal irregularity. (Reprint with permission from Reference. 18 )

Writing a case report can be educational for the author as well as for potential readers. 13 Whether in the context of reporting something potentially new or presenting an instructive example of something well known, the author's first and most important task is to search and read extensively on the topic. 20 This article aims to provide guidance on the novice author for writing case reports. Although it is recognized that these guidelines and tips for writing case reports are insufficient for making a successful author, they do help inexperienced authors to exercise and develop basic skills needed in medical writing.

The structure of the case report

Case reports are shorter than most other types of articles. Case reports should encompass the following five sections: an abstract, an introduction with a literature review, a description of the case report, a discussion that includes a detailed explanation of the literature review, and a brief summary of the case and a conclusion. 21 , 22 Tables, figures, graphs, and illustrations comprise the supplementary parts and will enhance the case report's flow and clarity. Unlike original articles, case reports do not follow the usual IMRAD (introduction, methods, results, and discussion) format of manuscript organization. As the format for case reports varies greatly among different journals, it is important for authors to read carefully and follow the target journal's instructions to authors.

The title is the first component of a case report that will be read by readers. Therefore, it should be concise, informative, and relevant to the subject. The ideal title should attract the reader's attention and state the focus on a particular issue, without being too cumbersome or artificial. 23 Redundant words such as “case reports” or “review of the literature” should be omitted, and ostentatious words such as “unique case” or “first report of” should be avoided. 1 , 5 Table 1 lists the titles of case reports that were published in BJR ( British Journal of Radiology ) and JMIRO ( Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology ) between 2012 and 2013.

A list of case reports published in BJR and JMIRO between 2012 and 2013

IVC, inferior vena cava; CPD, continuing professional development.

The abstract

Like other types of articles, it is necessary to include a short summary that gives an overall idea about the content of the case report. The abstract is usually quite brief and generally shorter than that for other types of articles, and it typically has a word limit of 100 words or less. The abstract should be unstructured, pose the clinical question or diagnostic problem, and provide essential information which allows for easier retrieval from electronic database and helps researchers determine their levels of interest in the case report. 5

The introduction

The introduction should be concise and immediately attract the attention and interest of the reader. The introduction should provide background information on why the case is worth reading and publishing, and provides an explanation of the focus of the case report, for example: “We present/report a case of ….” Merit of the case report needs to be explained in light of the previous literature, thus, a focussed comprehensive literature review is required to corroborate the author's claim in this section. The author should bear in mind that a more detailed literature review belongs to the discussion, although critical evaluation of the literature is still required. 5 For some journals, such as BJR (case of the month), there is no Introduction section and the body of the case reports starts immediately with a description of the case.

The case description/summary

The case description or summary is the focus of the case report. The case is best presented in chronological order and in enough detail for the reader to establish his or her own conclusions about the case's validity. 5 , 21 The current medical condition and medical history, including relevant family history, should be clearly described in chronological order, typically comprising clinical history, physical examination findings, investigative results, including imaging and laboratory results, differential diagnosis, management, follow-up, and final diagnosis. 1 , 24 The following paragraph is an example of describing the patient's history:

A 34-year-old female was admitted to the outpatient department due to an increasing lump on the right thigh, which she stated as having been present for 5 years. A painful feeling sometimes occurred in the right upper leg. There was no complaint of lower limb weakness, no history of trauma and the patient was otherwise in good health. On physical examination, a deep seated round mass was detected and located on the right thigh with a size of 25 × 25 × 15 cm, showing hard consistency and non-mobile features ( Fig. 2 A). 25 Open in a separate window Figure 2 (A) Photograph showing a huge lump in the anterior part of the right thigh. (B) Radiographs revealed a bulged soft tissue mass in anterior compartment of right lower thigh showing predominantly radiolucent density with multiple chondroid matrix of calcification. Bone structure is still intact. (Reprint with permission from Reference. 25 )

All important negative findings should also be provided. The author's own interpretation or inferences should be avoided in the body of a case report. Tables/figures should be used to reveal chronological findings or to compare observations using different methods. The following paragraph is another example on the detailed description of using different methods both imaging and diagnostic:

Radiographs showed a bulge soft tissue mass in the right lower thigh having predominantly radiolucent density with multiple chondroid matrix of calcification ( Fig. 2 B), but the bone cortex is still intact. An MRI was obtained to further define the extent and nature of the lesion, confirming heterogeneous soft tissue mass in the anterior compartment of the muscle of the right lower thigh which mostly consisted of fat tissue, thick septation and some nodular non-adipose components. T2-weighted images through the tumour demonstrated high signal intensity comparable with the signal intensity of fat. Fat-suppressed T2-weighted images through the distal part of the tumour showed suppression of the signal through the central fatty components and lobular high signal intensity component at the peripheral rim. 25

In particular, figures need a brief but clear description. In the case of surgery and pathology specimens, the author is advised to provide a comprehensive summary of the surgical procedure and detailed pathologist's report. 5 , 25 The following paragraph is an excerpt from the case report published in the Australasian Medical Journal (AMJ):

The patient was admitted to the surgical ward with preparation for open surgery. The abdomen was opened through the site of the previous incision, and an abscess was observed and drained. A hole was detected in the peritoneal fascia. The anterior duodenum was oedematous and thickened with coverage of fibrin. A small perforated duodenal ulcer was seen. Graham patch procedure was performed to repair the perforated duodenal ulcer with two drains put in place and then the abdomen was closed. The patient was managed with intravenous fluids, as well as analgesics and antibiotics. 26

It is worth noting that patient confidentiality must be preserved. Patient demographics such as age and gender, and occasionally, race and occupation are referred to in the first sentence. In order to reduce the possibility of identifying the patient, the patient's initials, date of birth, and other identifiers such as hospital number must not be used.

The discussion

The discussion is the most important section of the case report. The discussion serves to summarize and interpret the key findings of the case report, to contrast the case report with what is already known in the literature and justify its uniqueness, to derive new knowledge and applicability to practice, and to draw clinically useful conclusions. 2 , 21 In comparing the new case with prior knowledge, the author should briefly summarize the published literature and show in what aspect the present case differs from those previously published, and thus deserves to be read and published. The discussion section of a case report is not designed to provide a comprehensive literature review and citation of all references; therefore, all the references cited should be critically evaluated.

Any limitations of the case should be stated and the significance of each limitation described. The value that the case adds to the current literature should be highlighted, so should the lessons that may be learnt from the case presented, especially if new recommendations for patient diagnosis (with use of an imaging modality) or management, could be put forward. 2 , 5 , 21 The following paragraph is an excerpt from a case report with regard to the concluding statement in the discussion:

This case report highlights the importance of using CT in making accurate diagnosis in patients with abdominal pain due to suspected GI tract perforation. In particular, appropriate selection of CT scanning protocol, such as with oral contrast administration is necessary to ensure timely diagnosis and improve patient management. 26

In the last paragraph, the author should provide the main conclusion of the case report based on the evidence reviewed in the discussion section. A concise statement of the lesson to be learnt from the case could be stated with justifiable evidence-based recommendations. This section should be concise and not exceed one paragraph. 14 , 21

The references

The references listed at the end of the case report should be carefully chosen by virtue of their relevance. References should provide additional information for readers interested in more detail than can be found in the case report, and they should support any specific points highlighted. 14 Some journals restrict the number of references to no more than 15 for a case report.

A case report will not have as much potential impact on the clinical practice of healthcare as randomized controlled trials or other research articles. However, case reports provide valuable sources of new and unusual information for clinicians to share their anecdotal experiences with individual cases, make others aware of unusual presentations or complications, and deliver the educational and teaching message. Well-written and appropriately structured case reports with meticulous attention to the very minute details will contribute to the medical literature and can still enrich our knowledge in today's evidence-based medical world. Table 2 provides the suggested checklist for reporting case reports. Guidelines and tips for writing case reports are not enough for becoming a successful author; however, they are considered helpful for inexperienced or novice authors to exercise and improve their skills needed in medical writing.

Checklist for writing case reports (based on advice in existing literature). 27

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Counselling Tutor

Writing a Counselling Case Study

As a counselling student, you may feel daunted when faced with writing your first counselling case study. Most training courses that qualify you as a counsellor or psychotherapist require you to complete case studies.

Before You Start Writing a Case Study

Writing a counselling case study - hands over a laptop keyboard

However good your case study, you won’t pass if you don’t meet the criteria set by your awarding body. So before you start writing, always check this, making sure that you have understood what is required.

For example, the ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling requires you to write two case studies as part of your external portfolio, to meet the following criteria:

  • 4.2 Analyse the application of your own theoretical approach to your work with one client over a minimum of six sessions.
  • 4.3 Evaluate the application of your own theoretical approach to your work with this client over a minimum of six sessions.
  • 5.1 Analyse the learning gained from a minimum of two supervision sessions in relation to your work with one client.
  • 5.2 Evaluate how this learning informed your work with this client over a minimum of two counselling sessions.

If you don’t meet these criteria exactly – for example, if you didn’t choose a client who you’d seen for enough sessions, if you described only one (rather than two) supervision sessions, or if you used the same client for both case studies – then you would get referred.

Check whether any more information is available on what your awarding body is looking for – e.g. ABC publishes regular ‘counselling exam summaries’ on its website; these provide valuable information on where recent students have gone wrong.

Selecting the Client

When you reflect on all the clients you have seen during training, you will no doubt realise that some clients are better suited to specific case studies than others. For example, you might have a client to whom you could easily apply your theoretical approach, and another where you gained real breakthroughs following your learning in supervision. These are good ones to choose.

Opening the Case Study

It’s usual to start your case study with a ‘pen portrait’ of the client – e.g. giving their age, gender and presenting issue. You might also like to describe how they seemed (in terms of both what they said and their body language) as they first entered the counselling room and during contracting.

Counselling case study - Selecting the right client for your case study

If your agency uses assessment tools (e.g. CORE-10, WEMWBS, GAD-7, PHQ-9 etc.), you could say what your client scored at the start of therapy.

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Writing a Case Study: 5 Tips

Describing the Client’s Counselling Journey

This is the part of the case study that varies greatly depending on what is required by the awarding body. Two common types of case study look at application of theory, and application of learning from supervision. Other possible types might examine ethics or self-awareness.

Theory-Based Case Studies

If you were doing the ABC Diploma mentioned above, then 4.1 would require you to break down the key concepts of the theoretical approach and examine each part in detail as it relates to practice. For example, in the case of congruence, you would need to explain why and how you used it with the client, and the result of this.

Meanwhile, 4.2 – the second part of this theory-based case study – would require you to assess the value and effectiveness of all the key concepts as you applied them to the same client, substantiating this with specific reasons. For example, you would continue with how effective and important congruence was in terms of the theoretical approach in practice, supporting this with reasoning.

In both, it would be important to structure the case study chronologically – that is, showing the flow of the counselling through at least six sessions rather than using the key concepts as headings.

Supervision-Based Case Studies

When writing supervision-based case studies (as required by ABC in their criteria 5.1 and 5.2, for example), it can be useful to use David Kolb’s learning cycle, which breaks down learning into four elements: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation.

Rory Lees-Oakes has written a detailed guide on writing supervision case studies – entitled How to Analyse Supervision Case Studies. This is available to members of the Counselling Study Resource (CSR).

Closing Your Case Study

In conclusion, you could explain how the course of sessions ended, giving the client’s closing score (if applicable). You could also reflect on your own learning, and how you might approach things differently in future.

Enhancing Procedural Writing Through Personalized Example Retrieval: A Case Study on Cooking Recipes

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  • Published: 22 April 2024

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  • Paola Mejia-Domenzain   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1242-3134 1 ,
  • Jibril Frej   ORCID: orcid.org/0009-0009-0631-0636 1 ,
  • Seyed Parsa Neshaei   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4794-395X 1 ,
  • Luca Mouchel 1 ,
  • Tanya Nazaretsky   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1343-0627 1 ,
  • Thiemo Wambsganss 1 ,
  • Antoine Bosselut   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8968-9649 1 &
  • Tanja Käser   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0672-0415 1  

Writing high-quality procedural texts is a challenging task for many learners. While example-based learning has shown promise as a feedback approach, a limitation arises when all learners receive the same content without considering their individual input or prior knowledge. Consequently, some learners struggle to grasp or relate to the feedback, finding it redundant and unhelpful. To address this issue, we present RELEX , an adaptive learning system designed to enhance procedural writing through personalized example-based learning. The core of our system is a multi-step example retrieval pipeline that selects a higher quality and contextually relevant example for each learner based on their unique input. We instantiate our system in the domain of cooking recipes. Specifically, we leverage a fine-tuned Large Language Model to predict the quality score of the learner’s cooking recipe. Using this score, we retrieve recipes with higher quality from a vast database of over 180,000 recipes. Next, we apply BM25 to select the semantically most similar recipe in real-time. Finally, we use domain knowledge and regular expressions to enrich the selected example recipe with personalized instructional explanations. We evaluate RELEX in a 2 x 2 controlled study (personalized vs. non-personalized examples, reflective prompts vs. none) with 200 participants. Our results show that providing tailored examples contributes to better writing performance and user experience.

Avoid common mistakes on your manuscript.


Writing, decomposing, and revising texts are critical skills in many daily domains and professional environments. Procedural writing is a form of expository writing that promotes the replicability of procedures and the transfer of knowledge (Ambarwati & Listyani, 2021 ). Procedural texts are ubiquitous in many professions, examples include instruction manuals, algorithmic code (Ambarwati & Listyani, 2021 ), lab protocols, and cooking recipes (Alviana, 2019 ). Unfortunately, many learners struggle to write complete and high-quality procedural texts (Mejia-Domenzain et al., 2022 ; Ambarwati & Listyani, 2021 ).

Procedural writing is a so-called heuristic domain (Renkl et al., 2009 ), requiring a combination of knowledge of the learning domain (e.g., how to structure a procedural text) and the application domain (e.g., chemistry in the case of lab protocols). This domain dependence prevents the development of a single algorithmic solution for writing good procedural texts. In this context, learners can benefit from learning from examples. Learning from examples enables learners to "borrow" knowledge from others (Sweller, 1994 ) and abstract general rules that can be used to solve similar problems in the future. Prior research has mainly focused on example-based learning applied to highly structured tasks like mathematics and physics (Sweller, 1994 ; Hilbert et al., 2008 ; van Gog et al., 2008 ). Nevertheless, example-based learning has been studied in heuristic domains with no single correct solution (Renkl et al., 2009 ). In these contexts, the examples are often enriched to include instructional explanations that can reduce the cognitive load by emphasizing relevant characteristics (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ; van Gog et al., 2008 ). However, the provided examples and instructional explanations are commonly static (Renkl, 2002 ): all learners are provided with the exact same content (e.g., a worked-example by an expert with instructional explanation), independent of their actual skill level. Hence, the provided examples and instructions might be too complex or not relevant to the user, hindering learning and motivation (van Gog et al., 2008 ; Alamri et al., 2020 ).

Providing tailored examples and feedback timely, therefore, has the potential to increase learner performance and experience. While there exists a large body of research on optimal task selection in structured domains (e.g., Bassen et al. ( 2020 )), only a few works have focused on retrieving examples tailored to the user’s context in heuristic domains. Existing research has, for example, employed feature-based similarity metrics (Hosseini & Brusilovsky, 2017 ; Pelánek, 2020 ) or unsupervised semantic sentence similarity methods (Zlabinger et al., 2020 ) to retrieve similar educational items. However, the majority of these works focused on retrieving similar (in terms of the input text provided by the user) expert-created examples, disregarding the actual skill level of the user.

Furthermore, there is also a vast research on providing personalized explanations and instructions for various writing tasks. Existing tools visualize the revision history of the user’s text (Afrin et al., 2021 ) or use an underlying domain-specific structure to enrich the user’s text with feedback and explanations (Wang et al., 2020 ). However, they do not provide suggestions or examples on how to correct the shortcomings in the user’s text.

In this paper, we present RELEX (REcipe Learning through EXamples), an effective and scalable learning system for procedural writing using personalized example-based learning. We have instantiated RELEX in the domain of cooking recipes because of its familiarity and practical relevance to culinary students and chef apprentices, as identified by prior work (Mejia-Domenzain et al., 2022 ). RELEX features a multi-step pipeline retrieving an example that is 1) relevant for the learner (i.e., similar in terms of topic), 2) of better quality than the learner’s text (i.e., tailored to the learner’s skill level), and 3) annotated with explanations and suggestions that the learner’s text is lacking. Our pipeline takes as input the learner’s recipe and predicts its quality using a fine-tuned Large Language Model (LLM). Then, it retrieves a set of texts with a higher quality (than the predicted quality) from a database containing over \(180'000\) rated recipes. Finally, the most semantically similar recipe is extracted from the retrieved candidate set using BM25 .

To evaluate RELEX , we conduct a \(2\times 2\) controlled study with 200 participants, in which we manipulate a) the adaptiveness of the provided example and annotations (adaptive vs. non-adaptive example and feedback), and b) the prompts for reflection (reflective prompts vs. none). We also run the same task with a control group receiving static procedural writing support only. With our analyses, we aim to address the following three research questions: What are the effects of providing a personalized example along with adaptive feedback and reflective guidance on learners’ experience (RQ1), writing performance (RQ2) and revising behavior (RQ3)?

Our results indicate that participants who received tailored examples revised their cooking recipes more, wrote them with higher quality, and had a more positive perception of the tool than the users without adaptive feedback.

Related Work and Conceptual Background

In this paper, we present the design and evaluation of a learning system for personalized example-based learning at scale, which is instantiated in the domain of procedural writing. Our study has therefore been influenced by related work in the areas of (1) learning procedural writing skills, (2) example-based learning in heuristic domains, and (3) adaptive learning.

Learning Procedural Writing Skills

Procedural writing, a form of expository writing, facilitates the transfer of knowledge and the replicability of procedures (Ambarwati & Listyani, 2021 ). This type of writing finds its applications in various fields, ranging from life sciences lab protocols to technical documentation and culinary recipes (Wieringa & Farkas, 1991 ; Mejia-Domenzain et al., 2022 ; Alviana, 2019 ).

While procedural writing is highly dependent on the subject matter, previous research (Wieringa & Farkas, 1991 ; Sato & Matsushima, 2006 ; Traga Philippakos, 2019 ; Adoniou, 2013 ) has identified three main qualities of high-quality procedural texts: structure, clarity, and specificity. Structure refers to the organization of the text like having appropriate sections. Clarity involves providing necessary details, and specificity refers to the use of appropriate, domain-specific vocabulary.

Previous research has found that learners often encounter difficulties when attempting to compose comprehensive and high-quality procedural texts (Mejia-Domenzain et al., 2022 ; Ambarwati & Listyani, 2021 ). Common mistakes, in the case of computer documentation and nuclear power plants procedures, are the incorrect order of steps, missing elements, lack of details, or ambiguous words that lead to confusion (Wieringa & Farkas, 1991 ). Similarly, the recipes documented by chef apprentices are often missing ingredients and exhibit a lack of detail and use of specific vocabulary (Mejia-Domenzain et al., 2022 ).

Given these challenges in writing procedural texts, the question arises: How can we effectively teach and instruct this skill? Effective feedback mechanisms for procedural writing have received limited attention. One notable investigated mechanism involved feedback through simulation: students were prompted to compose a procedural text detailing how to draw a geometrical figure and subsequently received feedback in the form of the figure drawn based on their instructions (Sato & Matsushima, 2006 ).

While there are general learning objectives (structure, clarity, and specificity), the dependence on the domain prevents the development of a single algorithmic solution for writing a good procedural text. In this context, learners can benefit from learning from examples. Previous research has investigated the efficacy of model-based instruction, where students observe a teacher demonstrating and verbally describing the procedure in action. Notably, studies have applied this approach in various scenarios, such as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Traga Philippakos, 2019 ) and preparing a chicken sandwich (Alviana, 2019 ). Encouragingly, both works reported positive effects on the quality of procedural writing resulting from the implementation of the demonstration technique. Surprisingly, despite the proven benefits of using written worked examples in other genres, such as argumentation skills (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ), their potential application in procedural writing remains largely unexplored.

Example-Based Learning in Heuristic Domains

Example-based learning is an effective method to acquire knowledge by observing and/or imitating what other people do, say, or write (Sweller, 1994 ). It allows learners to build a cognitive schema of how problems should be solved. In addition, learners can abstract general rules from the examples and ultimately transfer and adapt them to other problems (van Gog & Rummel, 2010 ). The vast majority of research on example-based learning has studied their effectiveness in well-structured tasks, such as algebra (Sweller, 1994 ) and physics (van Gog et al., 2008 ). More recently, worked-examples and solved-examples have been applied to non-algorithmic learning domains such as argumentative writing (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ) and mathematical proof finding (Hilbert et al., 2008 ). In heuristic domains (Renkl et al., 2009 ), where no algorithmic solution can be provided (e.g. cooking recipes), learners acquire heuristics that help them find a solution. Examples in heuristic domains require learners to process two different content levels: (1) the learning domain (i.e., how to structure the solution) and (2) the exemplifying domain (i.e., the topic). In the case of cooking recipes, learners need to understand how to structure a procedural text (learning domain: procedural writing) and be familiar with the cooking domain (the exemplifying domain). Given the two content levels, these examples are referred to as double-content . In structural domains, worked-examples are usually annotated with the steps to solve the problem. In contrast, the double-content examples tend to be enriched with self-explanation prompts and/or additional instructional explanations.

Reflective Prompts . According to the self-explanation effect , learners benefit more from the examples if they can actively explain the examples to themselves (Wong et al., 2002 ). Furthermore, the quality of the self-explanations determines what is learned from the examples (Chi et al., 1989 ). However, frequently, learners’ self-explanations are superficial or passive. Thus, the application of prompts is a possible intervention to increase the quality and depth of the explanations. These prompts should stimulate the active processing of learning materials and direct attention to the central aspects (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ). The use of self-regulated learning (SRL) prompts has been shown to foster conceptual knowledge (Roelle et al., 2012 ). Furthermore, SRL prompts (i.e., which aspects of the learning materials do you find interesting, useful, and convincing, and which not? ) have been used to help the learner focus on the central elements of examples (Nückles et al., 2009 ) or to guide learners to diagnose their deficiencies and be critical (Fan et al., 2017 ).

Instructional Explanations . Instructional explanations are another possibility to enrich examples. It has been demonstrated that in a first learning phase, instructional explanations improve the learning outcomes compared to when there are no explanations provided  (van Gog et al., 2008 ). However, these explanations can be detrimental later in the learning, since the provided information soon becomes redundant and the explanations increase the cognitive load and hinder learning. Instructional explanations have the following disadvantages in comparison to self-explanation (Renkl, 2002 ): (1) they are not adapted to the learner’s prior knowledge, so they can be redundant or too complex and hard to understand; (2) they are often not timely and therefore hard to integrate as part of the ongoing learner’s activities.

In a \(2\times 2\) study on the effect of self-explanation prompts and instructional explanations, the group that received only self-explanation prompts had the most favorable learning outcomes, whereas the group that received instructional explanations had the highest perception of learning (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ). Nevertheless, the authors did not examine the use of adaptive instructional explanations. A first step in this direction has been taken by providing so-called faded examples in geometry learning (Schwonke et al., 2009 ). Students were shown complete worked-out examples at first; over time steps from the example were gradually removed. However, the missing steps and the selected examples were pre-determined and not chosen adaptively depending on the students.

To summarize, the provided examples, the reflective prompts, and the instructional explanations are commonly static: all learners are provided with the same content (e.g., a worked-example by an expert with instructional explanation). The examples and explanations are (1) not adapted to the learner’s prior knowledge, so they can be redundant and hence hinder learning (van Gog et al., 2008 ) and (2) not timely and relevant, hence decreasing engagement (Alamri et al., 2020 ). Providing personalized examples and instruction in a timely manner therefore has the potential to improve learning.

Adaptive Learning

Providing personalized examples and adaptive annotations and explanations translates into providing 1) personalized content (the example) and 2) personalized instruction.

Personalized Content . In content level adaptation, the learning objects (e.g., examples, tasks) are selected and adapted based on the content (e.g., current task, answer, knowledge state) of the user (Premlatha & Geetha, 2015 ). One approach to providing personalized content is to retrieve a tailored example from an existing collection. The collection consists of all the examples available, the query is the user’s context and the system ranks examples in the collection based on their similarity with the user’s context. Depending on the task to be learned, the user’s context can be the current task, the answer, the learner’s knowledge or any combination of these. Example retrieval involves three steps: (1) computing a similarity between the learner’s context and examples from the collection, (2) ranking the examples based on their similarity and (3) presenting the most similar or top- k examples to the learner. For instance, Hosseini and Brusilovsky ( 2017 ) used semantic-level similarity-based linking to recommend personalized examples to programming learners.  Pelánek ( 2020 ) explored feature-based (such as the occurrence of domain-specific keywords) and performance-based measures to compare the similarity of educational items in various domains. Furthermore,  Zlabinger et al. ( 2020 ) provided crowdworkers with personalized examples: they used unsupervised semantic sentence similarity methods to retrieve tailored expert-labeled examples.

Obtaining high-quality expert examples for learning purposes can be challenging and costly. In such cases, peer examples serve as an alternative, which, despite their potential loss in quality, can prove more effective in a learning scenario (Doroudi et al., 2016 ). However, evaluating the quality of peer examples poses its own challenge, as the perception of good quality varies among raters, tasks, and genres (Wilson et al., 2014 ). To address this issue, recent research has explored the application of LLMs, like BERT (Devlin et al., 2019 ) or GPT-models (Brown et al., 2020 ), for tasks such as automatically scoring essays (Mayfield & Black, 2020 ), rating recipe nutritional quality (Hu et al., 2022 ), and evaluating text generation (Sellam et al., 2020 ). These LLMs, being at the forefront of natural language processing (NLP) tasks (Devlin et al., 2019 ; Liu et al., 2019 ; Brown et al., 2020 ), offer a promising approach to predict the quality of examples in heuristic domains.

Personalized Instruction . In contrast to generic instruction, personalized instruction (or feedback or explanation) is dynamic, which means that different learners will receive different information (Bimba et al., 2017 ). While there is a range of research on providing personalized feedback and hints in structured domains such as mathematics (Paassen et al., 2018 ) or programming (Ahmed et al., 2020 ), less work has focused on giving automated fine-grained suggestions and explanations in heuristic domains such as expository writing.

Existing NLP-based writing support tools often provide holistic feedback on higher-level properties of the text such as grammar errors, fluency, or coherence (e.g., Grammarly  (Max et al., 2022 )). To provide more detailed guidance, other tools adopt alternative approaches. For instance, ArgRewrite (Afrin et al., 2021 ) visualizes revision histories by annotating a side-by-side comparison of two drafts, providing revision suggestions at the sentence and sub-sentence level. In contrast, ArguLens (Wang et al., 2020 ) utilizes a domain-specific structure by imposing an argumentation-enhanced representation, breaking the user text into argumentation components and standpoints. Despite these valuable contributions, none of the existing systems combine adaptive instruction with a comparison example that could leverage the potential of example-based learning.

RELEX - Learning With Personalized Examples

To study the effect of personalized example-based feedback on learners’ writing performance, revision behavior, and learning experience, we designed RELEX (REcipe Learning through EXamples). The primary purpose of RELEX is to facilitate procedural writing by providing students with tailored examples, accompanied by relevant annotations and reflective prompts. The tool aims to address three key aspects of procedural writing: (a) the organization and structure of texts, (b) the provision of requisite details for enhanced clarity, and (c) the appropriate utilization of specific vocabulary. In the following, we will describe the two main components of RELEX , the user interface and the personalized example retrieval pipeline.

figure 1

Interaction flow: A learner requests feedback (F1) and receives a tailored example recipe (F2) with highlighted in-text elements (F3) and personalized explanations (F4). The learner is also prompted to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the recipes (F5)

User Interface

The user interface of RELEX is illustrated in Fig. 1 Footnote 1 . The main interface is shown on the upper part of the figure. The interface is split into two main panels: the Text Editor (left) where learners can write or edit recipes and request feedback by clicking "Analyze" ( \(F_1\) ) and the Personal Dashboard (right) displaying a selected example recipe with personalized annotations. This Personal Dashboard is again split vertically into two sections, listing suggestions to improve the recipe on the left ( \(F_4\) ) and showing the example recipe ( \(F_2\) ) with missing aspects in the learner’s recipe highlighted ( \(F_3\) ) on the right. Below the main interface (Fig. 1 bottom right), other types of recipe improvement tips together with a fragment of the example recipe that fulfills these suggestions are shown. More specifically, the bottom middle panel shows examples of tips on the specificity of ingredients and steps; and to the right, there are examples on the clarity of the steps. Finally, the Reflection Space ( \(F_5\) , bottom left) invites the user to carefully study the example recipe with the question What aspects of this example recipe do you find interesting, useful, convincing, and which not? ; and compare it to their own recipe with the question What deficiencies does your recipe have compared to the example recipe on the right? . The (synthetic) example in Fig.  1 illustrates these design functionalities. The learner has asked for feedback ( \(F_1\) ) on a recipe including chicken and is provided a similar recipe ("Louisiana Chicken") of higher quality (immediately visible by its clear structure) as an example ( \(F_2\) ). The highlights indicate the missing structural elements (for example, "List each ingredient separately", \(F_3\) ) and the left-hand pane of the personal dashboard suggests other tips on the structure like enumerating the steps ( \(F_4\) ). Other examples of \(F_3\) and \(F_4\) are shown below the main interface. In addition, the reflection panel ( \(F_5\) ) opens to the bottom left where the user answers the questions. The five design functionalities of RELEX (see Table 1 ) are based on design requirements derived from user interviews as well as from literature.

User Requirements . Given that the users should be the main focus of a design effort (Cooper et al., 2007 ), we conducted ten semi-structured user interviews (female-identifying: 6, male-identifying: 4) to better understand the specific user needs when using example-based learning in the context of procedural writing Footnote 2 . Participants described their past experiences with writing procedural texts, which included tutorials, lab protocols, technical manuals, and cooking recipes. One common difficulty they encountered when writing procedural texts was being too vague, missing steps, and having the readers struggle to reproduce the instructions they had written.

From these semi-structured interviews, we derived 22 user stories. The stories contained a multitude of detailed suggestions, such as the type of colors used for highlighting elements of the text or the request to see explanations for the highlighted elements. We clustered the different user stories based on the underlying topic and obtained five groups, from which we formed the following user requirements:

Examples should be relevant and similar so that the users can relate to them.

Users should be able to see more than one example in order to generalize and abstract the relevant elements.

The important elements of the text should be highlighted with different colors (indicating what each color means) to stimulate active processing.

The mechanism should have interactive explanations (e.g., when the mouse scrolls on top or clicks) of the highlighted text in the form of suggestions or questions (that can be dismissed) to help learners understand the underlying structure of the example.

The mechanism should include self-explanation and self-reflection prompts to foster active understanding of the example.

Literature Requirements . After deriving the user-centric requirements, we complemented them with the large body of literature on example-based learning (described in detail in “ Example-Based Learning in Heuristic Domains ”). The impact of this approach is highly dependent on the design of the examples utilized. With this regard, previous research examined various design aspects such as self-explanation prompts (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ), content guidance (Renkl et al., 2009 ), and highlighting (Ringenberg & VanLehn, 2006 ). In their review paper, van Gog and Rummel ( 2010 ) synthesized these aspects and provide design guidelines for example processing. Similarly, Renkl ( 2002 ) derived design principles for instructional explanations. Drawing from the insights of these two review papers, we establish the literature-based design requirements of RELEX :

Active processing of examples should be stimulated by emphasizing important aspects of the procedure. This will help learners understand the underlying structure and transfer that knowledge to a different task (van Gog & Rummel, 2010 ).

Learners should be instructed to self-explain the example in order to foster active processing and understanding (van Gog & Rummel, 2010 ).

Examples and explanations should be presented on learners’ demand to ensure that they are appropriately timed and used in ongoing knowledge-building activities (Renkl, 2002 ).

Explanations should be short and minimalist to reduce the effort to process them (Renkl, 2002 ).

Explanations should not tell learners things that they already know or do not need to know (Renkl, 2002 ).

Table 1 illustrates the relationship between user and literature requirements and the corresponding functionalities of the tool. The design of these functionalities focused on meeting both the needs identified in the relevant literature and those expressed by users, with the goal of creating a tool that is both educationally effective and user-friendly. Specifically, we began by considering user requirements and then incorporated requirements derived from the literature where applicable. For instance, \(F_1\) caters to the users’ need for accessing multiple examples ( \(U_2\) ) and also aligns with the literature’s emphasis on the availability of on-demand examples ( \(L_3\) ). Similarly, \(F_3\) fulfills the requirement of highlighting important aspects of the learning material ( \(L_1\) ) by using different colors, a feature specifically requested by users ( \(U_3\) ), while also ensuring that redundancies are minimized ( \(L_5\) ). Furthermore, \(F_4\) supports the users’ desire for explanations ( \(U_4\) ) and the use of varied colors ( \(U_3\) ), while also adhering to the recommendation for brevity and minimalism in explanations ( \(L_4\) ). Additionally, \(F_5\) addresses the users’ preference for self-explanation prompts ( \(U_5\) ) in line with literature insights ( \(L_2\) ). Finally, \(F_2\) , which responds to the users’ desire for relevant and similar examples, represents an innovative aspect of our work.

Personalized Example Retrieval Pipeline

To retrieve tailored examples for learners, we propose a multi-step recipe selection pipeline. Our pipeline retrieves a personalized example recipe that satisfies the following constraints: 1) describing a similar dish, thus relevant to the learner, 2) of higher quality than the learner’s recipe, 3) annotated with explanations and suggestions based on identified weaknesses of the learner’s recipe, and 4) retrieved in real-time.

Hence, both the retrieved example and the highlighted suggestions are tailored to the learner’s content (e.g., the type of recipe) and skill level (e.g., the quality of the recipe). The pipeline is illustrated in Fig.  2 . It features an offline and an online component. The offline component (top, in green) consists of three main steps:

Preprocessing: a large cooking recipe database ( RecipeNLG ) is preprocessed to obtain the ratings for each recipe. We denote the resulting dataset of rated recipes as RELEXset .

Fine-Tuning: a general domain language model is fine-tuned on all recipes from RecipeNLG . This model is further fine-tuned on the regression task to predict the stars from RELEXset . We call this fine-tuned model RELEXset-predictor .

Recipe Annotation: the recipies from RELEXset are annotated using writing suggestions obtained from experts. We denote the resulting dataset of annotated, rated recipes as RELEX-sugg-set .

The online component (orange, Fig.  2 bottom), processes the learner’s recipe x in four steps:

writing introduction for case study

Quality Prediction: the stars (quality) of x , denoted as S ( x ), is predicted using RELEXset-predictor .

writing introduction for case study

Recipe Retrieval: all recipes of higher quality than x ( \(SB_x\) ) are retrieved from RELEX-sugg-set .

writing introduction for case study

Relevance Filtering: only relevant recipes according to the missing suggestions are kept. We denote this filtered set as \(rel(SB_x)\) .

writing introduction for case study

Recipe Similarity: recipe similarity is computed to output the most similar example recipe from \(rel(SB_x)\) .

In the following subsections, we describe each step of the offline and online components in detail.

figure 2

Offline Training and Annotation

As seen in Fig. 2 , the offline phase consists of three steps: Preprocessing the database, training the cooking domain LLM for rating prediction, and annotating the recipes with improvement suggestions. Specifically, we quantify the quality of the recipes using crowd-sourced ratings, which allows us to sort the recipes based on the community’s perception. Then, we train a model to predict the rating (in the form of stars) a new recipe x would obtain, enabling us to extract recipes of higher quality than the recipe x from the database.

Preprocessing . We use RELEXset , a database composed of rated cooking recipes Footnote 3 . The recipes were extracted from RecipeNLG  (Bień et al., 2020 ), a publicly available dataset of clean and formatted versions of cooking recipes. Ratings are real numbers from 0 to 5. They were obtained from food.com , an online recipes site (Majumder et al., 2019 ). We remove from RELEXset all recipes with no ratings. As a result, RELEXset contains more than 180, 000 clean and formatted recipes with more than 700, 000 user ratings. One common problem with user ratings is that different users adopt different criteria and rating scales. Some users might, for example, be more tolerant than others and give higher ratings in general (Jin & Si, 2004 ). To mitigate this bias, following common practices in collaborative filtering models (Jin & Si, 2004 ), we standardize the ratings per user. We denote by \(R_y(x)\) the rating of user y for recipe x and by \(\hat{R}_y\) the average rating of user y across all recipes. Standardization consists in centering \(R_y(x)\) around \(\hat{R}_y\) with a unit standard deviation as follows: \(\widehat{R}_y\left( x\right) = \left( R_y\left( x\right) - \overline{R}_y\right) \bigg /\sqrt{\sum _{z \in \mathcal {X}} \frac{1}{|\mathcal {X}|} \left( R_y(z) - \overline{R}_y \right) ^2}\) with \(\mathcal {X}\) the set of all recipes in RELEXset . As the standardized rating cannot be computed when the standard deviation is 0, users who have only rated one recipe are automatically excluded from the analysis. To obtain a unique rating S ( x ) associated with each recipe, we average the standardized ratings across all users: \(S(x) = \sum _{y \in \mathcal {Y} }\widehat{R}_y\left( x\right) \big /|\mathcal {Y}|\) with \(\mathcal {Y}\) the set of all users in RELEXset . In the remaining part of the paper, we use “stars” to refer to the averaged user-standardized ratings.

Fine-Tuning on Recipes . Given that the recipes consist of text, we follow the recent advances in NLP (Devlin et al., 2019 ; Liu et al., 2019 ; Sanh et al., 2019 ; Brown et al., 2020 ) and use a pre-trained LLM to predict the quality (starts) of a recipe. The choice of pre-trained LLM is based on performance and efficiency. On the one hand, BERT, a widely-recognized LLM, employs self-attention mechanisms to generate context-aware word representations (Devlin et al., 2019 ). While BERT offers robust performance, RoBERTa, an enhanced version, surpasses it in various NLP benchmarks due to extensive training and hyperparameter optimization (Liu et al., 2019 ). On the other hand, RoBERTa’s computational demands are substantial, making it less ideal for real-time applications. To balance performance and efficiency, we opt for DistilRoBERTa, a streamlined version of RoBERTa (Sanh et al., 2019 ). Developed through knowledge distillation, DistilRoBERTa maintains much of RoBERTa’s efficacy but with reduced complexity, making it more suitable for our requirement of real-time prediction without relying on GPUs. This is in line with studies suggesting that increased prediction time can negatively impact user experience (Nah, 2003 ). Therefore, we initialize our predictor with the distilroberta-base checkpoint from HuggingFace’s transformers (Wolf et al., 2019 ).

It is worth noting that, distilroberta-base was trained on general texts from the internet and not specifically in the cooking domain. Following common practices (Gururangan et al., 2020 ; Sun et al., 2019 ), before fine-tuning the model for rating recipes, we first adapt distilroberta-base to the cooking domain by fine-tuning it on a Masked Language Modeling (MLM) task on the entire set of recipes from RecipeNLG . We will refer to the resulting model as RELEXset-MLM .

Fine-Tuning on a Regression Task . Given that we want to predict the averaged user-standardized rating (stars) of a recipe, we formulate the prediction stage as a regression task: for any given recipe denoted as x , the predictive model should output a real-valued star rating symbolized as S ( x ). Thus, we fine-tune RELEXset-MLM to predict the number of stars of recipes in RELEXset . We will refer to the obtained model as RELEXset-Predictor Footnote 4 . The model has six transformer layers, each with a hidden size of 768, and employs 12 attention heads. The intermediate layers in the transformers have a size of 3072. Moreover, the model uses GELU as its activation function and dropout rates for both attention probabilities and hidden layers are set to 0.1 Footnote 5 . Following, we use a fully connected neural network with one hidden layer that takes the [CLS] token final embedding as input and outputs the number of stars S ( x ). We optimize both RELEXset-MLM and RELEXset-Predictor using adam  (Kingma & Ba, 2015 ) with early stopping. Both RecipeNLG and RELEXset are split into train/validation/test sets with a ratio of 80/10/10. This ratio was chosen to provide sufficient data for training while also allowing adequate samples for validation and testing. Given the complexity of the model, the 80/10/10 split ensures that more data is available for training. Furthermore, given the large size of the dataset, \(10\%\) of the data points used for validation and testing are sufficient to validate and test effectively. We used the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test Footnote 6 , a nonparametric test of the equality of continuous probability distributions, to verify that there were no significant differences (train vs validation: \(p=.36\) , train vs test: .91, validation vs test: \(p=.75\) ) between the label distributions in the train, validation and test sets Footnote 7 . Learning rate, batch size, and weight decay were selected on the validation set using grid search from {1e-6, 1e-5, 2e-5, 3e-5, 5e-5, 1e-4}, {32, 64, 128, 256, 512} and {0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.05, 0.08, 0.1} respectively. We chose the best model (hereafter referred as RELEXset-Predictor ) based on the validation loss and tested its performance on the hold-out test set. RELEXset-Predictor achieved a mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.39 on the test set, which is slightly better than the baseline MAE of 0.42 (simply predicting the mean). Despite the difference not being significant, RELEXset-Predictor has the ability to generalize to new, unseen data, making it a more reliable tool for making predictions in real-world scenarios than the static baseline predictor. As outlined in “ Online Prediction and Selection ”, the subsequent stages of the pipeline are designed to address the prediction uncertainties by selecting recipes that fall within a quality range set above the MAE threshold to ensure that the recipe is perceived as better by the users.

Recipe Annotation . After choosing a targeted example recipe, we enrich the recipe with suggestions on how to improve the text. These suggestions are based on the three main aspects of high-quality procedural text (Wieringa & Farkas, 1991 ; Sato & Matsushima, 2006 ; Traga Philippakos, 2019 ): structure (i.e., clear organization of the text), clarity (i.e., appropriate degree of detail), and specificity (i.e., proper use of technical terms). The suggestions can be divided into general suggestions concerning the learning domain (i.e., how to write procedural text) and into suggestions specific to the exemplifying domain (cooking recipes). The domain-general suggestions are derived from the main qualities of good procedural text identified in previous work (Wieringa & Farkas, 1991 ; Sato & Matsushima, 2006 ; Traga Philippakos, 2019 ). The domain-specific suggestions are derived from "The Recipe Writer’s Handbook, Revised and Expanded" (Ostmann & Baker, 2001 ). In this handbook, two recipe book editors give punctual recommendations on how to write a good recipe in terms of the learning objectives (structure, specificity, and clarity). We use the keywords “specify” and “indicate” to retrieve 45 suggestions from the handbook. Table 2 lists all the domain-general suggestions as well as examples of domain-specific suggestions. There are four suggestions related to the structure and three suggestions related to the clarity of the text. For these two categories, there is a direct mapping between domain-general and domain-specific annotations. There are in total 38 recipe-specific suggestions related to the specificity of the steps and material Footnote 8 .

We transform the suggestions into explicit rules to be able to annotate each recipe for each of the 45 suggestions. Specifically, we classify each of the 45 suggestions as "followed", "missing", or "not relevant" for each recipe. For example, if the recipe does not require a pan, the suggestion to “ indicate the size and type of the pan ” is not relevant; on the other hand, if the recipe requires a “pan”, but the size (small, medium, large) or type (frying, skillet, non-stick, ceramic, etc) are not specified, the suggestion is “missing”. To facilitate this classification, we employ a rule-based system using regular expressions. This method allows for an automated annotation of the recipes. Our classification algorithm operates in two stages. Initially, it scans the recipe for keywords related to each suggestion (main keyword). Following the example, it would look for “pan” or synonyms. Subsequently, when a keyword is identified, the algorithm examines a 20-character range surrounding it to detect any mention of the specific characteristics detailed in the suggestion (supporting keywords). In our example, it would look for the size or type of the pan. This process is repeated for all suggestions, and the results are compiled into a dictionary. This dictionary reflects the status of each suggestion (followed, missing, or not relevant) for every recipe, including the specific locations where these criteria are met.

The previously described classification algorithm aims at ascertaining the presence of the specified keywords (supporting keywords) in proximity to another predetermined keyword (main keyword). We define “proximity” as a 20-character range to account for intervening descriptors (such as adjectives or qualifiers) that are typically positioned close to their corresponding nouns that might not be related to the suggestion. For example, for the suggestion about specifying the form of nuts (e.g., whole, halved, chopped, etc) in proximity to a nut’s name (e.g., walnut, almonds), a phrase like “slivered (form) blanched almonds (nut)” exemplifies a case where looking at the preceding or succeeding word fails to recognize the relationship due to the intervening descriptors. Given that the average word length in English is 4.8 Footnote 9 , we chose a 20-character range that is approximately 4 words apart. Empirical trials confirmed that this range effectively captures the necessary details in the majority of cases, striking a good balance between capturing essential information and excluding unrelated text that might pertain to other ingredients or elements rather than describing the main keyword.

To assess the rule-based annotation performance, we conducted an evaluation using a random sample of recipe segments. Two annotators, who are also authors of this work, were involved in this process. One of the annotators had participated in the generation of the rule-based regular expressions, while the other annotator was unfamiliar with the generation process. The choice of annotators was a pragmatic decision that allowed us to evaluate the rule-based model without the need for recruitment of external annotators. Per each suggestion, we randomly selected five recipe segments where the two-step annotation algorithm indicated that the suggestion was present and five segments where it was missing. The segments were shuffled and manually labeled to indicate whether the rule was being fulfilled or not. The Cohen’s Kappa score between the annotators was 0.85 (near perfect agreement (Landis & Koch, 1977 )) and the average accuracy was 0.95. We acknowledge that the choice of annotators could have induced a level of subjective interpretation. However, the random selection and shuffling of segments for annotation likely mitigated any subconscious biases. Moreover, the high inter-rater reliability indicates that the suggestions provided were clear and consistent, regardless of the annotators’ prior involvement in the process.

Online Prediction and Selection

The online part of the pipeline consists of retrieving a tailored comparison recipe for the user in real-time.

Quality Prediction . When a participant y asks for feedback on a recipe x , the first step consists in predicting the stars of the input recipe \(S_y(x)\) using RELEXset-Predictor .

Recipe Retrieval . In the next step, a candidate subset \(SB_x\) of recipes with higher quality (i.e., a higher stars value) is retrieved from RELEX-sugg-set . \(SB_x\) contains all the recipes with a rating withing the range \([S_y(x) + 0.4, S_y(x) + 0.8]\) . For example if the rating of the input recipe \(S_y(x)=1\) , \(SB_x\) will contain all the recipes with a standardized rating within the range [1.4, 1.8]. This range was chosen based on RELEXset-Predictor ’s MAE (0.39) as we did not want \(SB_x\) to contain recipes that fit within the error range of the predictor. Moreover, we wanted to show the user a peer recipe that is of better quality, but still similar enough for the user to relate to and not be discouraged by peer excellence (Rogers & Feller, 2016 ). We tested the selected range in a pilot study with 10 participants. We asked the participants to evaluate the level of the recipes seen in comparison to theirs, and the options were "much worse", "worse", "same level", "better" and "much better". None of the participants stated that the recipes were "much better", \(60\%\) perceived the recipe as better, and \(40\%\) as their same level.

Relevance Filtering . The next stage of the pipeline consists of filtering the candidate subset \(SB_x\) according to relevance. We consider that a recipe contains relevant feedback if it can exemplify how to successfully improve the input recipe x . To assess the relevance of the candidate recipe, we first identify the suggestions that are missing from the input recipe x . We then filter out from \(SB_x\) the recipes that do not contain relevant feedback. We postulate that a recipe contains relevant feedback if it follows at least one suggestion that is missing from x . We denote as \(rel\left( SB_x\right) \) the set of recipes from \(SB_x\) containing relevant feedback. To exemplify the filtering stage, let us consider the following minimal example: z is a recipe where the only suggestion classified as missing is " indicate the intensity of the heat ". Therefore, we will remove from \(SB_z\) all recipes that do not specify the intensity of the heat when they should have. Thus, the resulting set \(rel\left( SB_z\right) \) will contain only recipes that follow the suggestions: " indicate the intensity of the heat ".

Recipe Similarity . The final step of the online pipeline aims to retrieve from \(rel\left( SB_x\right) \) the recipe that is most similar to x . We compute the recipe-recipe similarity using BM25  (Robertson & Walker, 1994 ), a Bag-of-Word Information Retrieval model. Our main motivation for using BM25 instead of a LLM fine-tuned for text similarity such as cpt-text  (Neelakantan et al., 2022 ) is efficiency. Indeed, constraint \(C_5\) enforces our pipeline to work in real-time and because in some cases \(rel\left( SB_x\right) \) can contain more than 100, 000 recipes, we decided to use an efficient Bag-of-Word model. We evaluated the similarity computation time for 100 random recipes in the worst-case scenario (with 100, 000 comparisons) and we found that the computation time was on average 0.8 seconds ( \(\sigma = 0.1\) seconds) on a laptop with an Apple M1 processor. After computing the pair-wise similarities between x and all recipes in \(rel\left( SB_x\right) \) , we return the recipe with the highest similarity.

Experimental Design

To evaluate RELEX , we conducted a controlled user study, where we asked participants to complete three procedural writing tasks in the domain of cooking recipes using our system. In the following, we will describe the study design, participants, procedure, and the employed measures in detail.

We employed a fully randomized between-subjects design, encompassing two main factors: feedback type (adaptive vs. non-adaptive) and reflection guidance (with vs. without prompts). This resulted in four distinct treatment groups, each experiencing a specific combination of feedback and reflection instructions. To provide a basis for comparison, we also included a control group ( CG ), which received general static rules on how to write a cooking recipe, representing the traditional approach to support recipe writing without the provision of a peer example. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of the five conditions. The experiment task and questions were exactly the same for all groups; we only manipulated the adaptivity and the reflective prompts between participants. The adaptive feedback encompasses the tailored example recipe along with personalized in-text highlighting and explanations; and the reflective prompts refers to the Reflective Space where the learner is promoted to compare the recipes.

Each group used a different version of RELEX . Figure 3 shows the interface for the four treatment groups experiencing varying levels of adaptive feedback and reflection guidance. The grid has two axes: Reflective Prompts and Adaptive Feedback. Each axis has two options: With and without. Thus, each quadrant represents a distinct group differentiated by the presence or absence of adaptive feedback and reflection prompts. The interface for \(G_{R}^{A}\) including reflective prompts and adaptive feedback is displayed in the upper left quadrant. \(G_{R}^{A}\) used RELEX with all relevant functionalities including adaptive feedback (i.e., tailored example annotated with personalized in-text highlighting and explanations) and reflection prompts. The interface for \(G_{NR}^{A}\) is shown in the upper right quadrant. Accordingly, \(G_{NR}^{A}\) used RELEX without the reflection prompts. Next, as seen in the lower left quadrant, \(G_{R}^{NA}\) used RELEX without adaptive feedback, but with reflection prompts. Lastly, \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) (lower right quadrant) without reflective prompts and without adaptive feedback. Subjects in this group were displayed a pre-selected recipe from the database. Specifically, we pre-selected five complete (in terms of structure and level of detail, see “ Personalized Example Retrieval Pipeline ”), but not perfect recipes (in terms of stars, see also “ Personalized Example Retrieval Pipeline ”) from the database. We chose to not display perfect recipes in order to keep the impression of a peer recipe. Furthermore, we made sure that the five pre-selected recipes covered a range of cooking methods (e.g., dessert, hot dish, etc.). Finally, the CG did not see an example recipe; instead, an instruction manual on how to write recipes was displayed in the right pane of the tool.

figure 3

Illustration of the study setup using a randomized 2 (feedback type: adaptive vs. non-adaptive) x 2 (reflection guidance: with vs. without prompts) between-subjects design resulting in four treatment groups


We recruited 200 paid participants from Prolific to conduct a controlled experiment. We chose Prolific as a platform since past research on behavioral research platforms reported the highest response quality and sample diversity for Prolific (Peer et al., 2017 ). To avoid an overlarge diversity in our sample, we recruited participants in the age range from \(18-30\) with at least an undergraduate degree as the highest completed education level. We excluded participants who did not complete the post-test or had technical problems, remaining with 187 participants for our analyses. Table  3 summarizes the demographic information per group. We did not find significant differences between the groups in terms of age ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 1.07, p = .90\) ) or gender ( \({\chi }^2(8) = 7.49, p = .48\) ) as indicated by a non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test Footnote 10 . The median time spent on the study was 70 minutes. Participants were paid \(9\pounds \) per hour.

The experiment consisted of three main parts that were the same for all groups: (1) a pre-survey (including a pre-test), (2) three procedural writing tasks (in the domain of cooking recipes), and (3) a post-survey (including a post-test). Different from the three main tasks centered on composing cooking recipes, the pre-test and post-test were situated in a distinct domain: furniture assembly. The different domain was chosen in order to study whether the users could transfer the acquired procedural writing skills to another task.

Pre-Survey . The experiment began with a pre-survey, where we a) controlled the effectiveness of the randomization using two different constructs (see Table 4 ) and b) conducted a pre-test for procedural writing skills in the domain of furniture assembly. We started by asking each participant three questions about their previous cooking experience and documenting their recipes. Next, we captured participants’ attitudes towards technology (Agarwal & Karahanna, 2000 ). Both constructs were measured on a 7-point Likert scale (1: totally disagree to 7: totally agree, with 4 as a neutral statement). Finally, we assessed participants’ procedural writing skills in a transfer domain. Specifically, we asked participants to write the instructions to assemble an IKEA piece of furniture (a TINGBY table) based on a step-to-step diagram (illustration only, no text available). Participants were requested to spend five minutes solving the task.

Procedural writing assignment . In the procedural writing part of the experiments, we asked the participants to perform three cooking recipe writing tasks. The task was: "It’s a Sunday afternoon and your best friend calls you with a very hectic voice: they need to prepare a dish for their family who is going to visit in the evening. Your friend asks you to provide them with three different cooking recipes to choose from. Be aware that your friend has very little cooking experience and therefore you have to write the recipe as structured and understandable as possible." All groups were asked to watch an introduction video on the usage of the tool before the first recipe-writing task.

Post-Survey. The experiment ended with the post-survey. First, we conducted the post-test, where participants were asked to write instructions on how to assemble a different piece of IKEA furniture (an EKET cube) based on a step-by-step diagram (illustration only). We made sure that the difficulty of assembly was similar for both tests. As in the pre-test, participants were asked to spend five minutes on the task. Next, we measured the users’ perception using different constructs from literature (see Table 4 ). Again, all behavioral constructs were measured on a 7-point Likert scale (1: totally disagree to 7: totally agree, with 4 a neutral statement). Finally, participants answered five qualitative questions about the usage of the tool, the impact of RELEX on participants’ recipe writing, and user experience.

Measures and Analysis

To investigate the impact of our system, we studied learners’ writing performance on the task and the transfer task. Moreover, the impact on learners’ perception was assessed using a post-survey with qualitative questions. Finally, we assessed the impact on learners’ revision behavior using a keystroke analysis.

Task Performance . To assess participants’ progress in recipe writing skills, we used each participant’s first recipe (i.e., their first submission) as an initial evaluation and their last revised recipe (i.e., their last submission) as a final evaluation. Specifically, we computed two scores for each recipe: the predicted stars ( \(S_y(x)\) ) and the quality score ( \(Q_y(x)\) ). The first score, the predicted stars ( \(S_y(x)\) ), was obtained using the model fine-tuned to predict the recipes’ stars ( RELEXset-Predictor , see “ Offline Training and Annotation ”). We gave as input the recipe written by the participant and the model returned the predicted stars. The second score is a quality/completeness score based on the quality criteria (structure, clarity, specificity) implemented by the set of suggestions derived in “ Offline Training and Annotation ”. We computed the quality score \(Q_y(x)\) for a recipe x from a participant y based on \(A_{x}\) , the set of suggestions relevant to recipe x . For each suggestion \(r_i \in A_{x}\) , we computed a score \(s_{y,r_i} \in \{0,1\}\) , where 1 indicates that the suggestion was followed and 0 indicates that the suggestion was missing. We then computed the quality score as \(Q_y(x)=\sum s_{y,r_i}/|A_x|\) . The quality score, therefore, measures the ratio of followed rules for a recipe.

Transfer Performance . To evaluate the pre-and post-test tasks, we assessed the learning objectives of procedural texts. We thus adopted the subset of suggestions regarding structure, clarity, and specificity described in Table 2 . We made adjustments to \(r_8\) and \(r_9\) to better suit the context of furniture assembly. Specifically, for the specificity of materials ( \(r_8\) ), we examined the level of detail provided in describing the materials, such as explicitly naming them as wood or metal. For the specificity of steps ( \(r_9\) ), we assessed how accurately the components were referred to, including terms like screws, pegs, grooves, and knobs. Similar to measuring task performance in terms of suggestions, for each relevant suggestion \(r_i\) with, \(i \in \{1,...,9\}\) , we computed a quality score \(s_{y,r_i} \in \{0,1\}\) , where 1 indicates that the requested suggestion is followed and 0 indicates that the suggestion is missing. The overall transfer score of the task was then calculated as \(T_y(task)=\sum s_{y,r_i}/9\) .

Perception . We analyzed participants’ open responses with topic modeling. We used BERTTopic  (Grootendorst, 2022 ), a technique that incorporates the contextual information of the text by clustering embeddings generated by pre-trained transformer-based language models. We used Sentence-BERT  (Reimers & Gurevych, 2019 ) to embed the sentences in the fixed-size representation required by BERTTopic . More specifically, we used all-mpnet-base-v2 checkpoint from HuggingFace’s Transformers. We split the participants’ answers into sentences v and clustered them to obtain the topics z . The topics extracted by BERTTopic are described in terms of the most important words and their relevance. We interpreted them and assigned names to each cluster. In a next step, we computed for each sentence v the probability \(p_{v,z}\) of belonging to each cluster z . We considered that a sentence v belongs to a cluster z if \(p_{v,z} > 0.3\) to allow for sentences to be categorized into at most three topics. We then grouped the sentences by participant y to obtain the set of topics \(Z_y\) for their entire text answer. As an example, assume that the answer of a participant y consisted of three sentences \(v_1\) , \(v_2\) and \(v_3\) with assigned topics: \(v_1\) - topics A , B , \(v_2\) - topic B , and \(v_3\) - topics A , C , D . In this case, the set of topics associated with the text answer of participant y is \(Z_y = {A,B,C,D}\) .

Revision Behavior . To study users’ revision behavior, we analyzed the changes made to their recipes after receiving feedback. Based on this feedback, participants were instructed to refine their recipe. This process of analysis and improvement was not limited to a single iteration; participants could engage in multiple cycles of revision. Thus, we define a "revision" to be the set of edits (deletion, insertion, and changes) executed after receiving feedback on the recipe submission. For example, if a user requests feedback, reviews an example recipe, and subsequently makes several changes to their recipe, we consider the sequence of modifications as a single revision. If the user then proceeds to engage with the "Analyze" function once more, making additional edits to the recipe, this subsequent round of alterations is classified as a second revision. Following previous work on revision behavior and analyzing keystrokes (Mouchel et al., 2023 ; Zhu et al., 2019 ), we computed the following two features: revision time (time spent revising) and total number of revisions (number of times recipe was edited and re-submitted).

In this study, we sought to examine the effects of adaptive feedback and reflective prompts on learners’ perception (RQ1), procedural writing skills (RQ2), and revision behavior (RQ3). To achieve this, we conducted a comprehensive analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, on the data gathered from the post-survey, procedural writing assessments, and the pre- and post-test. In the following analyses we present the p -values resulting from the analysis, the effect sizes are available at: https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/tree/main/docs/effect-sizes.pdf . In a first preparatory step, we verified the randomization by checking for differences between the five groups at the beginning of the study. A Kruskal-Wallis test Footnote 11 confirmed that there were no differences in participants’ procedural writing skills as measured by their quality scores \(T_y(pre)\) (see “ Measures and Analysis ”) achieved on the pretest task ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 4.85\) , \(p = .30\) ). For the pre-survey, we obtained the construct score by averaging the items in each construct (all factor loadings were greater than 0.7) and found no significant differences either in participants’ previous experience with documenting cooking recipes ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 4.83\) , \(p = .30\) ) and attitudes towards technology ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 4.2\) , \(p =.37\) ). Lastly, we analyzed how long participants took to complete the study. On average, participants took 73 minutes. Again, we found no significant differences ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 8.15\) , \(p = .09\) ) between the average duration time per group (78 minutes for \(G_{R}^{A}\) ; 73 minutes for \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ; 64 minutes for \(G_{R}^{NA}\) ; 79 minutes for \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) ; and 70 minutes for CG .)

RQ1: Impact on Learners’ Experience

To answer our first research question, we analyzed participants’ user experience and perception. Based on the findings of Schworm and Renkl ( 2006 ), we hypothesized that the perceived learning gain, usefulness, behavioral intention, and attitude towards use would be higher in the groups with adaptive feedback: \(G_{R}^{A}\) , \(G_{NR}^{A}\) (H1-1) . In addition, in line with Venkatesh and Bala ( 2008 ), we hypothesized that the perceived ease of use would be the highest in the CG and the lowest in \(G_{R}^{A}\) given that the CG used the version with the simplest interface and functionality (H1-2) .

Quantitative Analysis . In a first analysis, we compared the post-survey constructs between groups using the Kruskal-Wallis test 11 . The results confirmed significant differences between groups concerning perceived usefulness ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 14.30\) , \(p < .01\) ) and behavioral intention ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 14.20\) , \(p < .01\) ). To further investigate the specific differences within these constructs, we performed a pairwise comparison using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum test, correcting for multiple comparisons via a Benjamini-Hochberg (BH) procedure.

Figure 4 depicts the distribution per group and construct, with statistically significant differences marked with * ( \(p < .05\) ) and ** ( \(p < .01\) ). We observe that participants from the group receiving both adaptive feedback and reflective prompts ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) ) perceived the tool as more useful than the participants from the groups without adaptive feedback ( \(G_{R}^{NA}\) and \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) ) and the control group ( CG ). Likewise, participants in \(G_{NR}^{A}\) (adaptive feedback, no reflective prompts) also reported higher perceived usefulness than participants in \(G_{R}^{NA}\) . It is worth mentioning that the only variant between these two groups was the presence of adaptive feedback. Moreover, regarding the behavioral intention, both \(G_{R}^{A}\) and \(G_{NR}^{A}\) (the groups with adaptive feedback) exhibit significantly higher scores than all other groups.

figure 4

Post-survey answers comparison between control and treatment groups. Statistically significant differences between groups are indicated with * ( \(p < .05\) ) and ** ( \(p < .01\) )

In a subsequent analysis, we investigated the differences between the groups that received adaptive feedback ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) and \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ) and the ones that did not ( \(G_{R}^{NA}\) and \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) ). We found that the groups with adaptive feedback had significantly higher scores in four out of five constructs: perceived usefulness ( \({\chi }^2(1) = 11.46\) , \(p < .001\) ); attitudes toward use ( \({\chi }^2(1) = 5.2\) , \(p < .01\) ); behavioral intention ( \({\chi }^2(1) = 12.08\) , \(p < .001\) ); and perceived learning gain ( \({\chi }^2(1) = 6.07\) , \(p < 0.01\) ). Interestingly, there were no significant differences in the perceived ease of use.

Perception Analysis . In our subsequent analysis, we delved into participants’ open-text responses to gain deeper insights into the observed effects from the post-survey. Specifically, we first examined the responses to the question "What did you like?". The responses reflected a positive reception of the system’s features, including comparative viewing of recipes, in-text highlighting, ease of use, helpful suggestions, and educational insights. The most frequently mentioned aspect, noted by 16% of participants, was the opportunity to see other recipes. This feature was particularly appreciated for its comparative aspect, as highlighted by a participant from \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) : "[I liked] that I could compare my recipe with another, which makes you want to improve yours to a higher standard." The next notable aspect was in-text highlighting, valued by 11% of participants. A participant from \(G_{R}^{A}\) described this feature as "useful to quickly identify areas, and it helps you learn and observe things you can improve quite intuitively." Ease of use was also a significant point of appreciation. Participants described the system as "really intuitive, user-friendly" and "clear, easy to use and methodical ." Additionally, participants praised the quality of the suggestions offered. Comments like "I liked that it gave useful suggestions that are actually valuable to a beginner" and "It gives me tips and advice on how I can improve the wording and formatting of my recipe, so I can easily make these changes to improve the clarity and how clear my recipe is" were common. Finally, the educational insights provided by the system were highlighted. One participant mentioned, "it allowed me to gain a better perspective on how to write instructions in a clearer and more concise manner. It helped me to focus on problem areas that I subconsciously missed because it has become ingrained into my writing style. Overall, I would say that it made me more aware of my writing foibles and allowed me to thus tackle those problems and improve." Another added, "Despite reading a lot of recipes in the past, I do think that it very quickly guided me to writing more concise and easier to understand instructions. I like how quickly I learned using it, as well as how it leads you to figure out how to write good instructions rather than simply telling you a strict set of rules you must use."

Next, we examined participants’ feedback on potential improvements to the tool. Not surprisingly, \(12\%\) of participants in the control group ( CG ) proposed personalized content. One participant suggested, "I would change the recipe suggestions to be directly relevant for each written recipe. For example, after the first recipe, I added numbers to each step in the following two recipes, but still received the same feedback, so it became less useful." Similarly, \(16\%\) and \(4\%\) of the participants in \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) and \(G_{R}^{NA}\) , respectively, which were shown pre-selected recipes without using our pipeline, mentioned "adaptivity" as a potential area of improvement, suggesting to: "Limit the returned recipes to related dishes only." Interestingly, some participants in \(G_{R}^{A}\) , where participants received semantically similar examples, also expressed a desire for even more similar examples. One participant noted: "I would offer example recipes that have the same ingredients as the user’s recipe." . Another participant added "I may improve my recipe by adding ingredients that I did not previously add before to make it taste better." Furthermore, practical suggestions for future tool iterations included the ability to scan handwritten recipes, eliminating the need to retype them, and the integration of real-time tips and advice during recipe composition.

In summary, participants who received personalized examples ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) and \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ) reported significantly higher perceived usefulness, attitudes toward use, behavioral intention, and perceived learning gain compared to the other conditions, confirming (H1-1) . Interestingly, participants in the control group ( CG ), unaware of the other conditions, suggested the incorporation of adaptive feedback and content personalization, while participants in groups \(G_{R}^{NA}\) and \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) recommended showing more tailored and similar recipes. However, contrary to our expectations, there were no significant differences in the perceived ease of use between the conditions. As a result, we reject (H1-2) and conclude that the example-selection pipeline does not impose any perceivable burden or complexity on users.

RQ2: Effect on Learners’ Writing Performance

To answer the second research question, we analyzed learners’ writing performance (quantitatively) and participants’ open-text answers (qualitatively). We analyzed the users’ change in performance on the recipe task as well as on the furniture assembly task (transfer task). For the in-task performance, we hypothesized that learners who received adaptive feedback would outperform those who did not, because the highlighted elements and explanations reduce the cognitive load needed to capture the main elements (Sweller, 1994 ), enabling participants to learn faster and perform better on the task (H2-1) . In contrast, for the performance on the transfer task, we hypothesized that the participants who received reflective prompts would perform better, because of the generation effect that states that self-generated information is better retained and learned (Renkl, 2002 ) (H2-2) .

Effect on learners’ task performance . To test H2-1 , we used a repeated-measures ANOVA for the predicted stars \(S_y(x)\) and quality score \(Q_y(x)\) (see “ Measures and Analysis ”) with the conditions ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) , \(G_{NR}^{A}\) , \(G_{R}^{NA}\) , \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) and CG ) as the between-subjects and the test time (pre-score, post-score) as a within-subject factor. Subsequently, we proceeded with pairwise comparisons using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum test with BH corrections to investigate the differences between the various conditions.

In the quality score ( \(Q_y(x)\) ) analysis, we found a significant effect of test time ( \(F(1,186)=84.4, p<.0001\) ). Test time refers to the different measurements of the quality score through time, i.e., how the scores change from the first to the last recipe. Thus, a significant effect of test time means that the quality scores changed significantly over the course of the experiment. As seen in Fig.  5 (top left), the scores in general increased from the first to the last recipes. In addition, there was also a significant interaction effect ( \(F(4,186)=2.6, p<.05\) ), which indicates that the effect of time on quality scores differed depending on the experimental condition. This is also visible in Fig.  5 (top left) where some groups exhibit a steeper slope than others. This is further reinforced by a non-significant condition factor in the between-subjects analysis ( \(F(4,186)=1.65, p=.10\) ), which suggests that there were no inherent differences between the participants in the different groups. Planned pairwise comparisons confirmed the observed differences in Fig.  5 (top left). The users in \(G_{R}^{A}\) improved significantly more than the users in \(G_{R}^{NA}\) ( \(p<.05\) ). Likewise, users in \(G_{NR}^{A}\) performed significantly better than users in \(G_{R}^{NA}\) ( \(p<.05\) ) and CG ( \(p<.05\) ).

In a subsequent analysis, we investigated the differences between the groups with and without adaptive feedback (Fig. 5 top middle) as well as with and without reflective prompts (Fig. 5 top right). Planned comparisons revealed that the users with adaptive feedback improved significantly more than the users without ( \(p<.01\) ) from the first to the last recipe.

Regarding the predicted stars ( \(S_y(x)\) ) analysis, we found a significant effect of test time, with participants’ predicted stars improving significantly across recipes ( \(F(1,186)=19.2, p<.0001\) ). There was no main effect of the condition, and planned comparisons revealed no differences between the conditions.

figure 5

Performance on recipe task (in terms of quality score) and transfer task. The error bars show the standard deviation

Effect on learners’ transfer performance . In a next analysis, we also used a repeated-measures ANOVA to assess performance improvements on the transfer task. Figure 5 (bottom left) illustrates the score change between participants’ pre- and post-test for the five conditions. While the CG seems to do worse than the other four conditions, we only found a significant effect of test time ( \(F(1,186)=104, p<.0001\) ). This suggests that on average, all the participants improved on the transfer task (see Fig. 5 (bottom left)). For example, \(24\%\) of the participants, who did not enumerate the steps in the pre-test, enumerated the steps in the post-test. Moreover, we reviewed the tests and noted that only two participants included a title in the pre-test, while 26 participants added it in the post-test. We also investigated the differences between the groups with and without adaptive feedback (Fig. 5 bottom middle) as well as with and without reflective prompts (Fig. 5 bottom right) and found no significant effects.

Perception Analysis . To relate the observed effects on performance to participants’ perceived performance, we again examined the survey’s open-text answers. After each recipe, participants were asked to describe the changes they made in their recipes. \(20\%\) of the participants referred to enumerating: "I numbered the steps to make the order clearer. It was a good point and will allow who is cooking to quickly find the step they need" ( \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ). Most of the consecutive popular topics referred to the recipe suggestions and explanations, for example, "specifying the size and type of pan" ( \(10\%\) ), "using more appropriate terms than add like mix, stir, beat" ( \(9\%\) ). Interestingly, despite not having direct suggestions, some participants in \(G_{R}^{NA}\) , \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) , and CG made similar changes. For example, a participant in \(G_{R}^{NA}\) mentioned: "I added a size measurement to my description of a baking pan because I realised it is helpful to have these details available for new bakers who are unsure of what sizes these things ought to be" .

In addition, as observed in the post-test, no participant in the CG mentioned adding a title and only \(3\%\) of the participants in \(G_{NR}^{A}\) mentioned it. In comparison, \(12\%\) and \(13\%\) of the participants from \(G_{R}^{NA}\) and \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) said they added a title; a participant from \(G_{R}^{NA}\) wrote: "I [originally] did not give my recipe a title. I saw that in the example recipe and realised stating the title would help the presentation" .

Additionally, to comprehend the impact of the reflective prompts, we examined how participants in groups \(G_{R}^{A}\) and \(G_{R}^{NA}\) responded regarding their utilization of these prompts. Among the participants, \(27\%\) mentioned that the prompts were useful in identifying areas of improvement, with one participant expressing, "I had to actually think about where I was going wrong and what was good about the example" . For \(12\%\) of the participants, the reflective prompts acted as a means of introspection, leading them to consider ways to enhance their own recipe writing. One participant explained, "It forced me to be introspective about my own recipe writing and thus think of ways to improve my instructions." However, a small percentage (7%) of the participants expressed a dislike for the prompts. For instance, one participant conveyed, "Not much, the reflective questions were just a part to write what I was already thinking." This observation could provide some insight into why we did not observe a significant effect of the reflective prompts on performance.

In summary, our findings support H2-1 as we observed significant differences in task performance between groups with and without adaptive feedback. However, contrary to our expectations, we did not find any significant differences in task performance between groups with and without reflective prompts, leading us to reject H2-2 . Furthermore, the results from the perception analyses indicate that participants from all groups demonstrated a good understanding of the basic elements of a procedural text.

RQ3: Effect on Learners’ Revision Behavior

In addressing our final research question, we studied how users revised their recipes after receiving feedback. We formulated two hypotheses to explore this aspect. Firstly, we hypothesized that the groups with reflection prompts would invest more time in the revision process. Participants in these groups were required to answer the reflective questions, and we anticipated that this reflective practice would lead them to approach revisions with a critical mindset, spending more time contemplating potential improvements ( H3-1 ). Additionally, we hypothesized that groups receiving adaptive feedback would continue revising over time, as the feedback provided would remain pertinent and applicable to their writing efforts ( H3-2 ).

Quantitative Analysis . Firstly, we investigated users’ average revision time (time spent revising the recipes). We compared the revision features between groups using the Kruskal-Wallis test 11 , confirming that there were significant differences between groups for time ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 12.2\) , \(p < .01\) ). Then, to investigate the differences between groups, we performed post-hoc Wilcox pairwise comparison Footnote 12 .

We found that users in group \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) spent significantly less time revising than users in \(G_{R}^{A}\) ( \(p < .05\) ) and \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ( \(p < .05\) ). However, we did not find any significant difference between the groups with and without reflecting prompts, thus rejecting H3-1 .

Next, we examined how the time spent varied between the three recipes users wrote. Figure 6 (left) illustrates the revision times of all five conditions for their first, second and third recipe. We observe that over time, users from all groups spend less time revising. It is worth noting that in the first recipe the users in \(G_{R}^{A}\) spent on average more than twice as much time (346 seconds) as the users in \(G_{R}^{NA}\) (166 seconds, \(p < .05\) ), suggesting that the adaptive features prolongated the time users revised the recipes.

figure 6

Revision behavior: time spent revising, number of revisions, and the percentage of declared no changes

Furthermore, when analyzing the number of revisions, we also found significant differences in the overall number of revisions per group ( \({\chi }^2(4) = 23.6\) , \(p < .001\) ). In particular, group \(G_{NR}^{A}\) revised their recipes more than the rest of the groups ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) , \(p < .05\) ; \(G_{R}^{NA}\) , \(p < .001\) ; \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) , \(p < .001\) ; CG , \(p < .01\) ).

Moreover, we examined the number of revisions per recipe and found that there was also a general declining trend in the average number of revisions (see Fig. 6 (middle)). Analogously to the general results, in the first recipe, the users in \(G_{NR}^{A}\) revised their recipe significantly more than the groups with no adaptive feedback ( \(p < .01\) for \(G_{R}^{NA}\) and \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) ). Likewise, in the second recipe, \(G_{NR}^{A}\) had significantly more revisions than \(G_{R}^{NA}\) ( \(p = .005\) ), \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) ( \(p = .006\) ) and CG ( \(p = .02\) ). Despite the fact that users in \(G_{NR}^{A}\) also reduced their revision count throughout all three recipes, they consistently maintained a higher average number of revisions compared to the other groups. This finding supports hypothesis H3-2 , indicating that certain users who received adaptive feedback still perceived it as interesting or valuable enough to ask for it again. Nonetheless, it is notable that for the first recipe, users in \(G_{NR}^{A}\) revised more than users in \(G_{R}^{A}\) , despite both having adaptive feedback. It might be possible that the reflective prompts increased the cognitive load for \(G_{R}^{A}\) , leading to less revisions.

Perception Analysis . As mentioned earlier, after each submission, participants were asked to describe the changes they made to improve their recipes. Figure 6 (right) shows the percentage of participants reporting not making any changes for their first, second, and third recipes. We observe that for all groups, a large majority of users reported changes, with the percentage of participants not improving their recipe, increased from the first to the last recipe. Not surprisingly, group CG had the steepest increase: \(29\%\) of participants in this group reported making no changes to their last recipe. One participant in this group mentioned that The Analyze button just outputs the same suggestions every time, so I knew already what it wanted, and I didn’t need to make any changes . This suggests that the feedback became redundant as it was static and there were no changes. In contrast, \(88\%\) ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) ) and \(86\%\) ( \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ) of the participants in the adaptive feedback groups continued to report changes they made to the recipe. A big portion of the changes reported by the users (83%), came from (or were very similar to) the suggestion given by the system. Interestingly, in the first recipe, most changes were related to the structure of the recipe, for example: "I added the ingredients list and made it step by instructions. I made these steps to make it easier to follow." Whereas in the second and third recipes, most comments referred to the specificity of the instructions and the steps, for example, one participant of \(G_{NR}^{A}\) mentioned: "I described exactly when to move onto a next step and what to look out for in a mixture in order to proceed" .

In summary, we reject H3-1 as we did not see the groups with reflection prompts spending more time revising. Moreover, our quantitative and qualitative analyses support H3-2 indicating that groups with adaptive feedback perceive the example recipe and annotations as relevant, while suggestions for the other groups started to feel redundant.

Discussion and Conclusion

In this paper, we presented RELEX , an adaptive learning system for enhancing procedural writing skills. RELEX features a real-time retrieval pipeline, enabling personalized example-based learning at scale. Our multi-step pipeline selects higher quality and semantically relevant examples for learners based on their input and provides suggestions on how to improve their writing. We evaluated RELEX with 200 users to analyze the effects of personalized examples and reflective prompts on users’ writing performance, perceived experience, and revision behavior.

Impact on learners’ experience (RQ1) . Our results show that providing adaptive feedback on procedural writing skills has a positive impact on the user experience (RQ1). As we hypothesized ( H1-1: Adaptive feedback will lead to heightened perceptions of learning gain, usefulness, behavioral intention, and more positive attitudes towards usage among learners ), learners who received personalized recipes and adaptive feedback ( \(G_{R}^{A}\) and \(G_{NR}^{A}\) ) judged the perceived learning gain, the perceived usefulness, the behavioral intention for continuous use, and the attitude towards use significantly better than those who did not receive adaptive feedback ( \(G_{R}^{NA}\) and \(G_{NR}^{NA}\) ). These results are coherent with previous work (Wambsganss et al., 2020 ), where the group with adaptive feedback had a significantly higher intention to use. Moreover, our analysis of open answers exemplifies the positive reactions participants had towards seeing another recipe, in-text highlighted elements, and adaptive suggestions. A positive perception plays an important role in the long-term success of learning tools and their potential to foster learning (Kirkpatrick, 1994 ).

Against our expectations and different from Fan et al. ( 2017 ), we did not find any significant differences between the groups regarding the perceived ease of use ( H1-2: The ease of use will be perceived as most favorable in the groups with simpler interfaces ). We originally hypothesized that the users would find the complete interface (including the personalized example, adaptive explanations, in-text highlighting, and reflective prompts) hard to understand. Venkatesh and Bala ( 2008 ) define perceived ease of use as the degree to which a person believes that using the tool with be free of effort. Thus, we expected the extra features like reflection and suggestions to represent an effort for the users. Nevertheless, when analyzing the qualitative comments, the third highest-ranked topic was the "intuitiveness" of the tool. This suggests that the design iterations with users contributed to an intuitive design, where the special features and elements do not hinder the ease of use.

Impact on learners’ writing performance (RQ2) . Moreover, we investigated the effects of the design elements (personalized example, adaptive feedback and prompts) on performance (RQ2). Our results confirm our hypothesis ( H2-1: Adaptive feedback will improve in-task writing performance ), showing that participants in the adaptive feedback groups improved their recipe quality and completeness significantly more than the participants in the non-adaptive groups. The perception analysis suggests that the in-text highlighted elements helped identify the areas of opportunity quickly. Previous work (van Gog et al., 2008 ) found that extra information and explanations were beneficial in terms of learning gains at first, but hindered performance later on as the information quickly became redundant. In our study, we overcome that challenge in \(G_{R}^{A}\) and \(G_{NR}^{A}\) by only showing explanations that are relevant based on the user’s recipe. This adaptivity could also explain the observed performance differences given that \(G_{R}^{NA}\) - CG received redundant explanations regardless of the user’s input. This is in line with the perception analysis, where the participants in the CG mentioned that the suggestions became less useful when they were redundant.

We also studied whether participants in the groups with reflective prompts were able to generalize better when asked to transfer the skills to another domain ( H2-2: Reflective prompts will improve the writing performance in a transfer task ). Our results reject our hypothesis. We hypothesize that the duration of the user study was too short (only three recipes) to unfold the self-explanation effect (Wong et al., 2002 ). Alternatively, as noted by one of the participants, it is possible that even without writing, the participants were already explaining the example to themselves.

Surprisingly, all groups improved on the transfer task (furniture assembly). We observed that, on average, participants improved their text \(15\%\) in terms of quality (structure and specificity). This suggests that participants were able to grasp the principles of the learning domain (procedural writing) and apply them to a different exemplifying domain (furniture assembly). Furthermore, our results from H2-1 and the perception analysis indicate that participants also learned elements specific to the cooking domain (e.g., specifying the heat intensity). In H2-1 we observed significant differences when measuring the improvements from both content levels. We therefore hypothesize that the five approaches (experimental conditions) are similarly effective in teaching general procedural writing skills (from the learning domain). Yet, the conditions incorporating adaptive feedback also enhance learners’ understanding in a specialized area within procedural writing: cooking recipe writing (exemplifying domain). On average, participants improved the structure and organization of their procedural text by \(15\%\) , including enumerating the steps, listing the materials, having separate sections for materials and steps, and adding appropriate sub-headings. According to the double-content description provided by Renkl et al. ( 2009 ), these elements belong to the content level of the learning domain of procedural writing (i.e., how to structure a procedural text in general), i.e. participants were able to grasp the fundamental structural elements of procedural writing by practicing only in the example domain.

Impact on learners’ revision behavior (RQ3) . In the last analysis, against our expectations, we did not find that the use of reflective questions led to extended periods of revision. On the contrary, we found that users who received adaptive feedback spent more time revising ( H3-1: Reflective prompts will increase the duration of revision times ) than the users without adaptive feedback. Moreover, we observed that in general the time spent revising, as well as the number of revisions, decreased from the first to the last recipe. It is indeed interesting that despite the users spending less time revising, the recipes are of higher quality (as seen in RQ2 ). As the perception analysis revealed, the users made fewer changes because they had already incorporated some of the feedback. Zhu et al. ( 2020 ) also observed a decline in the revision time with multiple tasks and hypothesized that the users became more familiar with the content and the feedback resulting in less time reading feedback and making changes.

As expected, users with adaptive feedback continued to revise more in their second and third recipes ( H3-2: Adaptive feedback will result in an increased number of revisions ). The percentage of users in groups with adaptive feedback that report making no changes in the last recipe is lower than in the other groups. van Gog and Rummel ( 2010 ) observed instructional explanations becoming redundant and irrelevant over time; it seems that providing personalized examples and annotations indeed helps reducing this effect. These results complement the results from RQ1 , it is possible that the users perceived the tool as more useful if they engaged more with the feedback and spent more time making changes.

Literature Contributions . Our study contributes to and expands prior research in two main literature streams.

First, we contribute to the literature stream of artificial intelligence (AI) for example-based learning in heuristic domains. Most prior research (van Gog et al., 2008 ; van Gog & Rummel, 2010 ; Renkl et al., 2009 ; Renkl, 2002 ) on example-based learning uses static examples: both the examples and explanations are created by experts and all the learners see the exact same content, independent of their input. In contrast to past literature, RELEX provides examples tailored to the needs of the learner in terms of topic (i.e. similar content) and skill level. Instead of providing a perfect expert example, we provide a peer example of better quality, but still attainable. Furthermore, we also personalize the instructional explanations based on the input text of the learner. Additionally, we enhance the adaptive feedback by incorporating reflective prompts, leveraging the documented benefits found in the existing literature (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ; Wong et al., 2002 ; Chi et al., 1989 ; Roelle et al., 2012 ).

Second, we contribute to the literature around SRL in AI systems. By including prompts for self-evaluation within the design of RELEX , we shed light on the combination of reflective prompts and personalized content and their effect on learning experiences and learning outcomes. Despite the qualitative comments on the helpfulness of the prompts and the positive effects from previous work (Roelle et al., 2012 ; Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ; van Gog & Rummel, 2010 ), we did not see a significant effect on our quantitative outcome variables for perception or performance. This opens new lines of future research to investigate how to best integrate reflective prompts into adaptive systems.

RELEX contrasts with previous approaches to instruct procedural writing skills by focusing on personalization and adaptivity. In comparison to previous works (Traga Philippakos, 2019 ; Sato & Matsushima, 2006 ; Alviana, 2019 ) where the instructional materials are static, meaning that all students received the same examples, in RELEX the example is chosen to cater to individual learning needs. Moreover, in comparison to instructional group approaches (Traga Philippakos, 2019 ), in RELEX each student can learn at their own pace and different from (Sato & Matsushima, 2006 ), it does not require external readers to give feedback. Furthermore, in contrast to other approaches of example-based learning (Sweller, 1994 ; van Gog et al., 2008 ; Renkl et al., 2009 ; Renkl, 2002 ), in our work, not only do we provide a personalized example, but we also offset the common disadvantage of instructional explanations being redundant or too complex. By annotating the examples with instructional explanations adapted to the learner’s prior text, we ensure their relevance.

Limitations and Future Work . One of the big challenges of enriching examples in example-based learning is the relevance of the explanations (Renkl, 2002 ). Despite the participants’ positive perception of the suggestions, they were extracted from "The Recipe Writer’s Handbook, Revised and Expanded" (Ostmann & Baker, 2001 ) and inevitably include the authors’ bias. For example, there are more suggestions for ingredients used in Western cuisine. The implication of this is that at scale, learners who write recipes from Western cuisine could benefit more from relevant suggestions. Future lines of work should investigate these biases and how to mitigate them.

Another limitation emerging from the database is that the prediction model was trained on user ratings that can be subjective. In addition, the ratings were given for a recipe as a whole, combining writing quality and taste. We examined the comments associated with the ratings and found that high-rated recipes (five stars) often had comments appreciating the clarity of instructions, as exemplified by remarks like " I really appreciate the instructions about using the spoon when cutting the potatoes. This is a well-written recipe." ; and "This was easy enough to prepare on a worknight and assembly was so easy when following the well-written directions" . Conversely, recipes with low ratings were often criticized for their lack of clarity and order, as indicated by comments such as "This recipe is written in a way that is impossible to attempt to follow or understand. It is a disaster." ; and "Very frustrated with the directions. They are not orderly whatsoever." . This suggests that even if a recipe is tasty, unclear writing can hinder its reproducibility, leading to low ratings. However, we acknowledge that a recipe with excellent writing but an unfamiliar or unappealing taste might also receive low ratings. In future studies, it would be beneficial to separate the variables taste and writing quality to more accurately assess their individual impacts on user ratings.

This complexity extends to the predictive task, where RELEXset-Predictor attempts to account for both taste and writing quality, leading to only minor improvement over a static baseline. We have therefore made our code and models publicly available Footnote 13 , encouraging future research to enhance predictive accuracy, for example through the integration of new SOTA models. The design of the subsequent stages of the pipeline attempts to mitigate the limitations of RELEXset-Predictor . Overall, participants perceived the adaptive recipes as useful and edited the recipes accordingly. However more rigorous, quantitative assessments are needed to investigate the influence of the model performance and the chosen quality range on user perception. Furthermore, RELEX offers a promising approach for learners to improve their recipe writing skills by integrating both the learning domain (procedural writing) and the exemplifying domain (cooking). Despite its effectiveness, its scope is limited to these specific areas. One main takeaway for the research community is the demonstrated importance of adaptivity and personalization in example-based learning, particularly in enhancing user engagement and performance outcomes. In future work, the example-selection pipeline can be adapted to cater to other learning domains. For instance, journal writing (Roelle et al., 2012 ), high school instruction (Hilbert et al., 2008 ), or argumentative writing (Schworm & Renkl, 2007 ). Transferring RELEX to a different exemplifying or learning domain requires two main ingredients: 1) multiple examples with associated evaluations, ratings, or grades, and 2) domain-specific suggestions regarding example annotation. The selection pipeline (see “ Personalized Example Retrieval Pipeline ”) can be used to fine-tune an NLP model to predict the evaluations of the examples. Then, the model name and domain-specific suggestions can be added to the code base of RELEX to run the application. By extending the tool’s capabilities to various educational contexts, we anticipate a broader impact and potential benefits for learners across different domains Footnote 14 .

In the future, we envision expanding the scope and applicability of our findings by conducting replication studies in real-world settings, such as classrooms with chef apprentices. This approach would help address the ecological validity of the results and provide insights into the effectiveness of RELEX in practical educational contexts. Additionally, we plan to explore the long-term effects of RELEX by conducting a longitudinal study, assessing how repeated usage of the tool impacts learners’ procedural writing skills over an extended period.

The demo version of RELEX is available at https://go.epfl.ch/relex

The detailed interview questions can be found on https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/blob/main/docs/user-interviews.pdf

RELEXset can be downloaded from https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/readme.md

RELEXset-MLM is available at https://huggingface.co/paola-md/RELEXset-MLM and RELEXset-Predictor is available at https://huggingface.co/paola-md/RELEXset-Predictor/

The architecture configuration is available at https://huggingface.co/paola-md/RELEXset-Predictor/blob/main/config.json

After a significant Shapiro-Wilk test on the three sets ( \(p=0\) )

Visual validation available at: https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/blob/main/docs/split-verification.ipynb

Complete list of suggestions and classification rules available at https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/docs/recipe-suggestions-rules.pdf .


We checked for normality using a Shapiro-Wilk test and verified equal variances using Levene’s test and found that for both age and gender, the assumptions of ANOVA were not satisfied.

We checked for normality using a Shapiro-Wilk test and verified equal variances using Levene’s test and found the assumptions of ANOVA were not satisfied.

correcting for multiple comparisons via BH procedure.

For those interested in replicating or building upon our work, we have made the implementation code and instructions for domain transfer available at https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/readme.md

For those interested in replicating or building upon our work, we have made the implementation code and instructions for domain transfer available at https://github.com/epfl-ml4ed/relex/readme.md .

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Paola Mejia-Domenzain, Jibril Frej, Seyed Parsa Neshaei, Luca Mouchel, Tanya Nazaretsky, Thiemo Wambsganss, Antoine Bosselut & Tanja Käser

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Mejia-Domenzain, P., Frej, J., Neshaei, S.P. et al. Enhancing Procedural Writing Through Personalized Example Retrieval: A Case Study on Cooking Recipes. Int J Artif Intell Educ (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40593-024-00405-1

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