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April 18, 2014
 
 
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Advice from George: Writing a Case Report

Today George is sharing some advice about writing a case report. George is a fourth year Business student and has been writing case reports for a few years now. George has outlined some points about writing a case report but it is always best to review your course material and to speak with your professors about your assignments.

***

Hello!

As a business student, you will need to write many case reports during your undergraduate program. It is essential for you to learn how to construct your report in a nice way in order to ace it in your class!

For BU111 and BU121, there is rubric for grading your report. You should read that rubric carefully since your TA will mark your case report strictly based on the marking scheme. For upper year business courses, there is variety of marking. Some professors have strong preferences to certain structures. Although there is no universal format for writing up a case, there are good structures and bad structures.

After reading several good case reports, I recommend that you write your case in the following format. I am not explaining each terminology like “marketing 4P”, “contingency” and “recommendation” etc. in details. Instead, I am listing a general structure here.


Executive Summary: Summarize the background information and analysis, and include your recommendation.


Introduction: State the problem. What is the issue? Who are the stakeholders? Is there any time constraint?


Analysis: Source relevant facts from the case and make them into an appealing argument for each action in your recommendation.


Decision Criteria: List what aspect you considered for your recommendation and alternatives.


Alternatives: Discuss other relevant options besides your recommendation.


Recommendations: List explicitly your action plan for the case problem.


Implementation: Explain your recommendation for each marketing 4P (price, place, promotion and product). Include a timeline or Gantt chart in your appendix will make your implementation clear. Please see online for more information about Gantt chart construction.


Expected Result: Mention the short term and long term financial results.


Contingency: Talk about what you would do if something goes wrong.

The reason I would like to put the alternatives before the recommendation is because you have already mentioned your recommendation in the Executive Summary. Also, after discussing about the shortages of all the alternatives, it is a natural flow to the recommendation.

A good report writer uses the appendix effectively. I recommend that you put the decision criteria, alternatives, and financials in the appendix. Some parts of your analysis can also locate in the appendix. For example, a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, treat) analysis can be included in the appendix make your analysis less lengthy.

Again, there is not a universal way to write up a case. But this format generally will organize your thoughts in a nice way. If have questions about the case report structure you can ask your professor, read your textbook, or come to the Writing Centre.

George

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