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How-to write a case study

This is a brief explaining how to go about writing a case study for Knowhow. It is a guide on what to consider and how to approach writing one.

Things you'll need

  • A little time to reflect
  • Knowledge and experience of the project or task that you are talking about
1

Think of the audience

Think of a time when you were embarking on something new and wished you could read a case study from another voluntary sector organisation. What would you want to know?

  • Make it personal
  • Share some of the little details that really made a difference to you or your organisation
2

Be honest... no really!

We’ve all read case studies where everything went well. We want people to be able to learn from your story, so please do share, warts and all. 

Explain how it happened in the real world. Our readers know what it’s like being a voluntary sector organisation in today’s world.

3

Structuring and writing

A template is used for our case studies to draw out the most useful information for readers and to write a case study easily.

Structure

The template we use is:

  1. Background
    What does your organisation do? What are your purpose and aims?

  2. Issue(s) you faced
    What was the problem you faced to begin with?

  3. Actions you took
    What action did you take/changes did you make to try and overcome this problem?

  4. Positive outcomes
    Which parts of this process of change went well and why?

  5. Negative outcomes
    Which parts of this process of change didn't go so well and why?

  6. Lessons learned
    What were the key things you learned?

Length

You probably don't want to go over 150 words per section (900 words in total). 

Tips

A few suggestions to make it even easier:

  • Use bullet points where you can
  • Avoid jargon
4

Useful resources

If you had further sources of information that you found helpful. Do add links to them within your case study.

5

One last thing...

Further information

Some examples of the case studies we have on the site. 

  1. Southend CVS shares with us its experience of opening a charity shop. 
  2. The LBGT Consortium tells Knowhow about closing its office to invest in membership.
  3. Voice4Change England writes about how it reinvigorated social media channels to build online engagement.

Contributors

Page last edited Apr 20, 2018 History

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