Writing a Case

We are always looking to add new cases to our Case Library.  Cases can be based on real organizations ("field cases"); on published material in the public domain ("library cases"); or on the experience and knowledge of a professor or other instructor ("armchair cases").  There are no limits to the topics and situations that can be presented in a teaching case, but in general, they follow certain guidelines:
  • A case presents a real-world situation, usually with a protagonist faced with a challenge
  • Information may be incomplete or inadequate, as found in real situations; there usually is no simple solution
  • Students take the role of decision-maker
  • Classroom discussion deepens the students' understanding, and brings out different viewpoints
  • Cases are generally no more than 8 - 10 pages of text with additional exhibits
  • The topic is relevant and interesting, and helps bring to life the application of a pedagogical approach or skill

We offer below some resources on writing cases, and are also happy to discuss case ideas or drafts.  Please feel free to contact Susan Madden, Associate Director, Case-Based Teaching and Learning Initiative, and/or submit a Proposal for Teaching Case Development and Application for Funding.

Selected Resources on Writing Cases

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Additional Resources

In our December 17, 2015, workshop on writing a teaching case, Kirsten Lundberg of the Lundberg Case Consortium presented best practices for case-writing and shared a list of "ten easy steps" to writing a case.

A presentation from a workshop on writing a case.

The role of faculty in overseeing case development.