You are here

Resources to help you teach online

See our resources page for information, support and best practices.

Due to the current restrictions in place, our inspection copy policy has changed. Please refer to our updated inspection copy policy for details.

How to Do Your Case Study

How to Do Your Case Study

Second Edition
Additional resources:

November 2015 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Vibrant and insightful, this book introduces students and researchers to the basics of case study research. Adopting jargon-free language, it grounds its advice in concrete experience and real-world cases. Using examples from across the social sciences, Gary Thomas provides practical guidance on how best to read, design and carry out case study research with a focus on how to manage and analyze data.

The new edition of this bestselling book addresses crucial issues around ethics and has improved coverage of key themes such as rigor, validity, generalization and the analysis of case studies. It demystifies case study research and answers important questions such as:

  • What is a case study?
  • When and why should case study methods be used?
  • How are case studies designed?
  • What methods can be used?
  • How do we analyze and make sense of our data?
  • How do we write up and write about our case?

Bursting with real-world examples and multidisciplinary cases, and supported by a dynamic new website, this book is essential reading for any student or researcher in the social sciences and humanities.

Part 1: Getting Your Bearings
Chapter 1: What Is a Case Study?
Chapter 2: Case Study and Research Design
Chapter 3: Models of the Whole
Chapter 4: Ensuring Quality in Your Case Study: What's Important?
Part 2: Getting Down to Doing It
Chapter 5: Kinds of Case Studies: Finding Your Case
Chapter 6: Your Purpose
Chapter 7: Your Approach
Chapter 8: Your Process
Part 3: Getting On With It and Finishing
Chapter 9: Out in the Field: Some Ways to Collect Data and Evidence
Chapter 10: A Toolkit for Analyzing and Thinking
Chapter 11: Writing Your Study
Chapter 12: The Fancy Stuff: Generalization, Induction, Abduction, Phronesis and Theory

I would encourage all my students to make reference to this excellent resource. It provides a thorough, well explained foundation to case study research which will equip the reader to design and carry out their own projects. Thomas includes examples from across a number of disciplines, illustrating how to apply the theory to practice and presenting a clear discussion of how to effectively prepare, conduct, analyse and report research.

Ruth Hewston
Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of Worcester

This book continues to be our first recommendation for all our undergraduate education programmes due to the clarity of its prose, its wonderfully clear structure and the use of excellent examples to illustrate key points. This new edition includes expanded discussions and a very welcome new chapter on research ethics.

James Percival
Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Oxford Brookes University

This is a very comprehensive text on a case study methodology. It discusses various aspects of case studies and also as a research design, which is rather refreshing.

Mrs Eleonora Teszenyi
Faculty of Education, The Open University
January 7, 2021

This is a very user friendly book on Case studies which is becoming an increasingly popular research method/methodology with undergraduates so a must on any research based module reading list

Mr Neil Barnes
Department of Education, Colchester Institute
October 4, 2019

I love the book! It is very comprehensive and helpful for a new, qualitative researcher.
The author offers some wonderful pearls of wisdom and how-to nuggets that will make one or more learners want to know more about conducting qualitative research, case studies, effectively. As the study progresses, the researcher is encouraged to engage the data analysis aspects by using various techniques and programs. CAQDAS programs can help the researcher expedite the processes, efficiently.

Hopefully, decisions will be positive to adopt in Fall 2017...

Professor Charmaigne Scott
Business/English/Lang Arts Div, Cabrillo College
February 3, 2017

A beneficial book for students embarking on a research project for the first time.

Dr Marguerita Magennis
Department of Early Years and Psychology, Portobello Institute
November 18, 2016

This publication has been recommended to students on the BA programmes in Education and Lifelong Learning, and Early Childhood Studies. The text is clearly written and provides clear examples of how to plan a case study, linking to current practice.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care And Early Years, Swindon College
April 3, 2016

Note suitable for students at level intended.

Mr Heng Tsai, Adrian Tan
Temasek Engineering School, Temasek Polytechnic
June 23, 2016

This is a straightforward text that offers practical and theoretical information suitable for undrgraduate students.

Mrs Melanie Mackinder
Early Childhood Studies, Bishop Grosseteste University
June 14, 2016

Essential reading for any real world researcher

Dr Mikel Mellick
Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University
March 14, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1