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The Case Study: Research in Story Form

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves.” (John 4:42, NLT)

A Word For Writers

A case study is research in story form. A #devotional based on John 4 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #storytelling

For writers, a case study is useful tool because it allows you to gather information about a specific person, group, item, or event and then tell the story to make a point.  

“A case study is a research method that relies on a single case rather than a population or sample,” says Ashley Crossman, Ph.D. “When researchers focus on a single case, they can make detailed observations.” 

In the medical community, a case study tells the story of a particular patient. Health professionals collect data, follow the patient’s progress, and share outcomes. In the business community, a case study tells the story of a customer or a product and its impact. 

You can find an ideal case study in the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4). Here you read about a character (the woman), her problem (she needs water), the solution (she embraces Jesus as the living water), and the outcome (an entire village hears about Jesus.)

It’s an ideal case study because it offers quantifiable details about one individual. The woman came to a specific well (Jacob’s) at a specific time (noon). She had five husbands and a live-in boyfriend. She knew the Messiah was coming. When Jesus identified Himself, she left her water jar by the well and ran back to the village to announce the news. 

This case study’s data is presented as story to show millions the impact of Jesus on that one woman’s life.

A Wise Word

A case study offers research in story form.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Stories in scripture demonstrate how You impact individual people. Show me how to use case studies in my content to gather data and demonstrate outcomes, all in a story form that readers can grasp.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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