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Guidelines for Writing a Case Study Report

The coursework for this module is a case study-based assignment, in which you need
to write a report containing your analysis of a case and your recommendations for what
action could be taken to address the problem. The case study illustrates one or more
psychological issues covered in this module and will reflect the specified learning
outcomes for the module:

Demonstrate a deep understanding of how psychological knowledge, methods
and practices can be applied to family health across the lifespan.

Critically evaluate psychological issues related to family health across the
There will be opportunities throughout the module to obtain formative feedback both
from the module leader and from your peers.
Format and structure of the report
Your report should comprise the following sections:

Title – choose a title that reflects the content of the case study (i.e. NOT case

Main body – this will comprise three main sections, one for each of the questions
asked. You are free to use sub-headings as appropriate.

Concluding remarks – draw your report to a close appropriately. This should
include a brief summary of the main points and key recommendations.

Reference section – this should conform to APA guidelines and include ALL
references cited in the report.
Analysis of the case study
In order to answer the questions you should identify the most significant aspects of the
case and provide explanations for your answers with reference to relevant theory and
research. You will be able to draw on material from the teaching sessions, but you can
also demonstrate wider reading outside of this.
In addition to reference to literature, you should also make reference to the case
itself. The literature and case should be related very closely, i.e. if the case
concerns premature babies, do not include research with only babies born at term.

Guidelines for the report

▪ Read the instructions about the format and structure of the report very carefully,
and think about how they apply to your case study.
▪ Plan the research you want to do for the assignment and draw up a list of reading
you need to do.
▪ Allow plenty of time for both the preparation and the writing of the report – this is
a new way of writing. You are not just producing another essay.
▪ Read the assignment checklist (see assessments tab in blackboard and assessment
brief) before you begin writing the report, keep it to hand when you are working on
the report, and go through it again before you submit your report.
▪ Study the marking rubric – what are we looking for in terms of a passing answer, good or very good answer and excellent answer?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is problem-based or case-based learning?
A: It begins with a problem or case, which should be a stimulus for students’ own
analysis and investigation. Rather than doing all the learning first and then producing
an assignment to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding (like in an
examination), problem-based learning is designed to encourage learning during the
production of the assignment. The problem is designed to allow students to approach it
in different ways, and to produce work that reflects their own analysis and research.
That means there is no ‘correct’ answer.

Q: What are marking criteria and assessment rubrics?
A: The criteria used by the markers are given for each piece of assessment. Take time
to read and consider them; if you think you don’t understand some of the criteria or the
words used to express them, find out what the relevant words mean and if necessary

Q: How strict is the word limit?
A: Strict! You are able to write up to 10% over the word limit (so up to 3300 words).
Anything over this will not be marked. If you do exceed the 3000 word limit, make
sure you have made very good use of the extra words. Write concisely. It is not a 3300
word assessment and more words does not necessarily mean a better mark!
Working within a word limit is an important part of the discipline of professional
writing. Keeping to the word limit when you have a lot to say demonstrates your ability
to write concisely and select the most important material. Expect your early drafts to be far in excess of the word limit, and go over your writing several times looking for the most economical (concise and precise) way to express every point you made.
Q: Does each section have to be the same length?
A: Not exactly the same length, but be careful to end up with a balanced report in which
you give adequate attention to each question asked of you. Your evaluation of the case
set must inform any recommendations or conclusions you make.
Q: What to I have to do to get a good mark for my assignment?
A: Look back at the ‘learning outcomes’ for the module and think about how you can demonstrate these in your report. Look at the marking rubric. Examine your writing sentence by sentence – is each one as economical and elegant as it could be? How hard do you expect the reader of your report to work, in order to understand what you are saying and follow your meaning? You should make the report as easy to understand as
possible. Proof read very carefully before submitting a final draft. It only takes a few typographical and grammatical errors to give your work a careless appearance.

How the Assignment Can Be Done

Q: Can we work together or in groups on the assignment?
A: By all means discuss the assignment with anyone you like, on the course or outside
of the course. However the report you submit must be your own work. You must be
the author of your report. This means it must be written in your own words and you
must be responsible for composing its content. Even if there are no original ideas in the report (there may well not be), you must be the person who has taken the decisions bout what to include, what to emphasize, what conclusions to draw, and how to explain the points you want to make.

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