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The Impact of Case Studies in Persuasive Writing

1. Introduction

Traditional experimentation would not be feasible when the objective is to understand the dynamics of the behavior because it would involve manipulating the independent variable, which in this case would entail causing someone to have low self-esteem. The case study method is directly linked to this objective because it is a method which uses an explanatory approach to an issue, to apply the theoretical model and to understand the dynamics of the issue in a real-life situation. This is the precise task demanded of an investigator that the case study method is a valuable tool to accomplish.

This method of study is especially useful for trying to test theoretical models by using them in real-world situations. For example, if a psychologist were to test a theory that low self-esteem was linked to abnormal behavior, he or she would have to study a person who has low self-esteem and observe them in certain situations to see if they do indeed act in an abnormal manner. This would involve using the theoretical model (low self-esteem leads to abnormal behavior) as an explanatory proposition and employing a methodology which would produce a test of the proposition (such as quasi-experiment or non-experiment, looking for changes over an extended period of time).

The emergence of case study as a method of scientific inquiry over the past several years has evolved as a valuable tool for investigating trends and specific situations in many scientific disciplines. The case study has been particularly used in social science, psychology, anthropology, and ecology.

2. Benefits of Case Studies

Case studies are also an efficient, albeit often subordinated mode of testing students on their comprehension and retention of the theory. As the student needs to thoroughly understand the theory behind the written piece or social issue in order to apply it, the case study is an ideal form of assessment. An earlier article in the wider social science world on the advantages of case teaching, “Teaching with the Case Method” by Jonathan Gross, says case teaching, more than any other method forces decision-forcing instances upon the student. He must act or advise the decision maker on a course of action. Aiming to improve and test the professional judgment, enabling the student to move from one competence level to a higher one on Dunne and Dunphy’s learning spiral, the case study is conducive to any form empirical or normative of writing on public administration or policy analysis. Finally, as someone who has seen his teaching faculty contract pushed to ever greater numbers of students, the case study is a hopeful method of providing efficient and quality teaching in a large class environment. With lecturer-made case studies and assigned case studies to be done by oneself, it is something that can be used at any size of class.

Greater insight into the case enhances the quality and applicability of the pedagogy in the art of writing and persuasion. A detailed analysis of a person or group on the grounds of social behaviour or social phenomena, case studies provide concrete instances through which to analyze theoretical issues and the argument between explanation and understanding. Anything concrete is always easier to understand. I sense that to many, the theoretical propositions of our discipline often seem, compared to studies in other areas, somewhat nebulous. The case study can make the discipline more concrete to students. By using case studies, the teacher bypasses the standard lecture format and the students have the opportunity to set theory in practice as it aids students’ ability to remember the information construed in the case study in order to apply the learned theories at a later date.

3. Case Study Examples

Siddharthar (2003) explains how he used case studies as an empirical analysis in persuasive writing. The first is an agent evaluation of a Java-based software agent. The second was a comparison into the feasibility of implementing intelligent agents against expert systems in a fault diagnosis problem. Both case studies used the MASN and GMSAB methodologies and provided an excellent vehicle to compare different methodologies in a real problem situation. Each step of the case study led to a discovered problem, and each problem led to a realization that a different agent would have been more effective. This style of writing is perfect for persuading with a cause and effect style argument.

Case studies are particularly useful in persuasive writing. With both a thorough analysis of a problem and a well-thought solution, the case study is the perfect tool to explain the benefits of the new solution, service, or product. They are also an excellent way to sway skeptics, as they offer real truth that can be told to the doubters, versus a sales pitch that is geared to boost profits, not win over hearts. The best case study can make the reader think for himself, of course, but that would not work unless the case study had guided the reader to that conclusion. It’s great planning that will lead your audience to the desired solution.

4. How to Create an Effective Case Study

In looking to adopt the case study means of persuasion, and to use it to its full advantage, the first requirement is clear. A case study is, quite simply, an example. It is an example under argument inasmuch as it is used to bring a reader to accept a council of action, and as such it is merely a syllogism in narrative form. When you would employ a syllogism in debate, you first make certain that your opponent and the audience admit the truth of the propositions A and B which combine to prove the proposition C, or if this be not so, you try to establish the truth of A and B before their very eyes. Precisely the same course must be taken with your reader, whose mind you are guiding step by step to the conclusion which he is afterwards to turn into action. A case study therefore is a syllogism to which assent is easily given, put into concrete form. If the audience be predisposed against it, an unsuccessful attempt has been made to establish an untrue A or B and the case study will fail.

5. Conclusion

A reason is then identified: a variable in which causes an event to happen. Case studies are all based on events, and it is the job of the reader to understand what has happened and the reason. Identifying the situation between cause and effect, the persuader can be seen providing clear understanding of what he wants from the reader. Step by step causal relationships are defined as leading from inferred premises to an ultimate conclusion, and it’s the reader’s job to agree with this, a method similar to the case study. Coming from the features of logic, case studies provide reasoning in the best possible way.

There are several key points that have been recognized through the implementations of case studies in persuasive writing. The first point is a common understanding that case studies are created to prove a point. This can be seen similarly with persuasive writing where the main goal is to persuade the reader in believing a certain idea or thought. As case studies generally use facts of an event, it has been stated that persuasive features are applied to the basic framework of formal logic. This logic is a systematic way of reaching a conclusion from specific evidence, problem solving, and weighing chances of things happening. This is usually reasoning at its best, being both thorough and decisive. Logic can also be defined as having clear judgment enabling an understanding, and the case studies are proven to do is to make something understood and make it stick.

In conclusion, case studies have proven to play a significant role in enhancing persuasive writing. There are various features of case studies as identified in the persuasive writing introduction. By identifying and understanding all features of case studies, this will generate a greater understanding of how case studies really play a role in the persuasive writing and vice versa. This will lead to the elaboration of how both case studies and persuasive writing are closely related. This topic is therefore highly valuable and interesting for all future researchers.

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