CASE STUDY ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
This assignment provides you an opportunity to apply what youve learned in this course about
research design to real pieces of peer-reviewed research. You can think of this assignment as an
examination of your knowledge in research design. To complete this assignment, you must first
identify two different prominent, peer-reviewed case studies conducted on the same or a very
similar research question/dependent variable. You will then write a comparative analysis of
these two case studies, an analysis which focuses primarily upon how well the case studies were
designed and executed. This means the substance and content of your paper should be
comparative in nature. That is, you should constantly be describing the first piece of research in
terms of how well it performs on different research design markers relative to the second piece of
research. You should not analyze one piece in the first half of the paper, and then analyze the
second piece in the second half of the paper. The focus of the comparative analysis should be on
assessing the fit between research design choices and the research question objective(s). See
below for specific instructions.
You are required to identify and then write a critique of two case studies, each of which focuses
on the same general public policy research question/dependent variable. The case study critique
must be at least 7 pages in length. You should briefly introduce and discuss the research
question/dependent variable under examination in each case study. The bulk of your paper
should focus on examining major research design choices and explaining whether you believe
the scholar(s) make the correct research design decision(s) and why. Spend time and space
explaining the why and ground your augments in course readings and content.
The format of your paper should be as follows:
Identify and briefly describe the scope of the research project. Do this on page one.
Identify the research question. Do this on page one.
In one sentence, descibe the dependent variable. Do this on page one.
Evaluate how well the scholar(s) define and operationalize their dependent variable(s)
and how well they operationalize other major concepts in their study. Is
conceptualization carried out appropriately? Why or why not? Does author(s)
appropriately identify the observable implications used to connect their concepts to
their data? Offer suggestions for improvement.
Explain whether the case study is or is not an appropriate way to study the research
Describe how and why the author selected their cases. Using Mills Methods and the
George and Bennett guidelines for case selection, explain whether case selection was
carried out appropriately. What does the author do well or not do well to maximize
analytical leverage? Describe strengths and weaknesses in case selection. Offer
suggestions for improvement.
Page 2 of 2
Briefly describe the research findings. Does the author appropriately qualify their
findings? Or do they over-generalize? Does the author make causal inferences? Why or
why not? Did the author make these decisions appropriately? Explain why or why not.
Discuss any additional relevant research design choices and offer alternative solution(s)
to design problems. Support solutions with established literature on research design and
methodology. Make sure suggestions for improvement are relevant and feasible.
Conclude with brief, comparative analysis on overall quality and appropriateness of each
research design. The focus should be on assessing the fit between research design
choices and the research question objective(s).
All papers should use the following format: Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1
margins from left to right and top to bottom, double spaced, number pages and include a
title page. Use Turabian formatting.
Submit your assignment as a Word document.
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