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How to Write a Case Report

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CHAPTER 9

ON

Writing about a case builds on the process of analyzing a case.The case situations described in previous chapters can be used to organize essays. An essay arguing a decision is organized in a different way from one offering a problem diagnosis.The structure of problem, decision, and evaluation essays is described in chapters 10 through 12, respectively. The chapters also include cases and sample essays about them. The essays are based on the writing of MBA students. To convince a reader that a conclusion about a case is valid, the writer must offer credible evidence linked directly to the conclusion. This fact helps explain the characteristics case-based essays have in common: 1. Answers two questions—What? Why?—and often a third—How? 2. Makes a position statement (What?)

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CHAR ACTERISTICS OF A PERSUA SIVE C A SE ESSAY

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riting about a case is very different from talking about it.You collaborate with others in a discussion, bringing to bear everyone’s background and case preparation along with the instructor’s knowledge and facilitation skills. But you usually work on your own when writing about a case.You have to perform the entire analysis yourself as well as organize and express your thinking for a reader. However, the difference between talking and writing about a case runs deeper still.Audiences have much more exacting expectations of a text than they do of spoken comments. Logical gaps and the back-and-fill tolerable in a discussion are a major problem in an essay, confusing readers and undermining the writer’s credibility. Audiences don’t want a transcript of the writer’s thinking as it evolved.They want to know the end product of the writer’s thinking, expressed logically and economically.

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