Case Analysis Outline
I. Situation (need to know in order to ask the right questions)
II. Questions (not included in written response…but ask yourself these questions as you draft your essay)
1. What’s the problem?
2. What are the decision options?
3. Who or what is being evaluated?
a. What’s at stake?
b. What’s the most important criteria for this sort of evaluation?
III. Hypothesis (not included in written response…but ask yourself these questions as you draft your essay)
1. Tentative explanation that accounts for the set of facts/situation
2. Can be tested by further investigation
3. Which do you have most confidence in?
4. Your Arguments
5. Expresses WHY
IV. Position (pick a side)
1. Expresses a conclusion
2. Answers WHAT
V. Proof & Action (prove your point & provide steps to accomplish)
1. Prove something, not look for something to prove
a. Supporting evidence for your position
2. Action Plan
a. HOW would you implement the decision you’re recommending?
b. What are the risks?
i. Discuss main risk & measures to manage
VI. Alternatives (what other views are out there?)
1. Every position has a weakness
a. What’s the strongest alternative to your position?
1. Can you define the problem differently?
1. What’s the biggest downside to your recommended decision?
1. What’s another way to evaluate your overall assessment?
b. What’s the weakest alternative to your position?
i. Brief statement (1-2 lines)
VII. Conclusion (restate your position and plan)
Adapted from William Ellet, The Case Study Handbook: How to Read, Discuss, and Write Persuasively About Cases (Harvard Business School Press)