CASE STUDY – SNC4M
The purpose of a case review is to provide a critical assessment of an issue of national interest. (Think of it as a personal essay crossed with a scientific paper) Spend some time summarizing the “facts” of the case and introducing the main schools of thought. Then focus on the merits of the research on the topic, scientific evidence for or against it, and people’s views (for example field experts may weigh in), which will build to support your final conclusion.
What you need to do:
- Choose a topic to review. It can be general “Can 10 billion people live on our planet?” or can be very specific such as “how do we feed 10 billion sustainably?”.
- Research the topic – which can be found on the web, journals, libraries, etc. Keep notes while you read, highlight or bookmark important pieces. Be sure to find reputable sources for your supporting evidence, and find opinions that support both sides of the argument (you will find that more evidence may be for or against your topic).
- Create an outline of your report using the structure below as a guide.
Your case review should be structured as follows:
1. Introduction. (1 to 2 pages)
The introduction to your case review should touch on the following:
- The nature of the dispute
- Introduce the reader to the judgment or opinions about the topic
- Give a brief history of the topic
- Discuss the significance of the case – legally, socially, politically, economically
- Your introduction should contain a thesis which states your OVERALL judgment of the majority decision. In short, in your view are your for or against the topic?
- Hook your reader!!!
2. Critical Evaluation (2 to 5 pages)
This is the most important part of the review. In this section deal with the main strengths AND weaknesses in the arguments. The judgments you make should be supported by evidence provided from reputable science research. So, feel free to paraphrase or directly quote from other sources – but don’t over-quote. A strong case study will also identify key arguments from the “other side” and refute them as part of their arguments. Keep in mind the following:
- What assumptions are made? Are these false? Appropriate?
- What examples are provided to support the research? Are these adequate? Why/why not?
- Are there any significant research projects that undermine the major supportive evidence?
- What potential negative ramifications of the decision may be overlooked? Or conversely, how can the research be credited for considering the ramifications – positive or negative – of its decision?
- What errors/strengths in reasoning are evident?
- Does the majority opinion stand up favourably to arguments raised in dissenting or concurrent decisions?
- Does the research leave important issues unresolved? Is this appropriate/inappropriate?
3. Conclusion (1/2 a page or so)
- Briefly summarize your thesis and major points. CASE STUDY – SNC4M
- End your report strong and convince the reader that your opinion is the best one!
- Discuss the effects and ramifications of your decision. To what actions may it lead – individual, governmental etc.