How to write a case study for public affairs

William Scott Hatcher, Bruce D. McDonald, Lori A. Brainard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


A case study is a story narrative that places readers into the shoes of a protagonist so that they can gain the experience of addressing a particular problem or issue. When used effectively in the classroom, case studies can help students bridge the gap from theory to practice. Although public affairs incorporated the case approach in the earliest training programs, the field currently lacks the volume of case studies that are found in other professional disciplines. To encourage the development of more case studies in public affairs, this article provides guidance to authors on the fundamentals of a case study and how to write an effective case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-285
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Public Affairs Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2018



  • Case studies
  • instructional design
  • public affairs
  • teaching
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration

Cite this