About Case Studies

Detective Clip Art"If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the ax." - Abraham Lincoln

Purpose:  Develop an understanding of key theoretical principles by analyzing specific communication "problems".

Requirements: All groups are required to make an oral presentation and produce a written paper.  The oral presentation should last about 20 minutes and the group should be prepared to defend the ideas presented.  The written paper is due one week after the initial presentation.  The written version may include responses to class feedback about the oral presentation. 

  1. Describe the details of the communication problem including the situational background, audience analysis, and your grounded assumptions. 
  2. Discuss the nature or the "cause" of the problem.
  3. Discuss your strategy and specific solution. Include relevant documentation. (i.e., speeches, brochures, videotape, etc.)
  4. Describe the rationale for your choices. Show how the solution specifically relates to the principles discussed in the class.
  1. Professional Style -  Does the case meet professional standards in two areas? 
    • Oral Report – Is the material professionally presented (e.g., organized, creative, interesting, proper visual aids, focused)? Is the defense of the case handled in a professional manner?
    • Written Report – Does the report adhere to professional standards (e.g., well organized, one voice, proper design, well written, proper citations & appendices)?
  2. Communication Principles - Is the rationale for the project based on communication models, theories, research and rules of thumb discussed in the class? Does the group highlight the link between their specific ideas and the principles discussed in the class?
  3. Analytical Methods – Is the case properly and logically analyzed? Are the congruency tests met? Did the group make proper use of Phil’s 7 questions?