How to Write a Case Study in Criminal Law: A New Approach

Writing guide
Posted on June 23, 2020

We call it new not because it differs from a standard one but because it makes things different by providing a full and complete description of all the writing stages. With this approach, how to write a case study in criminal law will be just one of many tasks — easy-to-do and even engaging.

But first things first. What is a case study? It is a research methodology that is often applied in social and life studies. The investigation that it typically covers is systematic and very intensive, whether it studies a group of people, an individual, or the whole community. When it comes to a case study in criminal law, it is essential to emphasize that such researches are of the qualitative nature and the sheer volume of data that is gathered during the research may sometimes be rather difficult to organize. This was exactly why we have decided to give you our helping hand.

How to Write a Case Study in Criminal Law: A Step-by-Step Instruction

1. Decide on the type, design, and style

It’s not about you being able to choose whatever you need, but it is about what is applicable to the audience. Many students decide on the acute and communicative case studies in criminal law to provide proving at firsthand.

During this stage, you have to take your time and examine the purpose of the assignment. It is suggested to go with the knowledge that has been ignored and left unnoticed for years. If you believe you can manage the case, go with large-scale directions by analyzing not only individuals but also large agencies or even countries. Plus, when it comes to the area of laws, you are able to draft the so-called abstract points like private practices.

2. Go with the topic

Anyone will assure you that to pick up a topic for the case study, you need to convey the research. Begin with the library or look on the web. The most burning problems are displayed in newspapers and discussed on TV, so this is where you could start with. If you have little time or the scope of your knowledge doesn’t allow you to pick the right topic, go with any of the suggested below:

  • Religious Crimes and Their Influence on the Society and Faith;
  • The Nature of Hate Crimes;
  • The Failures of the Experimental Criminology;
  • Wrongly Convictions: How to Live after the Determination of Innocent;
  • How False Confessions Affect the Entire Legal Framework;
  • The Psychology of Crime: Is There a Place for “Born Criminal” Notion in the 21st Century?
  • The Statistics of Prevented Crimes;
  • Wildlife Crimes and the Reality of Being Punished;
  • Domestic Violence: What Is the Real Picture?
  • Trafficking Charges That Resulted in a Deferral of Sentence;
  • How to Reduce Reasons for Careless Driving?
  • Assaulting Police Officers;
  • Sexual and Assault Charges;
  • Women Who Received Capital Punishment;
  • World’s Known Serial Killers;
  • What Can Be Done to Avoid Date Rape?
  • White Collar Crimes and Their Motifs;
  • Criminal Checking on New Employees;
  • Crime as the Outcome of Aggression;
  • School-based Drug Testing: How Real Is That?

Upon narrowing down the choice to one specific topic, find relative data in journals, books, newspapers, and online. It is of great importance to look through all of the works that have been presented on your topic and are similar to yours. Thus, you will enlarge your knowledge volumes and will learn more about the structure and word choice for the case study in criminal law.

3. Start getting ready for the interview

To start with, you need to decide on those who are going to participate in your survey. They should be criminal law experts that have researched relevant topics and have deep knowledge of the sphere as well as own opinion on how things should be going on. Apart from experts, you can also find people that have been involved in the research project indirectly.

Prior to asking questions, you need to research the available information concerning your interviewees. By knowing much about their studies and research, you’ll be able to organize a set of questions and issues instead of blurry remarks. In this case, your interview will be exceptional.

4. Write a permission letter

It is obligatory to ask for permission to meet for an interview during which you could write down or even record the interviewees’ answers. When working on a case study in criminal law, it is necessary to design a template of a letter. The template should go with the following information:

  • What’s the title of your case study?
  • What is interviewing going to look like?
  • What can the interviewee get out of giving answers?

Hi [Name of person],
We are now working on a case study called _________. And we would appreciate including your story/point of view/experience/ideas into the case study. Would you be interested in meeting and having a talk about the __________?

This is what the process will include:

  • ______
  • ______
  • ______

And this is what we would like you to share with us:

  • Your research notes
  • Photos/letters/emails/diaries
  • Background of the story

What will the interview look like?
It will be a phone or video call, cafe meeting.

Upon taking the interview, we will use your words in our case study to build a real story. While writing, we might need a telephone call or a couple of emails for collecting specifications.

We promise to share the draft with you.

Upon finishing the case study in ______, we’ll send you the original.

Turnaround time is 1.5 month.

What can you get from the interview:

  • perk 1
  • perk 2
  • perk 3


Also, you may be asked to send a list of interview questions for a respondent to check them. If he/she gives the consent, schedule an interview.

5. Schedule an appointment

Set up the time and place. If you are about to conduct a phone interview, it is advisable to make use of the recording app options you can find in the Apple App Store or Play Market. However, you need permission to record the call.

Use Skype to make a video call. Video calls can also be recorded, however in this case too you need consent.

The best option is, of course, meeting face-to-face. It is easy to arrange for local interviewees. For the distant one, it is better to go with the two previous options.

Remember that since it’s you who needs reliable answers, give your interviewee a chance to choose the time and place. But don’t let him/her rule the parade.

6. Conduct an interview

Follow the prepared and pre-discussed questions to learn more about the topic of your case study in criminal law. Try to omit questions that require the YES and NO answers: they will not provide you with the relevant information that you need so much. While collecting data, ask the following questions:

  • What was with the topic before you started working on it?
  • What were some of the major tactics during the previous researches?
  • What were the goals of the previous tactics?
  • Were those goals successful?

By asking these questions, the author of the case study can make sure that his assignment in criminal law can cut right into the problem’s heart and get right to the point without fussing around.

Upon collecting information, take time to organize it properly: no matter how much you want it, you cannot include all the given facts because they will make your study hard to read.

7. Start writing

So, you’ve already gathered the data required for your research. Now you are obliged to organize it properly to hand in a decent paper. Your survey should be made of at least four parts. And this is how you must do this:

  • By writing an introduction part, you are supposed to set the stage rather clearly. Here you input all the knowledge that you are planning to solve or explain throughout the story. When it comes to the field of criminal law, it is advisable to raise an important question that cannot be answered in one or two sentences.
  • Go with the background of the issue that you are describing. What things make this very problem so pressing? Why does your audience need to have a panoramic new to the topic? How important is that to look at the issue from more than a single point of view?
  • Now offer a reader to have a look at the data that you have gathered during an interview — findings, statistics, expert thoughts, real-life situations, etc. In this chapter, you are expected to describe what you’ve learned from the interview and what solutions you believe can be a perfect match to this very topic. Don’t be afraid to go with the citations. But don’t use too many of them: their overabundance may affect the originality of your work or make the paper look deprived of the author’s (your) input.
  • Offer possible outcomes but don’t say that you know how to cope with the case and can do it yourself or teach others how it should be done. After reading your case study on criminal law, the reader must be overwhelmed with the problem and should think over looking for possible ways out himself/herself. Moreover, a really good case study can become a trigger for an interesting discussion among readers.
  • Work on the list of references. Since the interview is not the only reliable source of information that you have used, make a list of credible data sources. Plus, it is suggested to add appendices in the case if the case study includes terms and notions that might be hardly understandable.
  • Now that your paper is almost completed, take your time to proofread the study. Start with correcting punctuation, spelling and grammar mistakes. Then reread to check if there are logical transitions between paragraphs within one part of the study and between different parts. You can also ask someone to read your paper for you. It is actually a very common practice since others can see things you’ve missed.

Another suggestion that most students tend to forget is to use more visuals in the case study. What are the visuals for? Typically, they add extra sophistication to a written piece. You can go with photos, logos, or graphs as these visual options ass a huge difference to the entire work. Screenshots are exceptionally valued — they are real-time illustrations that show the essence of the problem.

In case your task is to develop a few cases united under the same topic and purpose within one study, conduct more than one interview and include open-ended questions that will allow prolonging discussions and even transfer these discussions to other interviews.

Even after you think that your case study in criminal law is already formed, you may come across a few other ideas, make deletions and additions. Perhaps, you will find information that is out-of-date or, on the contrary, is to date. Don’t be afraid or too lazy to redo a few parts.

We know how much time it can take you to complete a case study of high quality. We know how pressing the deadline can be. However, we are more than sure that, by following the instructions and tips that we have provided, you will be able to hand in a decent piece of work that will deserve one of the highest grades from your professor. Keep in mind that the more you are worried, the stronger the burden would be. So don’t let even the slightest fear rule you. Rule the fear instead.


  • Babak Somekh, Li-Chen Lim, Maria Elena (Maya) Baltazar Herrera and Yifan Zhang (2017). How to Write a Strong Case Study: Tips for Winning a Case Competition. Academy of Asian Business Review, 3(2), pp.15–32.
  • David, M. (2006). Case study research. London: Sage.
  • Thomas, G. (2016). How to do your case study. Los Angeles ; London: Sage.
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