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How to Write a Case Study in Film and Theatre Studies

Writing a case study in Film and Theatre studies is tricky as there is not enough information about them on the Internet. But anyway, it is never late to discover something new. Students usually feel anxiety when given a task to write a case study, as it demands a lot of work in collecting information, conducting an interview and analyzing the sources. But, at the end of the day, it is totally worth it as it enhances your analyzing skills tremendously. What is more, writing a case study in this discipline is even more exciting as there are numerous possibilities to compare the virtual world of movies and theatre plays to the real world and its problems.

Film and Theatre Studies: What Is Specific About That Discipline?

The main specific to that class is that it requires analytical skills in order to understand all the movies and plays and be able to dig deeper. Films and theatre depict our lives and problems so it is imperative to compare them to real life and be able to carry out inferences. Movies and theatre are accessible for all people, even aliens, as they use the visual means of presenting the information. Therefore, these arts play a huge role in forming people’s beliefs, perceptions of the world and attitude towards each other.

How to Write a Case Study in Film and Theatre Studies: From Start to Finish

To carry out the writing of the case study successfully, you must be organized from the very beginning. Therefore, let’s break down the process of developing a case study in Film and Theatre Studies into simple steps.

Watch the Movie or Play

Obviously, you need to examine the piece before writing about it. After watching it read as much information, essays, critics’ articles as possible. You need to get an entire picture of the piece.

Preliminary Research

Research is the key to everything, so it is irrational to choose a topic from nowhere. To determine which topic is still relevant and not downtrodden you need to surf the Internet websites, newspapers, previously published case studies. It is especially helpful to surf through the Google Scholar database to find out whether it is viable or not. However, if you are given a topic by the teacher and it is trampled, then try to make it as unique as possible by choosing a narrower part of it or asking to change a topic overall. Remember that you can always discuss it with your colleagues and get some advice.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

What is more, preliminary research prevents you from being blocked by a lack of information. The case study can be complex to understand for a reader without knowing the background information. That is why you need to make even more extensive research – to bring him up to speed. But, on the other side, be aware of not cluttering your paper with too much unnecessary information.

Choose a Topic

Selecting a topic in Film and Theatre studies is not tough as there are plenty of controversial and fascinating movies and dramas, unusual personalities, like actors, directors, composers and so on who made a significant contribution to that industry. Here are some examples of topics for your case study in Film and Theatre studies:

  • The Case of Gender Stereotypes In Blockbuster Movies;
  • The Case Study of the Movie ‘12 Years a Slave’: A Comparative Analysis of Black and White Actresses;
  • The Case of the Role of Global Film Awards (Oscars Film Awards, In Particular) in the Improvement of the Quality in the Filmmaking Industry;
  • The Case of Authenticity in Mass Media and YouTube;
  • The Case of Hollywood and Its Influence on Modern Youth;

Identify the Problem

The case problem sets the task but does not offer the ‘solution’ to the problem. For example, for the topic of gender stereotypes in Blockbuster movies, the problem may sound like this: ‘Movies are a reflection of society. They mirror the problems, issues, thinking, and perception of contemporary society. Gender stereotypes are a great part of movies, therefore they still remain an irretrievable part of our society.’

Therefore, the goal of the study would be to study the demarcation of roles designed for males and females.
The next step is analyzing the underlying causes of that problem as to why these gender stereotypes appeared.

Make a Timeline

It would be beneficial for both the reader and the author of the case study to understand the time frame and be able to keep up with all the events straight without any confusion. Once you start the process of developing the paper you will realize that keeping all the events in mind is tough so using a timeline can facilitate the journey.

Prioritize the Issues

Write down all of your issues and rank them based on their importance. You can even exclude some of them in order to make a study less tangled. Write down the sources for the paper as well. Remember that if you are unable to corroborate information then it is better to cross out some of the issues completely.

Research the Background

This is especially true if you are writing about a person. By the way, know the difference between primary and secondary research. Primary research results are results you got on your own, by collecting data from various sources and interviews as well. This is your own product. Secondary research results are results that were received by other people who researched the same field or even topic. While it is not the best variant to use the results of your secondary research directly in your case study, it can be useful as an example and role model.

Take Notes

Observational research is impossible to be made without notes. It is especially applicable to Film and Theatre studies as while analyzing a movie or a play, you can be stricken with ideas unexpectedly, hence in pursuance to not lose any precious ideas, you can write it down in a notebook immediately after it has arrived.

Conduct an Interview

One of the primary methods for carrying out a worthy case study is an interview. It is extremely important, as it is raw, unprocessed information, and it is completely unique and is the source of primary research. Obviously, not every mere mortal is good at analyzing movies and theatre plays, thus it is more beneficial to interview your educator, expert in this industry. But do not forget to get the opinion of the usual people, as they are the consumers who are influenced by films.

Keep in mind these rules for the interview:

  • Prepare the questions beforehand to not be confused during the interview itself, the questions must be open-ended, meaning that the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions should not prevail by all means at the interview list. Here are some examples of the questions:
    • Have you ever noticed the presence of gender stereotypes in movies you watch?
    • Are they usually promoted or judged?
    • Is it okay for blockbuster movies to have contained gender stereotypes?
    • Are there movie genres that are allowed to have gender stereotypes and those that are not?
  • Do not panic if the received interview results do not match your expectations. Different people, different opinions.
  • Establish a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere, do not interrupt the person interviewed.
  • Be a respectful listener, but at the same time attentive interviewer to not lose the main target of your interview and case study in general.

Assembly Stage

Turning pieces of information into a wholesome text.

Introduction: The introduction defines the problem to be examined and explains the parameters or limitations of the situation. It is preferred to write it after completing the rest of the text. Always keep in mind the purpose of the research and return to it from time to time.

It is important to include information about the problem of the case study into the introduction.

Main body: First of all, include background information about who studied that issue before. With the example of gender stereotypes in Blockbuster movies, it is appropriate to mention how these stereotypes changed as the movie industry developed, how pronounced they were in the movies of the 1990s and 2000s.

The next part of the body part is the description of the process. Include your own observations, interview results and expectations.
Sharing the findings is the last yet the most important part of the case study as it reveals the result of your exhausting work, observation, and analysis.

Conclusion: remember to write the concluding paragraph at the same time as the introduction as they have to match each other, but at the same time not be the same and repeat the same information.

Polishing Your Case Study

If you are desperate to get a good grade for that assignment, it is worth spending some more time on proofreading and editing it. This is the part where you catch the punctual, spelling and grammar mistakes and have a chance to correct them. Start by looking for common errors like the misuse of words like “their” or “there”, “then” and “than”.
First of all, editing your own work is tricky, as during the process of its development you got so much used to it that it is sad to exclude anything.

  • Read it aloud. Or even better – give someone else to read it aloud. While hearing your piece, it is easier to notice the mistakes and make sentences more concise. An even better solution is to read it the night after it is finished. The morning is wiser than the evening, so you should better reread it the next day while not being stressed and with a fresh mindset.
  • Remove the material that does not work together. You worked so hard to conduct that interview and now a huge chunk of it turns out to not important. Just think of it as a lesson. Right now you working on getting a worthy result and some sacrifice is acceptable. But be careful to not eliminate too much. Otherwise, our composition will be weak.
  • You can also use special services and websites to check your composition for grammar mistakes.
  • Let your educator read it to get his opinion. Do not be ashamed to ask something about your paper just because no one else does. This is not how successful people do. Giving your case study for the check before the actual grading is completely normal.

Common Mistakes when Writing Case Studies in Film and Theatre Studies

  1. The unnecessarily large use of colloquial language. This is still an academic paper after all. Take it as a report. Let’s agree that it is more appealing to read a report which is written with formal academic language.
  2. Lack of proof and inappropriate familiarization with the art piece. Use different citations, even numbers. Quantitative data gives the reader a better impression of how serious the case is.
  3. Abuse of detail. Your case study can be as cluttered as a women’s bag. So beware of including too many trifles that do not fill the text with information, but fill it with avoidable facts.
  4. The prevalence of theory over practice. A case study is all about the practice of researching real life while comparing it to the pieces of art.
  5. Lack of analysis. Even if you have included plenty of information about and from the interview, check if there are enough generalizations and conclusions made from it.
  6. Outdated information. You would have more chances to apply for a successful study if you analyze modern problems, movies, and plays.
  7. Complex sentences and difficult language. The reader must have no difficulty in reading the paper effortlessly. While it is a plus to use specific terms, beware of abusing them as they can tell that you are incompetent in that issue and trying to fill the text with ‘smart’ words just to seem intelligent.
  8. Failing to uncover the story beneath the story. It was said before that it is okay to review other people’s studies to get references for compiling your own. But it often happens that the writer wants to borrow the aspects that do not fit his or her paper. Those aspects would look alien, thus it is safer to write everything with your own mind.