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Identification of issues & problems

There are three steps involved in the identification and analysis of issues and problems.

Step 1 – overview of the case study (background context)

Understanding the background issues helps to understand the context of the case study. Read the case study to gain an overview and ask and answer the following questions as you read.

  • What background facts influence the current problems?
  • What are the constraints or obstacles of the situation?

Step 2 – identifying the problems

Identifying the major problems and their causes at this stage is vital to identify appropriate solutions later. Re-read the case study and summarise or list the issues and / or problems in your own words. Make sure you:

  • sort the major problems from the minor problems
  • identify evidence from the case study which relates to each of the problems
  • identify underlying causes of the problems.

A useful strategy is to represent the problems and their relationships as a mindmap.

Step 3 – linking theory to problems and case evidence

Relating the identified issues / or problems to theory is vital when answering case studies. This is where you demonstrate your knowledge of the theory in your course and your ability to relate it to practical situations. Use your readings to select appropriate theories to match the identified problems.





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