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Martin Barrett
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How To Cite A Case Study In APA

How To Cite A Case Study In APA

Citing a case study correctly is essential for academic writing., and the APA (American Psychological Association) citation style is a very popular and commonly found option.

If you want to write a good paper or fo you want to know how to cite A case study in APA correctly, then you should follow these rules – and we have put together all you need to know to achieve this in a stress-free manner.

What Is APA Citation?

APA stands for American Psychological Association, which is an organization that has been around since 1892. It was founded by William James, who was also one of the first psychologists.

The APA is the most common citation style used today because it’s easy to understand and use, and it’s widely accepted across a number of academic schools and disciplines.

To cite in the APA style, you will need to include:

  • Author’s last name and initial
  • Title of your work
  • Year published
  • Publishing organization
  • URL if included

The following is an example of an in-text citation of a case study in the APA style:

Author Surname, Author Initial, (Year of publication) – for example, Rapp & Caramazza, (2022)

The reference list entry would then look like this:

Surname, initials (Publication Year). Title of the case study. Name of publication. Volume (issue), page number.

Case Studies And The APA Style

APA style requires authors to provide an abstract when submitting work to publishers. It also specifies how to cite sources within the text itself.

Citing a case study involves providing a brief summary of the source, along with the name of the person who wrote it (the “author”), the title of the article, and the date of publication.

To do this, simply follow the steps below:

  • Identify the author of the case study by adding the initials of the last name and the first initial of the surname after the word ‘case’ in the sentence where the case study appears.
  • Add the year of publication next to the author’s name.
  • Include the title of the case study in quotation marks.
  • Finally, add the page numbers of the case study.

You will then need to identify the type of source used in the case study.

There are two main categories: primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are original documents or records created by the researcher themselves.

Secondary sources are those written by someone else, usually another researcher.

Why Are Citations Important?

There are a number of reasons why it is crucial to cite a case study accurately, and these include:

It Demonstrates A Trustworthy Source

A clear academic citation helps readers identify what information they can trust. When citing a case study, you must make sure that you provide enough details so that people can easily find out more about it.

This means that you should always include the author’s surname, title, year of publication, publishing organization, URL, and volume and issue numbers.

It Helps Readers Find Your Work

When using citations, you should always ensure that you give enough information so that other researchers can easily find your work and conduct their own research into the topic. 

For instance, when citing a case study, it is important to mention the author’s name, title, year of publishing, and publisher.

You should also include the URL where the article can be accessed online to make accessing the information as straightforward as possible for future readers and researchers.

It Shows That You Have Read And Considered Other Sources

You should always make sure that you read and consider other sources before writing any academic papers.

By doing this, you show that you have done your homework and have considered other points of view on the subject matter.

This shows that you have thought carefully about the issues involved and that you have researched them thoroughly.

It Makes Your Writing More Relevant

Citations help to make your writing relevant and interesting. They allow you to refer back to previous studies and point out how they relate to your current work. This makes your writing more engaging and accessible to others.

Why Do You Need To Cite Case Studies?

Case studies are very useful tools for understanding human behavior. They are particularly helpful in psychology and sociology because they enable you to examine specific situations and behaviors from different perspectives.

These types of studies are often conducted with real people or groups of people, rather than just theoretical models.

They Can Be Used As Evidence Of An Idea Or Theory

In some cases, case studies can be used as evidence of an idea or theory.

For example, if you were conducting a study on the effects of stress on relationships, you could use a case study to demonstrate how stress affects relationships between couples.

They Help To Show How Research Is Conducted

In many cases, case studies are used to illustrate how scientific methods are applied to particular topics.

For example, if a researcher was studying the effect of diet on health, he or she might use a case study to explain how nutritionists collect data and analyze it.

They Are Useful Tools For Teaching

If you want to teach students about a certain topic, then you may need to use a case study to do this.

For example, if teaching students about the causes of depression, you could use a real-life case study to illustrate how psychologists investigate such problems.

Advantages of Case Studies For Your Online Course

As well as offering benefits for more traditional academic projects, case studies can be very useful for the creators of online courses – they provide a great way of demonstrating concepts and theories in a practical context.

How To Cite A Case Study In APA (1)

Some of the main advantages that case studies can offer your online course include:

They Provide Real Life Examples

When creating an online course, it is important to try to create content that is as realistic as possible.

Using case studies allows you to present examples of real-life situations that will be familiar to your audience, without encountering any potential ethical dilemmas or issues.

They Allow Students To Learn From The Experts

By presenting real-life examples, you can let your students learn from the mistakes made by experts in the field.

If you are teaching about the dangers of smoking, for example, you could use a story about someone who has been diagnosed with lung cancer to highlight the risks associated with tobacco use.

They Help Students Understand Complex Issues

By using case studies, you can help your students understand complex issues in a simple and easy-to-follow manner.

When explaining the concept of prejudice, for example, you can use a case study to show how people’s attitudes towards other races change over time.

They Enable Students To Apply Their Knowledge

One of the most valuable aspects of case studies is that they allow students to apply their knowledge.

If you are teaching students about the importance of recycling, for example, you should use a case study to describe what happens when rubbish ends up in landfill sites.

Disadvantages of Case Studies

While there are many advantages to using case studies, there are also disadvantages. These include:

They May Not Be Relevant

Case studies are often based on real events, but these events may not have much relevance to your course.

For example, if your course is about the history of medicine, you could use a historical case study to discuss the treatment of leprosy, but this would be irrelevant to your current project.

It is important to do plenty of homework when looking for case studies to back up your teaching point – ensure that the material is relevant and accessible and that you are citing the more prominent, up-to-date sources.

This is not a matter of simply selecting articles from Google at random; you will need to do your research to find the right materials. This brings us to…

They Can Be Difficult To Find

Case studies are usually written by professionals in the field, so finding one that is relevant to your course can sometimes take some effort.

This means that you may need to spend some time searching for suitable material before you begin writing your own.

You Need To Be Aware Of Ethical Dilemmas

While case studies are often a great way to demonstrate a teaching point without using a real, living person, it is important to be aware that in some cases, using case studies can lead to a separate set of ethical dilemmas – especially if they are relatively new.

You should always make sure that you are aware of any potential ethical problems that might arise from using such material.

It is important to check whether the person whose life was used in the case study consented to its publication and whether the information has been altered in any way.

If you decide to use a case study, then you must cite the source accurately.

You should also provide an accurate bibliography or reference list at the end of your paper; this allows your sources to be credited properly and ensures that the information you have included is verifiable and accurate at the time that you are publishing.

How To Choose The Best Case Studies For Your Project?

Choosing the best case studies for your assignment can be tricky. There are several things to consider when choosing case studies, including:

What Is The Purpose Of Your Assignment?

The purpose of your assignment will determine which type of case study you choose. For example, if you are writing a report, you may want to use a case study that demonstrates a particular issue.

However, if you are writing an essay, you may want to look for something different. The priority is to ensure that the case study is directly relevant to your topic.

The Case Study Type That Works Best With Your Course Content

If you are writing a report or essay, you may want a case study that relates directly to your topic. On the other hand, if you are writing about a specific event, you may prefer to use a case study with a broader scope.

The Level At Which You Will Use The Material

When you are writing a report/essay, you may want to include only the most basic details of the case study. Alternatively, if you are writing in response to a question, you may want to go into greater detail about the subject.

If you are using your case study to make a teaching point, consider the level of understanding and comprehension that you are teaching to – you may want to write a short case study that explains the basics, while a longer piece could explain more complex issues, and get the point across in a clearer manner.

Where Can I Find Case Studies To Use For My Course?

As we mentioned, finding case studies can be a little tricky, but there are a number of places where you can start your research journey. These include the following:


The most logical place to start your search is in the online space, and here you should focus on specialist sites that focus on your topic and subject.

Some good examples of these types of websites include EBSCOhost, ProQuest, and JSTOR

These sites are all free to access, so they are great resources for getting started. If you are looking for a particular resource, try searching Google Scholar as well. This site indexes academic journals and provides links to full-text articles.

When using a website to find a case study, make sure that you check whether the website has any copyright restrictions.

Many universities require their students to obtain permission before copying material from outside sources.

You should always verify the credibility and authority of your sources – don’t just take everything at face value!


Another option is to purchase books related to your course content.

Here again, you need to be careful not to copy anything without permission, and always check that the case studies you are using are reliable, up-to-date, and authoritative.

Other Sources

Finally, you might like to think about contacting your university library.

They often have a collection of materials, including journals and papers, and access to online subscriptions, that may relate to your course content.

In addition, many libraries offer databases that contain information about published works, such as the British Library’s Summon database.

Final Thoughts

APA is a recognized, respected citation system that is used by academics around the world. It is also an easy way to ensure that you cite the work of others correctly.

However, it does require some practice and knowledge of how to use it in the correct manner.

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