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Taking a college class that has assigned recent case study topics to the class? Newer case study topics can sometimes be the hardest type of write. This can happen for several reasons. First, newer or hot case study topics may be difficult to vet for source reliability. Second, it may take more time to find enough sources for topics that recently unfolded within society. If you’ve been assigned one or more of these case study topics, don’t worry! We’ve got a plan to help you navigate how to write any one of these challenging case study topics.

Case Study Topics Defined

A case study is an in-depth analysis concerning a particular issue or topic. Case study writing assignments can be given in every type of class you take in college. Business classes, sociology classes, science classes, and English classes can all create writing assignments on case studies. This type of study requires students to read different accounts of a particular issue or event and then write an analytical paper stating the facts of the issue or event and then an analysis of what occurred. Depending upon the case study topics, the writing assignment could vary in length from two pages up until eight or more depending upon how many aspects within the issue or event should be discussed. For analytical thinkers and writers, case studies can be very fun to write!

Challenging Case Study Topics

Several popular case study topics may prove challenging for students at colleges and universities.

Here are the top five most challenging case study topics currently assigned in institutions of higher education:

  • Trump vs. Clinton.
  • 9/11.
  • ISIS.
  • Police Violations.
  • Gun Control.

Let’s take an in-depth look at how to approach of these five challenging case study topics.

Trump vs. Clinton

This topic is particularly challenging since the proliferation of fake news that abounded throughout this campaign. While the many instances of fake news should be taken into account while organizing resources to write on this topic, students need to take greater caution in verifying sources to ensure that the information they are working with is fact and not fiction. That being said, there is a great amount of data available in examining each opponent’s presidential campaign and the outcome of the tactics used to ultimately win the Presidency. Students should work with primary sources instead of secondary or tertiary sources when dealing with highly political content. Additionally, it’s important to vet sources for bias before using them in this kind of writing the assignment.


With such an emotional event for so many individuals around the globe, it’s important to source the factual documents that provide objective analysis of historic events. While op-ed pieces in newspapers and magazines may be easier to read, it’s a better idea to find information published in journals and official reports when researching information to include in a 9/11 case study. Additionally, since there are so many aspects that surround a historic tragedy, a well-written case study should focus on examining one or potentially two issues instead of the entire tragedy as a whole.


Much like writing a 9/11 case study, writing on the entirety of ISIS could take hundreds of pages. Therefore, if you’ve been given the assignment to write on ISIS, the first step you should take is to narrow the focus of your case study. A narrowed focus could be the recruitment techniques ISIS uses, the countries where ISIS retains a strong foothold, effective military tactics against ISIS or perhaps the roots of ISIS. ISIS is just a broad topic, it’s important to select a particular focus to narrow the research process and ensure that you find relevant information to help you organize an analysis within the case study assignment.

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Police Violations

As with any topic often in the news, there will be a great deal of information available through both print and media sources. Case study topics related to the wide-ranging issues also need to be narrowed. For instance, a study could choose to examine a particular type of police violation or all of the police violations in a particular state or jurisdiction. Either of these topics would be appropriate for a case study examining police violations. Sometimes, selecting the focus of your case study topics can be the most difficult aspect of writing this type of assignment. It may help to do a bit of research first and then decide on a topic based on the amount of data available.

Gun Control

Gun control is a major issue in the United States; therefore, like the other topics listed above, there can be a ton of information to sort through, making it a challenging topic. If you’ve been assigned a case study on gun control, first work to narrow your topic. Doing so will help focus your research and you’ll be able to use more targeted words during searches for journal articles on the topic. Consider narrowing your topic by type of gun violence or gun violence by year or state or a particular jurisdiction. You could also consider case study topics investigated changes in gun control laws or gun control issues by race or age. Any of these topics would be good choices for a gun control case study writing assignment.

Remember: As with any college writing assignment, it’s important to get your professor’s approval before moving ahead with the research. Take the time to narrow the focus of your case study and check your ideas with your teacher before moving forward. It’s also important to know how many sources the assignment requires as well as the citation method your professor prefers for the assignment. If you’ve never written this type of assignment before, ask the professor if he or she has an example to review. Most professors keep good examples to share with students; if the professor doesn’t have an example, head over to the college or university Writing Center for help!