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The "Do's" of Case Writing

Published November 2, 2020 by Ira Walfish

Students often complain that they don't know how to write cases.  Where do you start?  What are the characteristics of a good response? 

There is no question that the biggest factor in successful case writing is practice and more practice.  However, it also helps to get into good habits that you can adopt on every case.

Here is our top ten list of "Do's" to maximize your chances to get competent and get the marker on your side:

1)  There are multiple requireds on a CFE – always respond to every required or you will lose AOs.

2)  Rank requireds, create a time budget and stick to it!

3)  Play your role – Keep in mind who "you are" and who you are writing to.

4)  Provide overall conclusions, especially when discussing alternatives.

5)  Attempt to have a balanced response to a situation – i.e. both pros and cons, risk and opportunities.

6)  Make sure to do adequate quants and remember all the "ancillary" points that revolve around your quants – i.e. assumptions, conclusions etc.

7)  Make sure that you know your basic technical knowledge.

8)  Don't ignore harder technical issues, and don't be afraid to use the Handbook if necessary.

9)  Write clearly and concisely, and explain the "why" or "so what" when you make your point

10)  Use the PASS techniques to help achieve depth, but stay far away from templates/dumping.

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