How to write a Museum Practice case study

Rebecca Atkinson, 20.03.2014
Ideas on what to include
Museum Practice, the Museums Association’s online publication, provides best practice advice and ideas on all areas of practice.

An important part of this is sharing case studies from a wide range of organisations. Each month, readers are invited to submit a case study on a particular topic along with a good quality photograph. These short articles are branded Your Case Studies.

Case studies should be no more than 400 words. In order to make the best use of the word limit, here are some ideas on what makes a good Museum Practice case study:

  • Include a good quality photograph (a selection of images is even better) and links to relevant websites, including social media accounts or reports. Videos on YouTube and other sites can often be embedded onto the MA’s site, so include links to these too if relevant.

  • Outline the background of your museum or project as briefly as possible – if information isn’t relevant to the subject matter, don’t include it.

  • Avoid sending press releases or marketing statements. As well as sharing your experience, case studies are a good place to share problems encountered, failures and lessons. Likewise, case studies could compare intended outcomes/outputs with actual outcomes/outputs, or explain future plans and projects. 

  • Include the name and job title of the person or group of people writing the case study. Try to avoid using direct quotations unless absolutely essential.  

  • Highlight the practical elements of project, such as budgets/costs, and timing. Use bullet points if necessary.

  • Museum Practice case studies should always try to highlight areas of work, good practice and trends – this often means focusing on one area of work that is particularly innovative, new or successful, rather than trying to offer an overview in 250 words.

  • Read previous case studies to get an idea of what works and what doesn't.

If you have any further questions about writing a case study please email rebecca.atkinson@museumsassociation.org