Although there is no universal understanding of what qualifies as a case study, there is a general sense that a case study uses authentic data and a narrative structure to explore a topic of interest. The case studies here either begin with an analytical problem from the literature and explore a solution to that problem, or begin with a set of data and consider how to extract useful information from that data. Each case study includes links to an on-line version, a text version (a Word file that instructor's can modify to meet local needs), an instructor's guide, and, where appropriate, a data set.
Developing an Analytical Method. This case study introduces method development within the context of an analysis for several pharmacologically important constituents in a medicinal plant. Analytes are extracted from the plant's roots using a microwave extraction and their concentrations in the extracting solvent determined by HPLC with UV detection. The case study uses, as its starting point, data from the paper "Simultaneous extraction of hydrosoluble phenolic acids and liposoluble tanshinones from Salvia miltiorrhiza radix by an optimized microwave-assisted extraction method," the full reference for which is Fang, X.; Wang, J.; Zhang, S.; Zhao, Q.; Zheng, Z.; and Song, Z. Sep. Purif. Technol.2012, 86, 149-156 (DOI).
Introduction to Data and Data Analysis. This case study introduces students to ways of thinking about and working with data. The case study uses, as its starting point, the distribution of plain M&Ms by color in a sample that consists of 30 1.69-oz packages of plain M&Ms.