How to...
Write a teaching note

Download our guide to writing a teaching note to accompany your case study or visit the Emerald Cases Hub to complete a course to develop your case writing skills and knowledge.

Before you start

Choose where to publish your case study and familiarise yourself with the style and formatting requirements. Read about getting ready to publish and visit the Emerald Cases Hub for courses and guides on writing case studies and teaching notes.

Get ready to publish

Our top tips

A well-written case study needs an equally well-written teaching note to allow the case to be adopted by other teaching staff without the need for additional research. Read our top tips to preparing an effective teaching note or instructor's manual to accompany your case study.

Identify the audience

Be clear who the appropriate audience is. What course can this case be used in, and what is the level of difficulty? Write a synopsis for the instructor to read so they know if this is the right case for them. 

Set learning objectives

The learning objectives should be as specific as possible and you should explain why they are important and relevant for the course you are teaching.

Develop a 90 min teaching plan

Breakdown the classroom time into sections, include a brief description of the opening and closing 10-15 mins, include challenging case discussions questions and comprehensive sample answers.

Supporting material

Ensure the teaching note and the case correspond well. Be sure any additional material you include e.g. worksheets or videos are essential to teaching the case.

Test & learn

When you have written your case study and teaching note, try them out in class to see if there is enough information and that the teaching note supports an exciting and productive lessons.

What to include in your teaching note

Case synopsis

Provide a brief summary of 150-200 words describing the case setting and key issues. Include:

  • Name of the organisation
  • Industry
  • Country
  • Time span of the case study
  • Details of the protagonist
  • The challenge facing the protagonist
  • Sub-field of academia the case is designed to teach e.g. market segmentation in the telecommunications sector

Target audience


  • Possible courses where the case can be used
  • Level of difficulty
  • Specific pre-requisites

If there are multiple target audiences, discuss different teaching strategies.

Learning objectives

Set a minimum of one objective for a short case study and three or four for a longer case. Your objectives should be specific and you should make it clear what students can expect to learn from reading the case and how they are relevant to courses you are suggesting the case be taught in.

Teaching plan and objectives

Give instructors a detailed plan of how you would teach the case in 90 minutes. Include:

  • Suggested class time, broken down by topic.
  • Suggested student assignment.
  • Brief description of the opening 10-15 minutes.
  • Challenging discussion questions.
    • Provide three to five questions aligned to the learning objectives that students should prepare before class.
    • Consider a combination of closed, open-ended and even controversial questions to create discussion.
  • Sample answers. A case may not have a single correct answer so highlight the diversity of opinions and approaches by providing real sample answers – outstanding, marginal and even incorrect ones.
  • Brief description of the closing 10-15 minutes. Reinforce the learning objectives and reveal what actually happened, if applicable.

Supporting material

Provide any information or material that support your case, such as worksheets, videos, reading list or reference materials.

Guide to writing a teaching note

Our short PDF guide will give you advice on writing your teaching note, what you should include and our top tips to creating an effective teaching note.

Download our guide

Next steps

Write a teaching case study

Read our top tips or download our guide to writing teaching case studies.

Read our how-to guide

Develop your skills

Sign in or register on the Emerald Cases Hub and complete a course on writing a case study and teaching note or download our handy how-to guides.

View our Emerald Cases Hub

Submit your case study

Submit your case study through your chosen channel’s online submission site, find author support and understand your next steps to publish your case study.

Find out how to submit