We examine how the presentation of accounting cases in narrative (i.e., story‐based) or expository (i.e., fact‐based) style combines with the level of student knowledge to affect two key dimensions of accounting case analyses: acquisition and application of relevant case facts. Results from an experiment with 210 undergraduate students in an introductory financial accounting class indicated that level of student knowledge (measured by course grade) was associated with the acquisition of accounting case facts through a statistically significant main effect. That is, high‐knowledge students acquired a greater number of relevant facts from an accounting case than did low‐knowledge students. The main effect of case presentation style and its interactive effect with student knowledge on case‐fact acquisition were not statistically significant. In a subsequent problem‐solving task, the interaction between case presentation style and student knowledge level exerted a statistically significant effect on the application of accounting case facts. Specifically, low‐knowledge students were better able to apply case facts when the case was presented in narrative rather than expository style, whereas high‐knowledge students performed equally well regardless of case presentation style. Implications of these results for instructors' case‐selection decisions are discussed, and directions for future research are outlined.

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