How to Write a Survey Questionnaire

Save

A survey questionnaire is a quick, cost-effective way to gather both factual and subjective information. However, since there are a variety of types of such surveys, such as multiple choice or ratings scales and variables you can include like comments and demographics questions, it's vital to clarify your goals and decide how you intend to use the answers before selecting types and writing specific questions. By following best-practice guidelines as you construct your survey questionnaire, you will be maximizing its benefits.

Include a Variety of Question Types

  • Different types of question elicit different responses. Include a multiple-choice section for questions in which you want respondents to make a clear choice between a fixed number of options. Use a rating scale such as 1 to 5 to measure opinions and attitudes about a topic or an issue. Include open-ended questions to encourage respondents to clarify an opinion or make suggestions. Ask demographics questions to get information such as a respondent's geographic location, background, education or income level.

Be Specific

  • Avoid writing double-barreled questions, a technique that combines two questions into one. Instead, make sure each question focuses on a single topic or issue. For example, in an employee survey, rather than asking a rating scale question such as, “How do you feel about changes made to vacation request procedures and work hours,” break these into two separate questions. If you do include a double-barreled question, Qualtrics, an online survey platform, recommends using a multiple-choice format that provides a variety of response options.

Be Objective

  • Objectivity is essential in every question in the survey. To prevent intentional or unintentional bias that can distort results, avoid using strong or descriptive words. For example, words such as “force” or “prohibit” can sway a respondent’s answer, as can a question such as “How would you rate our award-winning customer service department?” In addition, take care when choosing between the words “could,” “should” and “might.” While these may seem the same, Qualtrics says that using the wrong option may lead to a 20 percent difference in the answer to a survey question.

Be Clear

  • Write concise, clear questions that leave no room for alternate interpretations. To do this, first make sure the respondent can answer the question. For example, ask whether a respondent has ever used a certain online help feature before you ask the person to rate the feature. Eliminate unnecessary words and phrases that may confuse people. For instance, condense a question such as, “How much do you think you would have to pay to have our repair department fix something that needs to be repaired at your residence” into, “How much do you think a repair service call costs?” Finally, always give respondents the option to not answer a survey question.

References

  • Photo Credit Jochen Sand/Photodisc/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Create Survey Questions

    Ah, the survey. How many times do people toss a survey into the trash because it's too long, the questions are vague...

  • How to Make My Own Survey

    Business owners create their own surveys or questionnaires to discover opportunities in the marketplace and to assess customer needs. The first step...

  • How to Write a Research Question for Research Papers

    When writing a research paper, the process of getting started and developing a thesis can be overwhelming -- but if you formulate...

  • How to Survey Property

    Surveying your land determines the exact borders and space on your property. It's possible to survey your land yourself, but to determine...

  • How to Write a Survey Report

    Survey reports make recommendations based on a careful analysis of data tallied and organized from survey findings. A good survey report requires...

  • How to Draft a Questionnaire

    Companies use questionnaires to evaluate new products and garner feedback from customers. Questionnaires are drafted for various types of market research surveys,...

  • How to Write a Survey Proposal

    Researchers survey different populations for various reasons. Marketers test products through consumer surveys. Political candidates survey voters' concerns through questionnaires. One population...

  • How to Write a Survey Paper

    Writing a survey paper requires the writer to choose a topic that will get feedback, then creating the survey and dispersing it...

  • How to Create a Market Survey

    Developing a well-designed market survey questionnaire will ensure that you get the information you need about your target market. These surveys can...

  • How to Prepare a Questionnaire on Any Topic

    Questionnaires are common tools used for many different topics to obtain feedback. Questionnaires are used by businesses and organizations to collect information...

  • How to Write a Survey or Questionnaire

    When writing surveys or questionnaires, it's important to explain the questions in a clear way. Write a survey or questionnaire with tips...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!