How to Prepare a Questionnaire on Any Topic

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Questionnaires help organizations obtain useful information.
Questionnaires help organizations obtain useful information. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Questionnaires are common tools used for many different topics to obtain feedback. Questionnaires are used by businesses and organizations to collect information which is used to make improvements in the organization. When preparing a questionnaire for any topic, it is vital to understand what information you really want.

Purpose

The purpose of a questionnaire is to gather useful information. This information is analyzed and studied and then used to make important decisions. Questionnaires help organizations understand areas that are working well and areas that need improvement.

Preliminary

Prior to preparing a questionnaire, the group creating it must narrow down what information they really are hoping to obtain through the questionnaire; this should become the focus of the questionnaire. Once the focus is established, a team begins developing pertinent questions. Each question should offer useful feedback to the organization. Prior to preparing the survey, the team must also decide how many people this questionnaire will be distributed to and how the organization will distribute it and encourage people to participate in it.

Details

A questionnaire should begin with demographics information. Almost every questionnaire for any topic asks particular demographic related questions. This includes asking what age group the person is in, gender, income category and race. When the questions begin, use multiple-choice questions. This helps narrow down the results by placing them in easy-to-read terms. If using a rating scale on the questionnaire, keep it consistent throughout the entire survey. For example, if there are three sections in the survey, and the first section asks the person to answer the questions by rating them 1 through 5, keep the rating scale identical for the other two sections of the questionnaire.

Considerations

When preparing a questionnaire, keep it as short as possible. Narrow down the questions to provide only the information you need. Some other aspects to remember are to keep the questions easy to understand and keep the questions in a systematic, logical order. When using multiple-choice questions, avoid offering an answer of “other.” Many test takers will avoid trying to find the closest answer and will simply mark this option.

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