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How To Write A Questionnaire For Research Paper

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How to design a questionnaire for dissertation

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How-to Develop a Questionnaire for Research

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How to Develop a Questionnaire for Research: 15 Steps

How to Develop a Questionnaire for Research

A questionnaire is a technique for collecting data in which a respondent provides answers to a series of questions. [1] To develop a questionnaire that will collect the data you want takes effort and time. However, by taking a step-by-step approach to questionnaire development, you can come up with an effective means to collect data that will answer your unique research question.

Steps Edit Part One of Three:
Designing Your Questionnaire Edit

Identify the goal of your questionnaire. What kind of information do you want to gather with your questionnaire? What is your main objective? Is a questionnaire the best way to go about collecting this information?
  • Come up with a research question. [2] It can be one question or several, but this should be the focal point of your questionnaire.
  • Develop one or several hypotheses that you want to test. The questions that you include on your questionnaire should be aimed at systematically testing these hypotheses.

Choose your question type or types. Depending on the information you wish to gather, there are several possible types of questions to include on your questionnaire, each with unique pros and cons. Here are the types of commonly used questions on a questionnaire: [3]
  • Dichotomous question: this is a question that will generally be a “yes/no” question, but may also be an “agree/disagree” question. It is the quickest and simplest question to analyze, but is not a highly sensitive measure.
  • Open-ended questions: these questions allow the respondent to respond in their own words. They can be useful for gaining insight into the feelings of the respondent, but can be a challenge when it comes to analysis of data. It is recommended to use open-ended questions to address the issue of “why.” [4]
  • Multiple choice questions: these questions consist of three or more mutually-exclusive categories and ask for a single answer or several answers. [5] Multiple choice questions allow for easy analysis of results, but may not give the respondent the answer they want.
  • Rank-order (or ordinal) scale questions: this type of question asks your respondent to rank items or choose items in a particular order from a set. For example, it might ask your respondents to order five things from least to most important. These types of questions forces discrimination among alternatives, but does not address the issue of why the respondent made these discriminations. [6]
  • Rating scale questions: these questions allow the respondent to assess a particular issue based on a given dimension. You can provide a scale that gives an equal number of positive and negative choices, for example, ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” [7] These questions are very flexible, but also do not answer the question “why.” [8]

Develop questions for your questionnaire. The questions that you develop for your questionnaire should be clear, concise, and direct. [9] This will ensure that you get the best possible answers from your respondents.
  • Write questions that are succinct and simple. You should not be writing complex statements or using technical jargon, as it will only confuse your respondents and lead to incorrect responses. [10]
  • Ask only one question at a time. [11] This will help avoid confusion
  • Beware of asking for private or “sensitive” information. [12] This can be something as simple as age or weight, or something as complex as past sexual history.
    • Asking questions such as these usually require you to anonymize or encrypt the demographic data you collect.
  • Determine if you will include an answer such as “I don’t know” or “Not applicable to me.” While these can give your respondents a way of not answering certain questions, providing these options can also lead to missing data, which can be problematic during data analysis.
  • Put the most important questions at the beginning of your questionnaire. [13] This can help you gather important data even if you sense that your respondents may be becoming distracted by the end of the questionnaire.

Restrict the length of your questionnaire. Keep your questionnaire as short as possible. More people will be likely to answer a shorter questionnaire, so make sure you keep it as concise as possible while still collecting the necessary information. [14] If you can make a questionnaire that only requires 5 questions, do it.
  • Only include questions that are directly useful to your research question. [15] A questionnaire is not an opportunity to collect all kinds of information about your respondents.
  • Avoid asking redundant questions. This will frustrate those who are taking your questionnaire.

Identify your target demographic. Is there a certain group of people who you want to target with your questionnaire? If so, it is best to determine this before you begin to distribute your questionnaire. [16]
  • Consider if you want your questionnaire to collect information from both men and women. Some studies will only survey one sex.
  • Determine whether you want your survey to collect information from both children and adults. Many surveys only target certain age ranges for which the questions are applicable.
    • Consider including a range of ages in your target demographic. For example, you can consider young adult to be 18-29 years old, adults to be 30-54 years old, and mature adults to be 55+. Providing the an age range will help you get more respondents than limiting yourself to a specific age.
  • Consider what else would make a person a target for your questionnaire. Do they need to drive a car? Do they need to have health insurance? Do they need to have a child under 3? Make sure you are very clear about this before you distribute your questionnaire.

Ensure you can protect privacy. Make your plan to protect respondents’ privacy before you begin writing your survey. This is a very important part of many research projects.
  • Consider an anonymous questionnaire. You may not want to ask for names on your questionnaire. This is one step you can take to prevent privacy, however it is often possible to figure out a respondent’s identity using other demographic information (such as age, physical features, or zipcode).
  • Consider de-identifying the identity of your respondents. Give each questionnaire (and thus, each respondent) a unique number or word, and only refer to them using that new identifier. Shred any personal information that can be used to determine identity.
  • Remember that you do not need to collect much demographic information to be able to identify someone. People may be wary to provide this information, so you may get more respondents by asking less demographic questions (if it is possible for your questionnaire).
  • Make sure you destroy all identifying information after your study is complete. [17]

Do a pilot study. Ask some people you know to take your questionnaire (they will not be included in any results stemming from this questionnaire), and be prepared to revise it if necessary. [24] Plan to include 5-10 people in the pilot testing of your questionnaire. [25] Get their feedback on your questionnaire by asking the following questions:
  • Was the questionnaire easy to understand? Were there any questions that confused you?
  • Was the questionnaire easy to access? (Especially important if your questionnaire is online).
  • Do you feel the questionnaire was worth your time?
  • Were you comfortable answering the questions asked?
  • Are there any improvements you would make to the questionnaire?

Disseminate your questionnaire. You need to determine what is the best way to disseminate your questionnaire. [26] There are several common ways to distribute questionnaires: [27]
  • Use an online site, such as SurveyMonkey.com. This site allows you to write your own questionnaire with their survey builder, and provides additional options such as the option to buy a target audience and use their analytics to analyze your data. [28]
  • Consider using the mail. If you mail your survey, always make sure you include a self-addressed stamped envelope so that the respondent can easily mail their responses back. Make sure that your questionnaire will fit inside a standard business envelope.
  • Conduct face-to-face interviews. This can be a good way to ensure that you are reaching your target demographic and can reduce missing information in your questionnaires, as it is more difficult for a respondent to avoid answering a question when you ask it directly.
  • Try using the telephone. While this can be a more time-effective way to collect your data, it can be difficult to get people to respond to telephone questionnaires.

Include a deadline. Ask your respondents to have the questionnaire completed and returned to you by a certain date to ensure that you have enough time to analyze the results.
  • Make your deadline reasonable. Giving respondents up to 2 weeks to answer should be more than sufficient. Anything longer and you risk your respondents forgetting about your questionnaire.
  • Consider providing a reminder. A week before the deadline is a good time to provide a gentle reminder about returning the questionnaire. Include a replacement of the questionnaire in case it has been misplaced by your respondent. [29]

How to write a dissertation questionnaire

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How to Design a Research Questionnaire - Reading Craze

How to Design a Research Questionnaire

February 4, 2015

The research questionnaire design is one of the most important elements in the success of your research. If you are using a research questionnaire as a tool in collecting data you should know the basics of questionnaire design. The questionnaire is one of the most powerful tools of survey research. Its use is more common in the social sciences and psychology. Collecting data using a questionnaire is easier as compared to the other methods of survey research. The actual difficulty of the questionnaire lies in its design. You need to know some basic guidelines to design a questionnaire for your research. There are several websites that offer questionnaire designs and questionnaire templates, you can design questionnaire yourself if you know the basic rules of questionnaire formatting. The poorly designed questionnaire does not get good response from the respondents. As a researcher you should design a questionnaire with perfection.

What is a Questionnaire (A Research Questionnaire)

A questionnaire consists of a list of questions that the researcher asks from the respondents. The researcher develops a set of questions that are relevant to his research and the answers to which he wants to gain from the respondents. The researcher administers the questionnaire to the respondents and the respondents give responses to those questions. Once the questionnaires are administered to the respondents the researcher cannot change the questions. Neither he can ensure that the respondents will give full responses. The researcher can make the statements on the questionnaire in an interactive manner that will motivate the respondents to answer each and every question in the research questionnaire. He should also order the questionnaire in the most appropriate manner to facilitate the respondents in answering the questions. The research questionnaire is designed to achieve raw data that has to be analyzed and concluded.

Characteristics of the Questions in the Research Questionnaire

Making a question is an art as well as science; you need to know the psychology of the people to whom you are going to ask these questions. You might want to ask a simple question like what is your age but asking such a question from a young lady is different from asking similar question from an elderly woman who may want to hide her age. You should have the skills to ask the questions in a polite and mild manner so that respondents give the right responses. There are several other factors that you should consider in designing the questions for your research questionnaire.

  1. Easy to understand questions will get more responses. S ometime we ask a simple question in a difficult manner and people cannot understand our meaning. Don’t try to make the sentences difficult rather use simple language.
  2. Double meanings should be avoided as they can confuse the respondents. The research questionnaire is administered to a remote population and you don’t have the option to explain the questions. Having double meanings in the questions can confuse the respondents. You will get biased answers if your questionnaire contains double meaning questions.
  3. Free of bias and free of any prejudice: every question should have to be as neutral as possible. The researcher should ensure that no personal bias has been introduced in the research questionnaire.
  4. Free of ambiguities: ambiguities occur when you could not phrase the questions properly. Ambiguities also occur when the researcher is not sure about the research and its objectives.
  5. Avoid the use of leading questions that can confuse the respondent. The research questionnaire should have neutral questions. The researcher should let the respondent decide what he wants to answer.

Administering the Questionnaire There are several ways to administer the questionnaire to the target population. The research questionnaire should get maximum response from the respondents. To maximize the output you should use the most appropriate method of research questionnaire administration. There is no single method that can be used all the time. Some of the common approaches can be as follows.

  1. Online administration is new but it is gaining popularity. Since you can deal a vast and far spread population in this method. Like any other method of research questionnaire administration you cannot ensure a full response in this method.
  2. Administration group is another method that has been in use since long time. In this method you can administer the research questionnaire to the target population at one time and the response rate is high. You can even have a dialogue with the respondents in case they encounter any difficulty. It is by far the best method of administering the research questionnaire.
  3. You can also take the advantage of a public gathering, where lots of people have been gathered. You cannot use this method if you are using random sampling.
Comments

Questionnaire sample for research paper

Questionnaire sample for research paper

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How to write a research paper questionnaire

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Tips to Design Survey Questions for a Questionnaire Project - Write a Writing

Tips to Design Survey Questions for a Questionnaire Project 10 Practical Tips to Design Survey Questions For Your Next Questionnaire Project

While designing any sort of Questionnaire. you need to construct the entire manuscript quite appropriately. The ultimate goal of any such survey is to get the right answers, and, for that, you need to ask the right questions !

Effective Tips to Design Meaningful Survey Questions

So, today, we thought of sharing some effective tips which can guide the investigator and would help him / her in get accurate findings for his / her study.

1. Define Your Target

The initial step involved in making any kind of such inspection-based document, is that, you need to have exact knowledge of what you want to find out. For instance,

  • you might be interested in digging the attitudes of users towards a particular product,
  • you’d like to examine the root cause of a particular phenomenon in the community etc.
2. Use Clear Language

For this, you should avoid using any technical or complicated words which might irritate, confuse or even frustrate the respondent. If it becomes very necessary to use some kind of technical jargon, then it is best to explain it first and relate it with something simpler or every day thing.

Also, your language needs to be precise and to-the-point for this purpose. For example,

  • you should use the direct word of ‘washing machine’ instead of ‘clothes washing home appliance’ .

If you ask ‘How many family members do you have?’ then that becomes a vague query to ask. Instead, you should be more specific and ask about the particular topic you want to know of. For instance,

the aforementioned inquiry might change to ‘How many siblings do you have?’

For further satisfaction, you can even conduct a pilot testing. before actually giving out the survey to the intended audience. You can share it with a few people and ask them to fill it out and give their feedback on it. On that basis, you can rectify your mistakes easily and bring out a perfect questionnaire for the proposed study.

3. Avoid Asking Two Things in One Question

Some question-makers intend to save their space and time and try to ask two things in the same question. For example,

‘How often do you visit your dentist? And what is the major reason behind your visits?’

Now here, there are two different things which are being discussed. They might confuse the respondent. So, the best practice is to ask one question at a time .

4. Read the Experts First

Before designing a questionnaire, it is important to take help from those who have already designed certified questions. Noting their language and studying their peculiar style will definitely help you to understand how you need to work on your own subject matter.

5. Avoid the Use of Leading Language

Your questions should not incorporate leading language in any way. They should be general questions, making no sweeping statements. For example, you should not phrase a question like this

‘You eat a lot, don’t you?’

Do not leave anything in the hands of the respondent to be interpreted, rather try to focus on being very scientific. objective and clear with your queries. For instance, you should not ask

‘do you eat at the restaurants regularly?’,

rather you should be more scientific and ask

‘how many times in a month do you eat at a restaurant?’

6. Do not Use Double Negatives

These tend to make your queries particularly confusing for the participant. For instance,

‘Don’t you agree that doing work at home is not a bad thing?’

is a wrongly constructed inquiry for a survey. It can be shaped up like this:

‘Is doing work at home a bad thing?’

7. Pose Personal Questions at the End

If you are intending to combine personal question or open-ended questions or somewhat intimate questions, it is best to put them at the end of the particular questionnaire; because by the time the respondent reaches the end of the document, he / she might have become more comfy with the idea and theme of the survey. And, thus, he / she will be fine with answering these queries by that point of time.

8. Open-ended Questions Should be Limited

Respondents usually do not have ample time for filling out a survey, and they might not be in a mood to write something themselves. So, it is better to keep more of close-ended questions in your manuscript as they are quicker to respond to. Open-ended questions are a rich source of information, no doubt about it. And, hence, if they are to be included, they should be few in number so that the participant does not feel irritated at his / her time being wasted in writing stuff on the paper.

9. Make Your Questions – Mutually Exclusive!

Remember, the participant can have a totally different choice out of the limited set of choices that you are providing to him / her for the close-ended queries. So, it becomes highly important to make such questions mutually exclusive. For instance, if you are being asked the following question:

Which color do you prefer the most for your formal dresses?

Now, here, somebody might prefer Brown or Orange or White, which is not mentioned in the options. So, it is best to give an option of ‘Other: ____’ in such scenarios where the choices can be infinite.

10. Give a ‘Not Sure’ Option to Your Respondent

Make sure to not make your participant uncomfortable by simply providing him / her with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ option only. It is better to know that the question does not apply to the respondent; or that, he / she does not have an idea about it; rather than simply getting false data. Some rating scale questions can also include the word ‘neutral’ for the participants when they are asking people’s agreements or disagreements regarding a particular statement or topic. For instance,

‘Music helps me in working better on my writing tasks.’

Final Words

Thus, designing a questionnaire is a technical skill that constantly requires the investigators acute attention towards all the tiny details while formulating his draft. It consists of making several decisions on the types of questions to be added. the wording to be chosen, the choices to be given and many other such aspects.

Our motive was to help and guide all of the budding researchers out there, so that, they can bring forward accurate data for the benefit and awareness of the society and humanity in general.