A questionnaire is used when a research is conducted using a survey method. That is, when you directly ask people to fill out a survey sheet, which is actually a set of questions that is most suitable in finding answers to your hypothesis. If the questions in a survey are not logical and super-relevant, your research may lose direction and might end up either giving a wrong or misleading conclusion or completely failing its purpose. To avoid that, here is our guide to excel at choosing and framing the right questions for your research.
- Demographics- It is extremely advisable to reserve the first few questions for understanding the demographics of the sample. A demographics includes the basic details that give more clarity and also helps in distinguishing the sample appropriately according to the research. The demographics include the gender, age, locality, employment, income or other details that specify the nature of the particular person that is taking the survey. It is extremely important to gain this relevant information about your sample.
- Target audience- Understand who this research is targeted at, and frame the questions accordingly. Sometimes, the most linguistically appropriate sentences may sound too difficult for the people who are taking the survey. Always consider the level of understanding of your audience and then frame the questions. Remember that the purpose of these questions is not presentation, but an accurate answer. Avoid using jargons and technical terms in your survey. Understand that people will hardly ever go out of their way to understand your questions. If they do not instantly understand the question, they are most likely to either give a random answer or just ignore the question altogether.
- Avoid too many open ended questions- It looks like a very sensible thing to do to give the space for the audience to speak their minds in elaborate details. But the reality of the situation is that filling a survey sheet is not exactly a hobby. It is tiring and more often than not, people do not wish to invest so much energy getting into extreme details about the subject. Understand that open ended questions make it difficult for the audience to approach a question and once again, this could lead to them avoiding the questions. But at the same time do leave a little bit of space, just in case they do have something more that objective answers to offer.
- Precise and short- At the risk of sounding repetitive, making the survey long and dragged will beat the audience off the interest and they might even consider not filling in the survey if they find it too time consuming.
- Trial- Run an unofficial trial with people to understand if they grab the intended meaning from a question, what they like to be changed about questions and if the answers that they give to these questions are in accordance with the research paper topics.
All the best!
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