A Questionnaire Nobody Can Question

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If you are using a questionnaire in your research methodology, do make sure that your structure it properly and know how to pose relevant questions. Your questionnaire should be structured in a manner that it begins with broad questions of general interest, which are easy enough for the participant to respond to.

Try and link your questionnaire with pressing or current issue topics which will make your questionnaire more interesting to respond to. However, do not include too many of these questions, since you want respondents to be focusing on questions which are relevant to your study.

The questions should be simply worded and use only basic English. Do not use wordy sentences or big words. This will deter respondents from responding properly to the questionnaire. Keep it simple as far as possible.

If your questionnaires are lengthy, verbose or wordy, there is a chance that respondents will quickly lose interest or fail to respond to some questions altogether. Only if the respondent is very interested in the issue at hand, will he or she bother to pages filled with questions. The questionnaire that you prepare should be completed in a short span of time. The idea time should be five minutes, anything more than five minutes translates into a very lengthy questionnaire which most people will not want to take out time to answer.

Take time to structure your questionnaire since this will be an important part of your research. Decide your questions intelligently and frame your questions as crisply and precisely as is possible.

Depending on the nature of your questionnaire, you may want to include open ended or close ended questions. Open ended questions are included when you are seeking more detailed responses from your respondents. When context, background and history are required, you can include open ended questions. These questions are helpful for providing nuance and details. However, do not include too many open ended questions since this will greatly increase the length of your questionnaire

The purpose of general nature questions is to warm up the participant and get them more engaged in the survey. The most difficult or pertinent questions are positioned in the middle. The participant will usually take time to think about these questions, which are less to do with general interest. As the questionnaire concludes, include questions which are of more general interest and easier to answer.

If you are looking for specific and precise answers of the yes/no variety or want participants to merely respond in terms of scale (Likert scale), include close ended questions. This helps when you are looking for objective answers to your questions and are not concerned with background context or details. Yes/no questions are easier to answer and take lesser time as well. The ideal questionnaire will contain a mix of close ended questions and open ended questions. However, the number of close ended questions tends to be more than open ended ones.

Spend enough time working on your questionnaire, it will stand you in good stead.