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How to develop an Ideal Questionnaire??

To any common man, to prepare a questionnaire is not a very difficult task. Yet, there are some certain basic rules to be followed while preparing it that is:

  • There is a huge difference in how a respondent fills a questionnaire by themselves and how a professional interviewer conducts it.
  • Well-prepared questions for a questionnaire.
  • Formulation of questions.
  • Short and simple questionnaire.

Typically, to construct a questionnaire in one short single page is an illogical approach. Though. there is a lot of informative literature on the subject. But, still many don’t refer and follow it accordingly. Here, this article gives a detailed knowledge of each and every guideline on the preparation of the questionnaire and survey:

  1. There is a huge difference in how a respondent fills a questionnaire by themselves and how a professional interviewer conducts it.

Basically, a questionnaire is a written document formulated to obtain relevant information for a particular study.  It can be developed and conducted by an interviewer or designed in such a way, where the respondents can complete themselves without researcher intervention, which can also be called a self-administered questionnaire.

Self-Administered Questionnaire is the most feasible, short and simple one which enables a researcher to reach out to a large population of varied respondents. moreover, if it is complex and hard, it’s impossible for a respondent to complete a survey; where the role of an interviewer-administered questionnaire will play a significant role. Approximately, half of the population who undergoes a self-administered questionnaire don’t complete it, mainly due to the way questions are constructed. So, the researcher must ensure that questions should be understandable and clear-cut, where respondents can answer all the questions.

Generally, a self-administered questionnaire is prepared for the respondents who have a basic educational qualification, whereas interviewer-administered questionnaire is complex; because some prior instruction interviewers do receive on the flow of questionnaires that are organized, where practice interviews are conducted on a preliminary level to confront a respondent. In contrast, respondents don’t have an issue towards interviewer-administered or complex questionnaire, as a research assist it.

The interviewer-administered questionnaire can easily shift from one section to another in a questionnaire based on the responses. A Certain type of interviews enables to exhibit products or services for the respondents during the interview or based on the responses to various questions respondents can also have a glance at the concept or idea.

2. Well- Prepared Questions for a Questionnaire

Based on the studies and goals of a questionnaire, the questions can be developed from general to specific where there are no rules for sequence or flow of questions. Nevertheless, there should be certain guidelines which should be followed:

Preparation of questions should be one after other, in a specific manner having knowledge on respondent nature in mind. Where the questions should be prepared in an easy manner which enables respondents to answer without a second thought such as preferred brands, the frequency of shopping, etc. This is also a tip, for a researcher to make respondents comfortable with the interview.

There should also be a transition on the questions framed such as placement of complex or introvert questions in middle etc. when the interview process is happening in a pleasant manner.

At times, the researcher does receive biased responses. When respondents have an idea of who the sponsor of the study is, as they answered each question based on that knowledge. Hence, the researcher should have control over, when the interviewer must be aware of the sponsor of the study.

The role of sensitive questions in a questionnaire is always at the end, as it’s not possible all the time. But, still, the researcher must have an eye; as the respondent would drive apart from the interview process.

3. Formulation of Questions

For any person to construct a bunch of question is an easy task. But, if it is to design a questionnaire for a study it should be simple-understandable and meaningful for the respondents to answer easily. A Researcher always prepares questions with an aim to receive desired information from the respondents. so that they can interpret in the same way and understand the expected response.

Mainly, to prepare question researcher do ask different type of questions such as biased questions (where positive response is expected from respondents, if he/she has like something)-unbiased questions (respondents are expected to respond to questions without any partiality)- dual-thought questions (researcher should question both likes-dislikes of respondents)-multiple-thought questions (there would be different type of questions occurring in a researcher’s mind. But, it’s still important for a researcher to construct even questions about the study without prioritizing it.)

4. Short and Simple Questionnaire

Based on the objectives of the study, questionnaires are designed. At times researcher makes a sure questionnaire to be short and simple because most often respondents don’t complete or avoiding responding to certain questions, due to the length of the questionnaire.

To prepare a questionnaire, two simple rules should be followed that is:

  • Generally, a self-administered questionnaire is easy and well-written, where respondents can complete it within no time. But, it might be complex and jumbled, if it is a two-page
  • For a telephonic interview, there should be a good flow of transition in question and thoughtfully written; where its necessary to keep respondents to answer questions on the phone for more than 15 minutes.

Hence, it’s important that a researcher should question respondents in a professional and thoughtful manner.


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