Survey design

1. Designing a questionnaire

A questionnaire is a data-collection instrument. It formally sets out the way in which the research questions of interest should be asked. The type of research determines how strictly one must follow the questions in the questionnaire. In qualitative research, for example, some interviews might be conducted quite freely, with little support from the questionnaire. In other research, it is crucial to follow the questionnaire strictly.

The three major parts of the questionnaire are the introduction, the body of the questionnaire and its basic data.

To be successful, the introduction to the questionnaire must be persuasive and it must clearly qualify the respondent as someone who belongs in the sample being surveyed. Sometimes this is achieved through "filtering questions" such as, "Do you have a monthly ticket?"

The starting point of the questionnaire is self-identification and an explanation of the purpose of research.