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Designing a good survey

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Explain how following these guidelines will assist in preparing a good survey instrument for primary data collection.

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1. Start the questionnaire with simple and interesting questions.

The benefit of this point should be clear - if the opening material is too complex and hard to understand, participants will lose interest and be less likely to complete the questionnaire. If you're not sure whether your questions are simple and interesting, do some pretesting to see what works. Pretesting of the questionnaire is important for sorting the right type of questions.

2. Provide clear and easy-to-read instructions, with transitions if necessary.

If you do not make the instructions clear and accessible, people are more likely to complete the questionnaire incorrectly, which will force you to throw out a lot of the data you've collected.

3. Lay out the questionnaire so that it is easy to read and follows the flow of the questioning process.

Again, an easy-to-read questionnaire will lead to less errors being made by the respondents. Laying it out logically will also help with this and will maintain participants' interest throughout the survey, making them more likely to complete it.

4. Use open-ended questions for exploratory research and close-ended questions for descriptive and analytical research.

Open-ended questions are questions that allow participants to answer ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides several guidelines for designing a good survey or questionnaire and explains the reasoning underlying them.

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