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  • Saudi J Anaesth
  • v.16(1); Jan-Mar 2022

How short or long should be a questionnaire for any research? Researchers dilemma in deciding the appropriate questionnaire length

Hunny sharma.

Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

A questionnaire plays a pivotal role in various surveys. Within the realm of biomedical research, questionnaires serve a role in epidemiological surveys and mental health surveys and to obtain information about knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) on various topics of interest. Questionnaire in border perspective can be of different types like self-administered or professionally administered and according to the mode of delivery paper-based or electronic media–based. Various studies have been conducted to assess the appropriateness of a questionnaire in a particular field and methods to translate and validate them. But very little is known regarding the appropriate length and number of questions in a questionnaire and what role it has in data quality, reliability, and response rates. Hence, this narrative review is to explore the critical issue of appropriate length and number of questions in a questionnaire while questionnaire designing.

Introduction

A questionnaire is an essential tool in epidemiological surveys and mental health surveys and to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) on a particular topic of interest. In general, it is a set of predefined questions based on the aim of the research.[ 1 ]

Designing a questionnaire is an art which unfortunately is neglected by most researchers.[ 2 ] A well-designed questionnaire not only saves time for a researcher but helps to obtain relevant information most efficiently, but designing such a questionnaire is complex and time-consuming.[ 3 , 4 ]

The quality of the data obtained by a specific questionnaire depends on the length and number of questions in the questionnaire, the language, and the ease of comprehension of the questions, relevance of the population to which it is administered, and the mode of administration, i.e., the self-administered or paper method or the electronic method [ Figure 1 ].[ 5 , 6 ]

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Qualities of a well-designed questionnaire

Response rate is defined as the number of people who responded to a question asked divided by the number of total potential respondents. Response rate which is a crucial factor in determining the quality and generalizability of the outcome of the survey depends indirectly on the length and number of questions in a questionnaire.[ 7 , 8 ]

Several studies have been conducted to assess the appropriateness of the questionnaire in a particular field and methods to translate and validate them. But very little is known regarding the appropriate length and number of questions in a questionnaire and what role it has in data quality and reliability. Hence, this narrative review is to explore the critical issue of appropriate length and number of questions in a questionnaire while questionnaire designing.

What is a questionnaire

Merriam Webster defines the questionnaire as “a set of questions for obtaining statistically useful or personal information from individuals,” whereas Collins defines a questionnaire as “a questionnaire is a written list of questions which are answered by a lot of people to provide information for a report or a survey.” The oxford learners’ dictionaries also give a somewhat similar definition which states that a questionnaire is “a written list of questions that are answered by several people so that information can be collected from the answers.”[ 9 , 10 , 11 ]

Thus, this provides a simpler meaning that a questionnaire in simpler terms is a collection of questions that can be used to collect information from various individuals relevant to the research aims.

Where are questionnaires generally applied?

A questionnaire, in general, can be applied to a wide variety of research which can either be quantitative or qualitative research which completely depends on how and in which a number of open-ended questions are asked.[ 12 ]

Questionnaires are generally applied when a large population has to be assessed or surveyed with relative ease where they play a crucial role in gathering information on the perspectives of individuals in the population.

There is a variety of applications of questionnaire in opinion polls, marketing surveys, and in politics, wherein the context of biomedical research questionnaires are generally used in epidemiological surveys, mental health surveys, surveys on attitudes to a health service or health service utilization, to conduction knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) studies on a particular issue or topic of interest.[ 13 , 14 ]

What are the types of questionnaire?

Questionnaires in general are of two types those which are in paper format and those which are in electronic format. The questionnaire can further be of two types i.e., self-administered or professionally administered via interview. The paper format can be administered easily both in self-administered mode or professional administered mode via direct administration when the population is relatively small as it is cumbersome to manage and store the physical questionnaire, paper format can also be administered to a larger population via postal surveys. Electronic questionnaires can be easily administered to a larger population in self-administered mode via Internet-based services like google forms, e-mails, SurveyMonkey, or Survey Junkie, etc. When administering professional-administered questionnaires professional telephonic services must be utilized to interview a larger population in a shorter duration of time.[ 15 , 16 , 17 ]

What it is required to answer individual questions in the questionnaire or the burden imparted on respondents

As mentioned by Bowling, in general, there are at least four intricated steps required in answering a particular question in a questionnaire, these steps are comprehension, recall of information asked by the question from the memory, judgment on the link between the asked question and the recall of information, and at last communication of the information to the questionnaire or evaluator [ Figure 2 ].[ 18 ]

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Steps involved for answering a particular question in the questionnaire

In the case of a self-administered questionnaire, there is also a need for critical reading skills which is not required in one-to-one or face-to-face interview which only requires listening and verbal skills to respond to questions in the same language in which they are being asked or interviewed.[ 18 ]

There are many other crucial factors which play an important role in deciding the utility of questionnaire in various research, one such factor is the literacy of the participants which is a major limiting factor in self-administered questionnaires. Whereas, the other factors include the respondent's age, maturity, and level of understanding and cognition, which are some of the other ways related to the comprehension of the questions.[ 19 ]

Do the length of the questionnaire matters?

Length and number of items in the questionnaire play a crucial role in questionnaire-based studies or surveys, it has a direct effect on the time taken by the respondent to complete the questionnaire, cost of the survey or study, response rate, and quality of data obtained.[ 20 ]

As evident from the study conducted by Iglesias and Torgerson in 2000, on the response rate of a mailed questionnaire, an increase in the length of the questionnaire from five pages to seven pages reduces the response rate from women aged 70 years and over but on contrary does not seems to affect the quality of response to questions.[ 21 ]

Another study conducted by Similar Koitsalu et al .[ 22 ] in 2018 reported that they were able to increase overall participation and information gathered through a long questionnaire with the help of prenotification and the use of a reminder without risking a lower response rate.

Whereas Sahlqvist, et al .[ 23 ] in 2011 reported that participants were more likely to respond to the short version of the questionnaire as compared to a long questionnaire.

Testing of ultrashort, short, and long surveys of 13, 25, and 75 questions, respectively by Kost et al .[ 24 ] in 2018, revealed that a shorter survey utilizing a short questionnaire was reliable and produce high response and completion rates than a long survey.

Bolt, on the other hand, in 2014, found a surprising find that reducing the length of a long questionnaire in a physician survey does not mean that it will necessarily improve response rate hence to improve the response rate in nonresponders’ researchers may think to utilize a drastically shortened version of the questionnaire to obtain some relevant information rather than no information.[ 25 ]

But the most interesting find comes from the web-based survey giant “Survey Monkey,” which states that there is a nonlinear relationship between the number of questions in a survey and the time spent answering each question. Which in other words can be explained as more there are questions in a survey lesser time respondent spend answering each question which is known as “speeding up” or “satisficing” through the questions. It is also observed that as the length of and the number of questions asked increased there is an increase in a nonresponse rate. This in term affects the quantity and reliability of the data gathered.[ 26 ]

What happens when respondents lose interest?

When there is a loss of interest, in the case of a long length questionnaire or extensive interviews, the bored respondents provide unconsidered and unreliable answers, or in other scenarios, it may lead to high nonresponse to questions. Where on one side a high nonresponse rate may lead to difficulty in data analysis or an unacceptable reduction in sample size, whereas on the other side, unconsidered or unreliable answers may defeat the whole purpose of the research [ Figure 3 ].[ 19 ]

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Consequences of Loss of interest in research participant

Considerations while using a long questionnaire

While using a long questionnaire, a high nonresponse rate should always be expected hence appropriate measures to address the missing data should be considered such as data trimming or data imputation depending on the amount of data missing.[ 27 , 28 ]

While the loss of interest can be administering counteracted by dividing the questionnaire into sections and administering each section separating to avoid respondents’ fatigue or boredom.[ 19 ]

It is always advised that the administration of telephonic interview–based questionnaire should be kept short in general about 30 min to prevent fatigue or inattention which may adversely affect the quality of data. In the case of a very long telephonic interview, questions can be divided into sections, and each section can be administered on separate days or shifts lasting 30 min each. A long questionnaire should preferably be administered through face-to-face interviews.

Designing a questionnaire is an art and requires time and dedication, which in turn leads to the easiest way to measure the relevant information on a desired topic of interest. But many a times, this crucial step in biomedical research is ignored by researchers. With this narrative review, we were able to provide a glimpse of the importance of a good questionnaire. A good questionnaire can be of 25 to 30 questions and should be able to be administered within 30 min to keep the interest and attention of the participants intact. It is observed that as the number of questions increases there is a tendency of the participants speeding up or satisficing through the questions, which severely affect the quality, reliability, and response rates. In case a long questionnaire is essential, it should be divided into sections of 25 to 30 questions each to be delivered at a different time or day. In the case of a long questionnaire i.e., more than 30 questions, a larger amount of missing data or nonresponse rates must be anticipated and provisions should be made to address them. At last, it is always advised that shortening a relatively lengthy questionnaire significantly increases the response.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

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A General Guide To Formatting And Structure of Questionnaire

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A General Guide To Formatting And Structure of Questionnaire

Post By Admin On 13, Nov

A questionnaire is a research apparatus that is consisted of a series of questions. The basic purpose of the questionnaire is the congregate information for dissertation. The questionnaires section is best to collect data for descriptive research and establish the opinions of many people.

Types of the questionnaires

  • Open/ close question: The questions objects decide where to use open of close questions. The level of question shows the topic, On the other hand, the question should realistic and accurate response.
  • Open/unrestricted questions: In this kind of question, you will show your opinions; however, an open question is beneficial for personal expression. The open question will take more time to get answers. Long question is difficult and takes more time in the process of analysis.
  • Restricted question: These questions are listed type and the answer is a very simple form such as yes or no. These questions are very easy and quick to answer. Make a checklist to get answers to these questions. Create a rating scale as well as a numerical rating scale.
  • Factual question: These types of question are individual and required basic background information. You should make projects and case studies in the constructions of these questions.

Wording the question

In order to make a list of the questions you should keep in mind some points that are given below:

  • Avoid the use of long sentences and long-winded questions
  • Don’t make the questions too much leading
  • Use natural question and don’t double ask a question
  • Don’t ask a question that is in presume a position
  • Avoid form asking hypothetical and ambiguous questions
  • Use the flow and sequences in the question
  • Make sure that questions are error-free
  • Avoid jargon and be specific in your question

Questionnaire Design For A Dissertation

  • Identify the Goal of Your Question: When students start to develop a question in the four sections; they should keep in mind what kind of information that want to collect and what is the main purpose of developing this question. Coming up with good question will be beneficial for the students.
  • Choose The Right Type Of Question: Use the hypothesis and test system in asking a question. Choosing the right type of question is very necessary. You should choose a type or types in asking a question. You can select any type of questions that are given above. According to my point of view, the ranking scale question will be very beneficial for you and these types of questions are very flexible.
  • Develop Question For Your Questionnaire: You should develop a question in concise and direct method. Use a simple method in asking the question. Don’t ask too many questions at a time, this can lose your grades as well as confusing. Another most important point that you should keep in mind is writing an important question at the start of your questionnaire.
  • Restrict the Length of Your Question: Keeping your question short and don’t include double questions in one line. A question is an opportunity to collect information for your dissertation, so, you should avoid the use of redundant questions.
  • Make Sure Your Project Privacy: Student should set their project privacy in order to start your survey. A privacy policy is the first thing that you should consider in the section of the questionnaire. After getting complete privacy, people will disclose their personal information.

Formatting Your Questionnaire

Introduce yourself.

In the first section, you should write your complete name. For example, I am Ben, 3rd-year undergraduate students at the University of New Mexican. This questionnaire is the part of my dissertation and I want to ask from you.

Write the Purpose of the Questionnaire

Most people don’t want to give an answer to the question, because, student forget to write the main purpose of the questionnaire. You should write the main purpose in few lines and in a concise manner. For example, you want to ask a question about exercise habit, ask about timing, eating as well as meals.

Reveal What Will Happen With the Data and Collect

You should highlight main purpose and its results. Don’t make hurry in getting answer, indeed, take time to get answer and getting good results. If you are asking a question for your dissertation, you should give a time range instead of limited time. Use many reasons to keep your survey concise and error-free.

Ensure That Questionnaire Looks Professional

Professional style of writing can grab the attention of the readers, therefore, collect data and adopt a professional look. After completing the whole process, you should proofread and edit it. A questionnaire example is the best tool to collect data and make a form of questions. Let’s discuss an example of a questionnaire.

Examples of Questionnaire;

Custom satisfaction questionnaire.

The use of customer satisfaction is best to get a form of questions. Writing an interaction between a customer and organization will be the best example that you can use in your dissertation. You can use these series of questions in your dissertation that are given below:

  • Are you satisfied with our working hours?
  • It is easy to make an appointment?
  • What are the good qualities in the doctor?
  • Clarity of doctor’s expression
  • The method of doctor checking
  • Is doctor makes courtesy as well as friendliness
  • Is staff behavior good?
  • Comfortable and cleanliness of the office
  • Overall satisfaction with your visit
  • Would you like to give any advice?

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Using a questionnaire survey for your dissertation

Find out how to use a dissertation questionnaire for your masters.

Prof Martyn Denscombe, author of “ The Good Research Guide, 6th edition “, gives expert advice on using a questionnaire survey for your postgraduate dissertation.

Questionnaire surveys are a well-established way of collecting data. They work with relatively small-scale research projects so design and deliver research questionnaires quickly and cheaply. When it comes to conducting research for a master’s dissertation, questionnaire surveys feature prominently as the method of choice.

Using the post for bulky and lengthy surveys is normal. Sometimes questionnaires go by hand. The popularity of questionnaire surveys is principally due to the benefits of using online web-based questionnaires. There are two main aspects to this.

Designing questionnaires

First, the software for producing and delivering web questionnaires. Simple to use features such as drop-down menus and tick-box answers, is user-friendly and inexpensive.

Second, online surveys make it possible to contact people across the globe without travelling anywhere. Given the time and resource constraints faced when producing a dissertation, makes online surveys all the more enticing. Social media such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is great for contacting people to participate in the survey.

In the context of a master’s dissertation, however, the quality of the survey data is a vital issue. The grade for the dissertation will depend on being able to defend the use of the data from the survey. This is the basis for advanced, master’s level academic enquiry.

Pro’s and con’s

It is not good enough to simply rely on getting 100 or so people to complete your questionnaire. Be aware of the pros and cons of questionnaire surveys. You need to justify the value of the data you have collected in the face of probing questions, such as:

  • Who are the respondents and how they were selected?
  • How representative are the respondents of the whole group being studied?
  • What response rate was achieved by the survey?
  • Are the questions suitable in relation to the topic and the particular respondents?
  • What likelihood is there that respondents gave honest answers to the questions?

This is where The Good Research Guide, 6th edition becomes so valuable.

It identifies the key points that need to be addressed in order to conduct a competent questionnaire survey. It gets right to the heart of the matter, with plenty of practical guidance on how to deal with issues.

In a straightforward style, using plain language, this bestselling book covers a range of alternative strategies and methods for conducting small-scale social research projects and outlines some of the main ways in which the data can be analysed.

Read Prof Martyn Denscombe’s advice on using a Case Study for your postgraduate dissertation.

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13.1 Writing effective survey questions and questionnaires

Learning objectives.

Learners will be able to…

  • Describe some of the ways that survey questions might confuse respondents and how to word questions and responses clearly
  • Create mutually exclusive, exhaustive, and balanced response options
  • Define fence-sitting and floating
  • Describe the considerations involved in constructing a well-designed questionnaire
  • Discuss why pilot testing is important

In the previous chapter, we reviewed how researchers collect data using surveys. Guided by their sampling approach and research context, researchers should choose the survey approach that provides the most favorable tradeoffs in strengths and challenges. With this information in hand, researchers need to write their questionnaire and revise it before beginning data collection. Each method of delivery requires a questionnaire, but they vary a bit based on how they will be used by the researcher. Since phone surveys are read aloud, researchers will pay more attention to how the questionnaire sounds than how it looks. Online surveys can use advanced tools to require the completion of certain questions, present interactive questions and answers, and otherwise afford greater flexibility in how questionnaires are designed. As you read this chapter, consider how your method of delivery impacts the type of questionnaire you will design.

how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

Start with operationalization

The first thing you need to do to write effective survey questions is identify what exactly you wish to know. As silly as it sounds to state what seems so completely obvious, we can’t stress enough how easy it is to forget to include important questions when designing a survey. Begin by looking at your research question and refreshing your memory of the operational definitions you developed for those variables from Chapter 11. You should have a pretty firm grasp of your operational definitions before starting the process of questionnaire design. You may have taken those operational definitions from other researchers’ methods, found established scales and indices for your measures, or created your own questions and answer options.

TRACK 1 (IF YOU ARE CREATING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL FOR THIS CLASS)

STOP! Make sure you have a complete operational definition for the dependent and independent variables in your research question. A complete operational definition contains the variable being measured, the measure used, and how the researcher interprets the measure. Let’s make sure you have what you need from Chapter 11 to begin writing your questionnaire.

List all of the dependent and independent variables in your research question.

  • It’s normal to have one dependent or independent variable. It’s also normal to have more than one of either.
  • Make sure that your research question (and this list) contain all of the variables in your hypothesis. Your hypothesis should only include variables from you research question.

For each variable in your list:

  • If you don’t have questions and answers finalized yet, write a first draft and revise it based on what you read in this section.
  • If you are using a measure from another researcher, you should be able to write out all of the questions and answers associated with that measure. If you only have the name of a scale or a few questions, you need to access to the full text and some documentation on how to administer and interpret it before you can finish your questionnaire.
  • For example, an interpretation might be “there are five 7-point Likert scale questions…point values are added across all five items for each participant…and scores below 10 indicate the participant has low self-esteem”
  • Don’t introduce other variables into the mix here. All we are concerned with is how you will measure each variable by itself. The connection between variables is done using statistical tests, not operational definitions.
  • Detail any validity or reliability issues uncovered by previous researchers using the same measures. If you have concerns about validity and reliability, note them, as well.

TRACK 2 (IF YOU  AREN’T CREATING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL FOR THIS CLASS)

You are interested in researching the decision-making processes of parents of elementary-aged children during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Specifically, you want to if and how parents’ socioeconomic class impacted their decisions about whether to send their children to school in-person or instead opt for online classes or homeschooling.

  • Create a working research question for this topic.
  • What is the dependent variable in this research question? The independent variable? What other variables might you want to control?

For the independent variable, dependent variable, and at least one control variable from your list:

  • What measure (the specific question and answers) might you use for each one? Write out a first draft based on what you read in this section.

If you completed the exercise above and listed out all of the questions and answer choices you will use to measure the variables in your research question, you have already produced a pretty solid first draft of your questionnaire! Congrats! In essence, questionnaires are all of the self-report measures in your operational definitions for the independent, dependent, and control variables in your study arranged into one document and administered to participants. There are a few questions on a questionnaire (like name or ID#) that are not associated with the measurement of variables. These are the exception, and it’s useful to think of a questionnaire as a list of measures for variables. Of course, researchers often use more than one measure of a variable (i.e., triangulation ) so they can more confidently assert that their findings are true. A questionnaire should contain all of the measures researchers plan to collect about their variables by asking participants to self-report.

Sticking close to your operational definitions is important because it helps you avoid an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach that includes every possible question that occurs to you. Doing so puts an unnecessary burden on your survey respondents. Remember that you have asked your participants to give you their time and attention and to take care in responding to your questions; show them your respect by only asking questions that you actually plan to use in your analysis. For each question in your questionnaire, ask yourself how this question measures a variable in your study. An operational definition should contain the questions, response options, and how the researcher will draw conclusions about the variable based on participants’ responses.

how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

Writing questions

So, almost all of the questions on a questionnaire are measuring some variable. For many variables, researchers will create their own questions rather than using one from another researcher. This section will provide some tips on how to create good questions to accurately measure variables in your study. First, questions should be as clear and to the point as possible. This is not the time to show off your creative writing skills; a survey is a technical instrument and should be written in a way that is as direct and concise as possible. As I’ve mentioned earlier, your survey respondents have agreed to give their time and attention to your survey. The best way to show your appreciation for their time is to not waste it. Ensuring that your questions are clear and concise will go a long way toward showing your respondents the gratitude they deserve. Pilot testing the questionnaire with friends or colleagues can help identify these issues. This process is commonly called pretesting, but to avoid any confusion with pretesting in experimental design, we refer to it as pilot testing.

Related to the point about not wasting respondents’ time, make sure that every question you pose will be relevant to every person you ask to complete it. This means two things: first, that respondents have knowledge about whatever topic you are asking them about, and second, that respondents have experienced the events, behaviors, or feelings you are asking them to report. If you are asking participants for second-hand knowledge—asking clinicians about clients’ feelings, asking teachers about students’ feelings, and so forth—you may want to clarify that the variable you are asking about is the key informant’s perception of what is happening in the target population. A well-planned sampling approach ensures that participants are the most knowledgeable population to complete your survey.

If you decide that you do wish to include questions about matters with which only a portion of respondents will have had experience, make sure you know why you are doing so. For example, if you are asking about MSW student study patterns, and you decide to include a question on studying for the social work licensing exam, you may only have a small subset of participants who have begun studying for the graduate exam or took the bachelor’s-level exam. If you decide to include this question that speaks to a minority of participants’ experiences, think about why you are including it. Are you interested in how studying for class and studying for licensure differ? Are you trying to triangulate study skills measures? Researchers should carefully consider whether questions relevant to only a subset of participants is likely to produce enough valid responses for quantitative analysis.

Many times, questions that are relevant to a subsample of participants are conditional on an answer to a previous question. A participant might select that they rent their home, and as a result, you might ask whether they carry renter’s insurance. That question is not relevant to homeowners, so it would be wise not to ask them to respond to it. In that case, the question of whether someone rents or owns their home is a filter question , designed to identify some subset of survey respondents who are asked additional questions that are not relevant to the entire sample. Figure 13.1 presents an example of how to accomplish this on a paper survey by adding instructions to the participant that indicate what question to proceed to next based on their response to the first one. Using online survey tools, researchers can use filter questions to only present relevant questions to participants.

example of filter question, with a yes answer meaning you had to answer more questions

Researchers should eliminate questions that ask about things participants don’t know to minimize confusion. Assuming the question is relevant to the participant, other sources of confusion come from how the question is worded. The use of negative wording can be a source of potential confusion. Taking the question from Figure 13.1 about drinking as our example, what if we had instead asked, “Did you not abstain from drinking during your first semester of college?” This is a double negative, and it’s not clear how to answer the question accurately. It is a good idea to avoid negative phrasing, when possible. For example, “did you not drink alcohol during your first semester of college?” is less clear than “did you drink alcohol your first semester of college?”

Another 877777771`issue arises when you use jargon, or technical language, that people do not commonly know. For example, if you asked adolescents how they experience imaginary audience , they would find it difficult to link those words to the concepts from David Elkind’s theory. The words you use in your questions must be understandable to your participants. If you find yourself using jargon or slang, break it down into terms that are more universal and easier to understand.

Asking multiple questions as though they are a single question can also confuse survey respondents. There’s a specific term for this sort of question; it is called a double-barreled question . Figure 13.2 shows a double-barreled question. Do you see what makes the question double-barreled? How would someone respond if they felt their college classes were more demanding but also more boring than their high school classes? Or less demanding but more interesting? Because the question combines “demanding” and “interesting,” there is no way to respond yes to one criterion but no to the other.

Double-barreled question asking more than one thing at a time.

Another thing to avoid when constructing survey questions is the problem of social desirability . We all want to look good, right? And we all probably know the politically correct response to a variety of questions whether we agree with the politically correct response or not. In survey research, social desirability refers to the idea that respondents will try to answer questions in a way that will present them in a favorable light. (You may recall we covered social desirability bias in Chapter 11. )

Perhaps we decide that to understand the transition to college, we need to know whether respondents ever cheated on an exam in high school or college for our research project. We all know that cheating on exams is generally frowned upon (at least I hope we all know this). So, it may be difficult to get people to admit to cheating on a survey. But if you can guarantee respondents’ confidentiality, or even better, their anonymity, chances are much better that they will be honest about having engaged in this socially undesirable behavior. Another way to avoid problems of social desirability is to try to phrase difficult questions in the most benign way possible. Earl Babbie (2010) [1] offers a useful suggestion for helping you do this—simply imagine how you would feel responding to your survey questions. If you would be uncomfortable, chances are others would as well.

Try to step outside your role as researcher for a second, and imagine you were one of your participants. Evaluate the following:

  • Is the question too general? Sometimes, questions that are too general may not accurately convey respondents’ perceptions. If you asked someone how they liked a certain book and provide a response scale ranging from “not at all” to “extremely well”, and if that person selected “extremely well,” what do they mean? Instead, ask more specific behavioral questions, such as “Will you recommend this book to others?” or “Do you plan to read other books by the same author?” 
  • Is the question too detailed? Avoid unnecessarily detailed questions that serve no specific research purpose. For instance, do you need the age of each child in a household or is just the number of children in the household acceptable? However, if unsure, it is better to err on the side of details than generality.
  • Is the question presumptuous? Does your question make assumptions? For instance, if you ask, “what do you think the benefits of a tax cut would be?” you are presuming that the participant sees the tax cut as beneficial. But many people may not view tax cuts as beneficial. Some might see tax cuts as a precursor to less funding for public schools and fewer public services such as police, ambulance, and fire department. Avoid questions with built-in presumptions.
  • Does the question ask the participant to imagine something? Is the question imaginary? A popular question on many television game shows is “if you won a million dollars on this show, how will you plan to spend it?” Most participants have never been faced with this large amount of money and have never thought about this scenario. In fact, most don’t even know that after taxes, the value of the million dollars will be greatly reduced. In addition, some game shows spread the amount over a 20-year period. Without understanding this “imaginary” situation, participants may not have the background information necessary to provide a meaningful response.

Try to step outside your role as researcher for a second, and imagine you were one of your participants. Use the following prompts to evaluate your draft questions from the previous exercise:

Cultural considerations

When researchers write items for questionnaires, they must be conscientious to avoid culturally biased questions that may be inappropriate or difficult for certain populations.

[insert information related to asking about demographics and how this might make some people uncomfortable based on their identity(ies) and how to potentially address]

You should also avoid using terms or phrases that may be regionally or culturally specific (unless you are absolutely certain all your respondents come from the region or culture whose terms you are using). When I first moved to southwest Virginia, I didn’t know what a holler was. Where I grew up in New Jersey, to holler means to yell. Even then, in New Jersey, we shouted and screamed, but we didn’t holler much. In southwest Virginia, my home at the time, a holler also means a small valley in between the mountains. If I used holler in that way on my survey, people who live near me may understand, but almost everyone else would be totally confused.

Testing questionnaires before using them

Finally, it is important to get feedback on your survey questions from as many people as possible, especially people who are like those in your sample. Now is not the time to be shy. Ask your friends for help, ask your mentors for feedback, ask your family to take a look at your survey as well. The more feedback you can get on your survey questions, the better the chances that you will come up with a set of questions that are understandable to a wide variety of people and, most importantly, to those in your sample.

In sum, in order to pose effective survey questions, researchers should do the following:

  • Identify how each question measures an independent, dependent, or control variable in their study.
  • Keep questions clear and succinct.
  • Make sure respondents have relevant lived experience to provide informed answers to your questions.
  • Use filter questions to avoid getting answers from uninformed participants.
  • Avoid questions that are likely to confuse respondents—including those that use double negatives, use culturally specific terms or jargon, and pose more than one question at a time.
  • Imagine how respondents would feel responding to questions.
  • Get feedback, especially from people who resemble those in the researcher’s sample.

Table 13.1 offers one model for writing effective questionnaire items.

Let’s complete a first draft of your questions.

  • In the first exercise, you wrote out the questions and answers for each measure of your independent and dependent variables. Evaluate each question using the criteria listed above on effective survey questions.
  • Type out questions for your control variables and evaluate them, as well. Consider what response options you want to offer participants.

Now, let’s revise any questions that do not meet your standards!

  •  Use the BRUSO model in Table 13.1 for an illustration of how to address deficits in question wording. Keep in mind that you are writing a first draft in this exercise, and it will take a few drafts and revisions before your questions are ready to distribute to participants.
  • In the first exercise, you wrote out the question and answers for your independent, dependent, and at least one control variable. Evaluate each question using the criteria listed above on effective survey questions.
  •  Use the BRUSO model in Table 13.1 for an illustration of how to address deficits in question wording. In real research, it will take a few drafts and revisions before your questions are ready to distribute to participants.

how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

Writing response options

While posing clear and understandable questions in your survey is certainly important, so too is providing respondents with unambiguous response options. Response options are the answers that you provide to the people completing your questionnaire. Generally, respondents will be asked to choose a single (or best) response to each question you pose. We call questions in which the researcher provides all of the response options closed-ended questions . Keep in mind, closed-ended questions can also instruct respondents to choose multiple response options, rank response options against one another, or assign a percentage to each response option. But be cautious when experimenting with different response options! Accepting multiple responses to a single question may add complexity when it comes to quantitatively analyzing and interpreting your data.

Surveys need not be limited to closed-ended questions. Sometimes survey researchers include open-ended questions in their survey instruments as a way to gather additional details from respondents. An open-ended question does not include response options; instead, respondents are asked to reply to the question in their own way, using their own words. These questions are generally used to find out more about a survey participant’s experiences or feelings about whatever they are being asked to report in the survey. If, for example, a survey includes closed-ended questions asking respondents to report on their involvement in extracurricular activities during college, an open-ended question could ask respondents why they participated in those activities or what they gained from their participation. While responses to such questions may also be captured using a closed-ended format, allowing participants to share some of their responses in their own words can make the experience of completing the survey more satisfying to respondents and can also reveal new motivations or explanations that had not occurred to the researcher. This is particularly important for mixed-methods research. It is possible to analyze open-ended response options quantitatively using content analysis (i.e., counting how often a theme is represented in a transcript looking for statistical patterns). However, for most researchers, qualitative data analysis will be needed to analyze open-ended questions, and researchers need to think through how they will analyze any open-ended questions as part of their data analysis plan. Open-ended questions cannot be operationally defined because you don’t know what responses you will get. We will address qualitative data analysis in greater detail in Chapter 19.

To write an effective response options for closed-ended questions, there are a couple of guidelines worth following. First, be sure that your response options are mutually exclusive . Look back at Figure 13.1, which contains questions about how often and how many drinks respondents consumed. Do you notice that there are no overlapping categories in the response options for these questions? This is another one of those points about question construction that seems fairly obvious but that can be easily overlooked. Response options should also be exhaustive . In other words, every possible response should be covered in the set of response options that you provide. For example, note that in question 10a in Figure 13.1, we have covered all possibilities—those who drank, say, an average of once per month can choose the first response option (“less than one time per week”) while those who drank multiple times a day each day of the week can choose the last response option (“7+”). All the possibilities in between these two extremes are covered by the middle three response options, and every respondent fits into one of the response options we provided.

Earlier in this section, we discussed double-barreled questions. Response options can also be double barreled, and this should be avoided. Figure 13.3 is an example of a question that uses double-barreled response options. Other tips about questions are also relevant to response options, including that participants should be knowledgeable enough to select or decline a response option as well as avoiding jargon and cultural idioms.

Double-barreled response options providing more than one answer for each option

Even if you phrase questions and response options clearly, participants are influenced by how many response options are presented on the questionnaire. For Likert scales, five or seven response options generally allow about as much precision as respondents are capable of. However, numerical scales with more options can sometimes be appropriate. For dimensions such as attractiveness, pain, and likelihood, a 0-to-10 scale will be familiar to many respondents and easy for them to use. Regardless of the number of response options, the most extreme ones should generally be “balanced” around a neutral or modal midpoint. An example of an unbalanced rating scale measuring perceived likelihood might look like this:

Unlikely  |  Somewhat Likely  |  Likely  |  Very Likely  |  Extremely Likely

Because we have four rankings of likely and only one ranking of unlikely, the scale is unbalanced and most responses will be biased toward “likely” rather than “unlikely.” A balanced version might look like this:

Extremely Unlikely  |  Somewhat Unlikely  |  As Likely as Not  |  Somewhat Likely  | Extremely Likely

In this example, the midpoint is halfway between likely and unlikely. Of course, a middle or neutral response option does not have to be included. Researchers sometimes choose to leave it out because they want to encourage respondents to think more deeply about their response and not simply choose the middle option by default. Fence-sitters are respondents who choose neutral response options, even if they have an opinion. Some people will be drawn to respond, “no opinion” even if they have an opinion, particularly if their true opinion is the not a socially desirable opinion. Floaters , on the other hand, are those that choose a substantive answer to a question when really, they don’t understand the question or don’t have an opinion. 

As you can see, floating is the flip side of fence-sitting. Thus, the solution to one problem is often the cause of the other. How you decide which approach to take depends on the goals of your research. Sometimes researchers specifically want to learn something about people who claim to have no opinion. In this case, allowing for fence-sitting would be necessary. Other times researchers feel confident their respondents will all be familiar with every topic in their survey. In this case, perhaps it is okay to force respondents to choose one side or another (e.g., agree or disagree) without a middle option (e.g., neither agree nor disagree) or to not include an option like “don’t know enough to say” or “not applicable.” There is no always-correct solution to either problem. But in general, including middle option in a response set provides a more exhaustive set of response options than one that excludes one. 

==This came from 10.3 under “Measuring unidimensional concepts” but it seems more appropriate in the chapter about writing survey questions. We need to make sure this section flows well. Maybe there should be a better organized subsection on rating scales?  Where does this go? Does it need any revision?===

The number of response options on a typical rating scale is usually five or seven, though it can range from three to 11. Five-point scales are best for unipolar scales where only one construct is tested, such as frequency (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always). Seven-point scales are best for bipolar scales where there is a dichotomous spectrum, such as liking (Like very much, Like somewhat, Like slightly, Neither like nor dislike, Dislike slightly, Dislike somewhat, Dislike very much). For bipolar questions, it is useful to offer an earlier question that branches them into an area of the scale; if asking about liking ice cream, first ask “Do you generally like or dislike ice cream?” Once the respondent chooses like or dislike, refine it by offering them relevant choices from the seven-point scale. Branching improves both reliability and validity (Krosnick & Berent, 1993). [2] Although you often see scales with numerical labels, it is best to only present verbal labels to the respondents but convert them to numerical values in the analyses. Avoid partial labels or length or overly specific labels. In some cases, the verbal labels can be supplemented with (or even replaced by) meaningful graphics. The last rating scale shown in Figure 10.1 is a visual-analog scale, on which participants make a mark somewhere along the horizontal line to indicate the magnitude of their response.

Finalizing Response Options

The most important check before your finalize your response options is to align them with your operational definitions. As we’ve discussed before, your operational definitions include your measures (questions and responses options) as well as how to interpret those measures in terms of the variable being measured. In particular, you should be able to interpret all response options to a question based on your operational definition of the variable it measures. If you wanted to measure the variable “social class,” you might ask one question about a participant’s annual income and another about family size. Your operational definition would need to provide clear instructions on how to interpret response options. Your operational definition is basically like this social class calculator from Pew Research , though they include a few more questions in their definition.

To drill down a bit more, as Pew specifies in the section titled “how the income calculator works,” the interval/ratio data respondents enter is interpreted using a formula combining a participant’s four responses to the questions posed by Pew categorizing their household into three categories—upper, middle, or lower class. So, the operational definition includes the four questions comprising the measure and the formula or interpretation which converts responses into the three final categories that we are familiar with: lower, middle, and upper class.

It’s perfectly normal for operational definitions to change levels of measurement, and it’s also perfectly normal for the level of measurement to stay the same. The important thing is that each response option a participant can provide is accounted for by the operational definition. Throw any combination of family size, location, or income at the Pew calculator, and it will define you into one of those three social class categories.

Unlike Pew’s definition, the operational definitions in your study may not need their own webpage to define and describe. For many questions and answers, interpreting response options is easy. If you were measuring “income” instead of “social class,” you could simply operationalize the term by asking people to list their total household income before taxes are taken out. Higher values indicate higher income, and lower values indicate lower income. Easy. Regardless of whether your operational definitions are simple or more complex, every response option to every question on your survey (with a few exceptions) should be interpretable using an operational definition of a variable. Just like we want to avoid an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to questions on our questionnaire, you want to make sure your final questionnaire only contains response options that you will use in your study.

One note of caution on interpretation (sorry for repeating this). We want to remind you again that an operational definition should not mention more than one variable. In our example above, your operational definition could not say “a family of three making under $50,000 is lower class; therefore, they are more likely to experience food insecurity.” That last clause about food insecurity may well be true, but it’s not a part of the operational definition for social class. Each variable (food insecurity and class) should have its own operational definition. If you are talking about how to interpret the relationship between two variables, you are talking about your data analysis plan . We will discuss how to create your data analysis plan beginning in Chapter 14 . For now, one consideration is that depending on the statistical test you use to test relationships between variables, you may need nominal, ordinal, or interval/ratio data. Your questions and response options should match the level of measurement you need with the requirements of the specific statistical tests in your data analysis plan. Once you finalize your data analysis plan, return to your questionnaire to confirm the level of measurement matches with the statistical test you’ve chosen.

In summary, to write effective response options researchers should do the following:

  • Avoid wording that is likely to confuse respondents—including double negatives, use culturally specific terms or jargon, and double-barreled response options.
  • Ensure response options are relevant to participants’ knowledge and experience so they can make an informed and accurate choice.
  • Present mutually exclusive and exhaustive response options.
  • Consider fence-sitters and floaters, and the use of neutral or “not applicable” response options.
  • Define how response options are interpreted as part of an operational definition of a variable.
  • Check level of measurement matches operational definitions and the statistical tests in the data analysis plan (once you develop one in the future)

Look back at the response options you drafted in the previous exercise. Make sure you have a first draft of response options for each closed-ended question on your questionnaire.

  • Using the criteria above, evaluate the wording of the response options for each question on your questionnaire.
  • Revise your questions and response options until you have a complete first draft.
  • Do your first read-through and provide a dummy answer to each question. Make sure you can link each response option and each question to an operational definition.

Look back at the response options you drafted in the previous exercise.

From this discussion, we hope it is clear why researchers using quantitative methods spell out all of their plans ahead of time. Ultimately, there should be a straight line from operational definition through measures on your questionnaire to the data analysis plan. If your questionnaire includes response options that are not aligned with operational definitions or not included in the data analysis plan, the responses you receive back from participants won’t fit with your conceptualization of the key variables in your study. If you do not fix these errors and proceed with collecting unstructured data, you will lose out on many of the benefits of survey research and face overwhelming challenges in answering your research question.

how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

Designing questionnaires

Based on your work in the previous section, you should have a first draft of the questions and response options for the key variables in your study. Now, you’ll also need to think about how to present your written questions and response options to survey respondents. It’s time to write a final draft of your questionnaire and make it look nice. Designing questionnaires takes some thought. First, consider the route of administration for your survey. What we cover in this section will apply equally to paper and online surveys, but if you are planning to use online survey software, you should watch tutorial videos and explore the features of of the survey software you will use.

Informed consent & instructions

Writing effective items is only one part of constructing a survey. For one thing, every survey should have a written or spoken introduction that serves two basic functions (Peterson, 2000) . [3] One is to encourage respondents to participate in the survey. In many types of research, such encouragement is not necessary either because participants do not know they are in a study (as in naturalistic observation) or because they are part of a subject pool and have already shown their willingness to participate by signing up and showing up for the study. Survey research usually catches respondents by surprise when they answer their phone, go to their mailbox, or check their e-mail—and the researcher must make a good case for why they should agree to participate. Thus, the introduction should briefly explain the purpose of the survey and its importance, provide information about the sponsor of the survey (university-based surveys tend to generate higher response rates), acknowledge the importance of the respondent’s participation, and describe any incentives for participating.

The second function of the introduction is to establish informed consent . Remember that this involves describing to respondents everything that might affect their decision to participate. This includes the topics covered by the survey, the amount of time it is likely to take, the respondent’s option to withdraw at any time, confidentiality issues, and other ethical considerations we covered in Chapter 6. Written consent forms are not always used in survey research (when the research is of minimal risk and completion of the survey instrument is often accepted by the IRB as evidence of consent to participate), so it is important that this part of the introduction be well documented and presented clearly and in its entirety to every respondent.

Organizing items to be easy and intuitive to follow

The introduction should be followed by the substantive questionnaire items. But first, it is important to present clear instructions for completing the questionnaire, including examples of how to use any unusual response scales. Remember that the introduction is the point at which respondents are usually most interested and least fatigued, so it is good practice to start with the most important items for purposes of the research and proceed to less important items. Items should also be grouped by topic or by type. For example, items using the same rating scale (e.g., a 5-point agreement scale) should be grouped together if possible to make things faster and easier for respondents. Demographic items are often presented last. This can be because they are easy to answer in the event respondents have become tired or bored, because they are least interesting to participants, or because they can raise concerns for respondents from marginalized groups who may see questions about their identities as a potential red flag. Of course, any survey should end with an expression of appreciation to the respondent.

Questions are often organized thematically. If our survey were measuring social class, perhaps we’d have a few questions asking about employment, others focused on education, and still others on housing and community resources. Those may be the themes around which we organize our questions. Or perhaps it would make more sense to present any questions we had about parents’ income and then present a series of questions about estimated future income. Grouping by theme is one way to be deliberate about how you present your questions. Keep in mind that you are surveying people, and these people will be trying to follow the logic in your questionnaire. Jumping from topic to topic can give people a bit of whiplash and may make participants less likely to complete it.

Using a matrix is a nice way of streamlining response options for similar questions. A matrix is a question type that lists a set of questions for which the answer categories are all the same. If you have a set of questions for which the response options are the same, it may make sense to create a matrix rather than posing each question and its response options individually. Not only will this save you some space in your survey but it will also help respondents progress through your survey more easily. A sample matrix can be seen in Figure 13.4.

Survey using matrix options--between agree and disagree--and opinions about class

Once you have grouped similar questions together, you’ll need to think about the order in which to present those question groups. Most survey researchers agree that it is best to begin a survey with questions that will want to make respondents continue (Babbie, 2010; Dillman, 2000; Neuman, 2003). [4] In other words, don’t bore respondents, but don’t scare them away either. There’s some disagreement over where on a survey to place demographic questions, such as those about a person’s age, gender, and race. On the one hand, placing them at the beginning of the questionnaire may lead respondents to think the survey is boring, unimportant, and not something they want to bother completing. On the other hand, if your survey deals with some very sensitive topic, such as child sexual abuse or criminal convictions, you don’t want to scare respondents away or shock them by beginning with your most intrusive questions.

Your participants are human. They will react emotionally to questionnaire items, and they will also try to uncover your research questions and hypotheses. In truth, the order in which you present questions on a survey is best determined by the unique characteristics of your research. When feasible, you should consult with key informants from your target population determine how best to order your questions. If it is not feasible to do so, think about the unique characteristics of your topic, your questions, and most importantly, your sample. Keeping in mind the characteristics and needs of the people you will ask to complete your survey should help guide you as you determine the most appropriate order in which to present your questions. None of your decisions will be perfect, and all studies have limitations.

Questionnaire length

You’ll also need to consider the time it will take respondents to complete your questionnaire. Surveys vary in length, from just a page or two to a dozen or more pages, which means they also vary in the time it takes to complete them. How long to make your survey depends on several factors. First, what is it that you wish to know? Wanting to understand how grades vary by gender and year in school certainly requires fewer questions than wanting to know how people’s experiences in college are shaped by demographic characteristics, college attended, housing situation, family background, college major, friendship networks, and extracurricular activities. Keep in mind that even if your research question requires a sizable number of questions be included in your questionnaire, do your best to keep the questionnaire as brief as possible. Any hint that you’ve thrown in a bunch of useless questions just for the sake of it will turn off respondents and may make them not want to complete your survey.

Second, and perhaps more important, how long are respondents likely to be willing to spend completing your questionnaire? If you are studying college students, asking them to use their very limited time to complete your survey may mean they won’t want to spend more than a few minutes on it. But if you ask them to complete your survey during down-time between classes and there is little work to be done, students may be willing to give you a bit more of their time. Think about places and times that your sampling frame naturally gathers and whether you would be able to either recruit participants or distribute a survey in that context. Estimate how long your participants would reasonably have to complete a survey presented to them during this time. The more you know about your population (such as what weeks have less work and more free time), the better you can target questionnaire length.

The time that survey researchers ask respondents to spend on questionnaires varies greatly. Some researchers advise that surveys should not take longer than about 15 minutes to complete (as cited in Babbie 2010), [5] whereas others suggest that up to 20 minutes is acceptable (Hopper, 2010). [6] As with question order, there is no clear-cut, always-correct answer about questionnaire length. The unique characteristics of your study and your sample should be considered to determine how long to make your questionnaire. For example, if you planned to distribute your questionnaire to students in between classes, you will need to make sure it is short enough to complete before the next class begins.

When designing a questionnaire, a researcher should consider:

  • Weighing strengths and limitations of the method of delivery, including the advanced tools in online survey software or the simplicity of paper questionnaires.
  • Grouping together items that ask about the same thing.
  • Moving any questions about sensitive items to the end of the questionnaire, so as not to scare respondents off.
  • Moving any questions that engage the respondent to answer the questionnaire at the beginning, so as not to bore them.
  • Timing the length of the questionnaire with a reasonable length of time you can ask of your participants.
  • Dedicating time to visual design and ensure the questionnaire looks professional.

Type out a final draft of your questionnaire in a word processor or online survey tool.

  • Evaluate your questionnaire using the guidelines above, revise it, and get it ready to share with other student researchers.
  • Take a look at the question drafts you have completed and decide on an order for your questions. E valuate your draft questionnaire using the guidelines above, and revise as needed.

how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

Pilot testing and revising questionnaires

A good way to estimate the time it will take respondents to complete your questionnaire (and other potential challenges) is through pilot testing . Pilot testing allows you to get feedback on your questionnaire so you can improve it before you actually administer it. It can be quite expensive and time consuming if you wish to pilot test your questionnaire on a large sample of people who very much resemble the sample to whom you will eventually administer the finalized version of your questionnaire. But you can learn a lot and make great improvements to your questionnaire simply by pilot testing with a small number of people to whom you have easy access (perhaps you have a few friends who owe you a favor). By pilot testing your questionnaire, you can find out how understandable your questions are, get feedback on question wording and order, find out whether any of your questions are boring or offensive, and learn whether there are places where you should have included filter questions. You can also time pilot testers as they take your survey. This will give you a good idea about the estimate to provide respondents when you administer your survey and whether you have some wiggle room to add additional items or need to cut a few items.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but your questionnaire should also have an attractive design. A messy presentation style can confuse respondents or, at the very least, annoy them. Be brief, to the point, and as clear as possible. Avoid cramming too much into a single page. Make your font size readable (at least 12 point or larger, depending on the characteristics of your sample), leave a reasonable amount of space between items, and make sure all instructions are exceptionally clear. If you are using an online survey, ensure that participants can complete it via mobile, computer, and tablet devices. Think about books, documents, articles, or web pages that you have read yourself—which were relatively easy to read and easy on the eyes and why? Try to mimic those features in the presentation of your survey questions. While online survey tools automate much of visual design, word processors are designed for writing all kinds of documents and may need more manual adjustment as part of visual design.

Realistically, your questionnaire will continue to evolve as you develop your data analysis plan over the next few chapters. By now, you should have a complete draft of your questionnaire grounded in an underlying logic that ties together each question and response option to a variable in your study. Once your questionnaire is finalized, you will need to submit it for ethical approval from your IRB. If your study requires IRB approval, it may be worthwhile to submit your proposal before your questionnaire is completely done. Revisions to IRB protocols are common and it takes less time to review a few changes to questions and answers than it does to review the entire study, so give them the whole study as soon as you can. Once the IRB approves your questionnaire, you cannot change it without their okay.

Key Takeaways

  • A questionnaire is comprised of self-report measures of variables in a research study.
  • Make sure your survey questions will be relevant to all respondents and that you use filter questions when necessary.
  • Effective survey questions and responses take careful construction by researchers, as participants may be confused or otherwise influenced by how items are phrased.
  • The questionnaire should start with informed consent and instructions, flow logically from one topic to the next, engage but not shock participants, and thank participants at the end.
  • Pilot testing can help identify any issues in a questionnaire before distributing it to participants, including language or length issues.

It’s a myth that researchers work alone! Get together with a few of your fellow students and swap questionnaires for pilot testing.

  • Use the criteria in each section above (questions, response options, questionnaires) and provide your peers with the strengths and weaknesses of their questionnaires.
  • See if you can guess their research question and hypothesis based on the questionnaire alone.

It’s a myth that researchers work alone! Get together with a few of your fellow students and compare draft questionnaires.

  • What are the strengths and limitations of your questionnaire as compared to those of your peers?
  • Is there anything you would like to use from your peers’ questionnaires in your own?
  • Babbie, E. (2010). The practice of social research (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. ↵
  • Krosnick, J.A. & Berent, M.K. (1993). Comparisons of party identification and policy preferences: The impact of survey question format. American Journal of Political Science, 27(3), 941-964. ↵
  • Peterson, R. A. (2000).  Constructing effective questionnaires . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ↵
  • Babbie, E. (2010). The practice of social research (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; Dillman, D. A. (2000). Mail and Internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley; Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. ↵
  • Babbie, E. (2010). The practice of social research  (12th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. ↵
  • Hopper, J. (2010). How long should a survey be? Retrieved from  http://www.verstaresearch.com/blog/how-long-should-a-survey-be ↵

According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, an operational definition is "a description of something in terms of the operations (procedures, actions, or processes) by which it could be observed and measured. For example, the operational definition of anxiety could be in terms of a test score, withdrawal from a situation, or activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The process of creating an operational definition is known as operationalization."

Triangulation of data refers to the use of multiple types, measures or sources of data in a research project to increase the confidence that we have in our findings.

Testing out your research materials in advance on people who are not included as participants in your study.

items on a questionnaire designed to identify some subset of survey respondents who are asked additional questions that are not relevant to the entire sample

a question that asks more than one thing at a time, making it difficult to respond accurately

When a participant answers in a way that they believe is socially the most acceptable answer.

the answers researchers provide to participants to choose from when completing a questionnaire

questions in which the researcher provides all of the response options

Questions for which the researcher does not include response options, allowing for respondents to answer the question in their own words

respondents to a survey who choose neutral response options, even if they have an opinion

respondents to a survey who choose a substantive answer to a question when really, they don’t understand the question or don’t have an opinion

An ordered outline that includes your research question, a description of the data you are going to use to answer it, and the exact analyses, step-by-step, that you plan to run to answer your research question.

A process through which the researcher explains the research process, procedures, risks and benefits to a potential participant, usually through a written document, which the participant than signs, as evidence of their agreement to participate.

a type of survey question that lists a set of questions for which the response options are all the same in a grid layout

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Your postgraduate student guide to using a research questionnaire for your dissertation

Prof Martyn Denscombe, author of “The Good Research Guide, 6th edition”, gives expert advice on using a questionnaire survey for your postgraduate dissertation.

Questionnaire surveys are a well-established way of collecting data. They can be used with relatively small-scale research projects, and research questionnaires can be designed and delivered quite quickly and cheaply. It is not surprising, therefore, that when it comes to conducting research for a master’s dissertation, questionnaire surveys feature prominently as the research method of choice.

Occasionally such thesis surveys will be sent out by post, and sometimes the questionnaires will be distributed by hand. But the popularity of questionnaire surveys in the context of master’s dissertations is principally due to the benefits of using online web-based questionnaires. There are two main aspects to this.

First, the software for producing and delivering web questionnaires, with their features such as drop-down menus and tick-box answers, is user-friendly and inexpensive.

Second, online surveys make it possible to contact people across the globe without travelling anywhere which, given the time and resource constraints faced when producing a dissertation, makes online surveys all the more enticing. (And, for the more adventurous students, there are also developing possibilities for the use of social media such as Facebook and SMS texts for contacting people to participate in the survey.)

In the context of a master’s dissertation, however, the quality of the survey data is a vital issue. The grade for the dissertation will depend on being able to defend the use of the data from the survey as the basis for advanced, master’s level academic enquiry. Which means it is not good enough to simply rely on getting 100 or so people to complete your questionnaire. Students are expected to be aware of the pros and cons of questionnaire surveys and to be able to justify the value of the data they have collected in the face of probing questions such as:

Who are the respondents and how they were selected?

How representative are the respondents of the whole group being studied?

What response rate was achieved by the survey?

Are the questions suitable in relation to the topic and the particular respondents?

What likelihood is there that respondents gave honest answers to the questions?

This is where The Good Research Guide, 6th edition becomes so valuable.

It not only identifies the key points that need to be addressed in order to conduct a competent questionnaire survey, it gets right to the heart of the matter with plenty of practical guidance on how to deal with the issues. In a straightforward style, using plain language, this bestselling book covers a range of alternative strategies and methods for conducting small-scale social research projects and outlines some of the main ways in which the data can be analysed.

Read Prof Martyn Denscombe’s advice on using a Case Study for your postgraduate dissertation

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  • Doing Survey Research | A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Doing Survey Research | A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on 6 May 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 10 October 2022.

Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analysing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps:

  • Determine who will participate in the survey
  • Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person)
  • Design the survey questions and layout
  • Distribute the survey
  • Analyse the responses
  • Write up the results

Surveys are a flexible method of data collection that can be used in many different types of research .

Table of contents

What are surveys used for, step 1: define the population and sample, step 2: decide on the type of survey, step 3: design the survey questions, step 4: distribute the survey and collect responses, step 5: analyse the survey results, step 6: write up the survey results, frequently asked questions about surveys.

Surveys are used as a method of gathering data in many different fields. They are a good choice when you want to find out about the characteristics, preferences, opinions, or beliefs of a group of people.

Common uses of survey research include:

  • Social research: Investigating the experiences and characteristics of different social groups
  • Market research: Finding out what customers think about products, services, and companies
  • Health research: Collecting data from patients about symptoms and treatments
  • Politics: Measuring public opinion about parties and policies
  • Psychology: Researching personality traits, preferences, and behaviours

Surveys can be used in both cross-sectional studies , where you collect data just once, and longitudinal studies , where you survey the same sample several times over an extended period.

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Before you start conducting survey research, you should already have a clear research question that defines what you want to find out. Based on this question, you need to determine exactly who you will target to participate in the survey.

Populations

The target population is the specific group of people that you want to find out about. This group can be very broad or relatively narrow. For example:

  • The population of Brazil
  • University students in the UK
  • Second-generation immigrants in the Netherlands
  • Customers of a specific company aged 18 to 24
  • British transgender women over the age of 50

Your survey should aim to produce results that can be generalised to the whole population. That means you need to carefully define exactly who you want to draw conclusions about.

It’s rarely possible to survey the entire population of your research – it would be very difficult to get a response from every person in Brazil or every university student in the UK. Instead, you will usually survey a sample from the population.

The sample size depends on how big the population is. You can use an online sample calculator to work out how many responses you need.

There are many sampling methods that allow you to generalise to broad populations. In general, though, the sample should aim to be representative of the population as a whole. The larger and more representative your sample, the more valid your conclusions.

There are two main types of survey:

  • A questionnaire , where a list of questions is distributed by post, online, or in person, and respondents fill it out themselves
  • An interview , where the researcher asks a set of questions by phone or in person and records the responses

Which type you choose depends on the sample size and location, as well as the focus of the research.

Questionnaires

Sending out a paper survey by post is a common method of gathering demographic information (for example, in a government census of the population).

  • You can easily access a large sample.
  • You have some control over who is included in the sample (e.g., residents of a specific region).
  • The response rate is often low.

Online surveys are a popular choice for students doing dissertation research , due to the low cost and flexibility of this method. There are many online tools available for constructing surveys, such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms .

  • You can quickly access a large sample without constraints on time or location.
  • The data is easy to process and analyse.
  • The anonymity and accessibility of online surveys mean you have less control over who responds.

If your research focuses on a specific location, you can distribute a written questionnaire to be completed by respondents on the spot. For example, you could approach the customers of a shopping centre or ask all students to complete a questionnaire at the end of a class.

  • You can screen respondents to make sure only people in the target population are included in the sample.
  • You can collect time- and location-specific data (e.g., the opinions of a shop’s weekday customers).
  • The sample size will be smaller, so this method is less suitable for collecting data on broad populations.

Oral interviews are a useful method for smaller sample sizes. They allow you to gather more in-depth information on people’s opinions and preferences. You can conduct interviews by phone or in person.

  • You have personal contact with respondents, so you know exactly who will be included in the sample in advance.
  • You can clarify questions and ask for follow-up information when necessary.
  • The lack of anonymity may cause respondents to answer less honestly, and there is more risk of researcher bias.

Like questionnaires, interviews can be used to collect quantitative data : the researcher records each response as a category or rating and statistically analyses the results. But they are more commonly used to collect qualitative data : the interviewees’ full responses are transcribed and analysed individually to gain a richer understanding of their opinions and feelings.

Next, you need to decide which questions you will ask and how you will ask them. It’s important to consider:

  • The type of questions
  • The content of the questions
  • The phrasing of the questions
  • The ordering and layout of the survey

Open-ended vs closed-ended questions

There are two main forms of survey questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Many surveys use a combination of both.

Closed-ended questions give the respondent a predetermined set of answers to choose from. A closed-ended question can include:

  • A binary answer (e.g., yes/no or agree/disagree )
  • A scale (e.g., a Likert scale with five points ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree )
  • A list of options with a single answer possible (e.g., age categories)
  • A list of options with multiple answers possible (e.g., leisure interests)

Closed-ended questions are best for quantitative research . They provide you with numerical data that can be statistically analysed to find patterns, trends, and correlations .

Open-ended questions are best for qualitative research. This type of question has no predetermined answers to choose from. Instead, the respondent answers in their own words.

Open questions are most common in interviews, but you can also use them in questionnaires. They are often useful as follow-up questions to ask for more detailed explanations of responses to the closed questions.

The content of the survey questions

To ensure the validity and reliability of your results, you need to carefully consider each question in the survey. All questions should be narrowly focused with enough context for the respondent to answer accurately. Avoid questions that are not directly relevant to the survey’s purpose.

When constructing closed-ended questions, ensure that the options cover all possibilities. If you include a list of options that isn’t exhaustive, you can add an ‘other’ field.

Phrasing the survey questions

In terms of language, the survey questions should be as clear and precise as possible. Tailor the questions to your target population, keeping in mind their level of knowledge of the topic.

Use language that respondents will easily understand, and avoid words with vague or ambiguous meanings. Make sure your questions are phrased neutrally, with no bias towards one answer or another.

Ordering the survey questions

The questions should be arranged in a logical order. Start with easy, non-sensitive, closed-ended questions that will encourage the respondent to continue.

If the survey covers several different topics or themes, group together related questions. You can divide a questionnaire into sections to help respondents understand what is being asked in each part.

If a question refers back to or depends on the answer to a previous question, they should be placed directly next to one another.

Before you start, create a clear plan for where, when, how, and with whom you will conduct the survey. Determine in advance how many responses you require and how you will gain access to the sample.

When you are satisfied that you have created a strong research design suitable for answering your research questions, you can conduct the survey through your method of choice – by post, online, or in person.

There are many methods of analysing the results of your survey. First you have to process the data, usually with the help of a computer program to sort all the responses. You should also cleanse the data by removing incomplete or incorrectly completed responses.

If you asked open-ended questions, you will have to code the responses by assigning labels to each response and organising them into categories or themes. You can also use more qualitative methods, such as thematic analysis , which is especially suitable for analysing interviews.

Statistical analysis is usually conducted using programs like SPSS or Stata. The same set of survey data can be subject to many analyses.

Finally, when you have collected and analysed all the necessary data, you will write it up as part of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper .

In the methodology section, you describe exactly how you conducted the survey. You should explain the types of questions you used, the sampling method, when and where the survey took place, and the response rate. You can include the full questionnaire as an appendix and refer to it in the text if relevant.

Then introduce the analysis by describing how you prepared the data and the statistical methods you used to analyse it. In the results section, you summarise the key results from your analysis.

A Likert scale is a rating scale that quantitatively assesses opinions, attitudes, or behaviours. It is made up of four or more questions that measure a single attitude or trait when response scores are combined.

To use a Likert scale in a survey , you present participants with Likert-type questions or statements, and a continuum of items, usually with five or seven possible responses, to capture their degree of agreement.

Individual Likert-type questions are generally considered ordinal data , because the items have clear rank order, but don’t have an even distribution.

Overall Likert scale scores are sometimes treated as interval data. These scores are considered to have directionality and even spacing between them.

The type of data determines what statistical tests you should use to analyse your data.

A questionnaire is a data collection tool or instrument, while a survey is an overarching research method that involves collecting and analysing data from people using questionnaires.

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  • How to Frame and Explain the Survey Data Used in a Thesis

Surveys are a special research tool with strengths, weaknesses, and a language all of their own. There are many different steps to designing and conducting a survey, and survey researchers have specific ways of describing what they do.

This handout, based on an annual workshop offered by the Program on Survey Research at Harvard, is geared toward undergraduate honors thesis writers using survey data.

PSR Resources

  • Managing and Manipulating Survey Data: A Beginners Guide
  • Finding and Hiring Survey Contractors
  • Overview of Cognitive Testing and Questionnaire Evaluation
  • Questionnaire Design Tip Sheet
  • Sampling, Coverage, and Nonresponse Tip Sheet
  • Introduction to Surveys for Honors Thesis Writers
  • PSR Introduction to the Survey Process
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  • General Survey Reference
  • Institutional Review Boards
  • Select Funding Opportunities
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Dissertation surveys: Questions, examples, and best practices

Collect data for your dissertation with little effort and great results.

Dissertation surveys are one of the most powerful tools to get valuable insights and data for the culmination of your research. However, it’s one of the most stressful and time-consuming tasks you need to do. You want useful data from a representative sample that you can analyze and present as part of your dissertation. At SurveyPlanet, we’re committed to making it as easy and stress-free as possible to get the most out of your study.

With an intuitive and user-friendly design, our templates and premade questions can be your allies while creating a survey for your dissertation. Explore all the options we offer by simply signing up for an account—and leave the stress behind.

How to write dissertation survey questions

The first thing to do is to figure out which group of people is relevant for your study. When you know that, you’ll also be able to adjust the survey and write questions that will get the best results.

The next step is to write down the goal of your research and define it properly. Online surveys are one of the best and most inexpensive ways to reach respondents and achieve your goal.

Before writing any questions, think about how you’ll analyze the results. You don’t want to write and distribute a survey without keeping how to report your findings in mind. When your thesis questionnaire is out in the real world, it’s too late to conclude that the data you’re collecting might not be any good for assessment. Because of that, you need to create questions with analysis in mind.

You may find our five survey analysis tips for better insights helpful. We recommend reading it before analyzing your results.

Once you understand the parameters of your representative sample, goals, and analysis methodology, then it’s time to think about distribution. Survey distribution may feel like a headache, but you’ll find that many people will gladly participate.

Find communities where your targeted group hangs out and share the link to your survey with them. If you’re not sure how large your research sample should be, gauge it easily with the survey sample size calculator.

Need help with writing survey questions? Read our guide on well-written examples of good survey questions .

Dissertation survey examples

Whatever field you’re studying, we’re sure the following questions will prove useful when crafting your own.

At the beginning of every questionnaire, inform respondents of your topic and provide a consent form. After that, start with questions like:

  • Please select your gender:
  • What is the highest educational level you’ve completed?
  • High school
  • Bachelor degree
  • Master’s degree
  • On a scale of 1-7, how satisfied are you with your current job?
  • Please rate the following statements:
  • I always wait for people to text me first.
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Strongly agree
  • My friends always complain that I never invite them anywhere.
  • I prefer spending time alone.
  • Rank which personality traits are most important when choosing a partner. Rank 1 - 7, where 1 is the most and 7 is the least important.
  • Flexibility
  • Independence
  • How openly do you share feelings with your partner?
  • Almost never
  • Almost always
  • In the last two weeks, how often did you experience headaches?

Dissertation survey best practices

There are a lot of DOs and DON’Ts you should keep in mind when conducting any survey, especially for your dissertation. To get valuable data from your targeted sample, follow these best practices:

Use the consent form.

The consent form is a must when distributing a research questionnaire. A respondent has to know how you’ll use their answers and that the survey is anonymous.

Avoid leading and double-barreled questions

Leading and double-barreled questions will produce inconclusive results—and you don’t want that. A question such as: “Do you like to watch TV and play video games?” is double-barreled because it has two variables.

On the other hand, leading questions such as “On a scale from 1-10 how would you rate the amazing experience with our customer support?” influence respondents to answer in a certain way, which produces biased results.

Use easy and straightforward language and questions

Don’t use terms and professional jargon that respondents won’t understand. Take into consideration their educational level and demographic traits and use easy-to-understand language when writing questions.

Mix close-ended and open-ended questions

Too many open-ended questions will annoy respondents. Also, analyzing the responses is harder. Use more close-ended questions for the best results and only a few open-ended ones.

Strategically use different types of responses

Likert scale, multiple-choice, and ranking are all types of responses you can use to collect data. But some response types suit some questions better. Make sure to strategically fit questions with response types.

Ensure that data privacy is a priority

Make sure to use an online survey tool that has SSL encryption and secure data processing. You don’t want to risk all your hard work going to waste because of poorly managed data security. Ensure that you only collect data that’s relevant to your dissertation survey and leave out any questions (such as name) that can identify the respondents.

Create dissertation questionnaires with SurveyPlanet

Overall, survey methodology is a great way to find research participants for your research study. You have all the tools required for creating a survey for a dissertation with SurveyPlanet—you only need to sign up . With powerful features like question branching, custom formatting, multiple languages, image choice questions, and easy export you will find everything needed to create, distribute, and analyze a dissertation survey.

Happy data gathering!

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Dissertation Research Question Examples – Guide & Tips

Published by Owen Ingram at August 13th, 2021 , Revised On October 3, 2023

All  research questions should be focused, researchable, feasible to answer, specific to find results, complex, and relevant to your field of study. The research question’s factors will be; the research problem ,  research type , project length, and time frame.

Research questions provide boundaries to your research project and provide a clear approach to collect and compile data. Understanding your research question better is necessary to find unique facts and figures to publish your research.

Search and study some dissertation research question examples or research questions relevant to your field of study before writing your own research question.

Research Questions for Dissertation Examples

Below are 10 examples of dissertation research questions that will enable you to develop research questions for your research.

These examples will help you to check whether your chosen research questions can be addressed or whether they are too broad to find a conclusive answer.

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A dissertation is an important milestone no matter what academic level or subject it is. You will be asked to write a dissertation on a  topic of your choice  and make a substantial contribution to academic and scientific communities.

The project will start with the  planning and designing of a project before the actual write-up phase. There are many stages in the dissertation process , but the most important is developing a research question that guides your research.

If you are starting your dissertation, you will have to conduct preliminary research to  find a problem and research gap as the first step of the process. The second step is to write dissertation research questions that specify your topic and the relevant problem you want to address.

How can we Help you with Dissertation Research Questions?

If you are still unsure about writing dissertation research questions and perhaps want to see  more examples , you might be interested in getting help from our dissertation writers.

At ResearchProspect, we have UK-qualified writers holding Masters and PhD degrees in all academic subjects. Whether you need help with only developing research questions or any other aspect of your dissertation paper , we are here to help you achieve your desired grades for an affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of a research question.

Examples of research questions:

  • How does social media influence self-esteem in adolescents?
  • What are the economic impacts of climate change on agriculture?
  • What factors contribute to employee job satisfaction in the tech industry?
  • How does exercise frequency affect cardiovascular health?
  • What is the relationship between sleep duration and academic performance in college students?

What are some examples of research questions in the classroom?

  • How do interactive whiteboards impact student engagement?
  • Does peer tutoring improve maths proficiency?
  • How does classroom seating arrangement influence student participation?
  • What’s the effect of gamified learning on student motivation?
  • Does integrating technology in lessons enhance critical thinking skills?
  • How does feedback frequency affect student performance?

What are some examples of research questions in Geography?

  • How does urbanisation impact local microclimates?
  • What factors influence water scarcity in Region X?
  • How do migration patterns correlate with economic disparities?
  • What’s the relationship between deforestation and soil erosion in Area Y?
  • How have coastlines changed over the past decade?
  • Why are certain regions’ biodiversity hotspots?

What are some examples of research questions in Psychology?

  • How does social media usage affect adolescent self-esteem?
  • What factors contribute to resilience in trauma survivors?
  • How does sleep deprivation impact decision-making abilities?
  • Are certain teaching methods more effective for children with ADHD?
  • What are the psychological effects of long-term social isolation?
  • How do early attachments influence adult relationships?

What are the three basic research questions?

The three basic types of research questions are:

  • Descriptive: Seeks to depict a phenomenon or issue. E.g., “What are the symptoms of depression?”
  • Relational: Investigates relationships between variables. E.g., “Is there a correlation between stress and heart disease?”
  • Causal: Determines cause and effect. E.g., “Does smoking cause lung cancer?”

You May Also Like

Penning your dissertation proposal can be a rather daunting task. Here are comprehensive guidelines on how to write a dissertation proposal.

Make sure that your selected topic is intriguing, manageable, and relevant. Here are some guidelines to help understand how to find a good dissertation topic.

How to write a hypothesis for dissertation,? A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested with the help of experimental or theoretical research.

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8+ Dissertation Questionnaire Examples & Samples in PDF | DOC

Dissertation Questionnaire Examples

A dissertation is a document usually a requirement for a doctoral degree especially in the field of philosophy. This long essay discusses a particular subject matter uses questionnaires   and other sources of data and is used to validate its content. The  questionnaire’s importance is evident in the processes of data gathering as it can make the dissertation factual, effective and usable.

Having a well-curated and formatted document to follow when making a dissertation can be very beneficial to an individual who is currently immersed in the data gathering stage of the specific research study. We have gathered downloadable samples and templates of questionnaires so it will be easier for you to curate your own.

Dissertation Timeline Gantt Chart Template

dissertation timeline gantt chart template

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Dissertation Research Gantt Chart Template

dissertation research gantt chart template

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Dissertation Project Gantt Chart Template

dissertation project gantt chart template

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Dissertation Plan Gantt Chart Template

dissertation plan gantt chart template

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Dissertation Research Questionnaire

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Dissertation Proposal Questionnaire

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Sample Dissertation Questionnaire

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What Is a Dissertation Questionnaire?

A dissertation questionnaire can be defined as follows:

  • It is a document used in the processes of data gathering.
  • Questionnaires in PDF used for a dissertation contain questions that can help assess the current condition of the community which is the subject of study within the dissertation.
  • It specifies the questions that are needed to be answered to assure that there is a basis in terms of the results that will be presented in a dissertation.

How to Write a Dissertation Questionnaire

Writing an efficient and comprehensive dissertation questionnaire can greatly affect the entire dissertation. You can make one by following these steps:

  • Be specific with the kind of dissertation that you are creating and align the purposes of the dissertation questionnaire that you need to make to your study.
  • List down the information needed from the community who will provide the answers to your questions.
  • Open a software where you can create a questionnaire template. You may also download  survey questionnaire examples   and templates to have a faster time in formatting the document.
  • The purpose of the dissertation questionnaire.
  • The guidelines and instructions in answering the dissertation questions.
  • The name of the person to who will use the questionnaire results to his/her dissertation.
  • The institution to whom the dissertation will be passed.
  • List down the questions based on your needs.

Undergraduate Dissertation Questionnaire

undergraduate dissertation

Size: 12 KB

Project Management Dissertation

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Guidelines for Writing a Dissertation Questionnaire

There are no strict rules in writing a dissertation questionnaire. However, there are some tips that can help you to create a dissertation questionnaire that is relevant to the study that you are currently doing. Some guidelines:

  • Make sure that you are well aware of the data that is needed in your dissertation so you can properly curate questions that can supply your information needs.
  • It will be best to use a dissertation questionnaire format that is organized, easy to understand, and properly structured. This will help the people who will answer the dissertation questionnaire quickly know how they can provide the items that you would like to know.
  • Always make sure that your instructions in answering the questions are precise and directly stated.
  • You may look at  questionnaires in Word   for comparisons. Doing this will help you assess whether there are still areas of improvement that you may tap with the content and format of the dissertation questionnaire that you have created.

Keeping this guidelines in mind and implementing them accordingly will allow you to create a dissertation questionnaire that is beneficial to the processes that you need to have an outstanding dissertation.

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How to structure quantitative research questions

There is no "one best way" to structure a quantitative research question. However, to create a well-structured quantitative research question, we recommend an approach that is based on four steps : (1) Choosing the type of quantitative research question you are trying to create (i.e., descriptive, comparative or relationship-based); (2) Identifying the different types of variables you are trying to measure, manipulate and/or control, as well as any groups you may be interested in; (3) Selecting the appropriate structure for the chosen type of quantitative research question, based on the variables and/or groups involved; and (4) Writing out the problem or issues you are trying to address in the form of a complete research question. In this article, we discuss each of these four steps , as well as providing examples for the three types of quantitative research question you may want to create: descriptive , comparative and relationship-based research questions .

  • STEP ONE: Choose the type of quantitative research question (i.e., descriptive, comparative or relationship) you are trying to create
  • STEP TWO: Identify the different types of variable you are trying to measure, manipulate and/or control, as well as any groups you may be interested in
  • STEP THREE: Select the appropriate structure for the chosen type of quantitative research question, based on the variables and/or groups involved
  • STEP FOUR: Write out the problem or issues you are trying to address in the form of a complete research question

STEP ONE Choose the type of quantitative research question (i.e., descriptive, comparative or relationship) you are trying to create

The type of quantitative research question that you use in your dissertation (i.e., descriptive , comparative and/or relationship-based ) needs to be reflected in the way that you write out the research question; that is, the word choice and phrasing that you use when constructing a research question tells the reader whether it is a descriptive, comparative or relationship-based research question. Therefore, in order to know how to structure your quantitative research question, you need to start by selecting the type of quantitative research question you are trying to create: descriptive, comparative and/or relationship-based.

STEP TWO Identify the different types of variable you are trying to measure, manipulate and/or control, as well as any groups you may be interested in

Whether you are trying to create a descriptive, comparative or relationship-based research question, you will need to identify the different types of variable that you are trying to measure , manipulate and/or control . If you are unfamiliar with the different types of variable that may be part of your study, the article, Types of variable , should get you up to speed. It explains the two main types of variables: categorical variables (i.e., nominal , dichotomous and ordinal variables) and continuous variables (i.e., interval and ratio variables). It also explains the difference between independent and dependent variables , which you need to understand to create quantitative research questions.

To provide a brief explanation; a variable is not only something that you measure , but also something that you can manipulate and control for. In most undergraduate and master's level dissertations, you are only likely to measure and manipulate variables. You are unlikely to carry out research that requires you to control for variables, although some supervisors will expect this additional level of complexity. If you plan to only create descriptive research questions , you may simply have a number of dependent variables that you need to measure. However, where you plan to create comparative and/or relationship-based research questions , you will deal with both dependent and independent variables . An independent variable (sometimes called an experimental or predictor variable ) is a variable that is being manipulated in an experiment in order to observe the effect this has on a dependent variable (sometimes called an outcome variable ). For example, if we were interested in investigating the relationship between gender and attitudes towards music piracy amongst adolescents , the independent variable would be gender and the dependent variable attitudes towards music piracy . This example also highlights the need to identify the group(s) you are interested in. In this example, the group of interest are adolescents .

Once you identifying the different types of variable you are trying to measure, manipulate and/or control, as well as any groups you may be interested in, it is possible to start thinking about the way that the three types of quantitative research question can be structured . This is discussed next.

STEP THREE Select the appropriate structure for the chosen type of quantitative research question, based on the variables and/or groups involved

The structure of the three types of quantitative research question differs, reflecting the goals of the question, the types of variables, and the number of variables and groups involved. By structure , we mean the components of a research question (i.e., the types of variables, groups of interest), the number of these different components (i.e., how many variables and groups are being investigated), and the order that these should be presented (e.g., independent variables before dependent variables). The appropriate structure for each of these quantitative research questions is set out below:

Structure of descriptive research questions

  • Structure of comparative research questions
  • Structure of relationship-based research questions

There are six steps required to construct a descriptive research question: (1) choose your starting phrase; (2) identify and name the dependent variable; (3) identify the group(s) you are interested in; (4) decide whether dependent variable or group(s) should be included first, last or in two parts; (5) include any words that provide greater context to your question; and (6) write out the descriptive research question. Each of these steps is discussed in turn:

Choose your starting phrase

Identify and name the dependent variable

Identify the group(s) you are interested in

Decide whether the dependent variable or group(s) should be included first, last or in two parts

Include any words that provide greater context to your question

Write out the descriptive research question

FIRST Choose your starting phrase

You can start descriptive research questions with any of the following phrases:

How many? How often? How frequently? How much? What percentage? What proportion? To what extent? What is? What are?

Some of these starting phrases are highlighted in blue text in the examples below:

How many calories do American men and women consume per day?

How often do British university students use Facebook each week?

What are the most important factors that influence the career choices of Australian university students?

What proportion of British male and female university students use the top 5 social networks?

What percentage of American men and women exceed their daily calorific allowance?

SECOND Identify and name the dependent variable

All descriptive research questions have a dependent variable. You need to identify what this is. However, how the dependent variable is written out in a research question and what you call it are often two different things. In the examples below, we have illustrated the name of the dependent variable and highlighted how it would be written out in the blue text .

The first two examples highlight that while the name of the dependent variable is the same, namely daily calorific intake , the way that this dependent variable is written out differs in each case.

THIRD Identify the group(s) you are interested in

All descriptive research questions have at least one group , but can have multiple groups . You need to identify this group(s). In the examples below, we have identified the group(s) in the green text .

What are the most important factors that influence the career choices of Australian university students ?

The examples illustrate the difference between the use of a single group (e.g., British university students ) and multiple groups (e.g., American men and women ).

FOURTH Decide whether the dependent variable or group(s) should be included first, last or in two parts

Sometimes it makes more sense for the dependent variable to appear before the group(s) you are interested in, but sometimes it is the opposite way around. The following examples illustrate this, with the group(s) in green text and the dependent variable in blue text :

Group 1st; dependent variable 2nd:

How often do British university students use Facebook each week ?

Dependent variable 1st; group 2nd:

Sometimes, the dependent variable needs to be broken into two parts around the group(s) you are interested in so that the research question flows. Again, the group(s) are in green text and the dependent variable is in blue text :

How many calories do American men and women consume per day ?

Of course, you could choose to restructure the question above so that you do not have to split the dependent variable into two parts. For example:

How many calories are consumed per day by American men and women ?

When deciding whether the dependent variable or group(s) should be included first or last, and whether the dependent variable should be broken into two parts, the main thing you need to think about is flow : Does the question flow? Is it easy to read?

FIFTH Include any words that provide greater context to your question

Sometimes the name of the dependent variable provides all the explanation we need to know what we are trying to measure. Take the following examples:

In the first example, the dependent variable is daily calorific intake (i.e., calories consumed per day). Clearly, this descriptive research question is asking us to measure the number of calories American men and women consume per day. In the second example, the dependent variable is Facebook usage per week. Again, the name of this dependent variable makes it easy for us to understand that we are trying to measure the often (i.e., how frequently; e.g., 16 times per week) British university students use Facebook.

However, sometimes a descriptive research question is not simply interested in measuring the dependent variable in its entirety, but a particular component of the dependent variable. Take the following examples in red text :

In the first example, the research question is not simply interested in the daily calorific intake of American men and women, but what percentage of these American men and women exceeded their daily calorific allowance. So the dependent variable is still daily calorific intake, but the research question aims to understand a particular component of that dependent variable (i.e., the percentage of American men and women exceeding the recommend daily calorific allowance). In the second example, the research question is not only interested in what the factors influencing career choices are, but which of these factors are the most important.

Therefore, when you think about constructing your descriptive research question, make sure you have included any words that provide greater context to your question.

SIXTH Write out the descriptive research question

Once you have these details ? (1) the starting phrase, (2) the name of the dependent variable, (3) the name of the group(s) you are interested in, and (4) any potential joining words ? you can write out the descriptive research question in full. The example descriptive research questions discussed above are written out in full below:

In the section that follows, the structure of comparative research questions is discussed.

Writing Dissertation Questionnaire: Do’s and Don’ts

Writing Dissertation Questionnaire Do's and Don'ts

Table of Contents

A dissertation questionnaire is the best way to gather the data for your dissertation. One can include either close-ended questions or open-ended questions in a questionnaire. Students’ find it tough to finalize and compose a Questionnaire for research purposes and look for help. Students are getting assistance in their dissertation writing work from the writers of dissertation writing services UK.

A questionnaire is a research instrument and it consists of a set of questions and its main aim is to gather the data from the respondents. One can include either close-ended questions or open-ended questions in a questionnaire. There are three main characteristics of a questionnaire. First, there should be uniformity in the questions. Secondly, the nature of a questionnaire should be exploratory. At last, there should be a sequence between all the questions of a questionnaire. Structured and unstructured are two main types of questionnaires. Some do’s and don’ts of writing dissertation questionnaires are given below;

Do’s of writing dissertation questionnaire

Do’s of writing a dissertation questionnaire are those things that are necessary to add to in a questionnaire. These are given below;

  • The students should keep in mind the target respondents. While preparing the questions, the students should keep in mind the age and education level of the respondents.
  • The questions of a questionnaire should be anonymous for the respondents.
  • Try to translate your research questions into a dissertation questionnaire in the form of a series of questions.
  • Follow the natural flow and logical conservation while setting questions in your questionnaire.
  • There is also a possibility that you are not able to specify some essential aspects of your question and your respondents are willing to provide the answers to your questions in some words. For this reason, you should try to specify a place to get their views.
  • You should try to gather the data in more than one way. For example, you can gather the data by giving these questionnaires in the form of paper prints and you can also gather the data by sending these questionnaires to the respondents via some online means.
  • The questions of your questionnaire should be such that the respondents will never try to leave any question of your dissertation questionnaire.

Don’ts of writing a dissertation questionnaire

There are also some things that you should avoid while preparing a dissertation questionnaire. These things are explained below;

  • There is no need to write leading questions. Its reason is that these leading questions provide an idea about the only side of the question.
  • There is no need to use some technical or vague terms. Its reason is that these technical and vague terms will make it difficult for the respondents to understand the nature of the question.
  • You should also avoid the repetition of questions in the questionnaire.
  • There should be no double-barreled questions in your dissertation questionnaire.
  • There is no need to add some excessive classification sections in your questionnaire.
  • You should not forget to add an introductory paragraph that provides an idea to the respondents about the main purpose of writing a dissertation questionnaire.

A dissertation questionnaire is the best way to gather the data for your dissertation. Some do’s of writing a dissertation questionnaire are to keep in mind the age and education level of the respondents, to create anonymous questions for your dissertation questionnaire, to maintain the sequence of the questions and to ensure the natural flow of the questions. There are also some don’ts of writing a dissertation questionnaire. These don’ts are to avoid the use of technical terms in the questions of your questionnaire, to avoid the use of absolutes in the questions and there is no need to create lengthy questions.

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“The central question that you ask or hypothesis you frame drives your research: it defines your purpose.” Bryan Greetham, How to Write Your Undergraduate Dissertation

This page gives some help and guidance in developing a realistic research question. It also considers the role of sub-questions and how these can influence your methodological choices. 

Choosing your research topic

You may have been provided with a list of potential topics or even specific questions to choose from. It is more common for you to have to come up with your own ideas and then refine them with the help of your tutor. This is a crucial decision as you will be immersing yourself in it for a long time.

Some students struggle to find a topic that is sufficiently significant and yet researchable within the limitations of an undergraduate project. You may feel overwhelmed by the freedom to choose your own topic but you could get ideas by considering the following:

Choose a topic that you find interesting . This may seem obvious but a lot of students go for what they think will be easy over what they think will be interesting - and regret it when they realise nothing is particularly easy and they are bored by the work. Think back over your lectures or talks from visiting speakers - was there anything you really enjoyed? Was there anything that left you with questions?

Choose something distinct . Whilst at undergraduate level you do not have to find something completely unique, if you find something a bit different you have more opportunity to come to some interesting conclusions. Have you some unique experiences that you can bring: personal biography, placements, study abroad etc?

Don't make your topic too wide . If your topic is too wide, it will be harder to develop research questions that you can actually answer in the context of a small research project.

Don't make your work too narrow . If your topic is too narrow, you will not be able to expand on the ideas sufficiently and make useful conclusions. You may also struggle to find enough literature to support it.

Scope out the field before deciding your topic . This is especially important if you have a few different options and are not sure which to pick. Spend a little time researching each one to get a feel for the amount of literature that exists and any particular avenues that could be worth exploring.

Think about your future . Some topics may fit better than others with your future plans, be they for further study or employment. Becoming more expert in something that you may have to be interviewed about is never a bad thing!

Once you have an idea (or even a few), speak to your tutor. They will advise on whether it is the right sort of topic for a dissertation or independent study. They have a lot of experience and will know if it is too much to take on, has enough material to build on etc.

Developing a research question or hypothesis

Research question vs hypothesis.

First, it may be useful to explain the difference between a research question and a hypothesis. A research question is simply a question that your research will address and hopefully answer (or give an explanation of why you couldn't answer it). A hypothesis is a statement that suggests how you expect something to function or behave (and which you would test to see if it actually happens or not).

Research question examples

  • How significant is league table position when students choose their university?
  • What impact can a diagnosis of depression have on physical health?

Note that these are open questions - i.e. they cannot be answered with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. This is the best form of question.

Hypotheses examples

  • Students primarily choose their university based on league table position.
  • A diagnosis of depression can impact physical health.

Note that these are things that you can test to see if they are true or false. This makes them more definite then research questions - but you can still answer them more fully than 'no they don't' or 'yes it does'. For example, in the above examples you would look to see how relevant other factors were when choosing universities and in what ways physical health may be impacted.

For more examples of the same topic formulated as hypotheses, research questions and paper titles see those given at the bottom of this document from Oakland University: Formulation of Research Hypothesis

Which do you need?

Generally, research questions are more common in the humanities, social sciences and business, whereas hypotheses are more common in the sciences. This is not a hard rule though, talk things through with your supervisor to see which they are expecting or which they think fits best with your topic.

What makes a good research question or hypothesis?

Unless you are undertaking a systematic review as your research method, you will develop your research question  as a result of reviewing the literature on your broader topic. After all, it is only by seeing what research has already been done (or not) that you can justify the need for your question or your approach to answering it. At the end of that process, you should be able to come up with a question or hypothesis that is:

  • Clear (easily understandable)
  • Focused (specific not vague or huge)
  • Answerable (the data is available and analysable in the time frame)
  • Relevant (to your area of study)
  • Significant (it is worth answering)

You can try a few out, using a table like this (yours would all be in the same discipline):

A similar, though different table is available from the University of California: What makes a good research topic?   The completed table has some supervisor comments which may also be helpful.

Ultimately, your final research question will be mutually agreed between yourself and your supervisor - but you should always bring your own ideas to the conversation.

The role of sub-questions

Your main research question will probably still be too big to answer easily. This is where sub-questions come in. They are specific, narrower questions that you can answer directly from your data.

So, looking at the question " How much do online users know and care about how their self-images can be used by Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook? " from the table above, the sub-questions could be:

  • What rights do the terms and conditions of signing up for Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook accounts give those companies regarding the use of self-images?
  • What proportion of users read the terms and conditions when creating accounts with these companies?
  • How aware are users of the rights they are giving away regarding their self-images when creating accounts with these companies?
  • How comfortable are users with giving away these rights?

The main research question is the overarching question with the subquestions filling in the blanks

Together, the answers to your sub-questions should enable you to answer the overarching research question.

How do you answer your sub-questions?

Depending on the type of dissertation/project your are undertaking, some (or all) the questions may be answered with information collected from the literature and some (or none) may be answered by analysing data directly collected as part of your primary empirical research .

In the above example, the first question would be answered by documentary analysis of the relevant terms and conditions, the second by a mixture of reviewing the literature and analysing survey responses from participants and the last two also by analysing survey responses. Different projects will require different approaches.

Some sub-questions could be answered from the literature review and others from empirical study

Some sub-questions could be answered by reviewing the literature and others from empirical study.

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Methodology

  • Survey Research | Definition, Examples & Methods

Survey Research | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on August 20, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 22, 2023.

Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analyzing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps:

  • Determine who will participate in the survey
  • Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person)
  • Design the survey questions and layout
  • Distribute the survey
  • Analyze the responses
  • Write up the results

Surveys are a flexible method of data collection that can be used in many different types of research .

Table of contents

What are surveys used for, step 1: define the population and sample, step 2: decide on the type of survey, step 3: design the survey questions, step 4: distribute the survey and collect responses, step 5: analyze the survey results, step 6: write up the survey results, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about surveys.

Surveys are used as a method of gathering data in many different fields. They are a good choice when you want to find out about the characteristics, preferences, opinions, or beliefs of a group of people.

Common uses of survey research include:

  • Social research : investigating the experiences and characteristics of different social groups
  • Market research : finding out what customers think about products, services, and companies
  • Health research : collecting data from patients about symptoms and treatments
  • Politics : measuring public opinion about parties and policies
  • Psychology : researching personality traits, preferences and behaviours

Surveys can be used in both cross-sectional studies , where you collect data just once, and in longitudinal studies , where you survey the same sample several times over an extended period.

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Before you start conducting survey research, you should already have a clear research question that defines what you want to find out. Based on this question, you need to determine exactly who you will target to participate in the survey.

Populations

The target population is the specific group of people that you want to find out about. This group can be very broad or relatively narrow. For example:

  • The population of Brazil
  • US college students
  • Second-generation immigrants in the Netherlands
  • Customers of a specific company aged 18-24
  • British transgender women over the age of 50

Your survey should aim to produce results that can be generalized to the whole population. That means you need to carefully define exactly who you want to draw conclusions about.

Several common research biases can arise if your survey is not generalizable, particularly sampling bias and selection bias . The presence of these biases have serious repercussions for the validity of your results.

It’s rarely possible to survey the entire population of your research – it would be very difficult to get a response from every person in Brazil or every college student in the US. Instead, you will usually survey a sample from the population.

The sample size depends on how big the population is. You can use an online sample calculator to work out how many responses you need.

There are many sampling methods that allow you to generalize to broad populations. In general, though, the sample should aim to be representative of the population as a whole. The larger and more representative your sample, the more valid your conclusions. Again, beware of various types of sampling bias as you design your sample, particularly self-selection bias , nonresponse bias , undercoverage bias , and survivorship bias .

There are two main types of survey:

  • A questionnaire , where a list of questions is distributed by mail, online or in person, and respondents fill it out themselves.
  • An interview , where the researcher asks a set of questions by phone or in person and records the responses.

Which type you choose depends on the sample size and location, as well as the focus of the research.

Questionnaires

Sending out a paper survey by mail is a common method of gathering demographic information (for example, in a government census of the population).

  • You can easily access a large sample.
  • You have some control over who is included in the sample (e.g. residents of a specific region).
  • The response rate is often low, and at risk for biases like self-selection bias .

Online surveys are a popular choice for students doing dissertation research , due to the low cost and flexibility of this method. There are many online tools available for constructing surveys, such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms .

  • You can quickly access a large sample without constraints on time or location.
  • The data is easy to process and analyze.
  • The anonymity and accessibility of online surveys mean you have less control over who responds, which can lead to biases like self-selection bias .

If your research focuses on a specific location, you can distribute a written questionnaire to be completed by respondents on the spot. For example, you could approach the customers of a shopping mall or ask all students to complete a questionnaire at the end of a class.

  • You can screen respondents to make sure only people in the target population are included in the sample.
  • You can collect time- and location-specific data (e.g. the opinions of a store’s weekday customers).
  • The sample size will be smaller, so this method is less suitable for collecting data on broad populations and is at risk for sampling bias .

Oral interviews are a useful method for smaller sample sizes. They allow you to gather more in-depth information on people’s opinions and preferences. You can conduct interviews by phone or in person.

  • You have personal contact with respondents, so you know exactly who will be included in the sample in advance.
  • You can clarify questions and ask for follow-up information when necessary.
  • The lack of anonymity may cause respondents to answer less honestly, and there is more risk of researcher bias.

Like questionnaires, interviews can be used to collect quantitative data: the researcher records each response as a category or rating and statistically analyzes the results. But they are more commonly used to collect qualitative data : the interviewees’ full responses are transcribed and analyzed individually to gain a richer understanding of their opinions and feelings.

Next, you need to decide which questions you will ask and how you will ask them. It’s important to consider:

  • The type of questions
  • The content of the questions
  • The phrasing of the questions
  • The ordering and layout of the survey

Open-ended vs closed-ended questions

There are two main forms of survey questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Many surveys use a combination of both.

Closed-ended questions give the respondent a predetermined set of answers to choose from. A closed-ended question can include:

  • A binary answer (e.g. yes/no or agree/disagree )
  • A scale (e.g. a Likert scale with five points ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree )
  • A list of options with a single answer possible (e.g. age categories)
  • A list of options with multiple answers possible (e.g. leisure interests)

Closed-ended questions are best for quantitative research . They provide you with numerical data that can be statistically analyzed to find patterns, trends, and correlations .

Open-ended questions are best for qualitative research. This type of question has no predetermined answers to choose from. Instead, the respondent answers in their own words.

Open questions are most common in interviews, but you can also use them in questionnaires. They are often useful as follow-up questions to ask for more detailed explanations of responses to the closed questions.

The content of the survey questions

To ensure the validity and reliability of your results, you need to carefully consider each question in the survey. All questions should be narrowly focused with enough context for the respondent to answer accurately. Avoid questions that are not directly relevant to the survey’s purpose.

When constructing closed-ended questions, ensure that the options cover all possibilities. If you include a list of options that isn’t exhaustive, you can add an “other” field.

Phrasing the survey questions

In terms of language, the survey questions should be as clear and precise as possible. Tailor the questions to your target population, keeping in mind their level of knowledge of the topic. Avoid jargon or industry-specific terminology.

Survey questions are at risk for biases like social desirability bias , the Hawthorne effect , or demand characteristics . It’s critical to use language that respondents will easily understand, and avoid words with vague or ambiguous meanings. Make sure your questions are phrased neutrally, with no indication that you’d prefer a particular answer or emotion.

Ordering the survey questions

The questions should be arranged in a logical order. Start with easy, non-sensitive, closed-ended questions that will encourage the respondent to continue.

If the survey covers several different topics or themes, group together related questions. You can divide a questionnaire into sections to help respondents understand what is being asked in each part.

If a question refers back to or depends on the answer to a previous question, they should be placed directly next to one another.

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Before you start, create a clear plan for where, when, how, and with whom you will conduct the survey. Determine in advance how many responses you require and how you will gain access to the sample.

When you are satisfied that you have created a strong research design suitable for answering your research questions, you can conduct the survey through your method of choice – by mail, online, or in person.

There are many methods of analyzing the results of your survey. First you have to process the data, usually with the help of a computer program to sort all the responses. You should also clean the data by removing incomplete or incorrectly completed responses.

If you asked open-ended questions, you will have to code the responses by assigning labels to each response and organizing them into categories or themes. You can also use more qualitative methods, such as thematic analysis , which is especially suitable for analyzing interviews.

Statistical analysis is usually conducted using programs like SPSS or Stata. The same set of survey data can be subject to many analyses.

Finally, when you have collected and analyzed all the necessary data, you will write it up as part of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper .

In the methodology section, you describe exactly how you conducted the survey. You should explain the types of questions you used, the sampling method, when and where the survey took place, and the response rate. You can include the full questionnaire as an appendix and refer to it in the text if relevant.

Then introduce the analysis by describing how you prepared the data and the statistical methods you used to analyze it. In the results section, you summarize the key results from your analysis.

In the discussion and conclusion , you give your explanations and interpretations of these results, answer your research question, and reflect on the implications and limitations of the research.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Student’s  t -distribution
  • Normal distribution
  • Null and Alternative Hypotheses
  • Chi square tests
  • Confidence interval
  • Quartiles & Quantiles
  • Cluster sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Data cleansing
  • Reproducibility vs Replicability
  • Peer review
  • Prospective cohort study

Research bias

  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Placebo effect
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Hindsight bias
  • Affect heuristic
  • Social desirability bias

A questionnaire is a data collection tool or instrument, while a survey is an overarching research method that involves collecting and analyzing data from people using questionnaires.

A Likert scale is a rating scale that quantitatively assesses opinions, attitudes, or behaviors. It is made up of 4 or more questions that measure a single attitude or trait when response scores are combined.

To use a Likert scale in a survey , you present participants with Likert-type questions or statements, and a continuum of items, usually with 5 or 7 possible responses, to capture their degree of agreement.

Individual Likert-type questions are generally considered ordinal data , because the items have clear rank order, but don’t have an even distribution.

Overall Likert scale scores are sometimes treated as interval data. These scores are considered to have directionality and even spacing between them.

The type of data determines what statistical tests you should use to analyze your data.

The priorities of a research design can vary depending on the field, but you usually have to specify:

  • Your research questions and/or hypotheses
  • Your overall approach (e.g., qualitative or quantitative )
  • The type of design you’re using (e.g., a survey , experiment , or case study )
  • Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., questionnaires , observations)
  • Your data collection procedures (e.g., operationalization , timing and data management)
  • Your data analysis methods (e.g., statistical tests  or thematic analysis )

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How Many Questions Should A Dissertation Questionnaire Have?

As a rule of thumb, one should use multiplier of minimum five to determine the sample size i.e. if you are having 30 questions in your questionnaire multiply it with 5 = 150 responses (minimum).

Does a dissertation need a questionnaire?

A dissertation questionnaire is the best way to gather the data for your dissertation . One can include either close-ended questions or open-ended questions in a questionnaire. Students’ find it tough to finalize and compose a Questionaire for research purpose and look for help.

What is a good sample size for a dissertation?

A good maximum sample size is usually 10% as long as it does not exceed 1000 . A good maximum sample size is usually around 10% of the population, as long as this does not exceed 1000.

Why is 30 a good sample size?

The answer to this is that an appropriate sample size is required for validity . If the sample size it too small, it will not yield valid results. An appropriate sample size can produce accuracy of results. … If we are using three independent variables, then a clear rule would be to have a minimum sample size of 30.

What is the minimum sample size for study?

For strategically important studies, sample size of 1,000 are typically required. A minimum sample size of 200 per segment is considered safe for market segmentation studies (e.g., if you are doing a segmentation study and you are OK with having up to 6 segments, then a sample size of 1,200 is desirable).

How do I get people to take my dissertation survey?

How to Get People to Take Your Dissertation Survey

  • Grab a tablet and stop people around campus. …
  • Post about your survey in our forums. …
  • Join a dissertation survey exchange group on Facebook. …
  • Offer a prize to one lucky respondent. …
  • Do it over the phone.

How do I get people to do my questionnaire?

Demand Generation

  • The Main Message: Make Them Feel Special. To get people to want to complete your survey, express your genuine appreciation for their participation. …
  • Eye on the Prize: Provide Incentives. …
  • Don’t Waste Their Time: Keep Surveys Relevant. …
  • Be Top-of-Mind: Offer Surveys in Multiple Channels.

Where can I post a survey to get responses for free?

What types of channels should I go after?

  • Friends and Family.
  • Facebook Groups.
  • Slack Groups.
  • People on the Street.

What is a good number of survey responses?

As a very rough rule of thumb, 200 responses will provide fairly good survey accuracy under most assumptions and parameters of a survey project. 100 responses are probably needed even for marginally acceptable accuracy.

What is the best sample size for qualitative research?

Our general recommendation for in-depth interviews is a sample size of 30 , if we’re building a study that includes similar segments within the population. A minimum size can be 10 – but again, this assumes the population integrity in recruiting.

What are the three types of questionnaires?

There are following types of questionnaires:

  • Computer questionnaire. Respondents are asked to answer the questionnaire which is sent by mail. …
  • Telephone questionnaire. …
  • In-house survey. …
  • Mail Questionnaire. …
  • Open question questionnaires. …
  • Multiple choice questions. …
  • Dichotomous Questions. …
  • Scaling Questions.

How many questions are too many for a survey?

There is no hard and fast answer. However, as a general rule, the survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete; less than five minutes is more than twice as good. Typically, this means about five to 10 questions . Ask fewer questions if they are particularly involved or are free-response questions.

How long should you run a survey?

Research shows that data quality declines on surveys that are longer than 20 minutes, so a good rule of thumb is to aim for a survey that takes no more than 15 or 20 minutes to complete.

How long should a questionnaire take to complete?

In general, questionnaire length (average LOI) should be limited to: 10 to 15 minutes for self-administered online surveys . 20 to 30 minutes for semi-structured telephone interviews . 30 to 60 minutes for in-depth , structured telephone or face-to-face interviews.

How do I request a survey to be filled?

How to ask someone to fill out a survey

  • Make your subject line interesting. To increase the chances of your email being read, create an interesting subject line. …
  • Greet the recipient. …
  • Explain your invite. …
  • Offer an incentive. …
  • Inform recipients of the survey’s length. …
  • Thank the recipient. …
  • Send feedback.

How do you distribute a survey?

5 (Better) Survey Distribution Methods To Get More Respondents

  • Random Device Engagement. By far, the best way to distribute surveys is through a method called Random Device Engagement. …
  • Share your survey on social media. …
  • Share your survey on your website or blog. …
  • Hire a Market Research agency. …
  • Send surveys via email.

How do you politely ask for a survey?

11 Steps to Ask Someone to Fill Out a Survey

  • Simple Salutation Personalisation.
  • Tell Them Why They are Receiving the Invite.
  • Don’t Tell Them How Great You Are.
  • Explain the Purpose of the Survey.
  • Give a Realistic Estimate of the Time it Will Take.
  • Give Them a Place to Ask Questions.
  • Show Them the Survey Link.

How many is the needed respondents?

There are two schools of thought about sample size – one is that as long as a survey is representative, a relatively small sample size is adequate. Perhaps 300-500 respondents can work. The other point of view is that while maintaining a representative sample is essential, the more respondents you have the better.

How do you present a questionnaire in a dissertation?

The easiest way to report your results is to frame them around any research sub-questions or hypotheses that you formulated . For each sub-question, present the relevant results, including any statistical analysis you conducted, and briefly evaluate their significance and reliability.

How do you ask for a survey via email?

To get a better response rate to your survey, use the following guidelines when creating a survey invitation email:

  • Use a Clear Email Subject Line.
  • Say Who Has Been Asked to Participate.
  • Explain the Survey’s Purpose.
  • Create Urgency With a Deadline.
  • Mention Time Needed to Participate.
  • Explain Incentives.

What is the minimum sample size for t test?

No. There is no minimum sample size required to perform a t-test . In fact, the first t-test ever performed only used a sample size of four. However, if the assumptions of a t-test are not met then the results could be unreliable.

What is the minimum sample size needed for a 95% confidence interval?

Remember that z for a 95% confidence level is 1.96. Refer to the table provided in the confidence level section for z scores of a range of confidence levels. Thus, for the case above, a sample size of at least 385 people would be necessary.

What is the formula of sample size?

n = N*X / (X + N – 1) , where, X = Z α / 2 2 *p*(1-p) / MOE 2 , and Z α / 2 is the critical value of the Normal distribution at α/2 (e.g. for a confidence level of 95%, α is 0.05 and the critical value is 1.96), MOE is the margin of error, p is the sample proportion, and N is the population size.

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Environment | Gore-Tex maker polluted some Marylanders’…

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Subscriber only, environment | gore-tex maker polluted some marylanders’ drinking water with ‘forever chemicals,’ officials say. the question is how many..

Cecil County resident Norma Calabro stands outside her well house at her home, which is near W.L. Gore's Cherry Hill location. She is one of the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit focusing on PFAS contamination. (Jerry Jackson/Staff)

The maker of the renowned Gore-Tex waterproofing for outdoor gear polluted groundwater near two of its plants in Northeastern Maryland with a hazardous “forever chemical,” according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

State investigations at the manufacturing sites in the Elkton area of Cecil County indicate W.L. Gore & Associates released a harmful type of the long-lasting PFAS pollutants, formally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, at some point in its decades-long past, said Tyler Abbott, director of MDE’s land and materials administration. The locations are the company’s Cherry Hill and Fair Hill facilities.

Some of the homes closest to the sites, residences that mostly relied on wells, saw elevated levels of PFAS in their drinking water as a result, MDE says.

Revelations that PFAS chemicals are astoundingly persistent in the environment, and that some pose a threat to human health, have thrust Gore, whose products are beloved by outdoors enthusiasts, into the center of a vexing environmental problem, compelled it to reimagine its namesake brand and left it facing lawsuits from a former employee and neighbors.

Meanwhile, MDE is trying to determine the “radius” of pollution that could be attributed to the two Elkton-area sites, Abbott said.

“The sample results that we are seeing would indicate that Gore is responsible for some — if not all — of the pollution,” Abbott said. “It’s just delineating that line.”

Gore “continues to work voluntarily and proactively with the Maryland Department of the Environment to fully understand the situation, while providing support to our community throughout the process,” company spokeswoman Deena O’Brien said in a statement.

The Newark, Delaware-based company relied on varieties of PFAS that are heat-, water- and oil-resistant to make waterproof membranes and coatings for raincoats, medical equipment and even space suits. Along the way, its Gore-Tex became a household name. But a harmful PFAS compound called PFOA was once contained within the raw materials it used.

The manufacturers of dangerous PFAS compounds, including DuPont and 3M Co., have agreed to multimillion-dollar settlements in the U.S. over environmental contamination and health impacts, which include cancer and damage to reproductive and immune systems.

Gore, which previously used the compounds but did not manufacture them — didn’t face that sort of litigation until 2022. That’s when a family from the Cherry Hill area sued in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. They alleged the nearby Gore plant contaminated their water supply with a harmful PFAS compound called PFOA. A class-action lawsuit followed in 2023, filed on behalf of anyone who lived, worked or went to school within a 3½-mile radius of that plant for at least six months.

Gore said in 2014 that it had stopped using the compound, but PFOA’s enduring nature means it lingers in the environment.

Cecil County residents located near W.L. Gore's Cherry Hill location filed a class-action lawsuit last year. (Jerry Jackson/Staff)

After the cases were filed, Maryland regulators opened an investigation into Gore, and Abbott said the state now believes Gore contributed at least some PFOA to the environment.

Figuring out how that happened is complicated, he said. Gore employees handled materials containing harmful PFAS at the facilities dating back as far as the 1970s.

“We’re not really sure. I’m not sure that Gore is either,” Abbott said. “Just picture handling such a product and washing your hands in the sink. That leads to contamination. So it’s trying to really figure out what might have got us here. Because small things like that do make a difference.”

The lawsuits allege unlined storage ponds at Gore’s Cherry Hill site may have held PFAS-contaminated wastewater from the manufacturing process, and it could have leached into the community’s groundwater. The suits also suggest that during the drying process for Gore’s materials, harmful PFAS could have left the sites in vapor.

O’Brien said the company denies the lawsuits’ claims, although she declined to comment on specific allegations because the litigation is ongoing. However, she also said the suits “fail to acknowledge key facts about Gore’s proactive steps” to process PFAS responsibly.

Recently, Gore has paid to connect a handful of homes next to its Cherry Hill plant to a public water system, a company spokesperson said.

Other homes are farther from the necessary infrastructure. Gore has offered water treatment systems to 134 households within a mile of both of its plants, regardless of the pollution level detected at each home, O’Brien said.

Gore also hired a firm to conduct testing on its sites. In coordination with MDE, Gore is evaluating its other Elkton-area locations, according to the agency. In Cecil County, the company has 14 facilities and 2,900 workers, making it the largest private employer.

MDE, for its part, is “satisfied” by Gore’s provisions of bottled water, treatment systems and public water hookups, said agency spokesman Jay Apperson.

Abbott declined to comment on the state’s next steps, but many “different legal avenues” are possible, he said.

The agency feels confident that the radius of Gore’s pollution includes private wells sampled within a quarter mile of the Cherry Hill and Fair Hill sites, Apperson said.

The Baltimore Sun obtained laboratory testing commissioned by the law firm that filed the suits. It found homes closest to Gore’s Cherry Hill plant had levels of harmful PFOA as high as 710 parts per trillion.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has said the compound becomes dangerous in drinking water, given a lifetime of exposure, at 0.004 parts per trillion. But considering the limitations of testing and water treatment technology, the agency has proposed that the enforceable drinking water limit for this compound be 4 parts per trillion.

Though other PFAS compounds have been detected near the Gore sites, PFOA is the main contaminant of concern. That’s because it consistently has the highest readings, Apperson said.

State testing of well water more than a quarter mile from the two Gore sites was less conclusive. PFOA levels were lower, though many were still above the EPA’s proposed standard, and didn’t show a clear pattern in relation to the Gore sites. On average, the levels were under 10 parts per trillion, with a maximum of about 55 parts per trillion.

The "forever chemical" PFOA was detected in concentrations over the Environmental Protection Agency's 4 ppt limit in most of the more than 100 samples the state tested last year from private wells within a 2 mile radius of W.L. Gore's Cherry Hill or Fair Hill plant. The Maryland Department of the Environment has not determined how much of that pollution could be attributed to the plants. | Sources: Maryland Department of the Environment, OpenStreetMap (Staff Graphic)

“The fate and transport of PFAS is not like other, more easily discernible contaminants,” Apperson said in a statement.

Because PFAS chemicals have been manufactured for such a long time, and linger so long in the environment, they can be found all over the globe at low levels, even far from a source, said Christopher Higgins, a Colorado School of Mines civil and environmental engineering professor who studies PFAS.

“If you were to collect a water sample on the surface of the planet, there’s a good chance if you collected enough of the water, you could measure it pretty much anywhere,” Higgins said.

There’s also the chance that other local sources — such as household septic tanks — contribute to diffuse levels, Abbott said. That’s because a significant portion of the population likely carries at least some PFAS in their bloodstreams. When those compounds leave the body, they can contaminate the waste that enters underground septic systems.

“Could that be something that creates background levels?” Abbott said. “There’s a lot of things that we’re talking about, just to get an idea of what is affecting us as a state.”

As the state races to uncover the damage that PFAS have wrought, industrial sites like Gore’s are just one focus. Military bases, firefighter training areas and airfields are also part of the picture.

Federal law compels testing on military sites, and PFAS levels in the thousands and millions parts per trillion have been found in bases in Maryland, mainly where firefighting foams containing PFAS were used.

The scope of the state’s review also includes wastewater treatment plants and  landfills. In response to a recent survey by MDE, 14% of the state’s industrial sites reported at least some PFAS on location.

‘You just feel like you’re helpless’

Robin Waddell and her husband moved into their Elkton-area home more than 50 years ago. They raised their children there. They built a life.

So they were stunned to learn their drinking water contained higher-than-acceptable levels of more than one PFAS compound — and that it could date back decades.

“You just feel like you’re helpless,” said Waddell, whose tap had levels of 15 parts per trillion of PFOA. “What can you do? We’ve already had this exposure for so many years ongoing. It’s not like we just moved into this house.”

Waddell said her family can’t afford the kind of water treatment system that could address the PFAS contamination — a reverse osmosis system or granular activated carbon filters. The Waddell family hasn’t been contacted by Gore about treatment options. Their home is about 2 miles from Gore’s Cherry Hill site — beyond the radius within which Gore is offering free systems.

Waddell said she can’t avoid using well water that relies on a groundwater aquifer because her home can’t be connected to a public water system.

So far, four Cherry Hill households have been hooked up with Artesian Water, the water system serving the area, said Joseph DiNunzio, president of Artesian Water Maryland. The company is extending service to a fifth household, and is in discussion with six others.

“We can easily — and have — provided water service to people who have properties adjacent to our existing water lines,” DiNunzio said. “It gets a little more complicated when the water main has to be extended for someone.”

Artesian Water does not have infrastructure in the Fair Hill area, and doesn’t have authorization to expand there, DiNunzio said.

Under Maryland law, a resident benefitting from a water main extension has to pay for it, he said. The provision was intended to prevent existing customers from being forced to fund a system’s expansion, he added. Such costs can be staggering.

“We’ve had discussions with Gore, but we’re not in a position to tell you what their intent is,” DiNunzio said. “If they want that to happen, and want to participate in that, we have the water available.”

Gore’s O’Brien said the company evaluated connecting homes adjacent to Fair Hill to Artesian Water, but determined that water treatment systems would be “the most effective and timely alternative.”

About 10% of Maryland’s population is served by wells. It’s up to individual well owners to test for PFAS and figure out next steps. Maryland regulators recommend that owners of wells with levels higher than the EPA standard install treatment technology or switch to public water.

State officials are developing an online map showing well owners where testing for PFAS is recommended, based on known sources of contamination. Maryland regulators also are considering requiring PFAS testing before new wells can be brought online.

Cecil County resident Norma Calabro sits on the porch of her home located near W.L. Gore's Cherry Hill location. Calabro is one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit focusing on PFAS contamination discovered in their drinking water wells. (Jerry Jackson/Staff photo)

Norma Calabro, who lives in the Cherry Hill area more than a mile from Gore’s plant, said she used to cherish the squat, brick springhouse nestled in the woods behind her backyard. She used to tell friends and family she had some of the purest drinking water in the world.

The news about Gore shook her faith.

Her well tested at 2 parts per trillion of PFOA, less than the EPA’s proposed limit for drinking water, but more than the agency says is safe.

Calabro, 81, said she needs to learn more about whether to install a treatment system.

“If I went ahead and put in a system, I might find out later that it’s not big enough, not strong enough … and have to do it all over,” Calabro said. “Whatever I have to do — I would expect — would be reimbursed by Gore. But I don’t know when.”

In the meantime, the discoveries have local residents looking back at their lives through a new lens.

Waddell thinks of her parents-in-law, who lived next door. Each developed a type of cancer. Calabro’s husband died of bladder cancer. Both women wonder if PFAS contamination played a part.

In this part of Maryland, near the Delaware headquarters of chemical companies such as Gore and DuPont Co., the community relies on them, Calabro said. Her father worked for Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont. Her daughter works for The Chemours Co. of Wilmington, which was spun off from DuPont. Her nephew works at Gore.

“I worked for a big bank, which feeds off of these companies,” she said. “We are so tied to these companies. We can’t escape.”

‘Nothing would have changed’ It was a former Gore scientist named Stephen Sutton who started the environmental case against Gore in Cecil County.

After watching a 2018 documentary called “The Devil We Know,” which focuses on PFAS contamination from a DuPont Teflon plant in West Virginia, Sutton thought back to his years with Gore, according to his lawsuit.

Sutton worked closely with PTFE, the material behind Teflon and Gore-Tex, starting in 1993 at Gore’s Cherry Hill plant. Expanded into thin sheets, it became a waterproof lining for clothing. While PTFE is considered inert and its larger molecules aren’t known to react with the human body, it was manufactured using PFOA, a smaller molecule that accumulates in the body and causes health problems.

The residents’ suit argues Gore was aware of the potential harm well before it removed PFOA from its manufacturing in 2014.

Sutton alleges in his suit that after he was hired at Gore and looked for a home in the area, Gore supervisors tried to dissuade him without explanation from buying close to the Cherry Hill plant. Sutton’s family chose a home a bit over a mile from Gore.

The suit also alleges that Gore had employees undergo testing of their cholesterol levels, and transferred pregnant employees away from working with PTFE. High cholesterol levels, decreased birth weights and a pregnancy disorder called preeclampsia are associated with PFOA exposure. Gore told employees such as Sutton the materials they worked with were safe, according to the suit.

In 2000, Gore purchased the house of a former employee who lived directly across from the Cherry Hill plant after they died of cancer complications. It razed the building. Then in 2005, Gore bought a peach orchard adjacent to the plant. At the time, The Baltimore Sun reported the purchase stopped a planned housing development on the site. The orchard was ultimately razed, too, according to the lawsuit. The suit alleges that the purchases were efforts to disguise contamination.

Gore declined to comment on the specific allegations in the suit, citing the ongoing litigation.

Sutton and his wife, Elizabeth, each battled cancer. By the time they reached out to a team of environmental lawyers asking for help, they had moved to North Carolina.

After their investigation, the lawyers were confident Gore contaminated the Suttons’ well and the pollution could have contributed to their cancers, said Phil Federico, a partner at the Delaware firm.

The Suttons sued Gore in federal court in June 2022. Last February, the firm filed the class-action suit with similar allegations. Later that month, Maryland officials notified Gore that the state investigation into potential PFAS contamination was beginning.

Before the suits, MDE had started its effort to test key locations statewide for PFAS chemicals. An area several miles downstream of Gore’s Cherry Hill site made the list. A state contractor in 2019 tested the Little Elk Creek, near the Triumph Industrial Park in Elkton and about 5 miles downstream from that plant, Apperson said. The results showed no PFAS in sediment, “very low” levels in the water, and “did not reveal any obvious relationship to the W.L. Gore site,” Apperson said.

Initially, Maryland planned to test groundwater downstream of the Gore plant, too. But the state didn’t get adequate participation from nearby property owners, Apperson wrote.

“We only received one response and that property was on the very fringe of the potential area of concern,” Apperson wrote.

Starting last February, after Federico’s law firm publicized its suit against Gore and held community meetings, MDE started receiving numerous requests and was able to complete its testing.

While it’s concerning that Maryland didn’t catch the groundwater contamination earlier, Federico said, his bigger concern is that Gore did not report potential issues with PFAS contamination to the state agency.

“They have an obligation to report to a regulatory agency when they are generating a carcinogen, and they have an obligation to stop doing it and fix the problem,” Federico said. “They can’t turn a blind eye and do it for years — even decades. Which is what happened in this case.”

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Last week, an attack on an American military outpost in Jordan killed three U.S. soldiers and injured dozens more. This base raises the question of why American troops are stationed in this region.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

To a question now prompted by the U.S. military strikes on Iranian proxies in Iraq and Syria and Yemen. These strikes are in retaliation for the January 28 attack that killed three American soldiers stationed in Jordan. And the question is, why does the U.S. have troops in Jordan? Why is the U.S. military on the ground at all in the Middle East, with the war in Iraq long over? Well, to help answer that, Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, joins us. Hi there. Welcome.

CHARLES LISTER: Hi. Thanks for having me.

KELLY: Where exactly does the U.S. have troops in the Middle East that we know of?

LISTER: Well, we have a wide range of various troop deployments, large, significant bases, particularly in the Gulf in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait. We have presence in Iraq, in Syria, Jordan and a number of other places.

KELLY: OK. And what are these troops doing? As I noted, this is years after the U.S. ended its combat mission in Iraq and with ISIS, which - the U.S. has been there to fight or help train local troops to fight with ISIS, a much diminished force.

LISTER: Yes. I mean, this is obviously a key question, but it really comes down to something quite simple. I mean, in large part, we have roughly 30,000 troops deployed across the Middle East. The vast majority of those are there specifically because specific host governments have asked us to be there. And in almost all cases, that's generally for the same reason, which is that our presence is perceived to contribute towards either the kind of reality of stability in the region or to contribute towards a sense of deterrence to keep their territories safe.

KELLY: And what does the U.S. get out of it?

LISTER: Yeah. So the U.S. has, of course, an interest in keeping or at least in seeking to keep the Middle East stable. The Middle East is also situated in an area of the world where it's the center of the world's energy economy and production. The days of the United States being dependent on Middle East oil are long, long gone. But the United States has a key and a core interest in making sure that the world's energy markets remain secure and stable. Beyond that, as we're seeing with the military campaign that the Houthis are launching from Yemen these days, the waterways of the Middle East are absolutely central to international trade. And if that is ever threatened, there are immediate knock-on effects to the world economy, and that includes the United States.

KELLY: You mentioned that U.S. troops are there nearly always at the invitation of the host country. They want us there. What about the people of these countries, who, in some cases, are against the presence of U.S. troops, in some cases outright hostile?

LISTER: Yes. Well, I think that's probably just the reality. I think the key is that the governments of the region want us there in almost all cases. Really, the only exception here is Syria. But in many cases, like Iraq - and there's a big debate at the moment publicly about the state of the American military presence in Iraq - we face these strange situations whereby privately the government is telling us they want us there. But publicly, they're having to assuage the concerns of their own populations and express public expressions of opposition to the U.S. presence. And, of course, that places the United States in a very tricky situation.

KELLY: What is the risk-versus-benefit calculus of keeping an American military footprint on the ground? It's sadly a timely question with three American troops killed and dozens more wounded in Jordan.

LISTER: Absolutely. I mean, especially at times like this, after this recent deadly attack in Jordan on the Syrian border, it is the right time to be asking these questions. I mean, ultimately, no military deployment anywhere in the world comes without any risk. But within this debate, the most important thing for me, at least, is to consider the consequences of disengagement or withdrawal. And in almost all cases, the consequences of a U.S. withdrawal are far more risky from a specifically American standpoint or an international security standpoint than the risks associated with staying.

KELLY: Charles Lister, senior fellow and director of the Syria and Counterterrorism and Extremism programs at the Middle East Institute. Thank you.

LISTER: Thank you.

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Richard Fausset , based in Atlanta, writes about the American South, focusing on politics, culture, race, poverty and criminal justice. More about Richard Fausset

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IMAGES

  1. Dissertation Research Questionnaire

    how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

  2. Research Questions

    how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

  3. Dissertation Questionnaire

    how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

  4. Dissertation Questionnaire

    how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

  5. How To Write a Dissertation Questionnaire

    how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

  6. Research Questionnaire Examples

    how many questions for dissertation questionnaire

VIDEO

  1. How to make Dissertation? Complete Details about Dissertation / Thesis for Bachelors/ Masters Degree

  2. Dissertation

  3. Dissertation Questionnaire administration

  4. Dissertation Questionnaire design overview

  5. Dissertation Questionnaire Video 2

  6. How to Construct Quantitative Research Questions and Hypotheses

COMMENTS

  1. How short or long should be a questionnaire for any research? Researchers dilemma in deciding the appropriate questionnaire length

    The quality of the data obtained by a specific questionnaire depends on the length and number of questions in the questionnaire, the language, and the ease of comprehension of the questions, relevance of the population to which it is administered, and the mode of administration, i.e., the self-administered or paper method or the electronic metho...

  2. Questionnaire Design

    Frequently asked questions about questionnaire design Questionnaires vs. surveys A survey is a research method where you collect and analyze data from a group of people. A questionnaire is a specific tool or instrument for collecting the data.

  3. Writing Strong Research Questions

    All research questions should be: Focused on a single problem or issue Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints Specific enough to answer thoroughly Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis

  4. PDF QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN

    The aim of questionnaire design is to (a) get as many responses as you can that are (b) usable and accurate. To maximise your response rate; • Give your questionnaire a short and meaningful title • Keep the questionnaire as short and succinct as possible • Offer incentives for responding if appropriate

  5. A General Guide To Formatting And Structure of Questionnaire

    Don't ask too many questions at a time, this can lose your grades as well as confusing. ... This questionnaire is the part of my dissertation and I want to ask from you. Write the Purpose of the Questionnaire . Most people don't want to give an answer to the question, because, student forget to write the main purpose of the questionnaire ...

  6. (PDF) The Design and Use of Questionnaires in ...

    questionnaire's r esearch questions (Bahari, 2010; Bourke, 2014; May & Perry, 201; Holmes, 2020) and to act ethically and honestl y throughout the design and implementation process (BERA, 2018 ;

  7. Using a questionnaire survey for your dissertation

    University A-Z News Advice Using a questionnaire survey for your dissertation Find out how to use a dissertation questionnaire for your masters Prof Martyn Denscombe, author of " The Good Research Guide, 6th edition ", gives expert advice on using a questionnaire survey for your postgraduate dissertation.

  8. 13.1 Writing effective survey questions and questionnaires

    Most survey researchers agree that it is best to begin a survey with questions that will want to make respondents continue (Babbie, 2010; Dillman, 2000; Neuman, 2003). [4] In other words, don't bore respondents, but don't scare them away either.

  9. Dissertation questionnaire

    Next Steps Read Prof Martyn Denscombe's advice on using a Case Study for your postgraduate dissertation Learn how to use a questionnaire survey in dissertations. Our postgraduate expert gives you research tips which include research methodology and example questions.

  10. Doing Survey Research

    Step 1: Define the population and sample Step 2: Decide on the type of survey Step 3: Design the survey questions Step 4: Distribute the survey and collect responses Step 5: Analyse the survey results Step 6: Write up the survey results Frequently asked questions about surveys What are surveys used for?

  11. How to Frame and Explain the Survey Data Used in a Thesis

    Surveys are a special research tool with strengths, weaknesses, and a language all of their own. There are many different steps to designing and conducting a survey, and survey researchers have specific ways of describing what they do.This handout, based on an annual workshop offered by the Program on Survey Research at Harvard, is geared toward undergraduate honors thesis writers using survey ...

  12. Dissertation survey examples & questions

    Dissertation survey examples. Whatever field you're studying, we're sure the following questions will prove useful when crafting your own. At the beginning of every questionnaire, inform respondents of your topic and provide a consent form. After that, start with questions like:

  13. Dissertation Research Question Examples

    Below are 10 examples of dissertation research questions that will enable you to develop research questions for your research. These examples will help you to check whether your chosen research questions can be addressed or whether they are too broad to find a conclusive answer. Does your Research Methodology Have the Following?

  14. Dissertation Questionnaire

    Dissertation Questionnaire - 8+ Examples, Format, Pdf | Examples / / Questionnaires / 8+ Dissertation Questionnaire Examples & Samples in PDF | DOC A dissertation is a document usually a requirement for a doctoral degree especially in the field of philosophy.

  15. How to structure quantitative research questions

    Structure of descriptive research questions. There are six steps required to construct a descriptive research question: (1) choose your starting phrase; (2) identify and name the dependent variable; (3) identify the group (s) you are interested in; (4) decide whether dependent variable or group (s) should be included first, last or in two parts ...

  16. Writing Dissertation Questionnaire: Do's and Don'ts

    There should be no double-barreled questions in your dissertation questionnaire. There is no need to add some excessive classification sections in your questionnaire.

  17. How many questions are needed for qualitative research? Is there any

    How many questions are needed for qualitative research? Is there any rule or common trend? since sample size determination is not compulsory in qualitative research I am wondering if there is...

  18. Dissertations & projects: Research questions

    Dissertations & projects: Research questions Structure Jump to content on these pages: Choosing a research topic Developing a research question or hypothesis Research question vs hypothesis Which do you need What makes a good research question or hypothesis? The role of sub-questions How do you answer your sub-questions?

  19. Survey Research

    Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analyzing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps: Determine who will participate in the survey. Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person) Design the survey questions and layout. Distribute the survey.

  20. How many questions is too many, in a questionnaire/ how long in time is

    Time length for respondents to fill up your questionnaire is depending on number of constructs / variables and their total questions to be responded, number points of rating scales, clarity of ...

  21. How many questions? Dissertation survey

    A Hi, I working on my dissertation and I'm unsure how many questions should my questionnaire (published online) consist of. As for methodology, I'm doing a quantitative approach and thus I need to prepare a survey. Honestly speaking, my topic is still a bit unclear and I need to know how many questions should I ask people to clarify my topic.

  22. How Many Questions Should A Dissertation Questionnaire Have?

    As a rule of thumb, one should use multiplier of minimum five to determine the sample size i.e. if you are having 30 questions in your questionnaire multiply it with 5 = 150 responses (minimum). Does a dissertation need a questionnaire? A dissertation questionnaire is the best way to gather the data for your dissertation.

  23. How many research questions is enough for a quality dissertation?

    How many research questions is enough for a quality dissertation? August 20, 2020 PhD Assistance Off PhD Dissertation Brief: The Research question is the Primary organizing principle guiding you to analyze further. A study should have a minimum of 3 questions and a maximum of 6 queries.

  24. Takeaways from Fani Willis' stunning testimony in Georgia

    The Georgia election subversion case against Donald Trump and 14 of his allies took a stunning turn Thursday when two top prosecutors testified under oath about their romantic relationship at a ...

  25. Gore-Tex maker polluted some Marylanders' drinking water with 'forever

    The question is how many. ... In response to a recent survey by MDE, 14% of the state's industrial sites reported at least some PFAS on location. 'You just feel like you're helpless' ...

  26. Baltimore Sun

    301 Moved Permanently

  27. Biden's allies can't agree on how to combat questions about ...

    Minutes after the special counsel report landed on Thursday afternoon, House Democrats stood and cheered for President Joe Biden as he used their annual retreat as the latest chance to make a ...

  28. Recent violence raises questions about why U.S. has so many ...

    I mean, this is obviously a key question, but it really comes down to something quite simple. I mean, in large part, we have roughly 30,000 troops deployed across the Middle East.

  29. An Explosive Hearing in Trump's Georgia Election Case

    Fani T. Willis, the district attorney, defended her personal conduct as defense lawyers sought to disqualify her from the prosecution.