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7 Tips for Writing Better Survey Items

So many people are creating surveys in schools, government agencies, and major corporations. Some are better than others.

Here are seven tips.

1  Stay focused on your goal. 
Avoid asking everything you can think of on a subject. Unfortunately, I've been on project teams that would not heed this advice. Participants get frustrated and leave surveys incomplete.

2  Ask only one question at a time.
Have someone look at your items to see if they are confused about what you are asking.

3  Use easy-to-understand language.
Know your audience and how they use language. Again, ask a few people to check your wording.

4  Write well.
Some participants will drop out of your survey when they identify misspelled words, common punctuation errors, and problems of grammar.

5  Cover all possible answers.
If you aren't sure you have listed every option, then add an "other" option with a place to write in another response. This may lessen the frustration of participants who don't agree with the available options.

6  Provide a reason and time information for long surveys.
Justify why it is important for people to spend a long time answering your questions. And give them a time estimate based on how long others have taken to complete your survey.

7  Build Trust
Provide contact information and a link to your school or business so people have a way of verifying your credibility. People will help students, but let them know your professor's name and the name of your school.

Learn more about creating surveys for business and school in CREATING SURVEYS.

Buy on AMAZON to see if it meets your needs. See why professors recommend Creating Surveys to undergraduate and graduate students.


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