A One-Question Survey
Select the answer that best reflects your knowledge of writing survey questions.
When it comes to writing survey questions:
A. I have absolutely no idea how to write survey questions.
B. I have a basic understanding of how to write survey questions.
C. I’m confident I can write decent survey questions.
D. I pretty much consider myself an expert survey-question writer.
Whether you know very little about writing survey questions or you consider yourself an expert survey-question writer, you can benefit from reading this post. (It doesn’t hurt to learn something new or read a quick refresher on the information, right?)
So take a few minutes to review these tips, and check out some sample survey questions you can adapt to your own paper.
Here are two types of sample survey questions to get you started.
2 Types of Sample Survey Questions for Your Research Paper
This post is designed to provide you with sample survey questions. If you need more help with learning how to write questions, read Creating Good Interview and Survey Questions. You can also check out this short YouTube video: 7 tips for good survey questions.
Survey question type #1: Open-ended sample survey questions
Open-ended questions ask people to write short answers. These questions do not include a list of options to choose from.
When writing open-ended questions, carefully consider what you’re trying to learn by asking the question. Be specific, and choose your words carefully.
Here are 10 survey question examples you can adapt to your own research paper:
- What was your favorite/least favorite _________?
- Which of the following do you like most/least? Why?
- How could _________be improved?
- How do you use ___________in your everyday life?
- How do you feel about _________?
- What comes to mind when you hear the term__________?
- Does _________ or ____________ interest you most? Why?
- When considering _________, what do you want or need the most?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share about __________?
- Please share any other comments, questions, or concerns.
Survey question type #2: Closed-ended sample survey questions
Closed-ended questions provide a list of options for people to choose from. These types of questions include demographic questions, yes/no questions, and multiple choice and rating-scale questions.
Demographic questions are basic questions that ask people to reveal information about their backgrounds.
Here are 8 common demographic questions:
- What is your age?
- What is your gender?
- What is your ethnic background?
- What is your marital status?
- How many people live in your household?
- What is your zip code?
- What is the highest level of education you have completed?
- What is your income level?
Remember, these are closed-ended questions, so you’ll need to give people options to choose from.
For example, don’t allow people to write in their income. You might get answers like $10/hour, $600/week, or $183,000/year. This makes it difficult to analyze your results.
Instead, provide options, such as the following ranges:
- Less than $25,000/year
- More than $40,000/year
You might use yes/no questions if you’re trying to find out whether people own various products, complete certain tasks, visit specific places, or use specific services.
You can ask people things like the following:
- Do you use product X?
- Have you ever visited location X?
- If available, would you __________?
- Have you ever used the services at location Y?
- Did you know company A offers service B?
- Are you a member of Organization Z?
- Do you own a _________?
Multiple choice and rating-scale questions
Multiple choice and rating-scale questions often ask the same types of questions but use different formats to elicit the information.
For example, a multiple choice question might ask the following:
- How satisfied are you with our services?
A. Extremely satisfied
B. Somewhat satisfied
C. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
D. Somewhat dissatisfied
E. Extremely dissatisfied
A rating-scale question might ask the same question in another way and might look like this:
- How satisfied are you with our services?
Here are 5 additional sample questions you can adapt to your paper.
- How would you rate __________? (This might rate a product, service, or event.)
- How often do you use _________? (You might ask how often a respondent uses a product or service.)
- Rank the following in order of importance to you.
- When are you most likely to ___________? (Answers might include times of day or generalized statements, such as morning, afternoon, or evening.)
- How important is __________ to you?
It can be challenging to get just the right wording and answer options for your survey questions, so here are a few additional wording choices you might use.
If you ask, “Do you … ,” “How often do you… ,” or “How often do you anticipate … ,” you might choose some of these as possible answer options:
- Almost never
If you ask respondents about their thoughts, attitudes, or reactions, you might choose some of these as possible answer options:
- Very effective
- Somewhat effective
- Not effective
Or these options:
- Very poor
After you’ve compiled a list of survey questions, you’ll need to design the actual survey. The order and number of questions are just as important as the questions themselves.
When ordering questions, start with something easy, such as age or gender. Don’t start with complex or sensitive questions as this might discourage people from wanting to take your survey.
Also, pay attention to the length of your survey. Unless you’re paying people to take your survey, no one wants to spend more than a few minutes taking it. So include only the most important questions, and delete the others.
Once your survey is complete, you still need to check again for correct wording, format, and even proper grammar. That’s where we can help—Kibin editors are always happy to provide suggestions and useful feedback!