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Sample Term Paper

Words 1,342

This is a term paper on conducting surveys. Surveys should be just as rigorously designed and administered as any other research method. Babbie (1973) gives the following tips:

Surveys should be just as rigorously designed and administered as any other research method. Babbie (1973) gives the following tips:

  • Make items clear
  • Avoid double-barreled questions
  • Respondent must be competent to answer
  • Questions should be relevant
  • Short items are best
  • Avoid negative items
  • Avoid biased items and terms

Busha and Harter (1980) provide the following list of basic principles:

  • Unless the nature of a survey definitely warrants their usage, avoid slang, jargon, and technical terms.
  • Whenever possible, develop consistent response methods.
  • Make questions as impersonal as possible.
  • Do not bias later responses by the wording used in earlier questions.
  • As an ordinary rule, sequence questions from the general to the specific.
  • If closed questions are employed, try to develop exhaustive and mutually exclusive response alternatives.
  • Insofar as possible, place questions with similar content together in the survey instrument.
  • Make the questions as easy to answer as possible.
  • When unique and unusual terms need to be defined in questionnaire items, use very clear definitions.
  • Use an attractive questionnaire format that conveys a professional image.

It is evident, designing good questions is much more difficult than it seems. One effective way of making sure that questions measure what they are supposed to measure is to test them out first, using small focus groups.

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