Writing a questionnaire for your research project work may seem easy and that is why many students don’t pay attention to the intricacies involved in writing a project work until they get to its T junction and are stuck, not knowing how to go about it. A questionnaire is an important part of a data collection process that can determine the accuracy of your data or the doom of it and must not be taken with levity. While a questionnaire may always seem to have a general format to a layman, questionnaires can take on different format depending on the research study and every academic environment has their own specific format for designing research questionnaires; in most cases, this choice format is usually based on the discretion or preference of the supervisor.
Forming a good questionnaire for research purposes can be done in different ways, depending on the type of project topic you are working on as a final year undergraduate. Irrespective of all this, it is good that you take time to understand your project topic considerably well before deciding on the kind of question that you will like to ask your respondents and the type of data that you would need to gather from them for analysis. The questions in a questionnaire can also take up various format which may include a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ kind of questionnaire where you are only interested in only two types of response from your respondents, a multiple choice survey question that attempts provides various options in order to explore various findings, a rating scale kind of question which is used normally when trying to rate a particular event; the options usually in the format of ‘very pleasant’, ‘pleasant’, ‘normal’, ’unpleasant’ and ‘very unpleasant’ or in the format of ‘likely’, ‘maybe’ and ‘very unlikely’ amidst many other formats and a staple scale questionnaire format which is usually functional for descriptive purposes.
A whole number of other questioning format are used in writing a standard questionnaire, such as the rank order scaling questions, open ended survey questions, demographic survey questions, constant sum survey questions and semantic differential scale question amidst many others. Irrespective of the style used, a good questionnaire must start with a comfortable cover letter that will gain the confidence of the respondents and solicit their response. The cover letter should also contain the name of the researcher, the institution, department of the researcher and the information the researcher seeks. It is also necessary to note that the questions in the questionnaire must not contain too much personal details that may make the respondents insecure.
Contrary to popular opinion, a quality questionnaire requires time and concentration as this is vital in ensuring that you address every necessary area of the study while leaving no stone unturned. Hence any format of questionnaire that you decide to incorporate in writing your questionnaire, it is imperative to ensure that the questions being asked are in accordance with the research questions, research objectives and are necessary in analyzing the research hypotheses. With all the above tips given and carefully appropriated, you are ensured of a quality questionnaire that addresses your specified project topic.