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14 Tips For Writing An Effective Online Survey
By: Dana Fine
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    2006-04-03

    Table of Contents:
  • 14 Tips For Writing An Effective Online Survey
  • Plan ahead of...
  • Avoid double negatives...
  • Name your survey...

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    14 Tips For Writing An Effective Online Survey - Avoid double negatives...


    (Page 3 of 4 )

    9) Avoid double negatives, difficult concepts, and specific recall questions. Respondents are easily perplexed when trying to interpret the meaning of a question that uses double negatives. Respondents can also become quickly overwhelmed and lose detail of events or circumstances that are farther back in time. Most importantly, if the survey is too complex and/or difficult to fill out, respondents won’t complete it!

    10) Try to use more closed-ended questions, with no more than one or two open-ended questions. Respondents usually have a better understanding of closed-ended questions because they are more straightforward and offer responses they can choose from.

    Open-ended questions require a written response. An excessive number of open-ended questions can wear down the respondent and reduce the quality of the answers they provide.

    11) Scaled response questions should have answers that are at balanced, comparable intervals. For example, offering choices of excellent, very good, good, and terrible would cause you to miss important information in between the values of good and terrible.

    12) Whenever possible, responses should be developed as discrete amounts instead of general statements of quantities, with specific options from which to choose. It’s better to ask, “How many times a month do you go to the movies?” “0”, “1 to 3 times a month”, “3 to 5 times a month or more”, instead of “How often do you go to movies?” “almost never”, “one and a while”, “I am there at least once a week”, etc.

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