How to create a Research questionnaire Sample (Design and Format) – Steps

How to create a Research questionnaire Sample (Design and Format) – Steps

Step 1:  Define the aims of the study

Mention the problem to write the questionnaire.

Mention the primary and secondary aims. All aims must be to the point.

Each aim must be statistically analyzed by formulating a plan.

How to create a Research questionnaire Sample (Design and Format) - Steps
Figure: How to create a Research questionnaire Sample (Design and Format) – Steps

Step 2:  Define the variables to be collected

You need to define the variables for which you want to collect data. Specify the list of dependent and independent variables. For example Demographics, needs, attitudes, even and behavior etc. We can translate these concepts into the variables and the variables can be easily measured.

Define the role of each variable in the statistical analysis. The role can be a predictor, Confounder and the outcome.

Step 3:  Review the literature

Review the literature and compare all the studies. If you are using only a subset of an existing questionnaire, you need to do it with care because this may change the meaning of the scores. 

Step 4:  Compose a draft

After review, determine the mode of the survey. A survey can be a telephone interview, face-to-face interview or self-completed questionnaires etc. It is also a better approach to include more questions in the final draft. Place the most important items in the first half of the questionnaire to increase the response on the important measures in the surveys. It is better to approach to ensure the questions flow naturally from one question to another.

Question:  How many glasses of water or milk do you drink in a day?

Principle:  Ask for an answer in only one dimension.

Solution:  Separate the question into two questions.

(1) How many glasses of water do you drink during a typical day?

(2) How many glasses of milk do you drink during a typical day?

Question:  What brand of computer do you own?


(B) Apple

Principle: Avoid hidden assumptions.  Make sure to accommodate all possible answers.


(1) Make each response a separate dichotomous item.

Do you own a windows phone? (Circle:  Yes or No)

Do you own a PC? (Circle:  Yes or No)

(2) Add necessary response categories and allow for multiple responses.

What is your hobby?  (Circle all that apply)



Reading Books

Other Question:  Have you had a good feeling during the tour of the hills?

[  ] Never             [  ] Always     [  ] Often     [  ] Very often

Principle:  Make sure question and answer options match.

Solution:  Reword either question or answer to match.

How often have you had a good feeling during the tour to the hills?

[  ] Never     [  ] Always     [  ] Often     [  ] Very Often

Step 5:  Revise

You must revise your questionnaire. You need to try to shorten the set of questions.  If a question does not address one of your aims, then simply discard it. All questions must be refined and their wording must be simple and easy. The questionnaire must be understandable to your target audience. Ensure that the flow of your questions is natural.

 Step 6:  Assemble the final questionnaire

You need to decide whether you will format the questionnaire yourself according to your own choice or use computer-based programs for assistance. Some examples of computer-based programs are mentioned below;

  • GCRC assistance
  • Adobe Live Cycle Designer 7.0

At the top of the questionnaire, you need to clearly mention the followings important sections.

  1. The purpose of the study for which you want to get answers.
  2. How the collected data will be used for getting the desired results.
  3. Clearly mention the detailed instructions on how to fill out the questionnaire.

You just need to mention the policy of confidentiality of the collected data. You need to order and format questions to ensure balanced and unbiased results.

Use larger font size (e.g., 14) and you can also pick greater than 14 with high contrast (black text on white paper).

Add a Comment