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  1. 1. Survey WritingThe Art of Asking
  2. 2. Objective Understand the purpose of a survey Explain considerations in writing a survey Give examples of survey formats 12/12/2010 Report Writing 2
  3. 3. Definition of a Survey A survey is a structured interview of a target audience. Interview Questionnaire 12/12/2010 Report Writing 3
  4. 4. Interview Vs. Questionnaire Interview Questionnaire Time consuming Quick Harder to measure Easily analyzed More expensive Cheaper Able to target a More opinionated more rounded tend to respond audience more 12/12/2010 Report Writing 4
  5. 5. Purpose of a Survey A survey obtains objective information from a target audience about: Services Ideas Products Opinions 12/12/2010 Report Writing 5
  6. 6. Designing a Survey Determine the purpose of the survey Determine the target audience Determine the how to administer Determine how to tabulate Determine the meaning of the results 12/12/2010 Report Writing 6
  7. 7. The Purpose Why bother? How are the results to be used? Is there another way to obtain the same information? What is being measured? 12/12/2010 Report Writing 7
  8. 8. The Audience Who needs to take the survey? Demographics How is the survey administered? How is the target audience encouraged to participate? What reading level does the survey need to be written to? 12/12/2010 Report Writing 8
  9. 9. The Administration Where? When? How? Who? When does it stop? 12/12/2010 Report Writing 9
  10. 10. The Tabulation How are the results tabulated? Is a statistical analysis required? Is there sufficient data to measure? 12/12/2010 Report Writing 10
  11. 11. The Results How will the results be used? Who gets the results? What happens to the raw data? Can recommendations be made? 12/12/2010 Report Writing 11
  12. 12. Types of Questions—Open Ended Any answer is fine What is your opinion of the movie? Provides a range of responses Difficult to quantify 12/12/2010 Report Writing 12
  13. 13. Types of Questions–Closed Ended Limited choice Yes no no opinion Strongly agree agree neutral disagree strongly disagree ___ 2 hours ____ 4 hours Restricts the input of the survey taker Easier to tabulate 12/12/2010 Report Writing 13
  14. 14. Question Basics Include demographic questions if important Male Female Keep questions short Use neutral questions Since this product is so effective, would you use it daily, twice a day or more often 12/12/2010 Report Writing 14
  15. 15. Question Basics – Only One Measure one thing per question Everest is a good school with good teachers? Yes No 12/12/2010 Report Writing 15
  16. 16. Question Basics – No Negatives Avoid negative questions Everest University is not the best school you have ever attended Yes No 12/12/2010 Report Writing 16
  17. 17. Question Basics - Simplicity Use simple wording In your opinion, after several semesters at Everest would you return for an advanced degree if they offered it in a field of your choice? Yes No 12/12/2010 Report Writing 17
  18. 18. Survey Format Name the survey Write an introduction to the survey Explain how the survey will be used Give clear directions Tell what to do with the survey when completed 12/12/2010 Report Writing 18
  19. 19. When Done Surveys are usually part of other reports Carefully tabulate the results Watch for questions which do not measure what they were designed for Explain in text How the survey was conducted The results of the survey Attach as an addendum a blank questionnaire 12/12/2010 Report Writing 19
  20. 20. Statistical Analysis Sample Size vs population size Unintended biases Significance – a statistical calculation that the results for each question are likely to accurate reflect what people thing about the question 12/12/2010 Report Writing 20
  21. 21. Summary Surveys are useful tools Good surveys give good data; bad surveys give bad data Design for easy of use Have a clear purpose 12/12/2010 Report Writing 21
  22. 22. Resources Wording Your Survey notes/95-07.htm Survey Design Questionnaires and Survey Design Writing Guide: Statistics ch/stats/ 12/12/2010 Report Writing 22