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How to create a good research survey (step-by-step guide)

Aug 17, 2022 6 min read
How to create a good research survey (step-by-step guide)

Atakan Efe

Surveys have been one of the most used research methods in today's world. It has been possible to reach the participants more easily within the possibilities of technology. In addition, the processing of the data collected from the surveys has been simplified accordingly.

Although it is easy to prepare a research survey, it is helpful to keep some crucial points in mind. In this article, the points that will be useful for you will be presented one by one. If you are about to prepare a survey for research, such as market research or academic research, this article will provide useful tips and examples for you to get started.

What is a research survey?

Research surveys are a type of survey that is created to collect data in market, academic, social, political, or psychological research and delivered to the participants as prepared online, on paper, or on the phone. But the most effective among them is, of course, online surveys.

  • Market research: Surveys used by businesses and organizations to analyze customer experience and behavior. They are known as market research surveys.
  • Academic research: Surveys prepared for use in scientific research require people's participation.
  • Social research: Surveys used by researchers to learn about social groups so that they can design products/services that serve various needs of the people.
  • Political research: Surveys measuring public opinion about policies and parties
  • Psychological research: Surveys researching character features, preferences, and behaviors of people.

How do I create my own survey for research?

Many businesses, organizations, and researchers need the quantitative data provided by surveys. That's why they consult online surveys, which is one of the most common and inexpensive ways today and creating online surveys has become a method that everyone can reach with the increasing number of survey sites. But there are two main types of surveys, including offline ways:

  • A research questionnaire created by the researcher asks participants a set of questions, and it can be distributed by mail, online, or in person.
  • A research interview, created by the researcher asking participants a set of questions by phone or in person and records the answers.

1  - Decide the aim of the research and make survey questions

Before preparing a survey, you should prepare the ground for its thought. Prepare your research topic and questions in such a way that you can create a database when the survey results are measured. For example, suppose you are doing market research. In that case, it is more beneficial for you to ask questions such as asking your customers' requests and problems or extracting data about the supply-demand ratio of a good.

2  - Determine the target audience

In fact, this item is intertwined with the first item. While determining the method and scope of your survey, you are also determining your target audience. For example, if you intend to conduct a survey for older people with low digital literacy, perhaps a face-to-face survey may provide you with better results.

3  - Create your research survey

In recent years, surveys have increased considerably, especially in the field of market research. As such, businesses, organizations, and researchers started to make business deals with survey applications and sites as their budgets allowed. And forms.app is one of these survey creation sites, but forms.app stands out with over 350 templates, a calculator that you can use in quizzes and quote forms, and various customization and edit options.

1  - Choose a survey tool that offers you free online form creation, such as forms.app.

2  - You can begin your survey with quick steps by finding survey templates related to your research or start from scratch.

3  - You can write the questions you have prepared on the form fields from the edit page.

4  - You can customize your form as you wish on the design page.

5  - And lastly, share your form on any platform or any website.

4  - Preview and test your survey

Just as you should check every step of your research, don't forget to check your survey after you create it. For example, in forms.app, you can click on the eye icon at the top right of the edit page to see how your survey will look when it is published. It shows you how your form will look on desktop, tablet, and mobile separately. Later, you can open the form by clicking open. After you fill out your form to try it, you can see the results in the Results tab. If you are worried about mistakes in your survey, you can check our article about common mistakes to avoid.

5 tips for a successful survey research

Doing research is a long and arduous task. Therefore, it is inevitable that there will be some parts of your research that you may have missed and that you need to check again and again. With these tips, you will have the keys to how to conduct survey research.

1  - Be clear when preparing your questions: If you want the respondent to understand and answer your questions, you should prepare your questions accordingly. That's why clarity and restraint should be your first priority. Your question may be long or short, but if it has an ambiguous meaning, the respondent may give you an answer other than the one you hoped for.

2  - Create an area on your form where people can discuss your research: Although we rely on the data provided by surveys, sometimes finding the answer to an unasked question can be illuminating in your research. What is meant by the answer to the unasked questions is the answers that the participant has in mind and does not find appropriate to write in other form fields. Adding an empty form field for the participant to express, criticize or discuss can provide unexpected positive feedback to your research.

3  - Prepare your survey questions respondents are willing to respond truthfully: In many research subjects, there may be questions that participants hesitate to answer. These may be political, religious, ethnic, sexual, or class questions. In such cases, stating that you will protect the confidentiality of the respondents or that you will not share the data with 3rd parties may remove the question marks and concerns in the minds of the respondents.

4  - Be specific in how you ask your questions: General questions are very hard to answer, and the results obtained do not satisfy the researcher very much, so make your questions very specific when asking them.

5  - Analyze the survey results using online survey tools: One of the practical aspects of online survey tools is that you can easily store the responses so that you can analyze them later. You can also edit your survey by looking at the submission percentage of your survey. If you have a low submission percentage, it may mean that there is a problem with the questions you ask or the audience you choose.

How to share your survey with your target audience

You can share a survey on the phone, online, or face-to-face. Since the primary purpose of this article is to show you the benefits of online surveys and how to create and share them, you can solve this problem with a free form creation site like forms.app. 

  • On the share page of your form, you can customize privacy settings before sharing it. 
  • Then you can directly share it on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or WordPress by clicking on the relevant icons.
  • There is also an option for copying the link, and you can embed your form as iFrame.
  • Or you can share it by creating a QR code.

Conclusion

This article showed how to prepare a survey for a research paper, and the best ways to conduct a survey were shown step by step. It aims to show you how to save time and money with online surveys in your long and grueling research journey. It is up to you to follow these steps and tips and make your research stand out from other research projects.

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