How to Make a Questionnaire

A questionnaire is a powerful and useful instrument to gather data, information, or perspective, especially about personal data. That is because a questionnaire is a self-report instrument where the respondent fills in their own data. Whether for market research, program evaluation, or social research, questionnaires can reveal valuable insight.

In crafting a well-designed questionnaire, there are a few things that should be focused on:

1. The questionnaire purposes or research objective

The most important in building a questionnaire is the objective of the instrument. That is because the purpose of the instrument will define what kind of question should be in the items. What kind of information do you want to get and how deep? Is it data about the respondent’s demography? Knowledge about certain topics? View about some facts or context? The clear goal also works as a guide to make the relevant items that are not out of context.

2. The target audiences

The target audience is important to be determined since the audiences act as the data sources. The audience should have the data or information that is needed to be revealed by the questionnaire. For example, a questionnaire about a program evaluation should be given to the person involved in the program. Another example is tourist satisfaction with a resort’s services should be given to the visitor, not to the employee.

3. The question type

There are a lot of question types, depending on the purpose of the research. These are some common types: multiple choice, Likert scale, Open-ended question, short answer, rank scale, etc.

4. The clarity of the items

The items or questions in the instruments should be clear and easy to understand by the respondents. Using prompt 5W1H (what, who, where, when, why, how) is a good way to start.

5. Validity of the instrument

To obtain relevant results, the instrument should be tested for validity to ensure that the questionnaire provides the correct information. The validity test such as construct validity includes content validity, and face validity or language validity. Content validity tests the correctness of the content and terms used in the items. Face validity tests the language structure or grammar, misinterpretation, and translation. A validity test is done by the experts in their field.

Based on those important things, these are the steps to make a questionnaire:

  • Determine the instrument’s purposes/goals
  • Determine the target audience
  • Determine the question type and number
  • Make the questionnaire outline by listing/writing the question/statement in the instrument according to the research goals
  • Organize the items/questions through a logical flow (group-related items with similar topics)
  • Test the questionnaire for construct validity
  • Test the questionnaire on a smaller group and ask for feedback

A well-constructed questionnaire is like a conversation; it engages with the respondent, gathers valuable insights, and leaves a positive impression. I hope this guide helps you to craft a well-designed questionnaire and get the best results.

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Further Resources:
American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR):
University of Maryland Survey Research Center:

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