Academic Support for Students Quantitative Research Planning a Questionnaire – Blog

Doing research should be an exciting experience, students never know what they will unearth. A questionnaire survey could provide a wealth of new information and so Study Coach suggest that students should set aside time to plan for the research, the structure, the questionnaire questions and to decide on how best to administer the questionnaire. 

ASK STUDY COACH BLOG

Question: Study Coach, do you have a tip for starting research?

Answer: First make decisions about what you would like to find out, and why you want to use a certain research method, this is important since it will help reduce wasting time. 

Question: What is a good way to choose a research topic?

Answer: You might have an interest in a topic because at an earlier stage in your studies you wrote an essay on the topic (example stress), you are therefore familiar with key stress theorists and now wish to extend your knowledge further by undertaking research.

Question: Is the topic of homelessness or teenage pregnancy good topics?

Answer: There is nothing wrong with the topics, most topics are great, but from a research point of view,  the researcher will need to be more specific.  Example: if you want to research teenage pregnancy and still have an interest in stress, you could propose to compare the stress levels of pregnant teenagers and adult pregnant women living in South London.  

Question: What is an example of a research aim

Answer: The aim is to investigate links between teenage pregnancy and stress, you as researcher want to find out if the expectant teenager is experiencing a higher level of stress when compared to adult expectant women living in the research area.   

Question: When should students start to plan the questionnaire?

Answer: Students should discuss the research aims with their tutor/supervisor and get the proposal approved, before planning the actual questionnaire questions. Students should seek approval of the chosen methodology, ethical issues, research population and other elements to be covered in the research. 

Question: Could Study Coach give an example about ethics?

Answer: Confidentiality is an important ethical code for consideration, teenagers under age 18 are children (UK Law) the researcher has a high duty of care to protect children when conducting research. Protecting adults confidentiality, identity is clearly also important. 

Question: What is a statement of instructions for respondents?

Answer: It is a written statement to inform respondents about the research. For Example: This scale is divided into 2 parts (A – B) it should take you no more than 15 minutes to complete and it will ask you about your feelings and thoughts during the last 3 months. Please indicate how often you felt or thought a certain way. You might find that some of the questions are similar, however they are different….. 

Question: How to administer the Questionnaire 

Answer: There are a number of ways to administer the questionnaire, it could be completed during a visit to the clinic, it could be sent out via post, it could be administered online. Post will be very costly for a lone student researcher. 

Question: Are researchers allowed to complete the questionnaire for respondents?

Answer: In cases where respondents have difficulties reading or writing to complete the questionnaire the researcher will read out the questions and fill out the questionnaire for respondents; this could however become problematic and lead to interviewer effects. Students should read further on the topic of research bias.  

Questionnaire: Ask Study Coach 

SECTION B

Please choose from the following alternatives: 0 Never – 1 Almost Never – 2 Sometimes – 3 Fairly Often – 4 Very Often

QUESTIONS: In the last 3 months:

  • How often do you feel fed-up?

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Ciara

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