Questionnaire Method of Data Collection: An Overview

Questionnaire Method of Data Collection: An Overview

  • A questionnaire is a research instrument utilized to gather information from respondents and includes a set of questions and potential answers printed or typed in a certain order on a form.
  • The subjects of the surveys are often sent or distributed by postal service along with a demand for their replies.
  • It is expected that informants will read the questions thoroughly, understand them, and offer their answers in the space designated on the actual questionnaire.
  • The written format of the questionnaire transforms the relevant information into a series of questions that informants can and will answer.

Characteristics of a Good Questionnaire

  • The qualities of effective questionnaires include the following:
  • It needs to be a well-written list of inquiries.
  • To pique respondents’ attention, the questionnaire should include a relevant or interesting subject.
  • The only information which can not be discovered elsewhere should be searched for.
  • It must be as detailed and succinct as it is practical.
  • It ought to be appealing.
  • Directions must be precise and comprehensive.
  • It needs to be structured mentally in a logical sequence, ranging from general to specific responses.
  • Avoid using double negatives in your inquiries.
  • Another thing to avoid is combining two questions into one. Every inquiry should aim to uncover just one particular piece of information.
  • It should be created with the intention of gathering data for analysis in the future.

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Format of Questions in Questionnaires

  • Two types of questions may be posed:
  • Closed-ended or restricted inquiries require the respondent to select a response from a list of possibilities, react with a yes or no, or cross items off a list.
  • The tabulation and compilation of restricted questions are simple.
  • Unrestricted inquiries are open-ended and provide respondents the chance to express any thoughts and sentiments about the subject that are significant to them.
  • Unrestricted questions make it difficult to tabulate and assemble data, but they also provide respondents the chance to express their true feelings.
  • It is preferable to stick with a few questions that can be measured if the goal is to get data from all responses.
  • If you want to study the intensity or range of emotions, you can create a scale to measure such sensations.

Uses of questionnaires

  • Commercial firms, government agencies, people, groups, and NGOs frequently employ questionnaire methodologies in order to get information from consumers, customers, or the broader public.
  • Questionnaires are the most important part of primary surveys.

Advantages of the Questionnaire

  • All responders receive the exact same questions in surveys, which is one of their biggest advantages.
  • It is an inexpensive strategy, regardless of the size of the universe.
  • Respondents are free from the prejudice of the interviewer since they answer the questions on their own terms.
  • Participants are given enough time to think about their responses.
  • Due to its vast coverage, it is possible to contact respondents in far-off locations readily.

Limitations of the Questionnaire

  • The questionnaire has a significant risk of gathering erroneous and incomplete data since it’s possible that some respondents won’t be able to comprehend the question properly.
  • High non-response rates are seen.


  1. Questionnaire: Definition, Examples, Design and Types
  2. Questionnaires: The ultimate guide, advantages & examples
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