Administering the Survey in Research

Researchers uses different methods for administering the survey in research. They can administer the survey in a structured manner or a non-structured manner. In the survey, you do not have the opportunity to ask face-to-face questions from your audience. This makes you dependent on the filled out questionnaire forms that your respondent will return. A well-planned survey provides you with all the benefits of an interview at less cost.

Determine the nature of audience

It’s important to know in advance the nature of your audience to whom you will submit the questionnaire. This will help you with the wording and format your questionnaire questions. Failure to identify your target population can skew your results. First, ask yourself what population best represent the survey you are going to conduct and then decide about your target population. You can select the sample randomly or nonrandomly depending on your requirements but the sample should be selected carefully. Once you have selected the sample, know about their traits, likes, and dislikes and any other important information that might help you in administering the survey.

Keep your sample size realistic

It is important to keep in mind that while administering the survey in research we hope to get full responses. In reality, we may or may not get back all the questionnaires that we have submitted to the audience. It is therefore wise to have a realistic sample size so that we can manage all those not-returned questionnaires from other ones.

Record when, where and how survey was conducted

Although we all work hard to avoid any biases in the responses due to any environmental factors we cannot omit this factor completely. We need to keep a record of when did we administer the questionnaires, who administered them and where did this happen. All of these and other factors may help you evaluate and analyze the responses you have received.

Carefully tabulate results

While you receive all the questionnaires back from the respondents you are in a position to analyze them and tabulate them. Remember that biases may not only occur due to the respondents’ bias, researcher himself can be the reason for biased results. You need to analyze and tabulate the results with precision. Ask yourself what kind of biases you can introduce in the analysis of the questionnaire, try your best to avoid them.

The best thing about the survey is that you can administer a large number of the questionnaire at less cost. The interviewer bias is also minimized in the questionnaire survey technique.


  • Tensen, L. B., Research Strategies for a Digital Age, Thomson Wadsworth, 2nd Ed., Boston, 2007, Pp- 90-92



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