1. At the beginning of the survey, provide the respondents with:
o Clear instructions
o Purpose of the survey
o Estimated completion time (to take the survey)
o Assurance that their answers will remain anonymous
o What will be done with the survey data that you collect.
2. Provide clear survey responses:
o Yes or No
o True or False
o Consider using a 5-point Likert scale when you create survey questions.
3. Be careful how you group your questions.
o The first question should engage the respondent to get them in the flow.
o Place demographic questions at the end of the survey to avoid response bias.
o Earlier questions in a survey can affect how respondents respond to later
4. Group similar questions together in the same section. Use titles to introduce each section.
5. Avoid double-barreled questions (such as using the word “and”) because a survey
question should only have one single concept in it.
6. Keep your questions (and answer choices) short, simple and clear. Why? Because
respondents are less likely to answer:
o Long, complicated, and confusing questions.
o Respondents will not finish your survey if it is too hard
7. Avoid using jargon and technical terms, such as:
8. Create questions that will give you precise answers.
9. Avoid leading questions, such as:
o “When did you stop beating your wife?”
That question is biased because it implies that the respondent is a wife
Survey questions should not have biased answers built into them.
Best Practices for Creating Surveys
10. Do not provide more than 10 answers to select from when you create a question.
11. Select needed classifications of respondents that are appropriate for the topic that you are
researching, such as:
o City Council Members
o [INSERT YOUR NEEDED CLASSIFICAITON HERE]
12. Select the smallest sample size possible to meet your needs.
13. Include a “Thank You” statement at the end of the survey.
14. Before you conduct issue your survey, contact your Institutional Review Board (IRB) for:
o Approval of your created survey and
o Permission to issue it to respondents.
15. Once you’ve created your survey:
o Send it to a few friends or colleagues to try it
o Ask them how long it took to complete the survey
o Did their survey answers provide you with useful data?
16. Response rates to online surveys usually range from 30 to 60%.
17. Be respectful of those who do not wish to take your survey.
Best Practices for Improving Survey Participation. (n.d.). Oracle Corp.
Learn the Top 12 Best Ways to Use Surveys. (n.d.). Constant Contact Corp.
Nardi, P. M. (2005). Doing survey research: A guide to quantitative methods. Boston: Pearson.
Survey Design and Administration Best Practices. (2022). Louisiana State University.
Surveys (Qualtrics). (n.d.). University of Wisconson – Madison Information Technology.