What is questionnaire writing? Useful information

In case you are not pretty sure what answer should be provided to the question: “What is questionnaire writing?” then you should definitely read this article very thoroughly as it is devoted to all peculiarities of questionnaires preparation. 

A questionnaire is a research tool / instrument that comprises a set of the questions or other prompts aimed at collecting specific information or data from respondents. It is a combination of both close- and open-ended questions. Consider that long-form questions allow each respondent to present his / her views in a clear way. For the record, questionnaires were firstly released by the Statistical Society of London (SSL) in 1838.

Questionnaires are utilized for research purposes that could be either qualitative or quantitative in their nature, or both. Questionnaires can or cannot be presented in the form of surveys; but surveys always consist of questionnaires. In case you do not know how to design a questionnaire, either read this article very scrupulously or refer to our well-established academic writing company specializing in questionnaires preparation.


Characteristics of a good questionnaire

A design of each questionnaire is dependent on the type of data / info that needs collecting. Qualitative questionnaires are utilized when it is necessary to collect exploratory info / data or prove or disprove a specific hypothesis. Quantitative questionnaires are applied when it is need to test or validate any formerly generated hypotheses. Some key characteristics of questionnaires are as follows:

  • Uniformity: Consider that questionnaires are utilized in order to collect personal points of view opinions, demographic information, attitudes or facts from respondents / participants. One of the most significant characteristic of questionnaires is that they are standardized as well as uniform. Each respondent should provide an answer to the same question. This assists in both data / info collection and statistical analysis / interpretation of this data/ info.
  • Exploratory:  It is worth mentioning that there are no restrictions of the questions that could be in such questionnaires or the specific objectives.
  • Question Sequence: Questionnaires should keep to a structured flow of the questions so as to increase the number of the needed responses. This sequence of questions is composed of warm-up questions, screening questions, skip questions, transition questions, complicated questions, and lastly, classification questions.

Two types of questionnaires: Key features

As above indicated, questionnaires may be either free-flow or structure. In order to understand this, we will provide clear explanations:

  • Unstructured type of questionnaire: It is aimed at collecting qualitative data. This type of a questionnaire has a specific structure and some certain questions, but nothing can limit the responses of the respondents. The questions are open-ended in their nature.
  • Structured type of a questionnaire: It is aimed at collecting quantitative data. This type of a questionnaire is both planned and designed so as to collect very peculiar info / data. It also initiates a type of formal enquiry, supplements the data / info, and checks formerly accumulated info / data, and assists in validating any hypothesis.

Types of questions in a questionnaire: Questionnaire writing tips 

Could you quickly provide an answer to the question: “What are the different types of questions in questionnaires?” If you answer in “No”, then read the below info accordingly. 

Some of the frequently utilized types of the questions in the questionnaires are as follows:

  • Open-Ended Questions: assist in gathering qualitative data in which the respondents are capable of providing their answers in a free form.
  • Multiple-Choice Questions:  are known as close-ended questions in which the respondents should select one or many responses from the list of possible options provided. The multiple choice questions are composed of the incomplete stem question, the incorrect or correct answer(s), close alternatives, as well as distracters. 
  • Dichotomous Questions: are in the majority of cases “no / yes” close-ended questions. These questions are generally utilized in case there is a need of basic and clear validation. 
  • Scaling Questions: are widely utilized in questionnaires. These questions are grounded on the principles of the four measurement scales – ratio, ordinal, interval, and nominal. Some properties of certain scales, including  order questions, staple scale questions, semantic differential scale questions, or Likert scale questions may be employed in such questions.
  • Pictorial Questions: are the simplest type of questionnaire questions. Respondents are to provide the options from specific images that can limit their responses to the options indicated in the questions but increase the number of possible responses provided.

Questionnaire design is a bit complicated multistep process, which requires specific attention to and focus on numerous details at each step of its preparation. Now we hope that you will be capable of answering the question: “What is questionnaire writing?” In case there are some doubts or questions left, do not be shy to refer to our academic writing company and our professionals for assistance or support.

Survey vs Questionnaire

Questionnaires are utilized to collect the data / info from the list of the questions provided. They are not applied to look for behaviors, trends, or a broader picture. Surveys can be administered as a pre-testing to a specific focus group during the process of their preparation to gain a better understanding regarding how the respondents in that peculiar focus group respond. Pre-testing is a widely applied practice as the creator of the survey can understand in the very initial stages whether  changes could be required to be done in the future survey. A survey is data collection by means a set of the questions aimed at conducting statistical analysis in the future. 


Questionnaires are referred to research instruments that consist a set of questions aimed collecting info / data from respondents.

Surveys are referred to research methods utilized for collecting info / data from the pre-defined groups of respondents so as to gain info and insights in terms of different topics under study or analysis.

What is it?

Instrument of data / info collection

Process of gathering and analyzing specific data


Subset of a survey

Comprises questionnaire as well as survey design, data collection, and logic

Time and Cost

Cost-effective and fast

Expensive and slowed than questionnaires


Conducted / administered on specific respondents

Distributed / conducted on the respondents


Close-ended and sometimes open-ended (very rarely)

Open-ended and close-ended



Objective or subjective

We hope that now and then, the question, “What is questionnaire writing?” will not make you frightened and you will be capable of handling all your tasks set by your professor.

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